The University of Southern Mississippi Department of Art and Design began hosting its annual Student Art Show March 23 and will continue to host the event through April 8.
The art show presents 170- 180 works developed by the art and design students of Southern Miss from freshman-level to upper-level courses.
“We heavily encourage all of our students to participate because it benefits them through resumes and creates the professional atmosphere of being an artist,” said Mark Rigsby, director of the Museum of Art.
The work on display includes a variety of media such as drawings, paintings, printmaking, ceramics, sculpture, foundation projects, graphic design, web design and more.
“This experience sheds a light into the world of art through exhibition as students witness their work being portrayed in a gallery next to others,” Rigsby said.
The work included in the art show represents all of the classes taught in the art and design department.
The show encompasses almost a year’s worth of work. Students were allowed to submit pieces to the gallery starting in March 2015, and jurors selected what will be included in the show.
The 2016 jurors involved in the selection process were graphic design instructor Jeff Jones, graphic design instructor, Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College; Earnest Milsted, associate professor printmaking, Southeastern Louisiana University; Dennis Sipiorski, professor of ceramics, Southeastern Louisiana University. The jurors were not only in charge of selecting the work of student entries that will be in the show, but also give awards in multiple categories.
“I believe the jurors this year did a fantastic job when judging the pieces,” Rigsby said. “The award recipients were so deserving and they were definitely impressed with the talent we have here at Southern Miss.”
Among the many awards being announced, the Best in Show award was given to the highest scoring students. These specific awards were given to Amanda Kleinhans for Sculpture and Ceramics, Jayme Agent for Painting and Drawing and Cody Bass for Graphic Design.
“I feel so blessed to have been awarded Best in Show and second place in printmaking. Many of my classmates had impressive work in this show and I’m so happy for all of their accomplishments,” said senior art major Jayme Agent.
Agent said it was her last student showcase, which gave the award special meaning to her.
Chair of the Department of Art and Design, Howard Paine, enforced why the event is so significant for art and design students.
“I repeatedly remind my faculty
and staff through emails and meetings that we must continue to motivate students to get involved,” he said.
He said the experience of students sending in work to a juried exhibition helps develop professional skills and life lessons such as accepting rejection.