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Art Department Annual Faculty Exhibition to Run Oct. 17-Nov. 14

Delta State University’s Art Department will present its annual faculty exhibition Oct. 17-Nov. 14 at Studio 230, 110B S. Court St., Cleveland. The opening reception will take place Oct. 17 from 5 to 7 PM.  

DSU’s art faculty are practicing artists, designers, and filmmakers who regularly exhibit in venues across the nation. The show features work created over the past year.

Assistant Professor Ted Fisher and Visiting Professor Jesse Ryan Brown both take a documentary approach.

Fisher explored photography, digital media, installation art, and curatorial work before turning to filmmaking. This background “complicated his approach to filmmaking” as the artist put it. It also taught him that “documentary is not a parade of fascinating encounters, but a revelation of a filmmaker’s wrestling match with the simple event in front of the lens.”

Brown will show a series of photographs that feature an abandoned farm he came across in North Carolina. For Brown, “The house, inhabited only by objects and memories, acts as a living time capsule of a family whose way of life was never digitized.” He explains that with time, stories become clouded. He regards his role as a witness who captures and preserves these memories.

Associate Professor Ky Johnston also explores memories in paintings based on experiences from his past and the personal memories he attaches to them. Johnston presents them in such a way that audiences can relate these experiences and memories to their own.

Professor Cetin Oguz, Visiting Instructor Nathan Pietrykowski, and Assistant Professor Robyn Wall have been interested in the associations that places carry.

Oguz has created a series of paintings of Jones Bayou, which passes under his studio in downtown Cleveland. According to Oguz, the bayou changes every day, rising and falling, expanding and contracting. “While painting and witnessing the daily transformation of the bayou, I am more attached to the present moment while distancing myself from the anxieties of the future,” he said. “My paintings are mental and physical interpretations of the scenery that I witness. They are transformative records of my engagement with time and place.”

Pietrykowski likes to take walks around town and document his excursions through photographs, notes, and drawings that he later collages together to construct narratives that examine the psychogeography of place.

Wall is a printmaker whose work explores the personal associations that surroundings carry, whether landscapes or structures. At the same, she makes viewers aware that memories can distort and recreate their images of these places.

Department Chair Michael Stanley and Associate Professor Michaela Merryday are both interested in social and political issues.

Stanley will display two new sculptures that address social, political, and economic disparities. Stanley acknowledges that “these issues are also incredibly complex and it is difficult to filter out the truth. Instead of trying to find the answers to these issues, I am reframing them and posing the question to my audience. Truth is only true if we believe it to be so.”

Merryday’s research interests focus on sustainability and the role of culture in promoting sustainability. She is showing jewelry made from wood and stone dust waste produced by furniture making and sculpture classes at DSU.

Assistant Professor Kayla Selby employs a combination of digital and traditional media to explore interactions and the pressure to appease others in the current social landscape.

Like Fisher, Visiting Assistant Professor Thomas Rasheed has a diverse background that includes painting, graphic design, illustration, and digital media. Rasheed creates high-contrast photo-realistic imagery.

Studio 230 is open Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 1-5 PM.

For more information, contact the Art Department at 662-846-4720, visit, or follow the Art Department on Facebook.