Reception held for ‘Symbols of Our State’ exhibit

September 23rd, 2017 Comments Off on Reception held for ‘Symbols of Our State’ exhibit

(Images by Kelsey Brownlee)

A reception was held on Sept. 22 in the Old Main Resource Building Gallery at Mississippi State University for “Symbols of Our State: A Walk through Mississippi Culture and Industry,” a Museums and Galleries Bicentennial Exhibit.

Objects, images, and curatorial interpretation of items from our collections that reflect the history and diversity of the state of Mississippi. The first portion of the exhibit will display examples of official state symbols, while the second half of the exhibit will focus on the economic resources, industry and cultural diversity that have shaped Mississippi into what it is today.

Reception held for ‘Narratives of the Land’ Exhibit

September 11th, 2017 Comments Off on Reception held for ‘Narratives of the Land’ Exhibit

A reception was held on Thursday [Sept. 7], a 5 p.m. in the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery for “Narratives of the Land,” an exhibit featuring quintessential scenes of Mississippi landscapes created by artists Walter Inglis Anderson (1903-65), Ke Francis (1945-), William “Bill” Dunlap (1944-) and Eudora Welty (1909-2001).

The exhibition is one of twelve celebrating the Magnolia State’s bicentennial and will be on display through Sept. 29. Read more here.

From the Gallery – July 2017

August 4th, 2017 Comments Off on From the Gallery – July 2017

Mississippi State University Department of Art Gallery Director Lori Neuenfeldt discusses the MSU Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge Artist in Residence Program with recent Artist in Residence Dr. Gillian J. Furniss, Ed.D.

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:

Renowned South American photojournalist visits MSU March 8

February 25th, 2017 Comments Off on Renowned South American photojournalist visits MSU March 8

By Karyn Brown | Mississippi State University

An Argentinian photographer recognized internationally for combining his art with humanitarian efforts will visit Mississippi State early next month.

Sebastián Suki Beláustegui comes to the university March 8 for a 6-8 p.m. address in Section U of the Colvard Student Union’s second-floor Bill R. Foster Ballroom.

Free to all, the presentation will spotlight some of his efforts to document cultural diversity, specifically among minority communities and tribes.

Also free to all is “Africa in the Americas: The Heritage of African Communities in the Americas,” an exhibit of Beláustegui’s work on display through March 24 at the art department’s Visual Arts Center Gallery at 808 University Drive.

Self-taught in documentary photography, Beláustegui has extensively chronicled since 1991 life among Latin America’s minority tribes. These and his other images have been featured over the years in National Geographic, Time, Newsweek and other major publications.

His massive—more than three pounds—2003 book, “Guardians of Time: Portraits of the Spirit of Latin America,” illuminates more than two dozen native communities in eight countries. The book’s prologue is provided by Nobel Prize winner José Saramago of Portugal.

Beláustegui now is working on two additional books, “Africa in the Americas” and “Tribal People of Asia.” For more biographical information, see

“Suki’s work really tries to bring awareness about cultural diversity, and on some level, it rescues the forgotten communities around the world,” said Karina Zelaya, MSU assistant professor of Spanish.

“The thing that really sets his work apart from others is his use of light in a metaphorical sense,” she continued. “His photography looks into someone’s soul and captures their sentiment. He thinks of himself as beyond a photographer, more as a humanitarian.”

Beláustegui’s MSU visit and the related event are supported by the College of Arts and Sciences’ Institute for the Humanities and classical and modern languages and literatures department, along with the College of Architecture, Art and Design’s art department.

For more on the March 8 program, contact Karyn Brown, arts and sciences communication director, at 662-325-6650 or

For more on the gallery display, contact Lori Neuenfeldt, the art department’s gallery director, at 662-325-2973 or

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Photos from the lecture:

‘Meretricious Restraint’ exhibit opens at MSU’s Cullis Wade gallery

January 13th, 2017 Comments Off on ‘Meretricious Restraint’ exhibit opens at MSU’s Cullis Wade gallery

“Miasmatic Filigree” is among works by Minnesota artist and educator Liz Miller that will be on display Jan. 20-March 31 at Mississippi State’s Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery. Miller’s large scale, mixed media installations and works on paper have been featured regionally, nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions. Image Credit: Liz Miller, Miasmatic Filigree, stiffened felt, paint, and other mixed media, dimensions variable, installation view: South Dakota Art Museum, Brookings, SD, 2016

By Sasha Steinberg | Mississippi State University

Large scale, mixed media installations and works on paper by a Minnesota artist and educator will be on display Jan. 20-March 31 at Mississippi State’s Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery.

Free to all, the second-floor exhibition at the university’s Welcome Center features Liz Miller’s works that have been featured regionally, nationally and internationally in solo and group exhibitions.

Miller currently serves as a professor of installation and drawing at Minnesota State University-Mankato. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting with honors from the Rhode Island School of Design, as well as a Master of Fine Arts in drawing and painting from the University of Minnesota. For more biographical information, visit

According to Miller, her mixed media installations and works on paper “recontextualize simplified shapes, signs and symbols from disparate historical and contemporary imagery to create abstract fictions.”

“Existing forms from a multitude of sources are co-opted, altered and spliced to adopt hybrid identities,” she explained.

Her recent projects pit Baroque and Gothic pattern and ornament against forms derived from armor and weaponry. The use of paper, felt, foam and other tactile materials further complicates questions of source, masking the identity of forms while allowing them to inhabit both sculptural and two-dimensional space.

From 12:30-1:30 p.m. Thursday [Jan. 19], Miller will give an artist talk in Giles Hall’s Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium for MSU students and other interested members of the campus and local communities.

On Friday [Jan. 20], a 5 p.m. opening reception in Miller’s honor will be held in the Cullis Wade gallery. All are welcome to enjoy complimentary refreshments, view works on display and visit with Miller.

The exhibition and related events are made possible by MSU’s Department of Art, home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. Additional support is provided by the Windgate Charitable Foundation, Starkville Area Arts Council, and the Mississippi Arts Commission through the National Endowment for the Arts.

Regular Cullis Wade gallery hours are 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more, visit

Additional gallery information is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, the art department’s gallery director, at 662-325-2973 or

The Department of Art is part of MSU’s College of Architecture, Art and Design. For more, visit

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

Art alumna Val Cripps gives insight to MSU art students

November 7th, 2016 Comments Off on Art alumna Val Cripps gives insight to MSU art students

By Kelsey Brownlee

On Fri., Nov. 4, Department of Art alumna and 2016 CAAD Alumni Fellow Val Cripps gave insight to art students at MSU.  She spoke on her experience in art and on how she got to where she is today.

According to Cripps, she has always identified as an artist/creator.  Her passions have always included drawing and painting.  She told the students, “Think about what you did as a kid.  What I did as a kid, I do now.”

For a time in her life, she always had ideas of what she wanted to create.  However, sometimes when getting these ideas to real life, it was hard for her.  She felt that there was something she was missing out on.

“I felt like everyone else was in on some secret art training that I didn’t know about.”

She gave inspiration to the students, explaining that with your brain and heart, you have all the tools you need.

“Everything you’re looking for out there that you think you need – that you don’t have yet, you have it now inside of you.”

Cripps wasn’t always so lucky and didn’t always have all the answers.  She explained that her parents began to question her decisions on majoring in art, saying she wouldn’t be earning much money and that, “money doesn’t grow on trees.”

This got her down for a while, but she eventually went out and started looking for work.  Before she knew it, she had an offer for a job – but no money.  A friend gifted her the money to boost her along, and she was quickly able to pay it back.

Cripps has now been working in feature animation and has worked on many popular movies and shows. She also has a coloring book out and sells digital portraits.

She left the students with a piece of advice to inspire them to keep going for what they want.

“It takes a lot of dedication to become good. Unless you really want it, you won’t ever get good.”

Art alumna Val Cripps named 2016 CAAD MSU Alumni Fellow

November 1st, 2016 Comments Off on Art alumna Val Cripps named 2016 CAAD MSU Alumni Fellow

Valerie “Val” Berney Cripps

Valerie “Val” Berney Cripps

By Amy Cagle | Mississippi State University

Eight prominent graduates now living as close as Madison County and as distant as Southern California are Mississippi State University’s 2016 Alumni Fellows.

For more than a quarter-century, the fellows program has brought former students of distinction back to campus to meet with those currently enrolled and share experiences of their successful careers. Fellows carry the designation for life.

Gathering on campus Thursday-Saturday [Nov. 3-5], the group also will be meeting with faculty and staff members.

Sponsored and organized by the MSU Alumni Association, the annual recognition includes one representative from each college of the 138-year-old land-grant institution. They are chosen by their respective academic units to make presentations in both classroom and informal settings.

“The Alumni Association proudly works with the academic colleges of Mississippi State to bring dedicated alumni back to our campus to share their success stories, mentor and enrich the lives of current students,” said Jeff Davis, the international organization’s executive director.

“Through the years, we have had many top-caliber graduates selected as Alumni Fellows, and the annual experience strengthens this group’s ties with our campus and enables them to become stronger alumni leaders from this point forward,” Davis added.

Among MSU’s more than 135,000 living graduates, the 2016 honorees include (by college):

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Loston Rowe of Eads, Tennessee. Receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agronomy in 1984 and 1986, respectively, Rowe went on to Michigan State University, where he earned a 1989 doctorate from the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, with an emphasis on weed science. An Aberdeen native, he currently is retail accounts manager for DuPont Crop Protection, a company at which he has held various leadership positions since beginning work in 1989.

College of Architecture, Art and Design, Valerie “Val” Berney Crippsof Los Angeles, California. Before receiving a 1997 Master of Fine Arts degree in electronic visualization, Cripps had earned bachelor’s degrees in art history and Italian from Indiana University. Over her professional career, Cripps has taught doctoral courses on special-effects production software, worked as a freelance FX artist and an FX animator with Disney Feature Animation. Her work has appeared in “Big Hero 6,” “Life of Pi,” “Spider-Man 3” and “The Chronicles of Narnia,” among other notable movies. Currently CEO for Valtopia—a company she founded—Cripps originally is from Joplin, Missouri, but was reared in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Read more about Cripps in Alumnus magazine.

College of Arts and Sciences, Tommie S. Cardin of Ridgeland. A former MSU Student Association president from Brooksville, Cardin is a 1983 magna cum laude political science graduate who went on to earn a 1986 Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law. He presently is a member of the regulatory and government relations practice group at the Jackson-based Butler Snow LLP firm. A former adjunct professor at Mississippi College’s School of Law, he also has served since 2013 as chair of the Mississippi Charter School Authorizer Board.

College of Business, Jan F. Lewis of Jackson. A 1985 summa cum laude graduate in professional accountancy, Lewis has been a tax partner since 2002 with the accounting firm of Haddox Reid Eubank Betts PLLC, where the Jackson native began working as a staff accountant in 1987. Prior to Haddox Reid, she was a staff accountant with Arthur Andersen & Co. Lewis also serves as an advisory board member of the Richard C. Adkerson School of Accountancy, a major unit of MSU’s College of Business.

College of Education, Max E. Jobe of Kingwood, Texas. After receiving an industrial education degree in 1954, Jobe went on to a 14 year-career with the Mississippi National Guard, from which he retired at the rank of captain. He also holds a master’s degree from Our Lady of the Lake College in Louisiana and a doctorate from the University of Georgia, both in education. In addition to several high schools and institutions of higher learning, the Corinth native has served on the Maryland State Advisory Council on Vocational and Technical Education and with the U.S. Office of Education. He spent 25 years at Texas A&M University-Commerce, where he now is a professor emeritus.

James Worth Bagley College of Engineering, Michael W. “Mike” Bloesch of Sugar Land, Texas. Bloesch is a 1992 magna cum laude graduate in chemical engineering who then attended the University of Houston, where he earned an MBA with a focus on finance. After holding several upper-level positions in engineering and business fields, the Helena, Arkansas, native now is president and CEO of Next Wave Energy Partners LP, a start-up venture he helped found in 2014. For more than two decades, he worked at TPC Group, a Texas-based international provider of chemical and petroleum products.

College of Forest Resources, Steven H. “Steve” Bullard of Nacogdoches, Texas. Bullard is provost and academic affairs vice president at Stephen F. Austin State University, where he also holds the Henry M. Rockwell Chair in Forestry. After earning a 1977 MSU bachelor’s degree in forestry and 1980 master’s in forest management, he later completed a doctorate in forest management-economics at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. For a time, Bullard taught at MSU’s College of Forest Resources—where he was the Sharp Professor of Forest Economics—and held positions with the campus-based Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Experiment Station and Mississippi Forest and Wildlife Research Center. Additionally, he has been professor and chair of the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky.

College of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Michael R. “Mike” Johnson of Mandeville, Louisiana. Johnson is a 1994 master’s degree graduate in veterinary medical services, with an emphasis in catfish aquaculture and immunology. Currently, the Cincinnati, Ohio, native is a consultant for international companies involved in markets concerning minerals, water treatment and energy. He also holds a holds an undergraduate degree in environmental zoology/biology and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree, both from Ohio State University, as well as an MBA from Tulane University.

For detailed biographies of the 2016 alumni fellows, along with information about the MSU Alumni Association and its programs, visit .

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at

See the story in Alumnus.

Reception held for ‘Peri Schwartz: Paintings • Drawings • Prints’ exhibit

October 28th, 2016 Comments Off on Reception held for ‘Peri Schwartz: Paintings • Drawings • Prints’ exhibit

(Photos by Aaron McElfish)

A reception was held for the current exhibit on display on the second-floor exhibition at the university’s Welcome Center on Thurs., Oct. 27.

Peri Schwartz’s paintings, drawings and print creations will remain on display through Nov. 5.

Read more about the exhibit.


Art alumnus Ben Jenkins to hold lecture

October 24th, 2016 Comments Off on Art alumnus Ben Jenkins to hold lecture

Ben Jenkins (via

Ben Jenkins (via

Ben Jenkins, MSU graphic design alumnus, will be present a lecture, “Designer as Entrepreneur,” on Fri., Oct. 28 at 10 a.m. in Fowlkes Auditorium in the Union.  

Jenkins’s creative approach to living and working will be woven into his talk, where he will discuss how to turn a passion into a career.

“Not only does he run a successful graphic design firm in Dallas called One Fast Buffalo,” said Department Head Angi Bourgeois, “he has also translated his life-long love of baseball into a successful brand of customized baseball bats, Warstic Bat Co. He’s a dynamic and energetic speaker, and he’s very interested in answering questions as long as students would like.” 


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