MSU Arts Inclusion works to bring art to MSU, community

March 28th, 2013 Comments Off on MSU Arts Inclusion works to bring art to MSU, community

Lori Neuenfeldt talks to Boys & Girls Club members at the Visual Arts Center Gallery.

Boys & Girls Club members in front of the VAC.

Adrienne Callander leads a Valentine’s Day workshop at the Boys & Girls Club.

When Adrienne Callander joined the Department of Art faculty at Mississippi State, her earliest experiences involved outreach. Lori Neuenfeldt, coordinator for the Visual Arts Center and outreach programs, enlisted her right away to lead a fiber arts workshop at the Starkville Boys & Girls Club.

The Department of Art first sat down with Joyce Ellenwood, chief professional officer of the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Golden Triangle, last year to talk about how to get students at the university and at the club involved with hands-on art projects and visits to the art galleries on campus. Since then, students from the Boys and Girls Club have visited campus to see two art exhibitions, and art students and faculty have taught numerous projects at the club.

“The work with the Boys and Girls Club has really been an inspiration and launching point for planning more outreach programs in the Department,” said Neuenfeldt.

Callander continues to support Neuenfeldt and other outreach efforts between the Department and the greater MSU and Starkville community, which have been dubbed MSU Arts Inclusion.

The plan right now is to have one project per month with the Boys & Girls Club until more students get involved, and Neuenfeldt and Callander hope to increase the efforts each semester.

Building on her outreach experience with the Boys & Girls Club, Callander also started a club last semester to share her love and passion for fiber arts. The framework for the Fiber Arts Club is that of community-based learning.

As skills develop within the club, members will begin sending artwork into the community. Members have been encouraged to include their work in the upcoming Fiber Arts Showcase put on by the Columbus Arts Council. They have also started joining in on The Golden Triangle Quilt Guilds Saturday “Sit ’n Sews.”

“This outreach initiative is also an effort to expose students to teaching within the arts,” said Callander. “If someone has something to teach the fiber club, we encourage that individual to take the reins to broaden our knowledge base. In turn, we want to share the fiber club with any and all members of the MSU campus and the Starkville community. This is also an aim of ours in bringing our students to the Boys & Girls Club – we want them to gain hands-on experience teaching in the arts.”

At the same time, Neuenfeldt has been working to grow art outreach through other relationships in the community. Neuenfeldt believes in leading by example and currently sits on the board of the Starkville Area Arts Council (SAAC) and is chair of the SAAC Art in Public Places Committee.

“This is one of the many ways we can get students and community connected,” she said. “The Arts in Public Places shows at the Greater Starkville Development Partnership are one of the places students show their work and allow the community to see the skills practiced by young artists.”

Neuenfeldt said Department of Art students are also volunteering with the SAAC.

“Many areas of the arts wouldn’t survive without volunteers,” she said. “It gets students working with a professional organization – one that gives back to the community.”

“We have a lot more ideas that we would love to bring to fruition,” said Callander about MSU Arts Inclusion. “For instance, an art van that would bring supplies and teachers to locations where instruction in the arts is needed. It’s easier to bring the art to the people sometimes.”

This summer, the Department of Art will launch a weeklong summer program for high school students wanting the complete artistic experience. In-Vision: MSU Visual Arts Summer Program will be an exciting, intensive introduction to the studio fields of art and design. Participants in the program will work hands-on creating art in classes taught by faculty and professionals in fields such as sculpture, graphic design, drawing and illustration.

“We are very excited about offering this to talented and curious high school students,” said Neuenfeldt. “And parents are pleased to hear that we will also address careers in the field of art post college graduation.”

Neuenfeldt said the plan is to have the program every summer and continue to keep even the young members of the community involved and interested in the arts.

“It’s fun to grow something from scratch, and I feel like in Starkville, you can do it,” said Callander. “You just need to take the first steps, and see where it leads you.”

If you’d like to get involved with MSU Arts Inclusion, or if you have more ideas for outreach, contact Lori Neuenfeldt at 662-325-2973 or Adrienne Callander at 662-325-1515.

Read the story in The Reflector by Catie Marie Martin: Crafting Relationships: Department of Art, MSU art students reach out to Starkville Boys & Girls Club.

Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,