The Department of Fine Arts at Mississippi Valley State University presents a MVSU Senior Art Exhibition, featuring Henry Amadi, Javaris Fritz, and Brandon Smith in the Johnston Gallery from April 23 to May 18, 2013. The Johnston Gallery is located on the campus in the Walter Sillers Fine Arts Building.
Henry Amadi, Javaris Fritz, and Brandon Smith are enrolled currently as art majors in the Department of Fine Arts at Mississippi Valley State University. The three artists anticipate graduating with the Bachelor of Arts degree in Art during the month of May 2013. Both Amadi and Fritz have selected Visual Communications as an emphasis, and Smith has chosen Two-Dimensional Design as an emphasis. The exhibition is a partial fulfillment for the degree requirement in art. Justin Como is the instructor of the Senior Thesis Exhibition course.
Amadi is a resident of Itta Bena where he graduated from Leflore County High School. Amadi received Outstanding Art Scholars Awards from the Department of Fine Arts at Mississippi Valley State University (2010-2012). His subject matter consists of advertisements, ads, and commercial products. Within his graphic designs, Amadi focuses on items such as deodorant, headphones, and sports drinks. He utilizes Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator as art-based computer programs. According to the artist, “My objective is to provide the audience with an ad that ties in with the product.”
Javaris Fritz is a resident of Birmingham, Alabama where he graduated from Tarrant High School. As a high school student, Fritz was a member of the National Honor Society, Secretary of the Student Government Association, and a Fox News Defensive Player of the Week. During his enrollment at Mississippi Valley State University, he was awarded a full scholarship in football, Preseason All SWAC Honors, Second Team All SWAC Honors, and Outstanding Art Scholars Award from the Department of Fine Arts. He is also a member of the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity and holds the office of Strategus within the organization.
Fritz feels that there is a shortage of Black super heroes and comic book characters. Within his digital art works, he refers to Black super heroes from the South. They are shown as portrait statistical posters utilizing Adobe Photoshop and graphic design. According to Fritz, “I developed these fictional characters to inspire my culture to create an African-American visual media.” Fritz is influenced by Stan Lee, the creator of Marvel Comics.
Among Fritz’s fictional characters are Hydra (water), Blaze (fire), Surge (lightning), and Krater (earth). Hydra, female, controls the element of water. Blaze, male, draws his power from the heat in the air. Surge, male, controls any light source and turns it into lightning. Krater, male, controls the earth around him.
Brandon Smith is a resident of Greenwood where he graduated from Amanda Elzy High School. Donald Parker, instructor of Smith at the time, influenced his approach to drawing. According to the artist, “Mr. Parker taught me to draw what I see.” Smith’s representational drawings in the exhibition are portraits of family members, rendered with the media of charcoal and pastel.
The public is invited to attend this exhibition, 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. (Friday). During holidays and semester breaks the gallery is closed.
For more information, please contact Dorothy Vaughn or Ronald Minks (Co-Directors of Johnston Gallery) at 662-254-3482.