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New Art Show Opening at MUW

COLUMBUS, Miss. – The 2012 Faculty Exhibition at Mississippi University for Women will open Wednesday, Sept. 12 in the Eugenia Summer Gallery.

The show, which will feature the work of two new instructors as well as some surprises from senior faculty members, runs through Thursday, Oct. 4. The 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.

Childers has been a professor of ceramics for one year at MUW, and this will be his first faculty show. He is including a range of work created over the past several years. His ceramic vessels are often elegant shaped, amphora-like, bottle forms with exaggeratedly thin necks. Childers uses crystalline glazes that create incredibly smooth and reflective surfaces with intricate crystal structure patterns embedded into the glaze. The crystals spontaneously appear and grow on the surface of the vessel during the firing. He also plans on showing pieces representing his installation pieces with his slip-cast skull series, which reflect his interests and roots in tattoo and graffiti art. Childers will conduct a Gallery Talk on Tuesday, Oct. 2 at 12:10 p.m. in the Eugenia Summer Gallery.

Dickey, who graduated from MUW in 1990, will show a very different kind of screen print, using the 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 four color process screen printing, all the colors are created by combination of yellow, cyan, magenta and black. The challenge with this process is getting the right balance between transparency and opacity. The theme of the 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.

Gibson is once again showing a large variety of works but this year he is putting special emphasis on watercolor paintings. Some of the watercolors will be long horizontal landscapes, memories of Tennessee, which create deep space with sparing, simple means. He is also continuing the river stone series that he exhibited at the last faculty show. Like the last showing of these works, the 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 is also showing a continuation of mixed media pieces, metal working and jewelry.

Snyder is the new adjunct faculty member in photography and foundations. He will show photographs from his graduate thesis, which 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 of the image. The 2009 MUW graduate will present an Artist Talk about his work on Monday, Sept. 17 in the Stringer Auditorium at 12:10 p.m.

Zheng is the new graphic design faculty member. She will exhibit works mostly from her graduate thesis including website work and handmade books. Zheng completed her master of fine arts in graphic design from 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, a national competition held in California. Zheng’s Artist Talk will take place on Tuesday, Sept. 25 at 12:10 p.m. in the Stringer Auditorium.

Stelioes-Wills is showing works that appeared in his solo exhibition in Meridian last year. He also is showing one large work, a grid of 256 small paintings (each 4”x4”), that was created this past summer. The grid will be a large Sudoku board, a continuation of work from the last faculty show where he exhibited four 9×9 Sudoku boards made of 2” paintings. In these visual versions of Sudoku, the numerals are replaced with a representation (usually of a singular object); the blanks are replaced with non-objective paintings. In the 16×16 puzzle, the theme of the work is David Foster Wallace’s novel “Infinite Jest.” All of the 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. The exhibitions support our teaching by creating authority, explaining our biases and demonstrating our aesthetics and values,” said Stelioes-Wills, gallery director. “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 Eugenia Summer Gallery is located on the southwest corner of the MUW campus, directly east of the Stark Recreation Center. The gallery is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.