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Department of Art Archives - Page 2 of 7 - News and Events

Documenting the Blues

Students to document the Delta behind the lens

By | Academics, College of Arts and Sciences, Students | No Comments

Students in photography instructor Will Jacks’ class have kicked off a unique interactive photojournalism project called “Documenting the Blues.”

Throughout the semester, the class will be using the Medium blogging platform to create a publication that shines light on the student experience while they document the region.

“Each week they will have a short assignment designed to get them into the Delta exploring, asking questions and learning more about this place, while also developing their skills with the tools required to tell these stories,” said Jacks. “My hope is that this blog will serve as a living example from start to finish of their improvement in technical skills and thoughts about what it means to live in the Delta.”

Jacks is encouraging the campus and community to follow along by signing up for a free account with Medium. Account holders can even comment on posts and interact with the students.

To learn more about the project and sign up for an account, visit https://medium.com/documenting-the-blues.

“I hope this will encourage and inspire the student to continue to develop their creative voices and recognize that some of the best stories they can tell are found right outside their doors,” added Jacks.

For more information on the Delta State University Department of Art, visit 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.

"Napoleon’s Wallpaper," by Candace Hicks, opens at the Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery on Thursday from 5-7 p.m.

Art gallerly launches 2016 season Thursday

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Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center’s first exhibition of the year, “Napoleon’s Wallpaper,” by Candace Hicks, opens the season with a public reception Thursday from 5- 7 p.m.

Hicks is a printmaker and book artist based in Nacogdoches, Texas. “Napoleon’s Wallpaper” treats the gallery as a puzzle box to be solved by the viewer — a combination of prints that reveal secret messages when viewed through special colored glasses; kinetic sculptures that reveal clues; puzzles that can be manipulated physically to reveal hidden compartments; and wall texts that guide the viewer from one station to the next —  the exhibition operates like a game.

Hicks uses her background as a book artist to produce the exhibition of objects that look like art, but are actually part of an interrelated narrative puzzle. Books take for granted that viewer participation is necessary to complete the work, and “Napoleon’s Wallpaper” combines a storybook, interactive puzzle, and art exhibit into a room-sized installation. The viewer experiences the immersive quality of reading a mystery novel and solving the clues. It includes many moving parts that invite interaction. It resurrects forms of spectacle from the past — optical illusions and early animation devices — and these forms are employed holistically to present a cohesive story that can only be solved with viewer participation.

“Napoleon’s Wallpaper” refers to an anecdote regarding the cause of Napoleon’s death. According to Hicks, he supposedly died from exposure to arsenic in the dyes used to print his wallpaper. Hicks once read three accounts of this story in the same week and felt like she was receiving a secret, albeit meaningless message from the universe.

Hicks is an assistant professor at Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. “Napoleon’s Wallpaper” has recently been installed in Houston, Texas. Her work has also been shown in Rochester, New York; Ashville, North Carolina; Decatur, Georgia; Denver, Colorado; New York City; Moscow, Russia; Vilnius, Lithuania; Budapest, Hungary; and more.

The exhibit will run from Jan. 14 through Feb. 26.

The FWACG is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed weekends, holidays and during semester breaks.

For more information on the Department of Art, visit 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.

MAAM_Exhibit_DSU2

International Museum of Muslim Cultures to present in gallery

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Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery is currently hosting “Muslim/American, American/Muslim,” an exhibition by New York photographer Robert E. Gerhardt. The exhibit explores the Muslim experience in America.

In the spirit of Gerhardt’s project, the Department of Art and the Quality Enhancement Plan have partnered to present a series of events that provide a forum for dialogue. The series, free and open to the public, continues Nov. 19 at 5 p.m. with a presentation by Emad Al-Turk and Okolo Rashid, founders of the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson, Mississippi. The duo will speak about the history and mission of the institution.

The museum was founded in 2000 by a group of Jackson-area Muslims who identified the need to educate the public about Islamic history and culture, and the contributions of Muslims to world civilization. The museum’s mission is to dispel misconceptions about Muslim cultures and promote mutual respect and understanding. The program was developed by a team of national and international scholars, experts and community members.

The museum’s exhibitions have sought to highlight the diversity of Muslim cultures with exhibitions on American mosques, Moorish Spain and its legacy in Europe and the West, and the literary tradition of Timbuktu.

The International Museum of Muslim Cultures is open to the public Tuesday-Friday, as well as by appointment. It offers personalized tours for schools and private groups.

Al-Turk, who holds master’s degrees in civil engineering and business administration, worked as an entrepreneur and executive in the engineering and construction business. He has a long career in civic service, serving on the boards of a number of non-profit organizations.

The final installment of the series is a public screening of the film “Arranged,” which centers on the unlikely friendship between an Orthodox Jew and Muslim teacher in New York. The screening will be held at the FWACG beginning at 5 p.m.

The FWACG is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed weekends, holidays and during semester breaks.

For more information on the department of art, visit 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.

Dr. Stuart Rockoff (right), director of the Mississippi Humanities Council, presents Dr. Michaela Merryday, associate professor of art history, with the 2015 Humanities Teacher Award.

Merryday honored as Humanities Teacher of the Year

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The Mississippi Humanities Council celebrates each October by awarding one humanities faculty member at each state institution with the Humanities Teacher Award. This year, from Delta State University’s Department of Art, Dr. Michaela Merryday was selected by faculty for the award.

Merryday accepted the award Monday in Holcombe-Norwood Hall, where she also presented on her publication “Westward Route 66 Takes Its Way: Ed Ruscha and the Promised Land.”

Merryday completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Vienna, Austria, and earned a doctorate in art history from Florida State University. Her research also focuses on contemporary public and political art practices.

 

Dr. Michaela Merryday was

Merryday to present on Ed Ruscha

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Dr. Michaela Merryday, associate professor of art, will host a free presentation “Westward Route 66 Takes Its Way: Ed Ruscha and the Promised Land,” on Nov. 2 at 6:30 p.m. in Room 151 of Holcombe-Norwood Hall.

The event, free and open to the public, is made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to the Mississippi Humanities Council.

Merryday was selected by the Delta State University Department of Art as the 2015 Mississippi Humanities Council award recipient.

Her current work examines the role of culture in promoting sustainability, which is the subject of her publication, “Westward the Course of Route 66 Takes Its Way: Ed Ruscha and the Promised Land.”

In 1956, Ruscha set out on Route 66 from Oklahoma City to Los Angeles. The sites he encountered along the road eventually became the basis for his book, “Twenty-six Gasoline Stations,” and reappeared in paintings such as “Standard Station,” “Hotel,” “Norms, La Cienega, On Fire” and the large Hollywood sign.

The Hollywood sign not only marks the final destination, but also stands for the dreams and promises that have beckoned thousands to California.

“I want to suggest that Ruscha’s work presents a contemporary version of the myth of Manifest Destiny given visual form in the landscapes of 19th century painters such as Thomas Cole, Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze or Albert Bierstadt,” said Merryday. “Bierstadt presented the West to viewers weary of the trials of the Civil War as a beautiful and benevolent land, a paradise where one could start over again.”

Merryday completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Vienna, Austria, and earned a doctorate in art history from Florida State University. Her research also focuses on contemporary public and political art practices.

Most recently, she contributed a feminist reading of Marie Hull to Bruce Levingston’s monograph “Bright Fields: The Mastery of Marie Hull,” which was published this year by The University Press of Mississippi.

For more information, contact the Department of Art at 662-846-4720.