The Starkville Area Arts Council (SAAC) is excited to announce a Fall Juried exhibit titled " The Light that Persists: Mississippi Artists in 2020 - SAAC Juried Exhibition". This hybrid exhibition is installed in and hosted by the MSU Virtual Arts Center Gallery and will be available for virtual viewing as well. Guest Juror Turry M. Flucker, Art Collections Director and Curator at Tougaloo College, selected more works by local and regional artists curated from submissions to the #CDAF2020 Juried Arts Competition.
"An exhibition such as this not only provides artists with greater visibility in the state, it also offers us a glimpse into the art-making process during a global pandemic and the Black Lives Matter Movement," Flucker wrote in an accompanying statement to the Exhibition. "It is my hope that this exhibition offers the viewer a provocative experience of one historian and curator’s vision of contemporary art in Mississippi."
"Although we were unable to host #CDAF2020, we are very excited to find a silver lining with the Juried Arts submissions in creating this exhibit," says SAAC Executive Director John Bateman. "This also gives us a chance to explore alternative programming, and Lori Neuenfeldt with the MSU Department of Art has been an extremely valuable collaborating partner in this aspect."
Starting August 28, this free exhibit will be on display at the MSU Visual Arts Center, 808 University Drive in Starkville, during regular hours, 1-6 pm weekdays, and Saturdays 1-4 pm. A VIRTUAL version will also be available on SAAC's website through www.starkvillearts.net. The installation will be available for viewing August 28 - September 18 and the virtual exhibit will run until further notice. Works are for sale, with 80% of the proceeds going to the artist.
Visitors and staff must wear masks at all times in the gallery, and masks can be provided upon request. Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU art instructor and gallery director, said the VAC and other campus art galleries are professionally cleaned and sanitized on a regular basis, with enhanced measures according to recommended health protocols. In accordance with physical distancing guidelines, admittance to the VAC Gallery will be limited to 10 people. Visitors are asked to be mindful of traffic flow when entering and exiting the building. “We also encourage frequent use of hand sanitizing stations that are placed throughout the gallery,” Neuenfeldt said.
For more information on the Mississippi State’s Department of Art exhibits, please visit https://www.caad.msstate.edu/exhibitions
#starkvillearts #AiPP #JuriedExhibition #TurryFlucker
The planters along Main Street in downtown Starkville have received a fresh coat of paint, thanks to Starkville Main Street Association, the City of Starkville, and the Starkville Area Arts Council, along with funding from the Mississippi Main Street Association.
Coordinated through SAAC with artist Graham Carraway, the project included volunteers from Starkville High School, Starkville Academy, Henderson Ward Stewart, MSU Department of Art, SAAC, and the community. Subject to social distancing requirements, volunteers worked for nearly three days after initial delays caused by Tropical Storm Cristobal. The second round of work was completed by Carraway, who created the designs for the planters including elements inspired by architectural features along Main Street.
Other public art projects are in development for the community, some of which are planned in collaboration with Alex Bostic (SAAC Board Member) and Jenna Altomonte, both faculty in MSU's Department of Art, which created a studio mural class this past Spring. Although the class was impacted by COVID-19, SAAC and MSU are excited to collaborate and engage local college artists.
"I immediately fell in love with the idea! I think anytime you can add something different or interesting to a downtown you should," says Alaina Prentice, Chair of the Starkville Main Street Association and Owner of Merle Norman Luna Bella. "Public art is supposed to be a conversation starter and eye catching. I think the SMSA Board and the SAAC were able to accomplish this with the bright bold colors. Hopefully the planters will cause people to stop and look, and maybe pop into a local retail store or restaurant as well!"
"I believe that art makes our lives better and the planters' new colors add vibrancy to downtown. I look forward to more projects that create a sense of place and fun for our downtown area," says Mayor Lynn Spruill.
"Public art is perhaps the most complicated project we have attempted. It's like herding cats and dogs and zebras and elephants and butterflies into a room and agreeing on what pizza to order that everyone will eat... and like. Everyone seems to want public art, yet no one agrees on what's best. But, that's what makes it a worthwhile challenge," says SAAC E.D. John Bateman. "For this project, I owe tremendous gratitude to art faculty from Starkville Public Schools, Starkville Academy, and MSU's Department of Art. Not only do they provide great support, but they're the ones teaching and building our local talent base. I can't wait to see how public art here gets better, as we learn what works and what doesn't."
To view pictures and other completed murals, along with information on each project, participating volunteers, and sponsors, please visit www.starkvegasart.org.
If you are interested in supporting public art in the community, please contact SAAC or visit www.starkvillearts.net to volunteer or donate.
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