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New Exhibit Opens at MUW

From left, Dr. Beverly Joyce, MUW associate professor of art; Kourtney Riley, senior studio arts major; and Alex Stelioes-Wills, Eugenia Summer Gallery director, install pieces of the “Intersections of Gender and Place” exhibit. (Photo by Chris Jenkins/MUW Office of Public Affairs)

COLUMBUS, Miss. – “Intersections of Gender and Place,” which features artwork by four southern women artists, opened Oct. 11 at the Eugenia Summer Gallery located on the campus of Mississippi University for Women. The community is invited to the reception Friday, Oct. 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Featured artists include Meg Aubrey, Kate Kretz, Lesley Patterson-Marx and Whitney Stansell. The exhibit is the first in a planned series based on an earlier research topic by Dr. Beverly Joyce, MUW associate professor of art, according to Alex Stelioes-Wills, gallery director.

“I am very excited about this exhibition because these are four prominent regional artists who are on trajectory to become prominent national artists. They make contemporary work that is fresh, exciting, and challenging but also accessible to a general audience,” Stelioes-Wills said. “At the same time, each artist’s body of work contains an intelligent discussion about the issues of gender and sexuality. For each of them these issues are linked with the personal–where each of them is coming from in all senses of the phrase.”

Stelioes-Wills said he was a big fan of each of the artists. “I am anticipating all of the potential interconnections between themes and imagery. This exhibition is going to be fun, witty, beautiful and challenging (even shocking for some). I hope every gets a chance to see it.”

Aubrey is an Atlanta-based painter who was born and raised in Massachusetts. She has a master of fine arts from Savannah College of Art and Design and a bachelor of fine arts from Rhode Island School of Design. She has been awarded the Hambidge Residency Award from the Fulton County Arts Council, the Encore Series Award from Savannah College of Art and Design and was selected as a finalist for the Forward Arts Emerging Artist Award for 2011. She is a professor of foundations studies at Savannah College of Art and Design in Atlanta. Her current body of work examines and deconstructs the suburban environment she lives in, pulling apart the individual elements to tell stories of daily existence.

Patterson-Marx was born in in Louisville, Ky. She has a master of fine arts in studio art from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and a bachelor of arts in fine art from Murray State University in Murray, Ky. She has taught book arts and printmaking to high school students as a part-time instructor at the University School of Nashville. Her artwork has been featured in several publications, including Readymade Magazine and New American Paintings MFA Annual. Her work has been exhibited nationally in galleries including Wendy Cooper Gallery in Madison, Wis., and Cynthia Broan Gallery in New York City. She is represented in Nashville by Tag Gallery where she shows regularly.

Stansell was born in Greenville, S.C. She received her from the University of Georgia in fiber arts and master of fine arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design-Atlanta in painting. She combines painting, drawing, fibers and printmaking to create work that explores memory, history and imagination. Her work has been reviewed in Art in America, The Atlantan, Creative Loafing, The Atlanta Journal and Constitution and the Atlanta Peach magazine’s 30th anniversary of Lucinda Bunnen’s Movers and Shakers in Georgia. She is an adjunct professor at the Art Institute of Atlanta and recently completed an artist residency at the Atlanta Printmakers Studio.

Kretz was born in Grove City, Pa. She has a master of fine arts in painting from the University of Georgia in Athens and a bachelor of fine arts in painting and drawing from Binghamton University in New York. Currently she teaches at the Montgomery College of Art and Design in Silver Spring, Md. Kretz has many national and international articles, books, catalogs and reviews to her credit including the Museum of Arts and Design in New York. Her artwork shows regularly at Hardcore Art Contemporary Space in Miami.

In talking about her research, Joyce said, “The collaborative project, `Intersections of Gender and Place’ grew out of an earlier research project I titled `Is There a Southern Voice in Feminist Art?’ Over the past several years, I have researched women artists throughout the South who focus on gender issues in their art, first to determine what constitutes feminist art today and second to discover the impact that living in the South has on the work. We have a strong tradition of Southern literature, and I wanted to find out if we had something comparable in the visual arts.”

The project will end with a large group show of about 20-30 artists projected for the 2015 Welty exhibition, which would become a traveling exhibition and book.

Stelioes-Wills said the gallery has made it a mission to promote southern women artists whenever it can and especially in Welty exhibitions.

He said, “This exhibition ties into our missions of promoting southern artists, regional artists and women artists. It also serves some of our other missions including exposing our students to sophisticated, challenging contemporary art, and bringing to Columbus prominent contemporary artists to help serve the campus and the greater community.”

“Intersections of Gender and Place” is a part of the signature Welty Series set for Oct. 18-20 to honor the university’s world-renowned alumna Eudora Welty. As a part of the series, MUW hosts the Eudora Welty Writers’ Symposium and the MUW Foundation sponsors the Welty Gala.

The show runs through Wednesday, Oct. 31. 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.