Diverse MUW faculty exhibit spans artistic spectrum

September 8, 2012 6:21:36 PM



The 2012 Faculty Exhibition at Mississippi University for Women opens Wednesday, Sept. 12, in the Eugenia Summer Gallery in the Art and Design Building on campus. 


The show, which features the work of two new instructors as well as some surprises from senior faculty members, runs through Oct. 4. An opening reception is Thursday, Sept. 13, 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. 


Artists include Ian Childers, S.L. Dickey, Robert Gibson, Andy Snyder, Alexander Stelioes-Wills and Li Zheng. 






In his first faculty show, Childers, who has been a professor of ceramics for one year at MUW, will exhibit a range of work created during several years. His ceramic vessels are often elegantly shaped, amphora-like, bottle forms with exaggeratedly thin necks.  


Childers uses crystalline glazes that create smooth, reflective surfaces with intricate crystal structure patterns embedded into the glaze. The crystals spontaneously appear and grow on the surface of the vessel during firing. He also plans to include work representing installation pieces with his slip-cast skull series, which reflect his interests in tattoo and graffiti art. Childers will conduct a Gallery Talk Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 12:10 p.m. in the gallery. 




Screen printing 


Dickey, who graduated from MUW in 1990, will show a very different kind of screen print, using a four color printing process instead of spot coloring printing.  


In spot color screen printing, each color is a separate mixed ink; each ink is flat and opaque and the inks are printed in layers. In the four color process, all colors are created by combinations of yellow, cyan, magenta and black. The challenge with this process is getting the right balance between transparency and opacity.  


The theme of Dickey's prints is "Trailer Park Apocalypse," which contrasts mostly vintage images of trailers, trailer parks and residents with appropriations of renaissance and baroque paintings of the end of the world.  




Water colors 


Robert Gibson will show a wide variety of works, with special emphasis on watercolor paintings. Some are long horizontal landscapes, memories of Tennessee, which create deep space with sparing, simple means. The artist also continues the river stone series he exhibited at the last faculty show.  


As before, Gibson's stones are viewed from above, arranged naturally, and each painting is based on a particular scriptural passage. One of the major differences of these river stones paintings is that, in this year's body of work, each arrangement of stones is based in part on the human figure. Professor Gibson will also exhibit a continuation of mixed media pieces, metal working and jewelry. 






Snyder is MUW's new adjunct faculty in photography and foundations. Photographs from his graduate thesis will include large school photo prints created through grid tiling of Polaroid transfers, the process of removing a Polaroid image from its packaging and transferring it onto paper. The transfer process alters the edge of the image, sometimes distorts the image and often changes the brightness and intensity. The 2009 MUW graduate will present an Artist's Talk about his work Monday, Sept. 17, in Stringer Auditorium at 12:10 p.m. 




Graphic design 


New graphic design faculty member Li Zheng will exhibit works mostly from her graduate thesis, including website work and handmade books.  


Zheng completed her Master of Fine Arts in graphic design at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. She has participated in various exhibitions and received many awards, including an honorable mention in the 2011 Adobe Design Achievement Award held in California. Zheng's Artist Talk will be Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 12:10 p.m.  






Alexander Stelioes-Wills will show works that appeared in his solo exhibition in Meridian last year. He also will include one large work, a grid of a 256 paintings (each 4-by-4 inches), created this past summer. 


The grid will be a large Sudoku board, a continuation of work from the last faculty show, in which he exhibited four 9-by-9 Sudoku boards made of 2-inch paintings.  


In these visual versions of Sudoku, numerals are replaced with a representation (usually of a singular object); the blanks are replaced with non-objective paintings. The theme of the 16-by-16-foot work is David Foster Wallace's novel "Infinite Jest." Representations come out of the themes and settings of the novel that covers topics including tennis academies, experimental film making, drug addiction, radio rehab and espionage.  


"The Faculty Exhibition is an extremely important institution; it is part of our teaching mission and part of our outreach missions," said Gallery Director Stelioes-Wills. "The exhibitions support our teaching by creating authority, explaining our biases and demonstrating our aesthetics and values. These exhibitions also help with departmental and gallery outreach. Many community people come to the faculty show and it helps demonstrate the level of excellence practiced in the department and at MUW in general." 


The Art and Design Building and Eugenia Summer Gallery are located on the southwest corner of campus, directly east of Stark Recreation Center. Gallery hours are 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Friday.