Artwork of Sami Austin on Display at NEMCC
Date(s) - 10/17/2013-11/27/2013
8:00 am-3:00 pm
BOONEVILLE, Miss.– Artwork of Columbus, Miss. native Sami Austin is on display through November 27 in Northeast Mississippi Community College’s Anderson Hall Art Gallery on the Booneville campus. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. until 3 p.m.
Austin is the youngest daughter in her family. She discovered her ability to draw as a child when she taught herself to draw by watching her sister in the drawing room their mother created.
Later at Lee High School in Columbus art classes with MacArthur Dawkins were her favorite. She studied at Mississippi University for Women under Professors Larry Feeney, Tom Nawrocki and David Frank. There she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in printmaking, drawing and painting, as well as taking home awards for Best Senior Artist and Best of Show at the State Collegiate Show in Jackson.
Austin’s sculptures and paintings have much movement and color, and usually employ a figure to convey the emotional message. She taught the first “Art in the Park” program through the Columbus Arts Council and Columbus Lowndes Recreation Authority, teaching children art history and other various art projects. During this time she entered art shows and continued her portrait work, many of which are owned by various celebrities.
One commissioned collection is entitled “Gospel in Oil” and includes five oil paintings which depict the life of Christ. Another ongoing project which is dear to her heart is the use of murals to transform the Mark Mitchell Children’s Shelter. With no grant funding available, Austin sold clothes in consignment shops to fund her paint supplies, and transformed the bare bedroom walls of the shelter into the Castle Room, the Ship Room and the Countryside Room. Two of her art students helped her paint the Castle Room, her favorite, which gives the children a fairy tale world to live in, if just for a moment. It was inspired by an Englishman who wanted to use Austin’s art to help sick children. The other rooms are still in completion pending her mother’s total recovery.
Austin’s work hangs in collections across the country. Her most recent favorite is the bass guitar project she painted for Ian Evans of Lynyrd Skynyrd. Her best work evokes love and compassion, the fuel for her expression. Without these, she does not consider her piece a success.