‘In the Amber’ exhibition showcases works of MSU graduating fine arts students

“Avaricia,” a charcoal portrait by Mississippi State University art/fine arts senior Justin Mayfield of Flowood is among the diverse works featured in the Department of Art’s “In the Amber” exhibition on display April 28-May 2 in the university’s McComas Hall, Cullis Wade Depot and Visual Arts Center galleries. (Submitted photo)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Sixteen students are celebrating conclusion of their studies in the state’s largest undergraduate studio art program by presenting more than 100 diverse works in a three-gallery exhibition at Mississippi State University.

On display April 28-May 2, the Bachelor of Fine Arts thesis exhibition, “In the Amber,” features images reflecting the students’ successful completion of research, writing, presentation and advanced studio practice, as well as foundational coursework, survey, art history, academic and emphasis classes.

Works in the exhibition incorporate photography; oil, acrylic and watercolor paint; sculpture; charcoal; and colored pencils, among other artistic media.

Brent Funderburk, retiring MSU William L. Giles Distinguished Professor of Art and fine arts thesis coordinator, said the exhibition “presents a year of reflection and offers a potent metaphor for our times.” He said the students chose the exhibition title “In the Amber,” drawing inspiration from a quote in Kurt Vonnegut’s classic novel “Slaughterhouse-Five.

 “The students said in ‘Slaughterhouse-Five,’ amber is a symbol that represents a fixed point in time, and the people who share the experience of that time are like bugs trapped in the amber,” Funderburk explained. “Similarly, the exhibition could be compared to the process of something of the moment stilled in timeless amber. It is the manifestation of each student’s college career, showcasing 16 unique and personal bodies of work converging into one location and time.”

During the five-day exhibition, student work will be available for viewing from 1-4 p.m. at Department of Art Gallery on the first floor of McComas Hall; 9 a.m.-5 p.m. at the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery on the MSU Welcome Center’s second floor; and 1-5 p.m. at the Visual Arts Center Gallery at 808 University Drive in Starkville.

An opening reception begins at 2 p.m. on April 28 in the McComas Hall gallery, with student exhibitor introductions starting at 2:30 p.m. Receptions and student introductions also will take place at 3 p.m. in the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery and at 3:45 p.m. in the Visual Arts Center Gallery. Admission is free, and refreshments will be available at all three locations.

Representing Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee, “In the Amber” exhibitors include (by hometown):

BRANDON—Jordan C. Knight.

CLINTON—Carly A. Melton.

DECATUR, Alabama—Phoebe L. Fitzgerald.

FLOWOOD—Justin A. Mayfield.

HATTIESBURG—Shawna J. Williams. She also is pursuing a bachelor’s in music/vocal.

JACKSON—Vernon E. McCoy. He also is concentrating in graphic design.

KOSCIUSKO—Madison J. Cheek.

MADISON—Victoria L. Allgood.

NASHVILLE, Tennessee—Claire M. Burgett.

NEW ALBANY—Darren J. Cheairs.

OCEAN SPRINGS—Kristan T. Williams.

OLIVE BRANCH—Bennie E. “Tré” Braswell.

STARKVILLE—Isabelle L. Cottrell.

SUMMIT—Nicolette L. Johnson.

TUPELO—Alex P. Cayson and Daniel J. Clark.

For more exhibit information, contact Funderburk at 662-325-2970 or BFunderburk@caad.msstate.edu.

Celebrating 50 years, MSU’s Department of Art is part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design. Learn more at www.caad.msstate.edu, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @CAADatMSU.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.

Thursday, April 19, 2018 - 2:12 pm