Mississippi Valley State University welcomes back all alumni and friends to celebrate its 2012 Homecoming Week: “Too Legit To Quit”. In conjunction with this week’s events, the Department of Fine Arts is sponsoring an MVSU Alumni Homecoming Art Exhibition in the Johnston Gallery from October 1 through October 26.
The community is invited to a reception on Friday, October 5 from 5 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The Johnston Gallery is located on the campus in the Walter Sillers Fine Arts Building.
The artists’ styles are unique, diverse, and can capture the hearts of an audience from different backgrounds and aesthetics. Some viewers may find delight with simple design. Others may be fascinated with decorative design. And still an additional group may prefer the more realistic images of Folk Art. Whatever the interest happens to be, all of these approaches can be found in this exhibit. The techniques include painting, mixed media, collage, digital photography, and an assemblage (an MDF dollhouse).
The featured artists are:
Jacoby Cornell, a resident of Greenwood, Miss., graduated in May 2012 with an emphasis in Visual Communication. Currently, he is employed at Viking Range Corporation in Greenwood.
Cornell’s art works consist of greeting cards that he describes as being offensive and more suitable for a mature audience. According to Cornell, “They provide rude gestures for the purpose of expressing humor among viewers. The figure of speech and messages conveyed are not personal feelings that I hold against anyone, but created specifically to entertain my audience, especially for those who may be concerned.” The cards focus on various occasions such as Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, Grandparents Day, graduation, birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries. They were created by using Photoshop.
Frank Hardmon, a resident of Greenville, Miss., graduated in 1966 with an emphasis in Art Education. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico and an Associate of Arts degree from Coahoma Junior College in Clarksdale. He pursued additional study at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (studying drawing under the late and famous Charles White) and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. He was retired as an Associate Professor of Art from MVSU, but still teaches art courses part-time at the MVSU Greenville Higher Education Center. Hardmon is a recipient of the HEADWAE teacher’s award.
Hardmon’s art works include collages that focus on some of the social and political issues of today. Within magazine and newspaper clippings, an audience can observe themes dealing with presidents, politics, civil rights leaders, world wars, crime, terrorism, education, voting, religion and art among others.
Wysheshe Jones, a resident of Memphis, Tenn., graduated in 2006 with an emphasis in General Art. She also holds a minor in Early Childhood Education. Currently, she is pursuing a Masters in Teaching and Learning (Online) at Argosy University in Philadelphia, Penn. She teaches two year olds at Klassy Kids Academy in Memphis.
With mixed media she applies acrylic paint and marker as a foundation and attaches nature’s leaves and pebbles as an overlay. The decorative effect of the zebra and giraffe motifs creates a visual delight.
John McCall, a resident of Greenwood, Miss., attended MVSU as an art student and plans to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in art with an emphasis in Visual Communication. Currently, he serves as one of the graphic designers in the Department of Communications and Marketing at the University.
McCall’s art works include two digital posters, one entitled “Martin Luther King Convocation” (an award winning piece) and the other entitled “An MVSU Alumni Homecoming Art Exhibition.”
Lucy Page, a resident of Itta Bena, Miss., graduated in 1977 with an emphasis in Painting and a minor in Special Education. She received a certification to teach gifted special education from Mississippi State University in Starkville. Currently, she teaches art at Leflore County High School in Itta Bena, Miss. She has also taught courses in special education and elementary education at St. Francis Elementary School in Greenwood.
Page’s art works capture the legacy of decades of traditional culture that is rooted in the Mississippi Delta home life and its rich soil. The audience can observe in one oil painting her mother’s country-style kitchen with its so-called conveniences, including an old fashion wood stove, a wood table, a wood pantry, and wood walls. Within a watercolor painting, the ancestral reality of a man sits at leisure in a chair on an aged porch and is accompanied by an outdated washing machine and partially broken planks. Another oil painting of a still life reminds us that Thanksgiving is approaching. We can think about reaping the labors of a prosperous harvest (a basket of shucked corn, fresh and canned peaches in a jar, white potatoes, tomatoes, and chili peppers).
Jocelyn Redmond, a resident of Memphis, Tenn., graduated in 1993 with an emphasis in Visual Communication. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Computer Art from the Memphis College of Art. Currently, she is teaching art at Hillcrest High School in Whitehaven, Tenn.
Redmond’s contribution is a unique dollhouse that is designed from scratch for adult collectors. According to the artist, “It is NOT a toy. The creation of the dollhouse was inspired by real-life buildings in downtown Memphis on 390 Main Street. The coffee shop gets its color inspiration from another building in the same area, Buff City Cafe. The bakery on the street level is named after my late grandmother, Emmaline and Emma’s for short. The second floor coffee shop, referred to as a speak easy back in the day, thus acquired the name Coffee Bar.”
The dollhouse is constructed from medium-intensity fiber-board, a blend of sawdust and glue. Working lights are installed and were wired by the artist. She constructed most of the furniture, streetlamps (battery operated), signs, awnings, and trees. The people, doors, windows, interior lights, and food were purchased online.
Dantonio Stanley, a resident of Memphis, Tenn., graduated in 2006 with an emphasis in General Art. He holds a Master of Arts in Teaching from Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Ar. Currently, he teaches art to high school students within the Memphis City Schools. He was nominated Teacher of the Year in 2008.
Most of Stanley’s art works embraces the rhythm, grace, and beauty of the female form. Even though his designs are simple, the females are quite sexy. A similarity in all his works is the use of commercial design, composed with an interaction of abstraction and pure color. The foundation for his colors can be found within a mixed media, consisting of acrylic, spray paint, and oil pastel. Some zebra motifs, stripes of color, embellishments, and iconographic images are common. In one piece, a man’s head is adorned with an Egyptian royal crown (an icon) to represent the fraternity Alpha Phi Alpha, Inc. The symbolism of distinction between an Alpha man and an Egyptian king is pronounced and reinforced. In another piece, the varied number 6 (an icon) symbolizes cancer awareness among women.
Tamika Williams, a resident of Huntsville, Ala., graduated in 1997 with an emphasis in Visual Communication. She received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Computer Art from the Memphis College of Art. Currently, she is a member of the faculty at Alabama A & M University where she teaches courses in Graphic Design. She has also served on the Communication Design Faculty at Louisiana Tech University in Ruston where she taught courses in Computer Art.
Williams’ art works consist of digital photographs of landscapes and nature scenes. Her choice of subjects are not preplanned or selected for a specific sight but photographed spontaneously as she discovers an underlying visual appeal, dominated by what she feels has artistic beauty.
The exhibition is open to public and free of charge. The gallery hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday.
For more information, please contact Dorothy Vaughn (Co-Director of Johnston Gallery) or Alphonso Sanders (Department Chair) at 662-254-3482 or 254-3483.