An artist explores nature’s bounty at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge

June 11th, 2014 Comments Off on An artist explores nature’s bounty at Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge


Marian McLellan, “Grounded”


Marian McLellan, “Crow”

Story by Lori Neuenfeldt

When you Google the name of the next MSU-Noxubee Artist-In-Residence, it’s surprising to see how many other artists’ websites pop up. This is because Marian McLellan is an artist and a prolific art critic who reviews gallery shows predominantly in the New Orleans area. Her thoughtful and poignant essays are cited on the sites of artists who have had the pleasure of her viewing their works.

As an artist McLellan creates works directly relating to nature.

She states, “Nature fuels our communal psyche.”

McLellan found out about the MSU-Noxubee Wildlife Refuge Residency opportunity when a friend who is familiar with her work suggested she apply. After looking up the information, she sent in her proposal for a one-month summer residence in June 2014.

According to McLellan, “I am looking forward to being in the midst of the beautiful flora and fauna of Noxubee and having this wonderful opportunity to create in a wildlife refuge in Mississippi.”

While at the Refuge, McLellan plans to take nature walks and explore.

“I will walk amongst nature’s bounty, taking visual and textual notes, which I will translate into drawings, paintings and prints,” she said. “An important part of my stay will be the compilation of area residents’ drawings to accompany a guidebook I have in mind, titled An Unspoiled Glimpse of Noxubee, which in turn is a companion to a more global piece, An Unspoiled Glimpse.”

McLellan will be at the Noxubee Refuge from June 9 to July 3. There are two workshops in which visitors to the Refuge can meet and make art with McLellan – June 11 and June 21. Workshops will be at 2 p.m. at the Noxubee Wildlife Refuge Visitor’s Center.

McLellan received a BFA from Tulane University and an MFA from the University of Mississippi, both in studio art. It was during her graduate studies that she had the opportunity to interview New York artists and art critics. This led to a career writing art reviews. In 2010 McLellan received an award at the Baltimore NAEA Conference for her role in conceptual artist Mel Chin’s Fundred Dollar Bill Project as it related to the lead in New Orleans soil. In 2009 she received a Scholastic Art and Writing Teacher Award at Carnegie Hall.  In 2011 McLellan served as juror for Mississippi State University’s Student Juried Art Exhibit. McLellan taught for several years at a Catholic girls’ high school and recently began teaching Art Appreciation at Delgado Community College in Covington, La.

McLellan sees the residency at the Refuge as a career highlight since, as she states, “much of my life has been dedicated to the appreciation of the physical and spiritual beauty of nature as it relates to our collective well-being.”

For more information about McLellan’s visit or for an application to apply to be an artist-in-residence, visit:, or contact Steve Reagan, project manager of the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee Wildlife Refuge,

The artist-in-residence program is made possible by the Sam. D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge, Mississippi State University Department of Art, Friends of the Refuge and the Starkville Area Arts Council.

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