HATTIESBURG - After
years of intensive study, training and lots of midnight oil, graduating
seniors of the Department of Art at The University of Southern Mississippi
will celebrate their academic achievements Dec. 2-17 with an exhibition
of their works at the university's Museum of Art.
The show will feature works of 11 graduating visual
art students. A reception opens the exhibit from 4-6 p.m. Dec. 2
at the museum.
"We are very proud of all our graduates, both
in graphic communications and fine arts," said associate professor
of art DeAnna Douglas. "Their work in this exhibition demonstrates
the level of professionalism that our students have attained."
A senior project involves the creation and defense
of a substantial body of work. It is required of all students pursuing
a bachelor of fine arts and an optional requirement for students
seeking a bachelor of arts.
"Completing a senior project and exhibiting in
the Senior Show are integral parts of our curriculum," said
Jennifer Torres, chair of the Department of Art at Southern Miss.
"The process is quite rigorous and not every student satisfies
the requirements the first time. However, the faculty believes that
successful completion of a senior project helps prepare our students
for graduate study or to embark on a career in the visual arts."
The exhibition includes seven graphic communications
students: Michael Cota of Gautier, John Sykes of Crystal Springs,
Sam McAlister of Hattiesburg, Crystal Cagel of Ocean Springs, Chris
Cobb of Blue Springs, Dana Warzecha of Bay St. Louis, and Stephanie
Herrin of Picayune.
Cobb created "Teacher Kreatures" to "expose
kids to the academic world around them through a series of collectable
products." "The goal of the brand is to help children
learn more about the arts and sciences by stimulating their imagination,"
Using one of the most famous but yet hidden treasures
of Prague-"The Old Jewish Graveyard"- as inspiration,
McAlister's project is a "plan that highlights this historic
site," using a book, brochure, ticket, and poster design, as
well as signage.
Four fine arts students will include works in the
show. Jamie Spinello of Brandon will show paintings of multiple
figures in changing environments. "The figures are not literal
but are abstracted as are their environments," he explained.
Jamie Dale Allen of Gulfport will cast a swarm of
bee sculptures out of fiberglass resin. "For my senior project,
I'm combining my fascination with insects with my love of resin
as a casting medium," Allen said. "Some of my perceptions
of the human condition have taken the form of bugs that interest
Spence Thompson of Hattiesburg will be showing paintings
of figures in chairs or standing, and Andy Jessup, also of Hattiesburg,
will show a number of large ceramic sculptures.
"Currently my sculptures are about abstracting
the essence of the human body," Jessup said. "My work
utilizes texture and movement to help capture its energy."
"This public exhibition is an important component
of our program," said museum director Mark Rigsby. "Being
able to display a finely honed body of work in a professional manner
will help define the career goals of our graduates."
The University of Southern Mississippi Museum of Art
is located in the Fine Arts Building at the southwest corner of
campus. The hours of operation are Tuesday-Friday, 10 a.m-5 p.m.,
and Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission to the museum and reception
is free and open to the public. School and community groups are
welcome. Call Rigsby at (601) 266-5200 for more information.