YEAR IN REVIEW 2017-2018


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The Partners for the Arts Emerging Artist Award supports student work and professionalism. Five $200 awards are granted, one in each of the arts programs, including: Art and Design, Creative Writing, Dance, Music, and Theater.

The award aims to enrich the student’s pursuance of their career and supports in a variety of ways including travel, the purchase of art supplies or materials, application fees, and other endeavors. The executive committee judges each applicant’s package focusing on each of the student’s overall career goals.

The 2018 Emerging Artist award recipients are:


Alex TownsendAlex Townsend

Art and Design Program

Alex Townsend is currently working towards earning his B.F.A. in Drawing/Painting and Sculpture. Townsend has exhibited work nationally and will be featured in the national, group exhibition “In the Belly of the Beast: A Metal Casting Exhibition,” in Birmingham, Alabama May 4 - August 26, 2018.

The Emerging Artist Award will support Townsend’s artistry, as he’ll be purchasing materials to support his research of casting three dimensional forms in bronze. Townsend will be presenting the explored techniques of bronze casting during his senior capstone exhibition.



Nickalus RupertNickalus Rupert

Creative Writing Program

Currently, Nickalus Rupert is a P.h.D. student at the USM Center for Writers, where he works as an associate editor for Mississippi Review. His fiction has appeared in or is forthcoming in such journals as Harpur Palate, Slice Magazine, The Literary Review, Passages North, Pleiades, Sonora Review Online, and Tin House Online, and can be found at Grist Online.

The Emerging Artist Award will support Rupert’s trip to The Bryan Museum in Galveston, Texas, where his novel Giants of the False Desert is loosely set. By Fall 2018, he hopes to have a final, publishable draft of the novel. After completing his degree, Rupert will pursue an academic career as a creative writing instructor and/or editor.



Gabriela SalazarGabriela Salazar

Dance Program

Gabriela Salazar began dancing at a local dance studio in Mobile at the age of six. Salazar joined Davidson High School’s dance company in her freshman year and it was there where she realized she wanted to pursue dance at the collegiate level. At Southern Miss, Reedy has had the pleasure of furthering her training—developing her own artistic voice and preparing to become an educator for future dance artists.

Salazar plans to use the Emerging Artist Award towards her trip to London with the British Studies program. During her visit, she’ll work on a dance film, which will be showcased in the British Studies Concert held by the Department of Dance at the beginning of Fall 2018.



Guilherme OliveiraGuilherme Oliveira

School of Music

Guilherme Oliveira, Brazilian double bass player, began his D.M.A. in Performance and Pedagogy in 2017 with Dr. Marcos Machado. Oliveira has studied with many renowned bass players, like Milton Masciadri (EUA/URU), Michinori Bunya (GER/JAP), Joel Quarrington (CAN), and François Rabbath (FRA). In 2016, Oliveira was one of editors of the double bass book about left hand technique, TAO of Bass, written by Dr. Machado. In Brazil, his research named The Choice of Fingering in Double Bass Performance: A Study About the Process of Optimization of Schools Double Bass was selected for presentation at a Symposium on Music Research—SIMPEMUS 6.

Oliveira plans to use the Emerging Artist Award towards his trip to the 6th European Biennial Double Bass Congress & Festival, to be held at Institute of Musical Studies "Luigi Boccherini," where he will present his research to the European bass community. Oliveira will also have the opportunity to take masterclasses from international leading double bass players and be one of the many to grow the world's bass culture.



Payton ReedyPayton Reedy

Theatre Program

Payton Reedy, a senior pursing a B.A. in Theatre with an emphasis in Performance and Set Design and a B.F.A. in Graphic Design, is a student leader and an active member of the Southern Miss Honors College, Chi Omega Sorority, Student Government Association, Alpha Psi Omega, and Art and Design’s Creative Collective. This semester, Reedy was the assistant set designer for Brecht’s Galileo and performed in the Three Short Plays by David Ives showcase.

Reedy has been working on her Honors Thesis focused on movement exploration in theatre, and the Emerging Artist Award will aid her efforts in gathering research and setting up a showcase for this creative project. Reedy will be able to buy needed movement books and gather materials needed to complete her thesis project.


The Emerging Artist Awards are possible thanks to the Partners for the Arts Endowment (Legacy Membership). Visit usm.edu/partners-arts to join or renew your membership!