Andrew Harrison

About Andrew Harrison

Arts Commission Supports MSU Center with Grant

STARKVILLE, Miss.–Mississippi State’s T.K. Martin Center is receiving another grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission to enable individuals with severe physical disabilities to express themselves through art.

Officially known as the T.K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability, the university facility works to provide comprehensive, multi-disciplinary evaluations to remove limitations through the application of assistive technology. Enabling individuals to participate in educational, vocational and leisure activities to the fullest degree they choose is its primary mission.

As have others in previous years, this year’s arts commission award of $3,800 supports “EXPRESS Yourself!,” the Martin Center’s widely recognized art project.

“The creative economy has never been more vibrant than it is today in the communities across Mississippi,” said Sallye Killebrew, MAC’s former interim executive director.

Killebrew said her agency was honored to assists the Martin Center and other organizations “to continue their work of reinforcing the value of the arts and the role they play in creative place-making and economic development.”

The award to the Martin Center is part of $1.27 million in grants the arts commission is providing during 2013-14.

Created in 1968, MAC is a state agency charged with providing grants in support of programs that enhance communities, assisting artists and arts organizations, promoting the arts in education, and celebrating Mississippi’s rich cultural heritage. For more, visit www.arts.state.ms.us.

The Martin Center is a campus memorial to Theodore K. Martin, the land-grant institutions’ vice president from 1966-84 who led in making campus facilities as accessible as possible to all. His tireless efforts were recognized in 1972 when MSU was named a national leader in efforts to accommodate and assimilate students with disabilities.

“EXPRESS Yourself!” uses the techniques of artistic realization technologies to provide a means “for Mississippians with the most severe disabilities to feel the power of self-expression through art,” according to center officials.

Works by participating artists continuously are featured in the center’s Martha Lipsey Art Gallery. Original paintings, prints, notecards and T-shirts also are available for purchase at the campus building located at the intersection of Hardy and Morrill roads.

The all-caps EXPRESS in the program’s title is an acronym for Experiencing Painting as Recreation and Express the Spirit within Yourself.