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.

Art students get special preview of exhibit

March 25th, 2013 Comments Off on Art students get special preview of exhibit

Ward guided tour

Senator John Horhn press conference

Art student Jeff Nickell views The art of Theora Hamblett

Students from the Department of Art Senior BFA Research class were invited for a special preview of a new exhibition that opened on March 23 at the Mississippi Museum of Art.

Old Masters to Monet: Three Centuries of French Painting from the Wadsworth Atheneum is an exhibition of fifty French masterpiece paintings ranging from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries and into the beginning of the twentieth century.

Students were able to attend the press conference and meet the Director of the Mississippi Museum of Art Besty Bradley and listen to remarks made by special guests such as Senator John Horhn.

Following the press conference the students joined a group of guests on a guided tour of the exhibition led by Roger Ward, deputy director and chief curator of the museum.

“It was great for the students to get insightful information about so many legendary artists with their works of art actually present,” said Lori Neuenfeldt, programs coordinator for the Visual Arts Center Gallery and Outreach Programs at MSU. “This adds a whole new level of understanding you wouldn’t get from a textbook picture or online.”

Some of the works Ward chose to highlight on the tour were:
Claude Monet (1840–1926), The Beach at Trouville, 1870. oil on canvas. 22 x 25 5/8 in. Collection of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1948.116.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), Monet Painting in His Garden at Argenteuil, 1873. oil on canvas. 18 3/8 x 23 1/2 in. Collection of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. Bequest of Anne Parrish Titzel, 1957.614.

Vincent van Gogh (1853–1890), Self-Portrait, c. 1887. oil on canvas. 15 5/8 x 13 1/4 in. Collection of Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, CT. Gift of Philip L. Goodwin in memory of his mother, Josephine S. Goodwin, 1954.189.

Photography student has work accepted into ‘Spirit of Place’ competition

March 21st, 2013 Comments Off on Photography student has work accepted into ‘Spirit of Place’ competition

Darrious and Jay | Whitten Sabbatini

Tim and Timothy | Whitten Sabbatini

Mississippi State Department of Art student Whitten Sabbatini had two photographs accepted into the Spirit of Place photo and video competition hosted by Maine Media Workshops + College. Sabbatini is a senior concentrating in photography.

More than 3,800 images and videos were submitted to 11 competition categories from image makers around the world. More than $25,000 in prizes will be awarded in a special ceremony on June 7 at Maine Media Workshops + College, along with an exhibition in the Maine Media Gallery in Rockport Village.

Two of Sabbatini’s images received Honorable Mention by the jurors.”Tim and Timothy” is an image of two young men sitting on the front of a car with its hood up. The two look as if they were working on jumping the battery as the car sits in the drive. The other image, “Darrious and Jay,” is of two older boys standing on a unpaved driveway. One boy holds a basketball. Deep in the background is an American flag.

“In both cases, Whitten saw the image and stopped to talk to the individuals. The photographs in this series are taken while Whitten converses with his subjects,” said Professor Maria Gootee, area coordinator for photography in the Department of Art. “There lies the mixture of the staged and unstaged. For a moment the viewer is invited in to visit, but there is also a feeling that this visit is only temporary. It is this duality that makes Whitten’s work so interesting.”

“We are very pleased with the response to this contest from people all over the U.S. and many other countries around the world and impressed by the quality of images and videos selected by our jurors,” said Meg Weston, president of Maine Media Workshops + College.

An esteemed panel of nine jurors representing the fine art, documentary, film and television professions selected winners.

“I was struck by the versatility and expansive points of view that suffused the work I reviewed,” said Norton Museum of Art curator Tim Wride.

Ben Fowlie, founder and director of the Camden International Film Festival, noted “the quality of the work was exceptional, and provided a glimpse inside both local and global communities.”

“Whitten’s work is a way for him to explore his surroundings and understand the people residing in this area. The images speak on many levels and seem to slow down the viewer’s sense of time, allowing the audience to explore all of the details in these temporary moments,” said Assistant Professor Dominic Lippillo.

The jurors were Stacey Baker, associate photo editor, New York Times Magazine; Roger Dell, director of education, Farnsworth Art Museum; Charlotte Dixon, artist and educator; Edward Earle, curator of collections, International Center of Photography; Ben Fowlie, founder and director, Camden International Film Festival; Patricia Luchsinger, producer, NBC Today; Jessica May, curator of contemporary & modern art, Portland Museum of Art; Laura Ozment Schenck, executive producer of television and special projects, Maine Public Broadcasting Network; and Tim B. Wride, William and Sarah Ross Soter Curator of Photography, Norton Museum of Art.

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.

Richard A. Lou presents lecture about work, artists as ‘citizen diplomats’

March 8th, 2013 Comments Off on Richard A. Lou presents lecture about work, artists as ‘citizen diplomats’

Richard A. Lou presented a lecture on March 7 before the reception for his Stories on My Back exhibition.

Lou discussed themes that are found in his work, such as questioning his identity and questioning photographs’ claim to reality through storytelling. He also discussed the idea of collaboration and how artists often serve as “citizen diplomats.”

Lou, who is half Chinese and half Mexican, discussed how he questioned his identity growing up and how he would cross the border from Mexico to the United States for school every day with his father from age six until age nine.

Many of Lou’s works, including his current exhibit at MSU, are site-specific. “The Border Door – 1988” is work that Lou did along the U.S./Mexican border. For the work, the artist created a door and handed out keys for people to use his border door.

Another series, “Border Sutures,” involved a group of artists crossing the border in various locations and installing steel “staples” to ‘put the nations back together.’

For “Headlines – 1992,” Lou shaved his head once a month and invited different artists of color to create text or drawings on his head. The images would last 7-10 days, thanks to Lou’s sleeping on his stomach and wearing a bathing cap for showers. The artist said he wanted to “not be able to divorce myself from my work,” and he definitely got his wish. The artwork on his head was with him at the grocery store, when he picked his children up from school and wherever he went. Lou said people often stereotyped him and were scared of him until they started a conversation and learned about his project. The artist plans to start this project again soon for the 21st anniversary.

Lou wrapped up the lecture by again referring to the idea of artists as “citizen diplomats.” He said he enjoys what he does because his work is important to his conscience and represents issues that are important to him.

Watch some video from the lecture:
Video 1 (Lou discusses some of his early border projects.)
Video 2 (Lou discusses his “Headlines” project, where he invited artists to create works of art on his head.)
Video 3 (Lou discusses how he used humor for a project that served as a way to discuss who has the power to define culture.)

Poster by art professor Mixon receives second in national competition

March 8th, 2013 Comments Off on Poster by art professor Mixon receives second in national competition

Journey Concert Poster | Jamie Mixon

A concert poster created by Professor Jamie Burwell Mixon for Verizon Arena won second place in the Pollstar LIVE! Poster of the Year competition at the 2013 Pollstar Concert Industry Awards and Conference. Her poster for a performance by the band Journey was on exhibit at the CIC 2013 in Los Angeles in February along with 30 other posters selected as finalists for the award. Over 200 concert poster entries were received from around the country this year.

The 24th Annual Pollstar Awards were held Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles and hosted by Michael McDonald. Presenters included singer-songwriter Jackson Browne, producer and musician Dave Stewart (Eurythmics), performer Deadmau5 and Mayor Karl Dean of Nashville.

Reception held for Richard A. Lou exhibit

March 8th, 2013 Comments Off on Reception held for Richard A. Lou exhibit

A reception was held at the Visual Arts Center Gallery on March 7 for Richard A. Lou’s Stories on My Back.

Read more about Lou’s exhibit and site-specific installation.

Stories On My Back will be on display until March 23, 2013 at the Visual Arts Center (VAC) Gallery, 808 University Drive, Starkville.

Department of Art holds reception for student juried exhibition

March 8th, 2013 Comments Off on Department of Art holds reception for student juried exhibition

Artist Richard A. Lou, one of the jurors for the exhibit, congratulates all the students and tells them the quality of their work made his job tough.

A reception for the 41st MSU Student Juried Exhibition was held on March 7 in the Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall. The presentation of awards honored winners in the Fine Art and Graphic Design competitions.

This year, 105 works were selected consisting of sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, ceramics, mixed media, graphic design, typography and package designs. Over $2000 dollars in prize and purchase awards were given out.

The work was selected for the exhibit by two jurors outside of the university. Richard A. Lou is a photography professor and chair of the Department of Art at the University of Memphis, and Doug Barrett is an assistant professor of graphic design at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

The show will remain up until March 28. Gallery hours in the Department of Art Gallery in McComas Hall are Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. All galleries are closed during school holidays.

Congratulations to the following winners:
• 1st Place in Fine Arts category – Shelby Nichols for Scanography: Ecuadorian Tropics
• 2nd Place in Fine Arts category – Trey Hardin for Clarence
• 3rd Place in Fine Arts category – Dominique Belcher for Colorful Soul
• Honorable Mention in Fine Art – Angela Latham for Nestled Tea Pot
Starkville Area Arts Council Award ($100) – Nicole Beck for Fantasy and Reality
• 1st place in Graphic Design – Sweta Desai for “We Click – Self Promotion”
• 2nd Place in Graphic Design – Ashley Bennett for “Stay Foxy, Self Promo”
• 3rd Place in Graphic Design – Margaret La Foe for “Cured! Pork Products Packaging”
• Graphic Design Juror’s Award ($100) – Bethany Johnson for “Letter Press Business card”
RGH Paint Award to Regan Watts
Mount Vision Pastel Award to Anthony Lowe for “Plugs”
• Potter’s Wheel Award to April Shelby
Bill Dunlap Purchase Prize – Angela Latham for Nestled Tea Pot
• Bill Dunlap Purchase Prize – Jacob Craig for Untitled
• Bill Dunlap Purchase Prize – Sarah Kilpatrick for Tea Bowl

‘A Life in the Arts’ to feature guest speakers

March 8th, 2013 Comments Off on ‘A Life in the Arts’ to feature guest speakers

The Department of Art, College of Architecture, Art and Design and Mississippi State University is proud to host a series of presentations, “A Life in the Arts,” that will explore what it means to have a life in the arts. Guest speakers will discuss aspects of their careers in fine arts, publishing, design, television media and creative writing.

March 25
Giles Hall, Robert and Freda Harrison Auditorium
William Dunlap – Artist
W. Ralph Eubanks – Author
Sam Haskell III – Television producer and author

More about the presenters:
William Dunlap:
William Dunlap is a nationally recognized artist born in Mississippi. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 1967 from Mississippi College in Clinton, worked as a graduate teaching assistant at the University of Mississippi from 1967 to 1969, and earned a Masters of Fine Art from the University of Mississippi in 1969. In 1985 he won the Mississippi Arts and Letters, Visual Arts Award and since has had numerous exhibits of his work around the state. His paintings, sculpture and constructions are included in prestigious collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Lauren Rogers Museum, Mississippi Museum of Art, Ogden Museum of Southern Art, IBM Corporation, Federal Express, Arkansas Art Center, and United State Embassies throughout the world.

W. Ralph Eubanks:
W. Ralph Eubanks is the author of Ever Is a Long Time: A Journey Into Mississippi’s Dark Past (Basic Books), which Washington Post book critic Jonathan Yardley named as one of the best nonfiction books of 2003. He has contributed articles to the Washington Post Outlook and Style sections, the Chicago Tribune, Preservation and National Public Radio. A graduate of the University of Mississippi (B.A.) and the University of Michigan (M.A., English Language and Literature), he is a recipient of a 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation and has been a fellow at the New America Foundation. Ralph lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and three children and is director of publishing at the Library of Congress.

Ralph’s most recent book, The House at the End of the Road: The Story of Three Generations of an Interracial Family in the American South, was released May 19, 2009, by the Harper imprint at HarperCollins.

Sam Haskell III:
In 2007 Television Week Magazine named Sam Haskell III “One of the 25 Most Innovative and Influential People in Television of the Last 25 Years.” Haskell earned his ranking among the industry’s best through his 26-year career at the renowned William Morris Agency where he was one of the most powerful agents and dealmakers in the business.

Originally from Amory, Haskell graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1977. Haskell worked in Los Angeles for William Morris Agency first as an agent in the TV Variety Department then as senior vice president, after which he was promoted to West Coast Head of Television. In 1997 he was named executive vice president and a member of the WMA Board of Directors, and, in 1999, he was appointed to the position of Worldwide Head of Television.

Prior to Haskell’s retirement from WMA in late 2004, his clients included: Bill Cosby, Kathie Lee Gifford, Ray Romano, Whoopi Goldberg, Dolly Parton, George Clooney, Sela Ward, Martin Short, Kirstie Alley, Tony Danza, Sean Hayes, Michael Feinstein, Lily Tomlin, Lucie Arnaz and His Royal Highness The Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.

Haskell is also known for his role as executive producer of “Mississippi Rising,” a three-hour, MSNBC special hosted by Morgan Freeman, which raised over $30 million for the victims of Hurricane Katrina. As Chairman of the Mary Kirkpatrick Haskell Scholarship Foundation, Mr. Haskell’s biennial “Stars Over Mississippi” benefit concerts in Amory have raised millions of dollars in college scholarship funds for Mississippi youngsters in need of financial assistance to further their education. In addition, Mr. Haskell serves as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization and Executive Producer of the Miss America Pageant telecasts.

Haskell’s discusses is journey from a small town Mississippi boy through his days in Hollywood in his nationally-bestselling memoir, Promises I Made My Mother, in which he attributes his success to the lessons he learned from his mother at an early age – lessons such as faith, hope and character.

Check out the story by Margaret Kovar with MSU University Relations!

Art professor in Tennessee exhibition

March 7th, 2013 Comments Off on Art professor in Tennessee exhibition

“Dusty’s Spring Window” | Neil Callander | 20″x20″ oil on panel

Neil Callander, assistant professor in the Department of Art, is currently exhibiting in the 28th Annual Positive/Negative National Juried Art Exhibition, Minority Rule. The exhibition runs February 18 to March 8, 2013 in the Slocumb Galleries of East Tennessee State University.

Juror Michael Ray Charles writes that Minority Rule “is a concept inspired by evolving forces integral to life in America during, what I refer to as, the threshold years of the 21st century. Cultural norms, tradition and values are in a constant state of negotiation.  In an attempt to accommodate nontraditional norms that are shaped by technology, labor, economics and globalization, established customs and beliefs are re-examined, modified, and, in some cases, rendered obsolete. . . .It has been said, ‘the distinction between past, present, and future is only a persistent illusion.’ What each artist chosen for this exhibition loves and whatever they have come to understand has influenced the work they’ve produced. Each generation of artists are faced with the ultimate challenge of discovering itself, its values and norms. This generation of artists is no different. Its road towards self discovery is shaped by ideas derived from proven and failed practices of previous generations, but it will eventually find its ways of making art which reflects who it is and what it will become.”

Callander recently moved to Starkville from Louisville, Ky., where he taught at the University of Louisville for five years. He is the Foundation Program Coordinator in the Art Department and teaches Drawing and Design courses.    

You are currently browsing entries tagged with Mississippi State Department of Art at Department of Art News.