Tag

Art Department Archives - News and Events

King sculpture pays heartfelt tribute to Schmidt

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Visitors to downtown Cleveland are enjoying the recent expansion of Delta State’s Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden with five new installations along Sharpe Avenue.

One sculpture holds special meaning thanks to the creative work of recent Delta State graduate Lawson King ’17, an art major originally from Indianola.

His 8-foot steel and recycled rope sculpture “Broken Arrow” stands tall in dedication to former Delta State professor Dr. Ethan Schmidt, who fatally fell victim to gun violence in 2015.

“I dedicated the piece to him because his shooting caused me to react — caused me to respond to the traumatic experience,” said King. “The more I found out about the shooting, the more I felt connected to it.”

King found many similarities to the incident after his father was killed in a shooting at the age of three. King also taught with Schmidt’s wife at a local elementary school through his participation in the Delta Arts Alliance’s artist-in-residence program.

“It was personal for me to create this piece, but I also wanted to do it for Ethan’s wife and his kids,” said King. “I wanted to show them that I was three when my father was killed, and I think I turned out alright.”

Michael Stanley, chair of the Delta State Department of Art, was thrilled with King’s dedication, noting that he was the first student/alumni to have work displayed in the sculpture garden.

“Lawson’s piece is a very powerful tribute to Dr. Ethan Schmidt because he elegantly intertwines a number of very complicated ideas into one sculpture,” said Stanley. “The broken arrow is a symbol that represents peace and also refers to Ethan’s expertise in Native American history. It’s also a direct reaction to the events that took place the day of the shooting. Instead of using an image of violence, Lawson chose an image of peace, which is much more powerful in my opinion.”

The sculpture garden has developed into an iconic element of Delta State’s campus, and it has shown growth in recent years while expanding across the university, to the grounds of GRAMMY Museum® Mississippi, and downtown Cleveland.

Judson Thigpen, executive director of the Cleveland-Bolivar County Chamber of Commerce, said the sculpture garden’s development continues to forge the town-gown relationship.

“The sculptures are a continuation of the Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden at Delta State into the community,” said Thigpen. “It’s an added treasure that one of the sculptures is dedicated to the life of Ethan Schmidt and the lives he touched while here.”

Stanley agreed that the expansion of the sculpture garden strengthens the partnership between the university and the city of Cleveland.

“We cannot survive without the other, and this is a wonderful display of cooperation and a great visual reminder of this unique relationship,” he said.

Public sculpture was a big reason King pursued his art degree, as he felt public art was lacking in his hometown. The facilities in the art department make it possible for students to create large-scale public works.

King said it was an incredible honor to be selected in the first group of downtown sculptures.

“It feels like such a big accomplishment for me,” he said. “It’s awesome to be included with super talented sculptors from across the country. Just to be accepted and be among them in the first round of downtown sculptures — it means a whole lot to me.”

Learn more about the Hazel and Jimmy Sanders Sculpture Garden at http://thesculpturegardenms.com/.

Art gallery opens 2016-17 season August 25

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff, Students | No Comments

Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center opens its 2016-17 season on Aug. 25 from 5-7 p.m. with an exhibition of Julia Morrisroe’s work “I’m Sorry You Were Saying?”

Morrisroe is an artist and associate professor in painting and drawing at the University of Florida. Her work explores the question of what it means to paint in an age in which digital technology has led to the proliferation and instant availability of images. She is interested in how the flood of images streaming in front of our eyes has affected the way we perceive images.

“Images can be replicated, expanded, enhanced or associated with other images — relevant or not — instantaneously,” said Morrisroe. “The simultaneity of image and experience has led to images becoming hyper-contextualized. The image can no longer exist as a single painting, but belongs to a network.”

Morrisroe creates series of abstract paintings that invite the viewer to explore this hyper-contextualized condition. In her work, patterns are repeated, inverted, rescaled, disrupted or reappear in different media. The artist’s intention is to “subvert the viewers’ desire to look at one painting, compelling a rambling, hyper-linked experience of viewing.”

She received her BFA from Northern Illinois University and her MFA from the University of Washington, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. Morrisroe has received numerous awards, grants and fellowship grants for her work. Last year, she spent time at Anadolu University in Turkey as a Mevlana Faculty Exchange Scholar.

Morrisroe will be on campus to present a public lecture on  Sept. 22 at 4 p.m in the gallery.

The Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery hours are Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on weekends, holidays and during semester breaks.

For more information, visit the Department of Art’s website at http://www.deltastate.edu/college-of-arts-and-sciences/art/, or contact 662-846-4720. For updates and announcements of upcoming events, follow Delta State Art Department on Facebook, or join the email list.

Iowa State professor to exhibit Ghanaian furniture

By | College of Arts and Sciences, Community, Faculty/Staff | No Comments

Join the Delta State University Department of Art in welcoming nationally recognized furniture designer Chris Martin with his exhibit “Asa Sawa, Reflections on Ghana,” opening at the Fielding Wright Art Gallery Jan. 22 from 5-7 p.m.

Martin’s high-end designs were created as a response to his time in Ghana while serving in the Peace Corps.

Martin focuses on traditional furniture of the Ghanaian culture with a uniquely American twist. His work masterfully combines modern materials such as carbon fiber and fiberglass with traditional African beads and fabrics for colorful, thought-provoking works of functional art.

He will also be conducting a wood working demonstration for current Delta State furniture design students on Jan. 21 from 5:15-7:30 p.m. in room 150 of the Holcomb-Norwood Annex located next to the Wright Art Building. Additionally, Martin will lecture on his work and Peace Corps experience on Jan. 23, from 12:15–1:15 p.m. in the Wright Gallery. All events are open to the public, and those interested are invited to attend.

Martin is a former colleague and friend of Delta State sculpture professor Michael Stanley. Their connection began at Iowa State University, where Martin is an associate professor of art and visual culture and is head of the furniture design program. He is also a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design.

“Chris is an amazing artist and a great person,” said Stanley. “He is innovative and thoughtful with his artistic approach and blurs the line between art and craft. I’m really excited to have him here on campus and I hope everyone takes advantage of this opportunity.”

The opening reception is free, and attendance is encouraged by the campus and community. “Asa Sawa, Reflections on Ghana” will remain in the gallery through Feb. 27. Regular gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday. For more information, contact 662-846-4720.

Chris Martin - Asa Sawa Exhibition

Community and campus bond through welding

By | College of Arts and Sciences, General | No Comments

Teaching youth a valuable skillset is the goal of Delta State’s new sculpture professor, Michael Stanley.

Stanley, who began working for the university in August, recently completed his inaugural six-week introduction to welding course offered to local high school students. Well versed in metal fabrication, Stanley felt it was imperative to provide a meaningful and alternative after-school opportunity for area students.

Impressively, he has agreed to maintain and grow the program completely on a volunteer basis — an undertaking he was not asked or pressured to take on. Thanks to support from the Delta Arts Alliance and anonymous donors providing materials, the class operates on a very minimal budget.

The initial group was composed of six students from the Cleveland School District who met once a week for a two-hour session. And despite volunteering his time outside of his university workload, Stanley wants to see the program expand and begin offering lessons multiple times throughout the week.

Working for Delta State, he is able to teach the course in the back of Holcombe-Norwood Hall, where students utilize some of the machinery already on campus.

“They are developing a skill that is really needed in America today. A person working with their hands is a skill getting lost in our culture now,” said Stanley. “We ship so many things overseas that we don’t make much anymore — and specifically through welding and metal fabrication.

“I always felt if I ever had the opportunity to do a program like this it would be successful in the community. There’s a lot of need for welders in the area and across the country.”

Partnering with the DAA and making use of the art department’s workspace, the program has already gotten off to a thriving start. The six initial students have been very responsive and have all shown interest in taking the class again when it restarts in late January.

“It gives them something to do one day a week after school and it’s keeping them occupied and engaged,” he said. “They’re meeting people outside their normal cliques and learning about teamwork, craft and the linear thinking that happens when you’re working in a trade. They’re learning to make a product that is sellable and usable.”

Along with the mental and physical challenges of welding, they also learn about its related science and history. By the end of the program, students are skilled in various cutting, grinding and welding techniques.

Projects are collectively created as pairs of students rotate to different stations, each playing a hand in the final product. The first session ended with functioning tables, which even drew interest from a potential buyer at a recent DAA event.

While the students don’t receive a formal welding certificate at the end of the course, it does provide them the needed practice and opportunity to pursue welding as a career. “They’ll have the knowledge already and pass the certification on the first try,” said Stanley.

Another bonus with the program is the community partnerships it has already started to form.

“This shows that Delta State is part of the community and not an autonomous unit outside of it,” said Stanley. “I think it’s really important to invest in Cleveland and the Delta. Doing so gives kids a glimpse at higher education and lets them know it’s obtainable and feasible for them to go to college.

“We have to be invested in our community because without students a school won’t survive. Everybody thrives because of these relationships and the stronger the Delta becomes.”

If the platform continues to grow, as Stanley anticipates, additional support will be needed. Assistance can come through equipment and material donations, a larger working space, or even picking up and dropping off students on class days.

Those interested in taking part, either as a student or supporter, contact DAA Executive Director Rori Herbison at 662-843-3344 or Stanley at mstanley@deltastate.edu.

Kappa Pi Bazaar

By | | No Comments

The Kappa Pi Bazaar is sponsored by the Kappa Pi Fraternity.

For additional information regarding this event, contact Kristen Price at (601) 667-9110.