Art and design showcase illustrates student talent

Junior drawing and painting major Whitson Ramsey views a painting at the 2017 Art and Design Student Showcase on March 21, 2017.

On March 21, The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Art and Design opened its gallery’s door to spellbind visitors with student work for the 2017 Student Show.

The George Hurst Building gallery will host the exhibition until April 7.

The exhibition showcases selected works of students such as “The Fall of Night” by Zora Marie, and “Garden Head” by Whitson Ramsey, among many others.

Sophomore graphic design major Marie said she took engineering in high school. She then started to get bored with engineering because she was already doing senior level projects in her freshman year at high school. Other than graphic design, Marie said she is also practicing pyrography or the burning of wood in an artistic way and is eagerly looking forward to taking painting next semester.

Marie’s project “The Fall of Night” won first place for 3-D Design Foundation. The project’s minimalistic approach, having only been built from paper and galvanized wire, attracts the viewer instantly. Marie’s project appears to be a barbed wire at first glance. Instead of baring barbs, it features little pieces of paper that are almost shaped like flowers.

Ramsey, a junior drawing and painting major, won best in show for his painting “Garden Head.”

Ramsey said he has been drawing since the age of six. He said he followed a teacher’s instruction in joining the drawing and painting program at Southern Miss.

Whitson said he wants to have a career as an artist but that he would also enjoy teaching at a high school or college level.

“Art is a way to express myself, because I’m pretty subdued, laidback and quiet,” said sophomore graphic design major Harley Perdue. “So art is like my outward expression – in a way, I show people my personality.”

Mark Rigsby, gallery director and instructor in the department of art and design said it is always interesting to see what the students are doing as things change.

“They have some very fantastic work this year, and I’m absolutely proud of them,” Rigsby said.

For more information on the Department of Art and Design, visit its page at