University of Mississippi

Sheri Fleck Rieth

Associate Professor of Art

MFA, Memphis College of Art
BFA, University of Kansas




Sheri Fleck Rieth has a BFA in Drawing and Painting from the University of Kansas and an MFA in Studio Arts from Memphis College of Art. Rieth worked for ten years as a puppeteer/artist with Puck Players Puppet Theatre in Bloomington, Indiana and taught at Watkins Institute of Art and Design in Nashville, TN, Memphis College of Art and the University of Memphis. She has shown in local, national and international exhibitions and in 2004 was awarded an Artist’s Fellowship by the Mississippi Arts Commission. In 2007 she was the Outstanding Liberal Arts Teacher of the Year at The University of Mississippi. Her work is included in the collections at the Meridian Museum of Art, Meridian, MS; Mobile Museum of Art, Mobile, AL; Opryland Hotel Third Tennessee, Nashville, TN and Watkins College of Art and Design, Nashville, TN. She is a member of the Southern Graphic Council (SGC), Southeastern College Art Conference (SECAC), the College Art Association (CAA), and National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA). Rieth has served on the State Board of the Tennessee Association of Crafts Artists, is a reader for Educational Testing Services Advance Placement Studio Arts and is a Board Member of Number Inc. independent journal of the arts. Her work encompasses drawing, painting, book arts, and a wide variety of printmaking techniques. She is an Associate Professor of Art at The University of Mississippi.



Jere Allen

Faculty Emeritus

MFA, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

BFA, Ringling School of Art



An internationally known artist whose work is best described as figurative, he concerns himself with the representation of political and social realities. He is included in Who’s Who in American Art and studied on a Group Studies Fulbright Grant in Costa Rica, Central America, received the 1993 Visual Art Award of the Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters, and an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

His most recent exhibition is a one person show at the Contemporary Art Center of Peoria, Illinois. In October, 2004, he will exhibit during the “Art for Art Sake” weekend at the Carol Robinson Gallery in New Orleans. He also exhibited in Outward Bound: American Art on the Brink of the 21st Century. The exhibition is now traveling to Bejing and Shanghi, China; Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam; Jakarta, Indonesia; and Singapore.

His resume includes a number of solo exhibits at such notable institutes and galleries as the Meridian International Center, Washington, D.C.; Stadtsche Galerie Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany; Der Kunstkreis Hameln, Germany; Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg, Germany; National Academy of Sciences, Washington, D.C.; S/R Gallery, Beverly Hills, California; and Carol Robinson Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana. His work has been shown in 35 states including exhibits inthe Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (1979-1981); Images 84, Louisiana World Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana; American Drawings II, Portsmouth Community Arts Center, Portsmouth, Virginia; WEST 79 and 80 / Art and Law, Minnesota Museum of Art, St. Paul, Minnesota; and 36th Annual Exhibition of Contemporary American Painting, Society of the Four Arts, Palm Beach, Florida.

Allen’s work hangs in such permanent collections as Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, Oregon; City of Hameln, Germany; Huntsville Museum of Alabama and Robert I. Kahn Gallery of the Temple Emanu El in Houston, Texas. He is represented by Carol Robinson Gallery at 840 Napoleon Blvd, New Orleans, Louisiana 70115.

Dr. Edward Sisson

Faculty Emeritus

Meso-American Art & Art History

Ph.D Harvard University
MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
BA, The University of Mississippi 



As a graduate student at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and Harvard University, I conducted research on the Maya at Palenque, Chiapas and on the Olmec in the Western Chontalpa, Tabasco. Prior to returning to the University of Mississippi, my undergraduate institution; I was engaged in teaching and contract archaeology at the University of Utah and Curator at the R.S. Peabody Foundation in Andover, Massachusetts. As Curator my primary responsibility was research on the Late Postclassic Period in the Tehuacan Valley, Puebla, Mexico. I also taught an introductory anthropology course for the high school students at Phillips Academy and took them on trips of discovery to Mexico. At the University of Utah, my primary responsibility was overseeing contract archaeological research. Currently I teach introductory courses in anthropology for lower division undergraduates and upper division courses on the Maya, Aztec, and Mesoamerican Art History. I consider the latter my area of special expertise. I enjoy teaching the former because I believe it important for undergraduates to be exposed to the rational, diverse cultural practices of other peoples with world views different from their own. I hope that the experience will challenge them to critically examine their own values and assumptions about the world.

My research focuses on the Late Postclassic Period in the Tehuacan Valley, Puebla, Mexico and the local consequences of that valley’s incorporation into the Aztec Empire and subsequently into New Spain.

Bill Beckwith

Faculty Emeritus


MFA, The University of Mississippi 
BFA, The University of Mississippi




William N. Beckwith was born in Greenville, MS in 1952. In 1966 at the age of fourteen he became an apprentice in the studio of Leon Z. Koury. Mr. Koury had studied with Malvina Hoffman in New York who had studied with Auguste Rodin in Paris.

From 1970 to 1976 Mr. Beckwith attended the University of Mississippi earning a B.F.A. and a M.F.A. in sculpture under the direction of Mr. Charles M. Gross. He built a working bronze foundry and received a Graduate Teaching Assistantship in sculpture from 1974-1976.

Beckwith owned and operated Vulcan Studios & Foundry, Mississippi’s first commercial, fine arts, bronze foundry from 1976-1986. While casting for other sculptors he continued to produce gallery work, commissions and show his bronzes in numerous one man and group show including the Frank Marino Gallery and Splashlight Studios in New York, the Louisiana World’s Fair in New Orleans and at the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

Public commissions by Beckwith include life-size or larger monuments of Elvis Presley, B.B. King, William Faulkner, Mr. George Merrick- founder of Coral Gables, FL, Mr. Earl Wilson- founder of Mississippi Methodist Rehabilitation Hospital, Mr. L.Q.C. Lamar, Jefferson Davis, Chief Piomingo– Chickasaw. His “Flagbearer for the Mississippi 11th” was the last monument to be installed at the Gettysburg National Military Park in Gettysburg, PA.

Beckwith’s portrait busts include Jim Henson, Eudora Welty, Tennessee Williams, Richard Wright, Herman Melville, Congressman Jamie Whitten, Governor William Waller, Mr. Thomas M. Purvis, founder of Purvis, MS, Al Key- aviator, Mr. Stewart Brumfield- Chairman of the Board State Bank & Trust Co., Dr. Manard Quimby, and Dr. Tom and Carol McGee.

William Beckwith’s work in included in private collections throughout the nation as well as fifteen permanent collections including the Mississippi Museum of Art. He has been a guest speaker at the Lauren Rogers Museum of Art, The Mississippi Museum of Art, E.E. Bass Cultural Center, and featured as the keynote speaker at the Mississippi Art Educator’s Association. His teaching experience includes Beginning, Intermediate and Advanced Sculpture, Advanced Head Modeling, Figure Drawing, Perspective Drawing, Beginning Drawing, and 3-D Design.

He is included in the publications: “The Sculpture Reference” and “Sculpture: Technique, Form, Content” both by Arthur Williams, “The Mississippi Story” by Patti Carr Black, “Casting Call” by Hank Burdine, and “More than Land or Sky: Art from Appalachia” National Museum of Art, Smithsonian Press.

Beckwith currently lives with his wife and son in Taylor, Mississippi where he operates a sculpture studio and produces portrait commissions, public monuments and personal work. A new 9,850 square foot studio is currently under construction.


Please see:
— The Sculpture Reference, Illustrated, by Arthur Williams, 2005

— Art in Mississippi – 1720 -1980, by Patti Carr Black, 1998

— Sculpture: Technique, Form, Content by Arthur Williams, 1989


Paula Temple

Professor of Art
Graphic Design, Watercolor, Figure Drawing 

MFA, University of Tennessee
BFA, University of Memphis



Paula Temple has worked as an exhibiting artist throughout the United States, Europe, Central America and the Eastern Caribbean (Grenada and St. Lucia on a Peace Corps contract). She has been on the faculty at the University of Mississippi since 1985 and is a Professor of Art at the University of Mississippi. She teaches Graphic Design, Figure Drawing, and Watercolor and has also led study abroad projects and artist-in-residencies in Costa Rica, Cortona, Italy; Sicily and London, England.

Her active exhibition record includes over 30 solo exhibitions. She was included in the Universidad Veritas, San Jose, Costa Rica; The International Museum of Surgical Science in Chicago; American Embassy in Bridgetown, Barbados; Louisiana Museum of Arts and Sciences in Baton Rouge and The University of the West Indies in St. Georges, Grenada; and the Centennial Exhibition Artists Who Teach, in Washington, DC. Her work appears in the Best of WatercolorPortrait Inspirations and The Best of Watercolor 3 by Rockford Press.

Awards include:
Artist of the Year, Mississippi Committee of the National Museum for Women in the Arts, Washington, DC
Eli Lily Award for Oncology on Canvas Competition
The Artist of the Year Award from the Wings Cancer Foundation, Memphis, Tennessee
MIAL (Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters) Award in Visual Arts
Three Mississippi Arts Commission Fellowship awards in Visual Arts
The American Cancer Society commission for an artwork commemorating the 30th anniversary of the “Reach to Recovery” program with a triptych oil painting “Life, Grace and Spirit” which appears on the cover of the recent publication of the American Cancer Society’s A Breast Cancer Journey and is permanently located in the American Cancer Society’s headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia. She toured the United States with this artwork with appearances in Boston, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Orlando, and New York with an appearance on the Rosie O’Donnell show.

Gallery affiliations are: 
Carol Robinson Gallery, New Orleans, Louisiana,
Harrington Brown Gallery, Memphis, Tennessee
Southside Gallery, Oxford, Mississippi
Yellow Poui Art Gallery in St. Georges, Grenada, West Indies.
WINGS Gallery, Memphis, Tennessee

Dr. Thomas Dewey

Faculty Emeritus
Associate Professor of Art

Art History

PhD, Wisconsin at Madison

BA, MA, University of Southern Illinois



Thomas Dewey holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Art History from Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Wisconsin.  Dewey’s narrowest research focus is contemporary American printmaking and drawing. He has taught at Wisconsin State University, Oshkosh and is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Mississippi. Dr. Dewey teaches twelve courses in Art/Architectural History, pertaining to Europe and the U.S., 19th through 21st centuries and one studio art course on The Craft of Old Master Drawings. He has presented more than 50 research papers at regional, national and international conferences. Among his nearly 70 publications are, catalogue essays, documenting several national and international ground breaking contemporary print exhibitions. As Archivist since 1978 for Southern Graphics Council International (SGCI), Dewey is the caretaker for the SGCI members print collection that now numbers 7,000 works on paper. Professional recognition/honors include president of the Southern Graphics Council; election to and then president of Phi Kappa Phi, an academic honor society at Ole Miss; a Lifetime Honorary membership to Friends of the J.D. Williams Library (a support organization) at The University of Mississippi; and a Lifetime Service Award from Southern Graphics Council International. Dr. Dewey’s most recent scholarship includes: Audubon in Mississippi for the Mississippi Encyclopedia, University Press of Mississippi with a late 2012 or early 2013 publication.