Delta State University’s Art Department invites the public to a reception celebrating the opening of its annual faculty exhibition on Thursday, Sept. 29, from 5 to 7 p.m.
DSU’s art faculty are practicing artists, designers, and filmmakers who regularly exhibit in venues across the nation. The annual faculty exhibition, held at the Fielding Wright Art Center, offers the campus and the community an opportunity to view new work created by these artists.
Participating artists are Amy Cannestra, Will Jacks, Ky Johnston, Ron Koehler, Michaela Merryday, Jon Mark Nail, Cetin Oguz, Kim Rushing, Mollie Rushing, Michael Stanley, and Natalie Tyree.
Ron Koeher, Chair of the Art Department, creates figurative stories that play with perception and reveal his wonderful sense of humor as in his sculpture “Mr. Brickman Loves His Friends.” Mr. Brickman is a brick column sculpture surrounded by his brick friends and birds entirely made of wood. Koehler who is known for his endlessly inventive interpretations of brushes has a fascination with tools as well as with how things are made. He recently started to investigate the ordinary hammer which resulted in a set called “Ten Hammers.” These objects are created from wood and the heads of the hammers are painted with a graphite patina that gives them a metallic-look.
Amy Cannestra’s work, shifting between video, sculpture, performance, and digital arts, probes and breaks down the body. Humanizing object and objectifying human by bringing the things we hide to the forefront, putting the uncomfortable out in the open. Her work uses horror, sex, and humor to question our culture’s obsession with body and perfection.
Ky Johnston’s new work presents a reflection on his roots in pottery and a continued attempt to blend influences from various sources into functional pottery. In this work he is exploring functional forms, mostly from the wheel, sometimes altered or stretched, often cut or faceted. The glazes use common materials including various clays, wood ash, and some raw pigments and are fired with gas. His goal is to allow the materials, processes, and long history of the craft to play a big role in the end result.
Michaela Merryday has explored furniture design and the possibility of combining wood furniture and felt in the past year. The work presented here combine her interest in minimalist design and multi-functional furniture.
Jon Mark Nail is a film maker, whose work explores Mississippi, its culture and its mythos. He is fascinated by what he calls Mississippi’s idiosyncrasies. Nail sees Mississippi as “a land steeped in contradiction: a land that is at once lush and barren, a society known for its gentility as well as its savagery, a prideful people and a shamed people.” His work explores the themes of hope and despair, great promise and dreadful demise, love and death, honor and collapse.
Cetin Oguz is an abstract painter who is interested in the process of painting. According to the artist, he is preoccupied with “the process which occurs naturally and defines the space and the process which suspends the intellect within the void of its activity. The natural markings, scratches, layers, and lines are kept and reworked in the present as though to reveal more of the past. ”
Kim Rushing, who just published a book of a series photographs he had taken at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, MS, twenty years ago, has been thinking a lot about how his approach to image making has changed over the years. For this exhibition he selected a series of photographs from various periods of his career that he still finds exciting.
Mollie Rushing is a textile artist whose quilts use pattern and color to create the illusion of texture and space.
Michael Stanley’s sculptural work in this exhibition is a continuation of his interests in media, process, form, and function. There are examples of rigid materials and soft materials, examples of slow processes and fast processes, examples of familiar and unfamiliar form, and examples of varying degrees of function. The freedom to move between media, process, form, and function is a key aspect of his creative process and nurtures his compulsion to create.
DSU’s Annual Faculty Exhibition will be on view until Oct. 27. The gallery is open Mondays through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information, please contact the Art Department at 662-846-4720.