The School of Performing and Visual Arts at Southern Miss is inviting students, faculty and the Hattiesburg community to a nine-day program of art and creativity. Starting Feb. 15, the School of Performing and Visual Arts will present “Revelry,” 40 events of workshops, classes, guest artists and family-friendly events.
Director of the School of Performing and Visual Arts and professor of dance Stacy Reischman Fletcher, Ph.D., submitted a Partners for the Arts Grant last year in preparation for Revelry. During the fall semester, faculty and staff on the Steering Committee discussed how to provide more opportunities for students to experience art outside of an art degree.
Costume shop supervisor Kelly James-Penot has a hand in the major event alongside Reischman Fletcher.
“[We] invited leaders of our student organizations to contribute their opinions on what the student body would be excited to attend. We all took a tour of the buildings and studios our classes are housed in to offer additional inspiration,” Penot said. “When it came time to formally name the event, the steering committee submitted proposals to our director. The name Revelry was selected as it is unique and captures the festive spirit of celebration. This is one of the goals of our event, to celebrate the art that is made within the School of Visual and Performing Arts.”
One of the main events includes In Essence of Being, a free event located in the George Hurst Building’s gallery of art and design and is presented by Samantha Salazar and Susan Palmisano. Another event is the Dance Gala and Theater’s production of “Blues for an Alabama Sky.”
“On Saturday, Feb. 16, there are many hands-on workshops where students can come into our studios and create art, and on Saturday, Feb. 23, there are multiple dance master classes being held on the stage of the Performing Arts Center,” Penot said. “Students can come take a masterclass in ballet, jazz, ballroom and tap.”
“I am extremely moved by the amount of effort faculty and staff have put into the planning of the Revelry,” Reischman Fletcher said. “I also have been moved and inspired by the amount of creative energy across the school. This is really something that is a first of its kind—it is a new idea, just like the new school.”
Darian McGehee is a junior graphic design major and is working with the art department to find volunteers for the Revelry experience. McGehee is passionate about her work and proud to have it viewed by audiences.
“I find passion through art by simply making things that make me happy,” McGehee said. “To me there is no better feeling than finally showing a design off that has taken so long to create, looking at it and being so proud of it. Everything we create here in the art department is a part of us, and hopefully, we can show everyone that through Revelry.”
A full calendar of events can be found at the School of Performing and Visual Arts’ website, along with registration forms for specific events. The faculty and students involved with planning and preparing for Revelry hope to see many Southern Miss workers and students taking advantage of what is happening on campus.
photo courtesy Southern Miss Department of Art and Design