Art Department to hold events for Maroon Edition

July 31st, 2012 Comments Off on Art Department to hold events for Maroon Edition


The Department of Art is hosting two art exhibits this fall in association with Mississippi State Maroon Edition events.

The book selection for the 2012–2013 academic year is Unbowed: A Memoir by the late Nobel Peace Prize recipient Wangari Maathai. In her book, Maathai tells the story of environmental destruction in Kenya and how it intensifies poverty and social conflict.

Inside-Out, Outside-In, August 31–October 3, 2012, is an exhibit of fiber arts by Mary Hark and Nnenna Okore, two contemporary artists with strong connections to cultures in West Africa. The title for the exhibit expresses the artistic relationship each has with their environment.


Mary Hark is the proprietor of HARK! Handmade Paper Studio and Assistant Professor of Design Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her work is represented in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Smithsonian Museum, the Brooklyn Museum and many university collections. Hark is heavily influenced by her frequent visits to and time spent living in Kumasi, Ghana.

Nnenna Okore was raised in Nsukka, Nigeria, but now lives and works in Chicago as an Associate Professor and chair of the Art Department at North Park University, Chicago. Most recently Okore has exhibited at the Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK, and Baltimore Clayworks, Baltimore, MD.

Both artists use traditional West African methods of sewing and dying in their hand-constructed multi-media works. Hark’s beautiful pieces are hand-stitched and dyed, creating a quilt-like effect. Okore’s delicate installations appear organic as if holding a life of their own.

Also included in the exhibit will be a display of textiles by batik artist Dorothy Akpene Amenuke from Pakoso, Ghana.

The exhibit opens August 31 at the MSU Visual Arts Center Gallery on University Drive. Mary Hark will be in Harrison Auditorium in Giles Hall to discuss her work and experiences in Ghana on September 6 at 11 a.m. An opening reception will be held at 5:30pm. The events are free and open to the public.

The exhibit is sponsored by the Department of Art; College of Architecture, Art, and Design; School of Human Sciences; Bagley College of Engineering, Office of Diversity; and MSU Fulbright Office.

A second art exhibit to be held in conjunction with Maroon Edition events is Betty Press: African Wisdom in Image and Proverb.  Press’ work will be on display from  September 4 though October 13, 2012, in the Colvard Student Union Gallery.

Betty Press is a professor of photography at the University of Southern Mississippi. This current exhibition features black and white photographs taken during her time living and traveling in Africa. The photographs were recently published in 2011 in her book I Am Because We are: African Wisdom in Image and Proverb. The book pairs Press’ photography with important proverbs still used in African society.

Press’ work is found in many public collections including Southeast Museum of Photography, Daytona Beach, Florida, and National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC.

The photography exhibit opens on September 4, and there will be a free public reception in the Colvard Student Union Gallery on September 27 at 5:30pm.

This is exhibit is sponsored by the Department of Art in the College of Architecture, Art, and Design and the MSU Maroon Edition.

For more information about MSU Department of Art Gallery exhibits, please contact Lori Neuenfeldt at (662) 325-2973, email lneuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu, visit the VAC gallery on Facebook, or see the complete schedule for 2012–2013 exhibits.

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