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Southern Miss Art Students Display Work at Senior Exhibition PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, December 03, 2009
Contact Tearanny Street, 601.266.6823   

Countless hours of practice, hard work and dedication have led up to this moment for five talented University of Southern Mississippi senior art majors.

Today the Department of Art and Design opens the fall 2009 Senior Exhibition in the university’s Museum of Art. All students pursuing a bachelor of fine arts are required to complete a senior project, and each will showcase their unique, creative ability for the public through Dec. 11.

Museum director Jan Siesling believes those who attend will “see how incredibly strong individual talents express themselves. Everything is here: emotion, amazing skills, comedy and tragedy, body and spirit, and the highest aspirations.”

Taylor Barnett, a sculpture major from Hattiesburg, will present a ceramic and mixed media wall installation containing about 50 individual parts and spanning 30 feet long. She views her work as an attempt to sway the viewer to abandon the boundaries of reality and dream as though they are part of an imperfect beauty.  “My work is more than a statement, it’s my imagination coming to life,” Barnett said.

Jason “Georgie” Ellis, a painting and sculpture double major from Vicksburg, will present an installation of seven pedestals with abstract, colorful vessels that will occupy the center of Woods Gallery. “My work deals with images and how their meanings change,” Ellis said. “In my work, I try to answer questions about what these images really are and how they might change in the future.”

Scarlett Mooney, a sculpture major from Seminary, will display more than 10 sculptures in the show. She found her love for working with heavy machinery at an early age spending time in her father’s construction company. “That’s probably where I got the itch to be in a shop setting with heavy machinery all day,” Mooney said.

“I love working with my hands and building things that take a lot of sweat and tears. I try to make things out of materials that are malleable and easy to manipulate and mold by hand. I used the lost wax process to create the figures for this exhibit.”

Dustin Wheeless, a sculpture major form Hattiesburg, will present more than 50 repetitive and individual mixed media objects that vary in size and shape. “I believe that much of my work deals with artifacts,” Wheeless said. “I am intrigued by the concept of objects left behind and the loss of their former purpose.”

Amanda Waguespack, a painting major from Laurel, has seven non-figurative, pure color compositions in the show. “My paintings usually begin with a specific color problem, but are allowed to evolve and change if the original problem is not achieved,” Waguespack said. “Each piece establishes a firm sense of unity through the tone or value structure given to the paintings, while contrasting various hues, chromas and temperatures.”

The Southern Miss Museum of Art is located in the Fine Arts Building at the southwest corner of campus. Hours are Tues.-Fri., 10 a.m.-5 p.m., and Sat., 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission to the museum and reception is free and open to the public. For more information, call the Museum of Art at 601.266.5200.

CUTLINE: Senior art majors from the University of Southern Mississippi Department of Art and Design will showcase their artistry at the fall 2009 Senior Exhibition. The work of Taylor Barnett of Hattiesburg, Jason Ellis of Vicksburg, Scarlet Mooney of Seminary, Dustin Wheeless of Hattiesburg and Amanda Waguespack of Laurel will be displayed in the university's Museum of Art Dec. 3 - 11. This exhibit is open to the public. For more information contact the Museum of Art at 601.266.5200. 






About The University of Southern Mississippi
The University of Southern Mississippi, founded in 1910, is a comprehensive doctoral and research-extensive university fulfilling its mission of being a leading university in engaging and empowering individuals to transform lives and communities.  In a tradition of leadership for student development, Southern Miss is educating a 21st century work force providing intellectual capital, cultural enrichment and innovation to Mississippi and the world.  Southern Miss is located in Hattiesburg, Miss., with an additional campus and teaching and research sites on the Mississippi Gulf Coast; further information is found at
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