Art student Piper Reaves featured as MSU ‘Our People’

March 18th, 2013 Comments Off on Art student Piper Reaves featured as MSU ‘Our People’

Photo by Russ Houston | MSU University Relations

By Leah Barbour | MSU University Relations

Taking the path she said she believes God means for her to walk, Piper Reaves is passionate about pursuing her studies in graphic design, her own hand-painted cowbells business and her future as a Mississippi State graduate.

“I might not get much sleep, but it’s worth it,” she said. “I love Mississippi State. It’s changed my life. I love the community, I love the people, I love the programs. It’s just influenced me so much.”

Piper, a senior art major from Hernando, always knew she would attend Mississippi State. Her father was a proud alumnus, and she grew up knowing she would one day be a Bulldog, she said. She began at the university as an engineering major, but said God steered her in a different direction.

“I’d thought, graphic design is always a good fallback, and slowly, I just saw that I had different opportunities outside of engineering,” she said. “God started to show me the ways that I could glorify him, and the graphic design program here at Mississippi State is the best around.”

Not only does she get to provide graphic art for the Center for Distance Education as a student worker, Piper has also been chief designer for The Reflector, Mississippi State’s student newspaper.

Piper also loves painting with watercolors. She participates in DeSoto Arts Council and competes in art competitions regularly. Using her talent to inspire others has so blossomed that Piper began painting cowbells for friends.

“I just see the cowbells as a blank canvas,” she said. “I don’t copy logos; I do paintings or different scenes. I’ve done requests, and I have a few basic patterns, like bulldogs, the Chapel of Memories and the stadium.”

The natural next step was to open her own business and allow people to buy personalized, hand-painted cowbells. Her work is available through

After graduation, Piper said she plans to continue glorifying God through her talents. Through her work with Don’t Miss the Mark, Piper has been selling prints of original watercolors of Christian bookmarks. The proceeds support Christian missions, and Piper plans to continue supporting international missions after she graduates.

“I’d like to reach out, as a long-term goal, to raise money to help send people out. We need to find out what people’s needs are and work toward getting them what they need,” she said.

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