-- The Museum of Art at The University of
Southern Mississippi will host an exhibition by the Pantheon Guild
titled "Saints, Spirits, and Dreams" Jan. 18 through Feb.
17, with an opening and artist lecture from 4-6 p.m. Jan. 20.
Alehandro Wooten, a graduate of the Department of
Art at Southern Miss and vice president of the guild, said students
and faculty members in the department formed the group in 1992.
"At its high point, the group consisted of 12
members, plus faculty advisers," Wooten said. "Its focus
was to begin the networking process between artists and creative
In October 2003, eight former members of the Pantheon
Guild were collectively invited to show at the Hattiesburg Arts
Council's Art Walk. "The happy reunion and subsequent exchange
of energy between these alumni sent sparks flying," Wooten
said. "The next logical progression was to show again-this
time at our alma mater, The University of Southern Mississippi."
The show will feature works by Southern Miss graduates
including Wooten, a B.F.A. graduate and gallery director of Bobbe
Gillis Inc. Professional Arts Services in Atlanta; Anthony DiFatta,
a native of Hattiesburg and a B.F.A. graduate; Marabelle Hincher,
a Mississippi native and M.F.A. graduate; Mandy Buchanan of Laurel
and a B.F.A./M.A.E graduate; Carla Carlson of Hattiesburg and a
B.F.A. graduate; Holly Atkinson Marchman, a native of Columbus and
a B.F.A./M.A.E. graduate; and Sharon Spell, a B.F.A graduate residing
in Pittsburg, Pa.
These graduates have had many life experiences since
their Southern Miss days. DiFatta left his job as a graphic designer
for MCI WorldCom in 2000 to pursue painting full time. He also teaches
art to adults with mental illnesses through the Mississippi State
Hospital and the Stubbs Homeless Program. He describes his work
as "an exploration of new ideas and techniques" as well
as a record of his experiences.
Originally from Mississippi and Louisiana, Hincher
is now a "Texan artist and writer." A second-generation
artist, her recent pieces utilize Southern folk art motifs and colors
in combination with vintage materials and unusual images from antique
bookplates and chromolithographs. She arranges these items over
her original poems and prose.
Many of Hincher's paintings feature themes from fantastical
religious visions combined with dreamlike creatures and mythological
Buchanan, an artist, a teacher at Saint Johns Day
School, and outreach coordinator for Lauren Rogers Museum in Laurel,
"enjoys working vibrant colors and bold patterns" in her
paintings. "My inspiration comes from a variety of things,
such as faith, family, flowers, as well as the produce section of
the grocery store," she explained.
Through a lifelong series of investigating the human
figure in a defined space, Carlson's paintings evolved from her
interest in "how the organic shape of a person can make sense
in a rectangular environment."
"I always wanted to paint people," Carlson
said. "I just didn't know what that meant or how I would do
it." In recent years, she has set her figures in motion, turning
the images around on an axis. Her theme is almost classical-man
against his manmade environment or, as Carlson explains it, "us
in our cubicles."
Now residing in Hickory Grove, S. C., Marchman has
taught art at the secondary and university levels. Through her paintings
and sculptures, her intent has been to create visual poetry of what
she feels, experiences and imagines. Marchman has proclaimed herself
has a "celebrationist," meaning her artwork is a "celebration
Although her love for animals is paramount in her
works, she is using more people--herself or people she knows--in
Although she is an accomplished artist, Spell felt
the call for "a life before an audience." She moved to
Pittsburg, Pa., after receiving her B.F.A. Teaching at the Andy
Warhol Museum and Carnegie Museum of Art, she dove headfirst into
cabaret performances, putting her fine and distanced beauty on stage.
In recent years, she started making commercial drawings
for a Pittsburgh publication, "Pulp," as well as for "The
New Yinzer." For the Southern Miss exhibition, these works
on paper merge new techniques with old strokes, providing a diversion
from the traditional way Spell creates art.
Located in the Fine Arts Building at the southwest
corner of the campus, the museum's hours are Tuesday-Friday, 10
a.m-5 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission to the museum
is free and open to the public. School and community group tours
are welcome. For more information, call (601) 266-5200.