Artist Bryan Saunders visits MSU Department of Art

February 11th, 2019 Comments Off on Artist Bryan Saunders visits MSU Department of Art

Bryan Sanders talks with a student about his self-portrait in Associate Professor Alex Bostic’s class.

Artist Bryan Lewis Saunders visited Mississippi State University on Feb. 6.

Saunders’ packed itinerary included one-on-one time with Department of Art students and faculty. He visited Associate Professor Alex Bostic’s figurative painting class, Assistant Professor Greg Martin’s figurative drawing class, and met with several students to discuss their work and methodologies.

The visiting artist was impressed with the Mississippi State students’ work.

“I could tell who they belonged to,” he said, referring to black and white oil self-portrait paintings in Bostic’s class. “They really looked like them.”

Saunders also had a chance to tour campus and was especially impressed with the Bob and Kathy Luke Library, a separate university library dedicated to the arts, which he said is something he has not seen on other campuses he has visited. The library acquired several books from Saunder’s collection, including The Interviews (vol. 1) and Just Noticeable Difference Issue 2: 30 Days Totally Blind.

The visit concluded with a lecture on his life’s work and influences. Saunders discussed the entirety of his oeuvre, ranging from his first self-portrait sketches in 1995 to his blind and deaf month performances from 2018.

The talk concluded with a lively question and answer session and one-on-one discussions with the students and faculty.

Since 1995, Saunders has worked to excavate the varied nature of his creative process, a task documented in his daily self-portraits series that spans over two decades. He currently lives and works in Johnson City, Tenn., where he attended East Tennessee State University. Reviews and critical inquiries of his work have appeared in Vice, CNN, Hyperallergic, WIRED, and The Huffington Post. Saunders has performed with Lydia Lunch, Eugene S. Robinson and Bibbe Hansen at the International Poetry Festival; exhibited alongside Basquiat, Damien Hirst, Henri Michaux, and Witkacy as part of the Sous Influences: Artists et Psychotropes at La Maison Rouge in Paris, France; and was part a 2015 exhibition titled De Maakbare Mens at the Dolhuys Museum in the Netherlands ­– an  exhibition that featured his work alongside Vincent Van Gogh and Willem Van Genk. Most recently, he spent 30 days in self-initiated blindness and deafness for a performance titled, Blind and Deaf Months, at the Bunk Spot in Cincinnati, Ohio. 

See more photos and add yours from the visit here!

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 www.caad.msstate.edu/art/artdirectory.

“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 www.caad.msstate.edu/art and on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Read the story in 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 www.caad.msstate.edu and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

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: https://www.noaps.org/copy-of-2018-spring-on-line-prospec 

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.

Reception held for spring 2018 BFA fine art thesis exhibit

April 30th, 2018 Comments Off on Reception held for spring 2018 BFA fine art thesis exhibit

(photos by Colleen McInnis)

A reception was held on Sat., April 28, for the BFA fine art thesis exhibit, “In the Amber.”  

Read more.

 

Fine art exhibition ‘In the Amber’ features 16 Mississippi State seniors

April 23rd, 2018 Comments Off on Fine art exhibition ‘In the Amber’ features 16 Mississippi State seniors

Via Brent Funderburk

“That is a very earthly question to ask…Why you? Why us for that matter? Why anything? Because this moment simply is. Have you ever seen bugs trapped in amber?…well here we are…trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”
— Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five

Exhibit in three galleries on campus from April 28 to May 2
During April and early May, an exhibition in three Mississippi State University galleries will showcase 16 senior fine art students’ visions of life in the present. Their show, “In the Amber,” presents a year of reflection and offers a potent metaphor for our times.

The concept of “In the Amber”
Each spring the graduating fine art students in Mississippi State’s Department of Art are tasked with creating a theme for their capstone thesis exhibition. This year, the students titled their show “In the Amber,” inspired by a quote from Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel Slaughterhouse-Five. Explaining the reasoning behind this title, the thesis students stated, “In order to protect themselves from contaminants and to mend broken branches, trees produce resin which will, under special circumstances, fossilize into amber. During the fossilization process, any plants, insects or other material trapped inside the resin are immaculately preserved. In Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five, amber is a symbol that represents a fixed point in time, and the people who share the experience of that time are like bugs trapped in the amber.” Similarly, the Mississippi State University Bachelor of Fine Art Thesis Show could be compared to the process of something of the moment stilled in timeless amber. “In the Amber” is the manifestation of each student’s college career, showcasing 16 unique and personal bodies of work covering into one location and time.

Show and reception details
“In the Amber” will be on display from Sat., April 28 through Wed., May 2, 2018. Between five and 15 works by each student will be exhibited in the Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall, the MSU Welcome Center’s Cullis-Wade Depot Gallery and the CAAD Visual Arts Center Gallery (808 University Drive, Starkville). Each space will house five to six different students’ bodies of work. An opening reception will be held on Sat., April 28 from 2 – 4:30 p.m., starting in the Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall, moving on to the other two locations at 3 and 3:45 p.m. respectively. Introductions of all the students will begin at 2:30 p.m. in McComas. This reception is open to the public, and food and drinks will be provided. View a map of all the exhibits.

Student artists represented by over 100 works
In October of 2017, Victoria Allgood of Madison experienced the death of two very important people in her life. With no time to mourn, she channeled the memories of her lost family members into her thesis work. Allgood’s mixed media work combines portraits and photos of her deceased family with everyday objects in order to capture the presence of each individual. Through her thesis, she has been able work through her emotions surrounding these tragic events.As a Christian, student and MSU football player, Tré Braswell of Olive Branch calls attention to student athletes and Christianity through four large-scale oil and acrylic paintings. His paintings depict both male and female athletes from a variety of MSU sports. Braswell feels he and other student athletes have been limited in their ability to express their faith during the sports they play for the university, and his work brings light to this issue.

Combining art, science and religion using watercolor, Claire Burgett of Nashville, Tenn., reveals her world to the viewer through the peony. Representing herself, the peony highlights the patterns created by God and nature. With the addition of collages and geometric patterns, Burgett gives new meaning and life to a simple flower.

In his series of intaglio prints, Alex Cayson of Tupelo, depicts himself exploring ancient ruins and encountering various mythical beings. Each piece focuses on a specific ancient culture, and the shape and color of each work is made to resemble various artifacts. His work captures the excitement of exploration, the wonder of discovery and the arcane beauty of ancient ruins.

Coming from a musical family in New Albany, musical instruments have always been a part of Darren Cheairs’s life. His interest in these instruments, however, lies in exploring ways they can serve a purpose other than making music. Cheairs’s thesis consists of several sculptural works that cause viewers to reconsider the function of an object.

From Kosciusko, Madison Cheek’s series of paintings centers around his mental space which he depicts as an abstracted cavern in various atmospheric color schemes. Following several years of suffering from depression, he now considers his mental space as “a more peaceful grotto of self-reflection and progress.” By exploring the relationships between his past, present and future selves, Cheek’s work has helped him find meaning in the unnamable emotions that linger after going through depression.

Daniel Clark of Tupelo presents a body of work that uses abstract imagery to inspire a discomfort that he considers his norm. Made from a variety of media such as acrylic paint and glaze, modeling paste, charcoal and colored pencils, his heavily textured works lure viewers into experiencing unpleasant feelings.

Drawing on her Cambodian heritage, the works of Isabelle Cottrell of Starkville are dedicated to the refugees, survivors and victims of the Khmer Rouge—a genocide in Cambodia that killed 2 million people. By including traditional Cambodian textiles in her mixed media work, Cottrell creates pieces that represent the artifacts that are still embedded in the ground and trees at the Killing Fields in Cambodia.

Inspired by the visual development and concept art of animated films, Phoebe Fitzgerald of Decatur, Ala., has created a body of work utilizing both traditional and digital media. This body of work consists of concept art and visual development for an imagined animated film based on House of Many Ways by Dianna Wynne Jones, a favorite book from her childhood. Fitzgerald’s work imbues the characters and environments from the story with life, color and vivacity in order to inspire love for and interest in the stories that inspire her.

From Summit, Nicolette Johnson depicts an original story inspired by classic Greek myths through a series of intaglio prints. Set in the fictional underworld of the kingdom of Kingzvire, her story presents a retelling of Persephone’s and Hades’s forbidden love. Her characters experience adversity on their journey that serves as a parallel to the tests everyone experiences in their own lives.

Through her mixed media drawings, Jordan Knight of Brandon brings light to endangered species of birds in America. Her pieces, which require intense research, combine the unique aspects of each bird—such as their color, wingspan and environment—into a cohesive drawing that gives a voice to these beautiful, yet, endangered birds.

From Flowood, Justin Mayfield enjoys arranging models, photographing them and constructing their portraits. The portraits of the characters in his thesis series personify the cardinal sins of this life. Mayfield’s portraits are made with charcoal, which allows both a smooth transition of value across the form and a deep, contrasting black that creates “a most abysmal void.”

Vernon McCoy of Jackson uses his work to visualize the lifelong obstacles he has faced in his journey to lead his family out of financial oppression and limited education. His thesis reflects the “path of sunlight shining through a storm” that he lived through as a poor child who is now a college graduate and business owner. His paintings utilize strong lighting, self portraiture, emotional color and perspective to create compositions that express his life experiences.

Inspired by film photography from various eras, Carly Melton of Clinton employs the inherent sentimentality, honesty and nostalgia of family snapshots in a series of acrylic paintings. Melton’s paintings feature a cast of characters and settings that depict a personal narrative of closeted trans-masculine identity. The process of creating this body of work proved extremely cathartic to Melton.

In her series of digital illustrations, Kristan Williams of Ocean Springs depicts two characters as they episodically travel together through a challenging landscape. Inspired by the films of Hayao Miyazaki, the works are an exploration of themes of companionship and self-discovery.

Through her watermedia works, Shawna Williams of Hattiesburg combines her love of music and her identity as a Christian. Throughout her life, Shawna has used music and art to help her cope with difficult family situations. Her works express the different challenges she has faced during these situations through a unique language of musical and visual terms, forms and mediums.

Art Department celebrating its 50th anniversary
The BFA Fine Art Thesis Exhibition is part of a required sequence of professional preparation courses in Advanced Studio, Senior Research and Senior Thesis courses for the art major in the fine art concentration at Mississippi State University. A program in the College of Architecture, Art and Design, the Department of Art is the largest undergraduate program in the state of Mississippi, currently celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2018.

Contact: Brent Funderburk, Professor and Senior Fine Art Thesis Coordinator/bfunderburk@caad.msstate.edu/662-325-2970.

Read the story at msstate.edu.

Watercolor paintings garner national, global recognition for MSU’s Funderburk

March 29th, 2018 Comments Off on Watercolor paintings garner national, global recognition for MSU’s Funderburk

MSU art professor Brent Funderburk works on a watercolor painting in the studio at his Starkville home. (Photo by Megan Bean)

Mississippi State University William L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Art Brent Funderburk stands with one of his award-winning watercolor paintings, “Oaxaca.” Funderburk is retiring this May after nearly 36 years at MSU. (Photo submitted)

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Colorful creations by Mississippi State University’s William L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Art are featured this spring in multiple national and international exhibitions.

Brent Funderburk, a longtime faculty member and former head of the MSU College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Department of Art, received a “Judge’s Recognition Award” in the recent 11th Biennial National Art Exhibit at the Visual Arts Center in Punta Gorda, Florida.

His watercolor work “Today” was selected by juror Steven J. Levin as one of 136 works out of 547 entries from 35 states and four countries. Biennial prizes totaled nearly $8,000 in a show considered one of the nation’s most prestigious exhibitions. Levin noted in the exhibition awards program that Funderburk’s work presented “an unusual concept enhanced by wonderfully vibrant color.”

Also, Funderburk’s painting “Montem Somnia” will appear in the upcoming 42nd Annual Transparent Watercolor Society of America’s National Exhibition. Chosen by juror John Salminen, the work will be available for viewing May 5-Aug. 5 at the Kenosha Public Museum in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

One of more than 7,100 submitted entries, Funderburk’s watercolor painting “Oaxaca” is a Still Life/Interiors Award recipient for The Artist’s Magazine 34th Annual Art Competition.  Selected by juror Jaye Schlesinger, the piece appears with 42 others in the March 2018 issue and will be featured in future issues of the international publication.

Another of Funderburk’s watercolor paintings “Passiflora” will be featured in the National Watercolor Society’s 2018 Member’s Exhibition at the NWS Gallery in San Pedro, California. The jury-selected piece can be seen in the exhibition that runs from May 3-June 30 with a reception and awards ceremony on May 5. Juror for the show is Dreamworks Animation artist/designer Mike Hernandez.

A North Carolina native, Funderburk is retiring this May after nearly 36 years at MSU. Over the decades, he has been honored by the university with the John Grisham Faculty Excellence, Burlington Northern Teaching Excellence and Ralph E. Powe Research Excellence awards. He also is a 2016 Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Award recipient.

Funderburk, a fine arts graduate of East Carolina University, also has served as the art department’s fine-arts thesis coordinator. Courses he has taught include painting survey, watercolor, watermedia, senior thesis and advanced studio.

In 2010, Funderburk was named official artist for the Jackson-based USA International Ballet Competition. For additional biographical information, visit www.brentfunderburk.com.

Celebrating its 50th year, MSU’s Department of Art is the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. For more, visit www.caad.msstate.edu and follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Check out the story in the university’s Maroon Memo.

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