Contact: Sasha Steinberg
STARKVILLE, Miss.—Photographic creations by four graduating art/photography majors at Mississippi State are on display April 17-29 in the university’s Visual Arts Center Gallery.
Free to all, the “Contact S17: BFA Photography Thesis Exhibition” celebrates the final year of art department studies for James K. Cox of Clarksdale, Assanti T. Miller of Louisville, Ronnie B. Robinson of West Point, and Willie D. Stewart of Brooksville. Miller and Robinson also are concentrating in graphic design.
Also open to all is a 5-6 p.m. Thursday [April 20] reception in their honor in the gallery located at 808 University Drive on the edge of the Starkville campus. Refreshments will be provided.
Regular gallery hours are 1-4 p.m., Monday-Saturday, as well as by appointment.
All four students have been guided over the years by Professor Marita Gootee and Assistant Professor Dominic Lippillo of the art department’s photography emphasis area. Gootee is the department’s longtime photography coordinator.
The students’ images reflect the successful conclusion of departmental research, writing and presentation requirements, as well as four years of foundational coursework, survey, art history, and academic and emphasis classes.
Cox, who grew up in the Mississippi Delta, said his imagery is centered in present-time and “involves a limitless collection that brings up feelings of hopefulness that are deserving of preservation.”
“By preserving the imagery in this manner, I’m cherishing the culture that exists in this area, in hopes that it will continue to prosper and evolve into something more,” Cox said.
Miller said her body of work “Visions of Life” was inspired by various personal experiences and contemplations she has had over the years, specifically about the human experience, spirituality and metaphysics.
“Using the basic elements of this physical world —water, soil and plant life—I aimed to explore the simple relationship between the physical and the abstract realities universal to the whole of mankind,” Miller explained.
Robinson’s narrative-based photographic series “Play Nice, Dearie” follows the transformation of a young girl from adolescence into womanhood. Through the series, Robinson said she seeks “to explore and understand the emotions, psyche and society’s treatment of a young woman.”
Stewart’s body of work for the photography thesis exhibit focuses on imperfections of the human body.
“I wanted to show imperfections from different people at different angles,” Stewart said. “The idea is to show that anything on our body, no matter how bad we may think it looks, can be beautiful.”
In addition to the College of Architecture, Art and Design’s Department of Art, the exhibit is made possible with support from the university’s Center for Student Activities.
Additional information on the “Contact S17” exhibit is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU art department gallery director, at 662-325-2973 or LNeuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu.
Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSU’s Department of Art is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. For more, visit www.caad.msstate.edu and bit.ly/MSUArtGalleriesFB.
MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.