April 5th, 2013 Comments Off
Sarah Kilpatrick said she made two ottomans last semester, and she is working on tables this semester.
Kilpatrick’s rocking chair
Sarah Kilpatrick, a junior sculpture major in the Department of Art, has received a scholarship to participate in the summer 2013 Higher Education Partners Program at Penland School of Crafts. Mississippi State was one of just 33 schools nationwide selected to participate in the matching scholarship program made possible by generous gifts from three of the department’s advisory board members: Ann Arledge, Charlotte McNeel and David Trigiani.
Kilpatrick will attend Penland’s Summer Session 5, Dean Pulver’s The Art of Chair Making, from July 21 through August 6. The class will include presentations, demonstrations, and discussions and will cover drawing, model making, mockups, ergonomics, joinery, laminate and steam bending, shaping and carving with hand and power tools and surface techniques.
“I know it’s going to be intense,” said Kilpatrick, who has taken three Maymester courses at Mississippi State. “You’ve got to be able to work fast,” she said. “You can’t just play around because it’s going to be over.”
Kilpatrick has already taken both of the chair classes offered in the Department of Art taught by Professor Critz Campbell.
“I know Critz’s techniques and methods,” she said. “Mr. Pulver may have a whole different method of doing stuff, so that’s just going to broaden what I know.”
“I expect to get a lot out of the class I will be attending; I feel like this experience will not only enhance the work I produce during my senior year in thesis, but also my future work as a furniture designer and artist,” she said.
Kilpatrick, who originally started in the Interior Design Program where she fell in love with furnishings, plans to follow her passion after graduation.
“It is my goal to one day have my own shop and create and build my own designs.”
March 25th, 2013 Comments Off
Ward guided tour
Senator John Horhn press conference
Art student Jeff Nickell views The art of Theora Hamblett
Students from the Department of Art Senior BFA Research class were invited for a special preview of a new exhibition that opened on March 23 at the Mississippi Museum of Art.
Old Masters to Monet: Three Centuries of French Painting from the Wadsworth Atheneum is an exhibition of fifty French masterpiece paintings ranging from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries and into the beginning of the twentieth century.
Students were able to attend the press conference and meet the Director of the Mississippi Museum of Art Besty Bradley and listen to remarks made by special guests such as Senator John Horhn.
Following the press conference the students joined a group of guests on a guided tour of the exhibition led by Roger Ward, deputy director and chief curator of the museum.
“It was great for the students to get insightful information about so many legendary artists with their works of art actually present,” said Lori Neuenfeldt, programs coordinator for the Visual Arts Center Gallery and Outreach Programs at MSU. “This adds a whole new level of understanding you wouldn’t get from a textbook picture or online.”
Some of the works Ward chose to highlight on the tour were:
Claude Monet (1840–1926), The Beach at Trouville, 1870. oil on canvas. 22 x 25 5/8 in. Collection of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1948.116.
Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil, 1873. oil on canvas. 18 3/8 x 23 1/2 in. Collection of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. Bequest of Anne Parrish Titzel, 1957.614.
Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), Self-Portrait, c. 1887. oil on canvas. 15 5/8 x 13 1/4 in. Collection of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. Gift of Philip L. Goodwin in memory of his mother, Josephine S. Goodwin, 1954.189.
February 26th, 2013 Comments Off
Photos by John Allen
Bill Dunlap’s artist in residency continues to provide an amazing experience for students.
The artist recently joined forces with fellow Webster County native and School of Architecture alumnus Belinda Stewart, FAIA, to give a group of sculpture students a tour of Webster County and to meet bronze caster Edmond Shumpert.
Students toured the campus of Wood College, which is currently housing East Webster High School before meeting up with Stewart.
“She was very generous with her time showing us around her office and firm,” said sculpture student John Allen.
Stewart also showed the group the burnt remains of the Webster County Courthouse in Walthall, which was a nearly 100-year-old structure.
Dunlap, Stewart and the students next met up with Shumpert, who taught them the lost wax casting technique he uses to make his bronze sculptures, which include a few of the “Bully” statues for MSU.
Students were impressed by the technique and the huge surfboard sculpture done by Shumpert, but they were also inspired by his extensive and unique resume. They noted that he used to be a surfer, worked for Disney, studied sculpture in Italy, was a medical illustrator and even raises buffalo.
The students said their trip and having Bill Dunlap on campus serving as an artist in residence has been a great experience.
“He’s definitely given us an opportunity that we wouldn’t have had otherwise,” said Allen.
“And, I mean, who can say that they’ve actually driven around with the artist?” added fellow sculpture student Sarah Kilpatrick.
Dunlap’s next event will be a presentation about his work during Professor Linda Seckinger’s print survey course on Feb. 27. The presentation will begin at noon in Briscoe Hall, room 204, and is open to all students, faculty and any others interested.
January 8th, 2013 Comments Off
The Art Department is pleased to announce the Penland School of Crafts Higher Education Partners Program Scholarship. This scholarship will enable the recipient to attend a two-week workshop in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to study one of the following disciplines: Books & paper, Drawing, Iron, Photography, Letterpress, Wood, Clay, Glass, Metals, Printmaking or Textiles.
This opportunity is available to ALL concentrations within the art major. You must be a sophomore, junior or senior with a minimum 3.0 GPA within your concentration and have completed the 18-hour foundation program.
The deadline for application is January 25; an information session will take place Friday, Jan. 11 at 10 a.m. in Stafford 100A.
To Apply: Submit five images from your portfolio on CD, a letter of intent, and the general information form to the Art Department Office.
Read the flyer for more details!
November 16th, 2012 Comments Off
Dr. Stephen Cottrell, campus co-representative for Fulbright, joined Ambassador Rachel Stevens to tell Department of Art students about the Fulbright Program. Cottrell said the program gives students a huge advantage for seeking future employment and encouraged all to apply.
Rachel Stevens serves as an ambassador for the Fulbright Program.
As a child, Rachel Stevens entertained herself by building forts and tree houses.
The daughter of a single mother without a lot of money, Stevens said she got creative in her sources of entertainment. Though, she said, “I probably would have done that anyway.”
Stevens, who is now a sculptor and professor at New Mexico State University, said her childhood definitely shaped her future.
“My approach to my career has been very resourceful,” she said. “I’ve always sought out opportunities.”
One of those opportunities came through a Fulbright grant she received to do research in Nepal.
While there, Stevens met a master of copper casting and was able to visit some of his statue making workshops. She explained his process to include a variety of steps that involved hay, mud and wax.
Stevens was also able to work with the copper sculptor and some of his team and family members on two projects while she was in Nepal.
With the first project, “First Impressions Nepal,” Stevens mainly oversaw the vision of the work. However, with the second project, a Bodhi Tree, she was able to be a lot more hands-on.
Stevens said one of the most important things she learned through the Fulbright Program was “letting go of who you are here.” She said the family she was working closely with would often want to take their time to enjoy a meal or just talk, and it was hard for her to not want to just go straight to work.
“Through this program, you just learn more about yourself,” she said. “It’s just a most profound experience.”
November 9th, 2012 Comments Off
The group at Millennium Park. (left to right): Professor Critz Campbell, Charlotte Smith, Mary-Lucas Halliwell, April Shelby, Emily Hobart, Jeff Porter, Jon Nowell, Morgan Welch and Sarah Kilpatrick
Critz Campbell, professor of sculpture in the Department of Art at Mississippi State University, recently secured a $30,000 grant. Campbell said the grant’s overall goal is to increase students’ exposure to the outside world.
Twenty percent of the funds have already been allocated to the College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Visiting Artists Committee, which will begin to bring artists in for lectures and workshops this spring.
“I wanted to spend half the money bringing artists to the students but also half of it taking students to the art,” Campbell said.
So, the professor used another portion of the money to take eight 3D students in the Department of Art, whose emphasis of study is either sculpture or ceramics, to Chicago from Nov. 1–4.
The trip to Chicago was a first for all but one of the eight students
Though Charlotte Smith had been to Chicago before on a few brief trips, she had never visited the Art Institute of Chicago and said her favorite part about the trip was getting to see artwork in person that she’s only been able to experience through pictures before.
“It was also nice just being in a place where they want sculptures in parks,” she said, referring to Millennium Park, which the group was able to tour with Liz Edwards, special projects manager.
Another student, Jeff Porter, said he enjoyed that the whole trip was about art, unlike many of the trips he takes with friends who don’t want to see art.
“That was really nice to be immersed in that setting,” he said.
Campbell’s main purpose for the trip was for the students to experience the International Exhibit of Sculpture Objects and Functional Art (S.O.F.A.). There, they were able to view galleries from all over the world, along with high-end craft work. They also saw demos and were able to gather information from some nontraditional craft schools such as Penland and Haystack.
S.O.F.A. was also a great opportunity for the students to observe the commerce of art. Campbell said students learn how to make art in school and often get to see works displayed in museums, but “that doesn’t teach students how to make a living making art.”
Thanks to a patron of Campbell’s, John Bryan, the group was able to squeeze in a lot of other valuable art experiences as well.
They visited the Museum of Contemporary Art – Chicago, toured the ceramics and sculpture graduate facilities at the School of Art Institute of Chicago, viewed Bryan’s private arts and crafts collection at Crab Tree Farm, saw a demo by Mike Jarvi on steam bending and even took an architectural boat tour.
The trip definitely accomplished the grant’s mission of increasing students’ exposure to the outside world, and Campbell said he plans to take further advantage of the funds by exposing more 3D students to such experiences next year.
October 15th, 2012 Comments Off
Ben Jenkins left the students with some advice, “You suck at design, man.” He went on to explain that getting good at design takes time and that he only just recently considered himself to be good.
Ben Jenkins, a 1996 alumnus of the Department of Art at Mississippi State and a former baseball player, was back in Starkville recently for a baseball alumni event.
Jenkins, founder of OneFastBuffalo, which develops brand strategy and brand design for companies and products, spoke to a group of graphic design students on Oct. 12. He shared with them a little about who he is and what he does and the somewhat unconventional method of how he works and also gave his advice for students and shared some of his recent work.
The alumnus credited his three boys – eight, six and three – with helping him to get his life together. In fact, he said he didn’t really even consider himself a graphic designer until one of his sons showed him a picture he drew of his dad working at a computer, “a designer who only designs hawks,” as his son described with pride. Jenkins said it was then he first realized, “That’s what I am. I’m a graphic designer,” and he said it also took him that long to actually consider himself to be a good designer, too.
Jenkins shared a little about his background and how he got to where he is now in life.
After graduation, Jenkins played minor league baseball for the Phillies. He said it was probably the dream life for most of the young guys on the team because they spent a lot of time in hotels just watching TV and hanging out; however, he said, “As a maker, I was bored.”
So, the graphic design alumnus began taking on small jobs not just to fill his time but because he said he was being realistic and knew baseball wasn’t going to be his career.
Jenkins said he would design logos for diners in the small towns he would travel to with the team – for free, a bagel, $50 bucks or whatever he could get. Jenkins said his current company was born out of that period of time because he learned how to approach people.
Jenkins got his MFA from The Art Institue of Chicago, but when he couldn’t get a job after graduation, he stuck with his freelance work just with a name, OneFastBuffalo.
“Instead of calling myself ‘myself,’ I called myself something else,” he said. “I branded myself.”
And it paid off. Immediately, the designer said he was getting paid better and landing better jobs. After a cycle of taking bad jobs and proving himself to be able to land better jobs, Jenkins eventually ended up exactly where he thought he should be as a designer – in a downtown 8,000-square-foot office in Dallas, Texas, with twenty employees.
The designer said he was good at keeping up with other people and competing. But he realized he was miserable and that he was making others miserable as well. He said he was out of shape and was so busy selling and getting more work that he wasn’t really even doing what he loved anymore – designing.
So, Jenkins sat down and figured out how to change things up. He decided to cut down the number of clients he serves and cut out the long processes. For example, many clients like to have several choices to pick from for a logo, but he said only one – the best – is really necessary.
The alumnus also made the decision to get rid of his office, which was taking up a lot of his time with maintenance, the drive to get there and distractions from employees.
“All of this was just huge blocks of time that weren’t about making,” he said.
So, Jenkins told his employees they could keep working for him, but that they had to do it elsewhere.
He came up with a new company culture, which includes “participation” and “solitude.” He explained participation as going out into the world and being inspired.
“As a designer, you’re expressing your experiences and the things you’ve seen,” he said.
Solitude comes in when it’s time to get to work, and you don’t want anyone influencing how you how you think or feel.
“I was like … trailer in the woods,” he laughed, and that’s exactly what he did.
Four months out of the year, Jenkins now lives and works out of a 1958 Airstream Travel Trailer with his wife, dog and three kids.
“I can’t think of anything bad about it,” he said, explaining that his work and life are now better. “It doesn’t matter where I am; my work is communicating and making. I’m just super happy.”
The designer said he now spends eight hours of every day sleeping, eight hours playing or “participating” and eight hours working.
“It’s all about what’s important to you and what you want to spend time with,” he said.
The designer went on to explain some of his other businesses and partnerships and left the students with some advice, “You suck at design, man.”
He told the students that, though it may not sound like it, this advice is actually meant to be encouraging in the fact that it’s only relative to how good they are going to get. He said they need to embrace the idea that being good at design takes time.
“I think I’m getting good at it,” he smiled. “Now take that, and run with it.”
More photos from Jenkins’ visit:
Some of Ben Jenkins’ other ventures:
Jenkins created this company and handed it over to some of his design friends that are native. The company serves as a native design firm but also has a community side. Employees go to reservations and talk to kids spread the word about design and art.
This is a restaurant that Jenkins helped start for a friend in exchange for 10% ownership.
A company Ben Jenkins founded as a co-work space.
Warstick Bat Co.
Jenkins said after all his work branding products, he wanted to create a product of his own.
The company is doing well, but Jenkins said his wife will often remind him when he gets excited about selling a bat for $50 profit that he can sometimes create a logo in an hour and make $8,000. His response is always, “Yeah , so … I was sleeping when I sold this bat!”
The bat designer went on to explain that creating a product is something he doesn’t get to do with his clients. He said he loves to see kids get his bats and get excited.
“There’s just something different about this that’s more fulfilling,” he said.
The Blackline by Treadsmith
A custom snowboard company similar to the idea of Warstick Bat Co.
A few recent mentions:
Bloomberg Business Weekly on Sept. 27, 2012
The Airstream Office
By Peter Savodnik
Best Stuff of the Year 2011
Bat Crazy. Local graphic designer Ben Jenkins is bringing some swagger
to your baseball swing.
By pete freedman
October 15th, 2012 Comments Off
Lydia Thompson’s ceramic, wood and paint work “Return 360, Nesting” is one of the pieces on display in her current exhibition in the DSU Arts Center/Gallery.
Department of Art Head Lydia Thompson will present new work in solo exhibition, Roots, Connections and Pathways, at the Arts Center/Gallery at Delaware State University in Dover, Del.
The exhibit will be held through Nov. 9 and is a 14-piece exhibition, a combination of ceramic sculptures and collage works, that reflects an examination of organic formations.
Thompson notes that the presenting artwork is also a reminder of the physical process of reduction made by nature; animals and human beings create pathways that define migration patterns.
“Agricultural objects in my work speak subtly to the notion of valued commodities, which determine also insights into one’s cultural traditions,” Thompson said.
Thompson’s current research investigates various geographic landscapes and how natural resources impact culture and social practices in the surrounding communities.
The head of the Department of Art at Mississippi State will visit the DSU campus from Oct. 16-19 and will add an onsite installation piece to the exhibition at that time.
A combination gallery discussion and reception will be held on Oct. 18, and Thompson will also present a guest lecture to DSU Department of Art students and provide some critiques of their works during her visit.
September 13th, 2012 Comments Off
Sarah Kilpatrick, a senior in the College of Architecture, Art, and Design, and a sophomore in the Department of Art, recently attended the 2012 WithIt (Women in the Home Furnishing Industry Today) Professional Conference in Raleigh, N.C.
Kilpatrick was nominated to attend this year’s conference, Pathways to Sucess: Strategies, Connections and Meaning, by Professor Critz Campbell.
Kilpatrick received a scholarship from WithIt that covered membership for a year and paid her expenses for the trip.
The art student said she was able to connect with other professionals and students during the three-day conference and found encouragement, advice and inspiration.
Kilpatrick recently changed her major from interior design so that she could “focus on furniture design in a more hands-on and sculptural way,” and she said the conference helped confirm that decision.
“This experience has changed the way I see myself, my art and even my life,” she said. “I would not have had the opportunity or such a great time if it hadn’t been for Jackie Hirschhaut, Critz Campbell and Caroline Cooper.”
August 8th, 2012 Comments Off
Ashlei Stewart represented the Mississippi State Department of Art well at the recent Smithsonian Folklife Festival on Washington, D.C.’s National Mall.
Stewart, a senior from Starkville majoring in drawing, was asked by Art Department Head Lydia Thompson to send some of her hand-crafted, embroidered jewelry pieces to represent the school.
Stewart said she first began crafting jewelry for herself as a hobby but decided to expand into custom orders when she was receiving more and more requests from friends. She currently sells ready-made pieces and also takes custom orders through her Etsy shop, Fiber Luxe.
“It’s a really exciting experience to be featured at the Smithsonian,” Stewart said.
Sales at the festival went well, and the art student credits the exposure to increased traffic on her blog and to her Etsy shop.
Stewart said she may have stumbled into embroidery simply as a hobby but now plans to attend graduate school to pursue her interest in textiles.
“I’d also like to expand my jewelry work to include larger, more elaborate fiber pieces and continue entering juried exhibitions and festivals,” she said. “Even right now, I have a new collection of jewelry that I’m working on.”