From the Gallery – January 2018

February 2nd, 2018 Comments Off on From the Gallery – January 2018

In this episode of From the Gallery, Mississippi State University Department of Art Gallery Director Lori Neuenfeldt discusses “Hatch Show Print” – on display through February at the Visual Arts Center Gallery – with graphic design Professor Jamie Mixon.

Graphic design alumnus Kaylie Mitchell featured in Starkville Daily News

January 25th, 2018 Comments Off on Graphic design alumnus Kaylie Mitchell featured in Starkville Daily News

Kaylie Mitchell (left) and Hagan Walker shown when they won a competition with the university’s E-Center that helped them get their company Glo started.

Glo plans to shine in new home on Lampkin Street

A Starkville business recently moved in to a new home downtown after its humble beginning in a closet three years ago.

Glo is a line of liquid-activated, glowing cubes used as drink enhancers. Glo also partnered with Musee to create bath bombs with a glowing cube inside.

The company was founded by Mississippi State University students Hagan Walker and Kaylie Mitchell in 2015.

“My cofounder, Kaylie, and I, were both students at State,” Walker said. “She was in graphic design and I was in electrical engineering, and this was one of her classroom projects. The idea behind it was to create a conceptual company that drew your eye to the product, and Kaylie always said, ‘If it lights up, people are going to look at it.'”

Walker said he helped make the product liquid-activated, and the pair won $15,000 in an entrepreneurship competition at MSU through the E-Center.

“When we first started, our first prototypes were made in my walk-in closet in a house I was renting in town,” Walker said. “Then we moved to the Research Park and had a very small office over there. Then we were in the Partnership building for a little while before we moved here.”

Glo’s new location had been empty for about a year before the company began leasing the building from owner Rick Underwood, who owns Rick’s Furniture, Walker said.

The front space in the new building will be used for office space for the Glo team and for retail space. A small back portion of the building will be used for inventory and supplies. A larger area in the back of the building will be used by young entrepreneurs from MSU to rent while they start their new businesses.

“Kaylie and I ran into this issue when we first started,” Walker said. “We couldn’t afford rent anywhere, and the university had to help us. Our idea is you start at the E-Center, then if you want to pursue your idea you come here, and then you’ll move down to some space they have at the Partnership. This whole thing is us trying to give back to Starkville.”

Glo will host an open house at 4 p.m. Jan. 26 to celebrate their new headquarters and release their newest product, glowing bath toys for children.

“It’s been crazy. Literally we started our first prototype in a closet three years ago,” Walker said. “To go from 10 square feet to 5,000 plus is pretty cool. And a lot of people like the story of Glo, but we want to tell them about the space in the back and how we want other young people to stay in Starkville as well.”

While the Glo cubes are made in China, all the packaging and printing is done in-house in Starkville. Glo currently employs five people and has several interns throughout the semester, Walker said.

“Some of them are internships, but thinking that we’re creating jobs for people is really cool,” Walker said.

MYTH-issippi lecture held on October 19

October 20th, 2017 Comments Off on MYTH-issippi lecture held on October 19

By Kelsey Brownlee, Mississippi State University student

“Myth-issippi: How Art Makes Place” was an illustrated talk by Brent Funderburk –  W. L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Art at Mississippi State University –  followed by a musical performance in the Colvard Student Union Dawghouse on Thurs., Oct. 19 from 6 to 8 p.m. 

Also premiered was the newly renovated Dawghouse and the mural “Black Prairie, Mississippi, World,”created by MSU art students Shawna Williams and Randi Watson.

After Funderburk’s talk,W.L. Giles Distinguished Professors of Entomology Richard Brown and Funderburk talked on life and culture on our unique Black(belt) Prairie, which then turned into a concert of Blues music performed by Caleb Childs and the Blues Review, featuring Dr. Brown on harmonica.

Art students return from New York study

October 10th, 2017 Comments Off on Art students return from New York study

New York Field Study 2017 from CAADatMSU on Vimeo.

Twenty students and two faculty members spent their Fall Break in New York.

Led by Associate Professor Ben Harvey and Assistant Professor Suzanne Powney – who organized the trip – the students are the fourth and largest group to participate in the department’s Special Topic in ART- Art Field Study course.

The course was created in 2014 to provide historical and contemporary cultural experiences in the Big Apple’s world of art and design through visits to museums, galleries, artists’ studios and design firms, among other activities.

Among other locales, the group visited the special collections at the Columbia University Butler Library, Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern Art; graphic design work spaces of Gensler and Johnson & Johnson; along with an artists’ studio in the Red Hook neighborhood with textile designer Annie Coggan and fine art alumnus Chris Lucious. 

The group also visited the High Line Park before a boat tour of the entire island of Manhattan. Perhaps most importantly, the students and faculty had opportunities to meet with former MSU art majors that have “made it” in New York. They included Sarah Foley, design manager at Johnson & Johnson; Lauren Blalock, Anna Callaway and Drew Ford, graphic designers for Johnson & Johnson; and Ashlee Bennett, Britney Johnson, Lilly Scheibelhut, Mickenzie Robbins, Trey Harding, Patrick Finch, Caleb Hunt and Brian Barham.

Special thanks to Karen Green, curator for comics and cartoons, Ancient & Medieval History librarian, Columbia University; Lauren Docktor, workplace experience manager, Gensler; Chris Lucious, artist; and Sarah Foley, design manager at Johnson & Johnson for hosting our students! 

Students had various creative assignments as part of the trip, including a blog created by Carly Melton, Calli Nelson, April Porter, Mimi Sheppard, Haylee Upton and Moesha Wright.

Abbey Goodman, Ali Meeler, Mary Emily Moore and Abbey Ridgon created a course poster (above).

Conner Booth, Claire Burgett, Kennedy Caldwell and Madison Cheek were in charge of a video (watch it above), while Darren Cheairs, Stephen Latham, Breanna Rayburn, Lauryn Rody, Samantha Sumrall and Kaitlyn Upton were in charge of documenting the experience through photography (photos below).

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College of Architecture, Art and Design hosts second annual Jackson Design Camp

August 5th, 2017 Comments Off on College of Architecture, Art and Design hosts second annual Jackson Design Camp

Jackson Design Camp 2017 from CAADatMSU on Vimeo. (Video by Anna Barber)

Mississippi State’s College of Architecture, Art and Design recently hosted its second annual design camp for students from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Mississippi.

Held June 26–30, the five-day summer experience in Jackson had a goal of helping students in the Greater Jackson community develop their interests in architecture, art, community development, design, engineering, planning, social justice and related professional fields.

Students gained knowledge of design tools and media through individual and group workshops focused on design, sketching, printmaking, graphic design, model building, sculpture and construction, among other skills. Collaboration, leadership and communication skills were developed, which will help students increase their self-confidence in these areas, leaders said.

This year’s camp was co-directed by MSU School of Architecture Jackson Center Director Jassen Callender and Department of Art Assistant Professor Suzanne Powney.

“It was a wonderful experience to show design-centered entrepreneurship in Jackson to the students,” said Powney. “The range of presenters and activities really emphasized the many paths they could take in the future.” 

The faculty were joined by four student counselors from the College of Architecture, Art and Design – Kapish Cheema (May 2017 graduate, architecture), De’Andre Gaskin (senior, architecture), Carly Melton (senior, art), Garrett Yelverton (May 2017 graduate, architecture).

The camp experience included a variety of visits throughout downtown Jackson, including a tour of the New Capitol building and the Mississippi Museum of Art. The students also visited studios in downtown Jackson including NunoErin Interactive Furniture, Mississippi Light Collaborative with Jess Dalton, and architect and MSU alumnus Steve Davis’s firm – Canizaro Cawthon Davis.

The students visited Midtown to explore video work at Red Square Productions with Roderick Red, entrepreneurship at Offbeat with Phillip Rollins, art and design at Pearl River Glass Studio with Andrew Young, and furniture design at Reclaimed Miles with Chad Schwarzauer.

Speakers included interior designer and MSU alumnus Cristen Richard, animation and illustrator Assistant Professor Ginnie Hsu from the MSU Department of Art, and coordinator of recruitment activities Tabora Cook from the MSU Office of Admissions and Scholarships.

CAAD Associate Dean and Professor Greg Hall said the camp was designed to help expose students to the wide variety and scope of educational and career opportunities in design fields ranging from architecture to graphic design and interior design to fashion, as well as related fields such as engineering and construction.

“One of our primary goals is to help students form educational and professional goals that they can continue to develop during their high school education, regardless of their eventual career choice,” Hall said.

In addition to being funded in part by a $5,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson and $750 from the ChemFirst/First Mississippi Corporation Charitable Endowment Fund of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson, the camp is supported by MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design; its School of Architecture and Department of Art; the MSU Holmes Cultural Diversity Center and Office of the Registrar.

“I think one of the most rewarding things about this program is seeing the students develop an interest in design as it applies to everyday life,” said Jane Alexander, president and CEO of the Community Foundation of Greater Jackson. “Not all of them will pursue a career in this path, but they are motivated by the projects they do and the things they see and experience during the week.”

She added, “Once you’ve been exposed to art and architecture, you learn it’s accessible. Knowledge is power, and now these kids have the power of ‘seeing’.”

For additional camp information, contact Hall at 662-325-2509 or






(Images by Anna Barber, De’Andre Gaskin and Christie McNeal)

Art alumna Kimberlin Singletary featured on design blog

June 29th, 2017 Comments Off on Art alumna Kimberlin Singletary featured on design blog

Kimberlin Singletary

on the blog

50 States – Mississippi with Kimberlin Singletary

The Creative Chair talks graphic design and Mississippi with Kimberlin Singletary in the 14th edition of our 50 States series.

You can see a lot more from Kim on her website

Tell us a little bit more about yourself and what you do?

My name is Kimberlin Singletary. I was born and raised in Mississippi, specifically Crystal Springs. I graduated from Mississippi State University in 2015. After finishing college, I knew I wanted to move somewhere different. After applying for several jobs, I accepted a position in Atlanta, GA at Astral Health and Beauty as a Graphic Designer.

My responsibilities include designing brochures, packaging, flyers and other merchandising materials. Our company works with other organisations such as Kohls, ULTA, Costco, DreamWorks, Disney and many more.

How has Mississippi influenced the work that you do?

Mississippi is not considered the most respected state, so expectations are naturally lower there. But, I wanted to prove the stereotypes wrong. Since I was a little girl, I dreamed about moving away to do bigger and better things.

However, it was not until I moved when I realised how much of an influence Mississippi has had on me. Being a girl from the country, I was initially shocked by the traffic and crowds of people. I was excited for skyscrapers and never sleeping, but now I long for those quiet and hospitable people from back home. More than anything, Mississippi shaped my personality. The slower lifestyle has given me the patience to handle stressful situations in a fast-paced environment.

Of your own work, what is your favorite project and why?

My senior year in college I did a packaging project for a beverage. The product was called Kaleidoscope, and it was spiked lemonade. I am always attracted to color, especially bright ones, and I wanted to try a method that would be challenging, but a learning experience at the same time.

That method ended up being letterpress. I had taken a summer class to learn this technique, but I still had so much more to learn. Through this process of mixing the paints to get the right colour, designing the shapes on the labels and placing the imprints in just the right spot, I felt both frustration and appreciation. By the time I finished the project it was my baby. With so many tedious steps, I can confidently say I did it all myself and loved every minute.

And finally, if you died and got reincarnated as a song, what would that song be?

I don’t think I would be a specific song. When I listen to music, the genre changes in each song. So, I want to be a playlist on shuffle. One minute I listen to classical and the next heavy metal. I am full of surprises and unique; you never know what is going to happen next.

Mississippi Trivia

  • Became the 20th State on the 10th December 1817
  • Birthplace of Elvis Presley
  • Mississippi River is the largest river in the US

Art student, alumna featured as ‘State Spotlight’

June 28th, 2017 Comments Off on Art student, alumna featured as ‘State Spotlight’

Photo by Megan Bean | Mississippi State University

Shawna Williams, a senior art major from Hattiesburg, and art alumna Randi Layne Watson work on a mural on the back wall of the Dawg House stage in MSU’s Colvard Student Union.

The mural, which features Mississippi music with an emphasis on Black Prairie blues, is part of a larger remodeling of the Dawg House.

The revamped space, which is currently used for a wide variety of events and as a lounge space, will be unveiled this fall. 

See the image at!

Artist’s ‘Stark Vegas’ design steps into spotlight

June 12th, 2017 Comments Off on Artist’s ‘Stark Vegas’ design steps into spotlight

Photo by: Sarah Dutton/The Columbus Dispatch

By Slim Smith | The Columbus Dispatch

Sports Center has a little — and in some cases a lot of — just about everything when it comes to sports apparel. 

The sprawling retail store at Highway 12 and Louisville Street in Starkville even has its own resident artist. 

It might not be the future Evelyn Collins imagined when she graduated from Starkville Academy and headed to college, first at East Mississippi and later at Mississippi State, where she earned with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts, but her job at Sports Center fulfills her creative urges. 

“When I went to Mississippi State, I really wanted to major in graphic design,” said Collins, 25. “But I couldn’t get in, so rather than wait a year to get a spot, I decided to major in fine arts, painting. I’m still not painting or doing a lot of graphic design, but this job does give me a chance to use my creative energy.” 

For the past 18 months, Collins has worked in the store’s custom apparel department, creating logos or incorporating existing logos into designs for a range of apparel — everything from team jerseys and uniforms to golf shirts embellished with company logos. 

She’s designed or adapted all sorts of logos for all sorts of clothing. 

But she never really thought about socks. 

Who thinks about socks, right? 

Well, Andrew Tyler, for one. 

Tyler, the store’s shoe manager, has been with Sports Center since it opened in 2009. He speaks with remarkable enthusiasm about the shoes and the shoe-related products he sells. 

So, when Tyler received a notice about a design/marketing contest being staged by Balega, a leading line of high-tech running socks, he immediately thought of Collins. 

“I showed it to her and told her she might be interested,” Tyler said. 

For Collins, it was a chance to measure her creative chops against designers from across the country. 

Noting the judging would be held on the Balega Facebook page, she figured she would need a design that would be instantly recognizable. 

For someone who grew up in the shadows of MSU, a thought immediately came to her mind: Stark Vegas. 

“Stark Vegas has really kind of taken off,” Collins said. “You see it everywhere, so I thought using it on my design would be something people would respond to.” 

Her design was simple, minimalist — the word “STARK VEGAS” embroidered on the inside heel of the sock. The power of the phrase took over from there. 

“They picked 20 finalists out of hundreds of entries,” Collins said. “My design made that cut. Balega then put 10 designs up on its page one week for people to pick out their favorite, then put the other 10 up on the page. When it was over, I was one of the four winning designs. Pretty cool.” 

As a reward for its efforts, Balega sent 250 pairs of Collins’ “Stark Vegas” socks to Sports Center. 

“We’re probably the only place in the world you can buy them,” Tyler said. “We’ve already sold 30 pairs in just the few weeks we’ve had them.” 

Along with the bragging rights, Collins also got a $600 check. 

“I wish I could say I spent it on something cool,” she said, laughing. “I spent it all on bills.

Department of Art invites alumni to participate in 50th Anniversary Exhibit

June 8th, 2017 Comments Off on Department of Art invites alumni to participate in 50th Anniversary Exhibit

The Mississippi State University Department of Art invites all past alumni to submit works for the 50th Anniversary Alumni Exhibition.

The exhibition is open to all alumni with a degree from the MSU Department of Art (BFA, MFA, BS or BA). All media is eligible: ceramics, drawing, graphic design (branding campaigns, packaging etc.), illustration, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture and electronic media. 

Works will be reviewed and selected by invited juror Wesley Stuckey, designer, printmaker, educator and fellow MSU alumnus! One Best in Show winner will be selected and invited for a future solo exhibition at one of the MSU Department of Art Galleries.

The MSU Alumni Exhibition will be located in the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery, MSU Welcome Center, next to Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

Important dates:

  • Submission Deadline October 1, 2017
  • Judging the month of October
  • Notifications sent in November
  • Accepted works postmarked to MSU Galleries by December 16, 2017
  • Exhibition opens late January 2018

For full details visit:

Photographs by recent MSU art graduate accepted into national exhibitions

June 8th, 2017 Comments Off on Photographs by recent MSU art graduate accepted into national exhibitions

“Water Weight,” a digital image by Mississippi State art/photography and graphic design graduate Ronnie B. Robinson of West Point. (Submitted photo/courtesy of Ronnie Robinson)

“Love Me Love Me Not,” a digital image by Mississippi State art/photography and graphic design graduate Ronnie B. Robinson of West Point. (Submitted photo/courtesy of Ronnie Robinson)

“Girl with Horns,” a multi-paneled cyanotype photogram by Mississippi State art/photography and graphic design graduate Ronnie B. Robinson of West Point. (Submitted photo/courtesy of Ronnie Robinson)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Photographic creations by a May graduate of Mississippi State’s College of Architecture, Art and Design have been accepted into two national exhibitions.

Created by MSU Bachelor of Fine Arts graduate Ronnie B. Robinson of West Point, a multi-paneled cyanotype photogram titled “Girl with Horns” was accepted into “she,” a national exhibition at the Smith Gallery in Johnson, Texas.

On display through June 11, the exhibition was juried by award-winning New York photographer Kat Kiernan, whose photographic narratives have been featured in various publications including “Fraction Magazine” and “F-Stop Magazine.”

Additionally, two of Robinson’s digital images were accepted earlier this spring in the 2017 Midwest Center for Photography Juried Exhibition in Wichita, Kansas.

Titled “Love Me Love Me Not” and “Water Weight,” the works are part of Robinson’s narrative-based photographic series, “Play Nice, Dearie,” which follows the transformation of a young girl from adolescence into womanhood. Through the series, Robinson said she seeks “to explore and understand the emotions, psyche and society’s treatment of a young woman.”

With academic concentrations in photography and graphic design, Robinson has been guided by Professor Marita Gootee and Assistant Professor Dominic Lippillo of the art department’s photography emphasis area. Gootee is the department’s longtime photography coordinator.

“While Ronnie’s work explores different techniques and processes, the images selected for these exhibitions share a common thread exploring issues dealing with the pressures young women face as they grow up,” Lippillo said.

“The way Ronnie is able to utilize many different processes shows her diversity as a photo-based artist. I am extremely proud of her drive to exhibit her work, and I cannot wait to see where her photographs are exhibited next,” Lippillo added.

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSU’s Department of Art is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. 

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

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