University of Mississippi

Philip Jackson

Associate Professor of Art
Painting and Drawing

MFA, Bowling Green State University
BFA, Columbus College of Art & Design


The tenor feature of Philip R. Jackson’s work is his ability to take the common object and elevate it to an object of wonder. Jackson’s still life paintings have a pervasive sense of classicism in his deftly controlled and elegant arrangements, imbuing them with heightened worth and poetic presence.

An emerging force in contemporary realist painting, Philip R. Jackson’s work has been shown in many national and international juried, group, and solo exhibitions in more than nineteen states, is part of the permanent collections of art museums in Evansville and Fort Wayne, Indiana, and is in over thirty private collections nationwide.

His still life paintings have been featured in a number of premiere magazines, including, Art in AmericaSouthwest Art, American Art Collector, and twice featured in American Artist, first as a cover story and recently in their Highlights issue. Jackson has received numerous awards for his paintings, in 2001, he received an international juried fellowship from the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation in Montreal, Canada, and in 2008, he received an individual artist grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission, and a faculty research grant from The University of Mississippi. He recently celebrated his first major survey of paintings as the Martha and Merritt DeJong Memorial Artist-in-Residence at the Evansville Museum of Art in Evansville, Indiana.

Jackson received his BFA from the Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, Ohio and his MFA from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio, and in 2001, he attended a summer study at (SACI) Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. His work is represented by the McMurtrey Gallery in Houston, Texas and the Hammond Harkins Gallery in Columbus, Ohio. Jackson is an Associate Professor of Art at The University of Mississippi in Oxford where he currently teaches painting.

Durant Thompson

Professor of Art

MFA, Louisiana State University
BFA, The University of Tennessee


Durant Thompson is an Associate Professor of sculpture in the Department of Art at the University of Mississippi. In 1997, Durant received a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and in 2001 he earned an MFA in Sculpture from Louisiana State University. He has also worked at The Johnson Atelier School of Technical Sculpture in New Jersey and at the University of Southern Mississippi as a technician and instructor before accepting his current position.

Durant has been actively showing at exhibitions across the region over the past decade. His exhibition resume includes group or solo shows at The Seventeenth Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC, the Fourth Outdoor Sculpture Biennial at Delta State University in Cleveland, MS, Art In Public Places Knoxville 2010 Exhibition and Competition, the 6th Annual AAC National Show Exhibition at the Atlanta Artist’s Center & Gallery, the Charles Hook Sculpture Garden Competition at The 621 Gallery in Tallahassee, FL, the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, MO, Space 301 in Birmingham, AL, Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, LA and The National Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis, TN. Current and future exhibits include Sculpture Salmagundi XV at the Maria V. Howard Arts Center in Rocky Mount, NC, the Hattiesburg Train Depot Gallery in Hattiesburg, MS, the ULM Sculpture Park at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, Art In Public Places Knoxville 2011 Exhibition and Competition in Knoxville, TN and the Bi-State Art Competition at the Meridian Museum of Art in Meridian, MS.

Recently Durant participated in national conferences giving panel presentations at the Southeastern College Arts Conference in New Orleans, LA and Charleston, WV. He has been the panel moderator for discussions at the 5th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in 2006 at Telford, England and the 6th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in 2010 at Kidwelly, Wales.
This past year Durant was asked to participate on the steering committees for the 2011 National Conference on Cast Iron Art at Sloss Furnace National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, AL and the upcoming 7th International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in 2014.

Durant has given lectures on his work at Northwest Missouri State University, Jackson State University, University of Mississippi Museum, the University of Louisiana Monroe, the University of Southern Mississippi, the University of Tennessee and Louisiana State University. He has also conducted workshops at the National Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis, TN, the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS, the Keen Foundry Symposium in Houston, TX and the Johnson Atelier School of Technical Sculpture in Mercerville, NJ.

This past summer Durant was awarded a 2011 Mississippi Arts Commission Fellowship through funds from the National Endowment for the Arts.  He was also awarded best in show at Knoxville’s Emporium Center for the Art’s Nexus Exhibition in 2011 which was juried by well-known Chattanooga sculptor John Henry.

Virginia Rougon Chavis

Professor of Art
Graphic Design/Web Design

MFA, Savannah College of Art & Design
BA, The University of Mississippi



Virginia is a designer, artist, educator and lover of all things printed. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she has been a part of the faculty in the Department of Art & Art History since January 2002. She earned her MFA in graphic design from Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia, where she honed her teaching skills in the classroom, and refined her design aesthetic as a freelancer.

Working with contemporary technology and historical letterpress equipment, Virginia’s approachable works on paper push the limits between fine art and graphic design by combining text with metaphorical imagery. She gathers inspiration from routine life experiences and looks for the irony in mundane situations, which are portrayed through the use of sarcasm and play on words. Symbols such as insects, toys or machines can be found to represent relatable individuals, emotions or events. The work generally combines digital and traditional printmaking processes, and often mixed media.

In 2010, she was able to merge her love of design and typography with the handmade through letterpress printing while studying at Penland School of Crafts. She brought this knowledge back to the University of Mississippi, where she has incorporated letterpress classes into the design and art curriculum.

Virginia is active in the art community and participates in national and international exhibitions. She has been awarded several grants and served as a consultant for design education in surrounding state programs. She has also been recognized for her leadership at The University of Mississippi as an SEC-ALDP Fellow, and has held AIGA chair positions in the Memphis and New Orleans chapters. She has presented her work at the Southeastern College Art Conference and various AIGA events. One of her typography assignments was published in Ilene Strizver’s, Type Rules!: The Designer’s Guide to Professional Typography. She participates in professional organizations such as SGCI, CAA, SECAC and AIGA.

Her work has been shown in exhibitions/publications including: HOW Magazine, Mighty Tieton Warehouse, Tieton, WA, Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design (Wroclaw, Poland), Five Points Gallery (Torrington, CT), Lessedra Art Gallery (Sofia, Bulgaria), The Brand Library & Art Center (Glendale, CA), Jones-Carter Gallery (Lake City, SC), Northwest Art Center: Walter Piehl Gallery, (Minot State University, Minot, ND), Washington Printmakers (Leesburg, VA), SUMEI National Print Exhibition (Sumei Multidisciplinary Art Center, Newark, NJ), Southside Art Gallery (Oxford, MS), Los Angeles Center For Digital Art (Los Angeles, CA), Period Gallery, (Lincoln, NE), Gallery AD (Savannah, GA), Slocumb Galleries (East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN), Abercrombie Gallery (Lake Charles, LA), Farmington Museum (Farmington, NM), Brooklyn Art Library (Brooklyn, NY), among others.