Jeffrey Haupt named interim head of Mississippi State’s art department

August 6th, 2018 Comments Off on Jeffrey Haupt named interim head of Mississippi State’s art department

Professor Jeffrey Haupt is taking on a new leadership role as interim head of Mississippi State University’s Department of Art.

“As a longtime member of the Department of Art, Jeffrey has served for many years as coordinator of the painting area and most recently gained significant experience serving as the interim associate dean in the college,” said Dean of the College of Architecture, Art and Design Angi Elsea Bourgeois. “He is extremely well prepared and positioned to lead the department to greater achievements in the coming year.”

Accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the Department of Art offers the largest and most diverse undergraduate studio art program in the state. Students may concentrate in fine arts (ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking, and sculpture), graphic design or photography. The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is a professional program with a series of in-depth studio experiences balanced by classes in art history, the humanities and sciences.

Haupt received his Master of Fine Arts from Indiana University and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting from the Cleveland Institute of Art. He began his teaching career in 1997 at Indiana University and then taught at the John Waldron Arts Center before joining the MSU art department faculty in 1999 ­as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 2004 and full professor in 2010. For more biographical information, visit

“I am honored to serve the Department of Art in this capacity,” Haupt said. “Angi Bourgeois did an excellent job as department head, and I will do my best to build on previous successes and support the department as it moves into the future.”

Learn more about MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design and its Department of Art at and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Read the story in the Maroon Memo.

Assistant Professor Ginnie Hsu featured as MSU ‘Our People’

June 26th, 2018 Comments Off on Assistant Professor Ginnie Hsu featured as MSU ‘Our People’

Story by Sasha Steinberg | Photo by Megan Bean

She misses being on the Starkville campus, but Assistant Professor of Art Ginnie Hsu has been happily representing Mississippi State abroad this summer.

Hsu recently finished a two-and-a-half-week residency at Light Grey Art Lab in Bergen, Norway. Along with daily observations of the country’s varying landscape, she appreciates inspiration gleaned from regular interactions with locals and nearly 20 fellow artists.

“I’m an illustrator and designer, so I got as many materials as possible while I was there,” she said. “I really care about mental health and want to try and uplift people. I want to do a series of work based on positive psychology, and Norway ranks as one of the happiest places in the world, so I did research by talking to Norwegian people. It was really interesting to get to know them and learn about their culture.”

In May, Hsu completed a month-long residency at Truro Center for the Arts at Castle Hill in Massachusetts. She enjoyed conversing and drawing inspiration from “a really good mix of creative minds,” including designers, producers, art directors, comic artists and fellow illustrators.

“I had never been to Cape Cod, and there were so many things I got to see when I walked around in nature,” Hsu said. “For that residency, I was essentially trying to figure to how to be human, so I was doing illustration work combining nature and the human condition. I’m now looking to write a proposal for a book.”

A native of Taiwan, Hsu holds a bachelor’s in visual communication and a master’s in design and visual communication from the University of Texas at Arlington. She said she looks forward to sharing knowledge from her summer adventures this fall with MSU students in the art department’s web and app design courses.

“I tell my students it really does take time and experience to find out what you love to do, but that’s so important,” she said. “All of the artists I met were so sweet and encouraging. They told me ‘No matter what, just keep going; keep doing what you’re doing.’ I love teaching, and I love my students. I’m excited to share with them what I’ve seen and to be able to just sit down, get all of these ideas out of my brain and get to work on projects. I’ve really enjoyed these experiences, and I’m hoping I can do more.”

Angi Bourgeois appointed dean of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design

June 21st, 2018 Comments Off on Angi Bourgeois appointed dean of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

A highly respected faculty member and administrator in Mississippi State’s Department of Art has been named the new dean of the university’s College of Architecture, Art and Design, pending formal approval by the Board of Trustees, State Institutions of Higher Learning.

Effective July 1, Professor Angi Elsea Bourgeois will lead CAAD after serving nearly two years as the head of its Department of Art, home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. She succeeds the college’s founding dean Jim West, one of DesignIntelligence’s 25 Most Admired Educators for 2016 who has resumed full-time teaching duties.

In making the announcement, MSU Provost and Executive Vice President Judy Bonner said Bourgeois “is poised to build on the solid foundation that has been established and the progress of the college’s first 14 years.”

“I look forward to working with Angi as she uses her energy and vision to bring the collective talents of the faculty, students, alumni and industry leaders together to make the College of Architecture, Art and Design even stronger and more visible within our great state, the region and nation,” Bonner said.

“I also want to thank Dean Jim West for the leadership he has provided as the founding dean of this unique college. He has led with distinction and garnered strong support for the college, its faculty and academic programs, and we are so pleased that he will continue to support the college and MSU as a faculty member,” Bonner said.

An MSU faculty member since 2002, Bourgeois has taught a variety of art history courses and climbed the academic ranks with a promotion to professor coinciding with her appointment as art department head. She was re-elected to a two-year term in January as secretary for the Italian Art Society, an international scholarly organization that she joined in 2004.

“It’s a great privilege to be given this opportunity to follow in Dean West’s very capable footsteps,” Bourgeois said. “The College of Architecture, Art and Design has supported me throughout my career, and I’m excited to step into this new role and serve the college at such a dynamic moment.”

In addition to graduating with honors in art history from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, Bourgeois holds a doctorate in Italian Renaissance and medieval art history from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia.

She is the author of “Reconstructing the Lost Frescoes of Santa Maria sopra Minerva in Rome from the ‘Meditationes’ of Cardinal Juan de Torquemada: A Case Study in the History of Art” (Edwin Mellen Press, 2009). In 2010, she published a digital textbook for art history survey courses titled “The History of the Art of the Western World from Prehistory through the Gothic.”

Learn more about MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

See the Maroon Memo.

Upcoming Jackson art fellowship exhibition features MSU professors

June 1st, 2018 Comments Off on Upcoming Jackson art fellowship exhibition features MSU professors

Two faculty members in Mississippi State University’s Department of Art will be featured in an upcoming exhibition organized by the Mississippi Library Commission and Mississippi Arts Commission.

On display June 5-28 at the Mississippi Library Commission’s 3881 Eastwood Drive location in Jackson, “A Perspective of People” showcases work by artists who have been honored through MAC’s highly competitive Visual Artist Fellowship Grant program. Featured artists include MSU associate professors Alexander Bostic and Dominic Lippillo, along with Jackson-based photographer James Patterson. A public reception in their honor takes place June 5 from 5-7 p.m. in the same location.

“Each year, MAC is proud to honor local artists who create exemplary work in their chosen field through our Artist Fellowship program,” said Malcolm White, MAC executive director. “Thanks to this important partnership with the Mississippi Library Commission and our shared vision for enhancing exposure to the arts across our state, we have a great opportunity to spotlight the work and achievements of this year’s fellows.”

Celebrating its 50th year, MSU’s Department of Art is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. Learn more at and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

See the story in the Maroon Memo.

From the Gallery – May 2018

May 29th, 2018 Comments Off on From the Gallery – May 2018

Painting by Alex Bostic accepted to Southern Watercolor Society exhibition

May 24th, 2018 Comments Off on Painting by Alex Bostic accepted to Southern Watercolor Society exhibition

“Greg” by Alex Bostic (watercolor, 30.00 X 23.00 X 0.00 Inches (H x W x D), 2018)

“Greg,” a watercolor painting by Alex Bostic, was accepted into the 41st Southern Watercolor Society Annual Juried Exhibition.

The exhibit will be held at the ArtCenter Manatee in Bradenton, Fla, from May 15 through June 22.

Juror John Salminen chose only 95 paintings from all the submissions.

Work by Alex Bostic selected for international online exhibition

May 24th, 2018 Comments Off on Work by Alex Bostic selected for international online exhibition

“Dupree” by Alexander Bostic

Mississippi State University Department of Art Associate Professor Alexander Bostic’s painting “Dupree” was selected for the 2018 NOAPS Spring International Online Exhibition.

Jurors selected 150 paintings from more than 890 submissions.

See the accepted works here: 

Alex Bostic featured in ‘Artist Spotlight’

May 22nd, 2018 Comments Off on Alex Bostic featured in ‘Artist Spotlight’

“Dupree” by Alexander Bostic

By Dianne Poston Owens | SCNOW Morning News

LAKE CITY, S.C. – Though Alex Bostic left Bennettsville with his family when he was 4, and his time in the northeast became essential to his becoming the artist he is today, he still has cousins, namely Diane and Caroline, to whom he gives a shoutout in his hometown.

Now an art professor at Mississippi State University and living in Starkville, Mississippi, Bostic, who entered an oil painting of his son “Dupree” in this year’s ArtFields competition, credits his time spent in the Pratt Institute art school and his seventh-grade art teacher, Ellen Kuenzel, with helping him achieve his fine artist status.

In Brooklyn Heights, Bostic said, Kuenzel would give me him lessons and talk to him about art.

“I grew up in Brooklyn, and my art teacher, Ellen, mentored me. … To this day I talk to her at least twice a week,” Botic said. “All through my career from seventh grade until now, we have talked. I had lessons on Saturdays, and on Sundays she took me to galleries. … I understood art way better than a seventh-grader should.

“I think that’s why I teach.”

Pratt’s programs are ranked among the best in the nation, with its faculty and alumni among the most renowned artists, designers and scholars in their fields.

Bostic is an illustrator and fine artist. In additional to being on the Mississippi State faculty, he has worked at the Kansas City Art Institute, Woodburry University, Pratt Institute and Virginia Commonwealth University.

After getting his bachelor of fine arts from Pratt, he earned his master of arts degree from Syracuse University and became a studio artist, working in Kansas City, Missouri; Los Angeles; and New York City.

In 2015, Bostic made it to the second round of the ArtFields’ Portrait Artist Competition.

His brother accompanied him on his trip, and the two agreed that Lake City, and ArtFields, was a venue and competition worth revisiting.

“I visited all the works on display and was interested in entering,” Bostic says. “There was outstanding work, and I wanted to be a part of it. When the opportunity came [to enter his work], I took it.”

Bostic said he had just finished the piece “Dupree” and believes it is a good representation of the work he does, and it offers a positive look at a good kid. The painting has been in a show in Chicago and elsewhere.

Bostic said his son, Dupree, is excited that the painting has had its own life.

“He’s in New York City right now, living there,” Bostic said, adding that the painting was done while he helped his son move to the city for a new job. He particularly likes the “determined kind of look on his face.”

It was an important time for the two, Bostic said.

Outside of his art, Bostic collects toys.

“I have a big toy collection,” he said.

His newest one is a figurine of the Incredible Hulk that his son sent to him.

“I’ve got vintage ones, but I like the current ones, too,” Bostic said.

As an educator for the past 34 years, Bostic said he believes in the craft of art, and he wants to “spread that kind of energy all over as much as I can.” His favorite enjoyment is teaching non-art students to draw, he said.

Department of Art celebrates 50th anniversary

May 22nd, 2018 Comments Off on Department of Art celebrates 50th anniversary

Established in 1968, Mississippi State’s Department of Art celebrated its 50th Anniversary this academic year with a series of events:

“Statements: 50 Years of Making”
Art alumni exhibition

Alumni and Student Networking Event
Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery

Alumni Reception at the M-Club
Honoring retiring Professor Brent Funderburk

Alumni Panel: “Creative Education to Creative Careers”
Part of the Eric and Ginna Yonge Lecture Series

Tailgate and Monster Drawing Rally

Longtime MSU art professor to retire

April 30th, 2018 Comments Off on Longtime MSU art professor to retire

Brent Funderburk – MSU Art Professor, painting in his home studio.
(photo by Megan Bean / © Mississippi State University)

Charlie Benton | Starkville Daily News

After 36 years teaching art at Mississippi State University and 40 years total in academia, Brent Funderburk will retire from the university on May 22, his 66th birthday.

Funderburk came to MSU as a painting teacher, after time spent painting in North Carolina. Prior to coming to MSU, Funderburk also served on the ar faculties of Nebraska Wesleyan University and East Carolina University, his alma mater. In addition to his teaching and painting, Funderburk is also regarded as an expert on Mississippi Gulf Coast artist Walter Inglis Anderson. While a student at ECU, he studied under painters Edward Reep and Paul Hartley.

“I think 40 years is a good number, and I really desire to be a painter full-time,” Funderburk said.

Despite his desire to paint full-time, Funderburk said he would miss being able to support students on their journey and watch them grow as artists.

“I love the fact that as a visual artist, you can actually physically see young people grow, because we have visual evidence,” Funderburk said. “In other words, their souls are on the outside. They can look whatever way they want to look, but you can’t hide the fact that in visual art, your innards are going to be seen.”

Funderburk expressed a desire to stay young in his retirement as he painted and travelled. He said he was able to stay young as a professor, by spending so much time around college students.

“I’ve just been hanging out with 20-year-olds for 40 years, so I’m going to miss that,” Funderburk said. “I am not going to be the guy at the Hardee’s every morning with the other old farts. That’s not me. I love them. I’ll wave at them as I pass by going to the art store, but I’m going to do 20-year-old stuff, living the life, working really hard painting a lot.”

Funderburk first became interested in art growing up with his twin brother in Charlotte, North Carolina in the 1950s and 1960s. He said his parents provided him and his brother with art supplies to give them something constructive to do, and keep them out of trouble.

“My parents always provided us with paper, crayons, art supplies, and we somehow were absorbed throughout almost all of our childhood with playing together and making things,” Funderburk said. “It was something natural that we did. My brother now is a very successful architect.”

As he grew up and went to art school, Funderburk became interested in designing album covers for bands popular during the time period. However, as he prepared to graduate, cassette tapes became the norm.

“Sad little tiny things that fall apart easily, and really an affront to artists,” Funderburk said.

While he was figuring out his next step as he was finishing his Master of Fine Arts degree, someone told Funderburk he might make a good teacher. He then started applying to academic positions in 1978, ending up at NWU.

After a few years at NWU, Funderburk left, and was living and painting in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains. However, he began to miss teaching, and again started searching for academic positions.

“I found that I could not as easily teach squirrels and snakes,” Funderburk said. “The classes didn’t go very well with those snails and turtles and frogs. I missed it, so I applied for the only job that I’ve ever seen in any job search at the university level, where the name of the position was ‘watercolor artist.’ Almost always it’s ‘painter,’ or ‘drawing’ at a university position, something like that, but this was for a watercolor painter, so that was unique.”

Funderburk said the location in Mississippi piqued his interest a little, because of his prior knowledge of Walter Anderson.

“The fact that Mississippi State very particularly wanted an academic watercolor painter, was very attractive to me,” Funderburk said.
Funderburk plans to stay in Starkville after he retires.

“My wife, Debby, teaches dance, and has taught dance here for 25 years at State, and she is still teaching,” Funderburk said. “We’ll travel a lot, and I’ll be working a lot, and I’ll show my work a lot across the country and internationally. It’s a great college town, a great place for a headquarters to be an artist in the 21st century.”

Funderburk described his work as being inspired by nature, but said he didn’t consider himself a landscape painter. The last class he will teach at MSU will be a Walter Anderson course, involving making trips to the Mississippi barrier islands to paint as Anderson once did.

A public reception for Funderburk will be held by the MSU College of Architecture, Art and Design in the Dawg House at the Colvard Student Union on May 2 from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“I’m thankful to God for being at Mississippi State, and for everyone who’s been with me along the way,” Funderburk said.

Read more in the Maroon Memo.

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