California artist named new MSU-Refuge artist-in-residence

September 30th, 2015 Comments Off on California artist named new MSU-Refuge artist-in-residence

“Vulnerability Rocks!” by Nancy Mizuno Elliott

“Vulnerability Rocks!” by Nancy Mizuno Elliott

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Mississippi State’s newest artist-in-residence is beginning her 11-day stay at the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge.

Through her scheduled October 6 departure date, watercolor artist Nancy Mizuno Elliott plans to conduct research and host small discussions on her artwork. She also will visit classes and interact with art students at the university.

Located 12 miles south of the Starkville campus, the more than 48,000-acre federal land reserve spanning Oktibbeha, Noxubee and Winston counties was established in 1940. It serves as a feeding and resting area for migratory birds and resident wildlife, including white-tailed deer, alligators and beaver. Wetlands, cypress groves, prairie grasslands and forest also are among its many features.

A watercolor instructor at City College of San Francisco, Elliott attempts to create personal urban folk art through the use of common materials and discussions of everyday situations that make up a life.

“In general, my work examines intimacy, power and human behavior,” she said. “I confront embarrassing moments, unpleasant feelings and difficult situations, while maintaining a wry humor that tempers the discomfort of my subject matter.”

Elliott said images often come to her in the form of reactionary flashes to what she has heard, seen or experienced.

“My work is a visual diary, brimming with suffering and sap that rests in the space between memory and imagination,” she said. “Through the use of confessing characters and tattletale personas, I guide the viewer down a multi-layered narrative path.”

Currently residing in Oakland, California, Elliott holds a Master of Fine Arts with Distinction from the University of Georgia, as well as bachelor’s degrees in psychology and art from University of California at Berkeley. For more biographical information, visit

In addition to the MSU art department, the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife artist-in-residence program is a collaborative effort of the refuge and its Friends organization, along with the Starkville Area Arts Council.

Previous participants in the artist-in-residence program have included painter and Webster County native William “Bill” Dunlap; printmaker Kathryn Hunter of Decatur, Alabama; Pennsylvania ceramicist Lilly Zuckerman; mural artist and illustrator Michael Roy of Jackson County; New Orleans artist and critic Marian S. McLellan; New York artists Caetlynn Booth and Tyson Washburn; Mississippi Audubon Master Naturalist and artist Robin Whitfield of Grenada; Iowa artist Barbara Fedeler; MSU fine arts/sculpture graduate Shelby Nichols of Aberdeen; and San Francisco artist and curator Jenny Balisle.

Complete refuge information is found at,, and

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