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Released October 26, 2004

SOUTHERN MISS MUSEUM OF ART OPENS EXHIBIT OF STUDENT WORKS

HATTIESBURG -An exhibition opens Nov. 11 at The University of Southern Mississippi Museum of Art that features drawings and paintings by master of fine arts candidate Adam Berry and paintings by master of art education candidate Jared Guidry. The M.F.A./M.A. Ed. Thesis Exhibition will be on display through Nov. 27.

A resident of Dixie, Berry received his bachelor of fine arts from Southern Miss and is a full-time art instructor at Stone High School in Wiggins. His work has been exhibited at the George Ohr Museum in Biloxi, the Attic Gallery in Vicksburg, and Gallery 118 in Brookhaven.

Most recently, Berry has been featured in several one-man shows at the Old Town Gallery in Wiggins, 206 Front in Hattiesburg, and the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College.

"The direction of my work has been moving toward a more tonal atmospheric quality since undergraduate school," Berry explained. His drawings and paintings stem from the Mississippi landscape, as he prefers its "foggy, hazy atmosphere."

"Although I work primarily with the subject matter in front of me, I prefer to not copy or be imitative of the landscape. Rather, I try to allow the painting process to be the primary concern. A mark is a mark, and it should state the fact."

Janet Gorzegno, professor of art and coordinator of the M.F.A. program at Southern Miss, explained that the program's objective is to "develop the student's skill and discipline required for sustained, self-directed creative of works of art."

M.F.A. students are required to propose and present an exhibition that represents an original creative project. According to Gorzegno, M.F.A. students develop "a body of work capable of sustaining a museum exhibition and a professional portfolio in preparation for a career in art." Equally, as a terminal degree, it enables successful candidates to teach at the college level.

Joining Berry in the exhibition, Guidry, a native of St. Martinville, La., received his bachelor of fine arts at the University of Louisiana in Lafayette. He hopes his time at Southern Miss will take his paintings to another level.

"My opportunities here and the challenges I have faced have changed the style of my art," Guidry said. "Yet, (these changes) have never altered my belief that by making art, I am not only changing my life but the lives of others."

Guidry said everything deserves contemplation. In his work, the compulsion to paint his ideas of what he sees is strong. "My art has become centered around my thoughts on this world. I used words in my paintings to clearly express to others how I view the world."

Guidry hopes his views will allow others to experience different perspectives.

Dr. Elizabeth Leal, coordinator of the art education program at Southern Miss, said, as a visual artist, Guidry "volunteered to hold an exhibition of his works although it is not required for degree completion." She explained the M.A. Ed. track is different from the M.F.A., as once it's completed and the candidate successfully passes the Mississippi Class AA certification examination, the graduate may then teach in public schools.

The museum will open both exhibits with a free reception from 4-6 p.m. Nov. 11.

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.

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November 23, 2004 9:23 AM