After a career spanning more than three decades as an artist, arts commentator and educator, Mississippi native William "Bill" Dunlap now will help set the bar for students as Mississippi State's first artist-in-residence.
The university's art department recently established the artist-in-residence program to enhance its mission of preparing students for careers or advanced studies. The program emphasizes studio practice, liberal arts, visual language and exposure to regional, national and international artists.
"We have established the program to allow the artist in residence to work on special projects or techniques alongside our students, which will be an invaluable benefit to everyone," said department head Lydia Thompson. "Having this kind of experience will really make a difference in a student's life."
Born in nearby Webster County in 1944, Dunlap is a 1966 Mississippi College art graduate who went on to receive a 1969 master's degree at the University of Mississippi. He taught at Hinds Community College before moving to Appalachian State University in North Carolina from 1970-79 and Memphis State University from 1979-80.
His paintings, sculpture and constructions are included in prestigious national collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Corcoran Gallery of Art, Lauren Rogers Museum, Mobil Corp., Riggs Bank, IBM Corporation, Federal Express, The Equitable Collection, Rogers Ogden Collection, Arkansas Art Center and the United States State Department and its embassies worldwide.
He also has had solo exhibitions at the National Academy of Science, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Cheekwood Fine Arts Center, Mississippi Museum of Art and Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, among others.
While at MSU, Dunlap will utilize the department's studio spaces to work with ceramics, sculpture and printmaking and provide art majors the opportunity to work alongside and experience his creative process.
Dunlap said his time on campus will be "one interaction after another.
"If I make some work, get to know some people and have some influence on the students and the community, it will be a success," he added.
Over his long career, Dunlap has received awards and fellowships from the Rockefeller Foundation, the Lila Wallace/Reader's Digest Foundation for study and travel in Southeast Asia. Other recognitions have come from the Warhol Foundation, Virginia Commission for the Arts and Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters.
He has been a selection for the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art/RJR Nabisco Visual Artists Award and Mississippi Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts.
For more information about the artist-in-residence program and gallery events, contact gallery coordinator Lori Neuenfeldt at 662-325-2973.