University of Mississippi

Sculpture

Overview:

Sculpture includes the creating, shaping, or combining of three-dimensional objects. Designs may be produced in freestanding objects (i.e., in the round), in relief, or in environments, and a variety of media may be used, including clay, wax, stone, metal, fabric, wood, plaster, rubber, and found objects. Materials may be carved, modeled, molded, cast, wrought, welded, sewn, or assembled and combined.

Students learn subtractive (carving) and additive (construction, welding) techniques as well as casting and mold making. They receive instruction in working with plaster, clay, and metal. The sculpture area includes a foundry, woodshop, welders, pneumatic tools, sand-blast units, and other tools and equipment.

Sculpture is taught by department head Associate Professor Durant Thompson, Adjunct Assistant Professor Bill Beckwith and Sculpture Technician Andrew Smith.

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Facilities:

 

The sculpture facility is located on the bottom floor of Meek Hall and provides spaces for the realization of projects in traditional and contemporary media. Sculpture maintains three dedicated facilities for woodworking, metal fabrication, and casting processes. It also has additional areas including a beginning level teaching room, an advanced level working room, a shared undergraduate room, large graduated studios, and a large outdoor workspace.

The beginning level teaching room includes large working tables, storage for student works, and a large flat screen TV for presentations or DVDs. The advanced teaching room includes large working tables, storage space for student work, a tool room, wax working station, and includes a roll up door for easy access of large materials. The graduate studios are approximately 20’ X 20’ with multiple electrical outlets and plugs located around the room allowing for ample usage of tools.

The woodshop is well equipped with all the essential woodworking tools present. The shop includes a newly purchased Powermatic 66-TA table saw and a Powermatic 3520B Lathe, as well as multiple stationary belt sander/ disc grinders, a oscillating sander, multiple drill presses and scroll saws, several 14” band saws, multiple routers, heavy duty jointer and planar, both stationary and sliding compound miter saws, a dust collection system, large worktables, various hand tools, and a multitude of clamps and vices.

The metal shop is a large studio consisting of two roll up doors allowing for excellent access to the outdoor fabrication area while providing easy delivery points for materials. While the metal shop includes numerous metal manipulation devices, it also includes eight oxy-acetylene stations, three mig welders, a tig welder, arc welders, a heavy duty plasma cutting station, chop saws, horizontal band saws, a drill press, one media blasting unit, and multiple compressors allowing for numerous students to work at the same time. The metal shop also includes various other hand and electric tools such as hammers, cold chisels, angle grinders, and various saws.

The outdoor space includes a foundry that houses several furnaces and a burnout kiln that allows for the casting of a variety of metals. The foundry area is located in a partially enclosed building with open air walls and ceiling vents for ventilation and is equipped to melt various capacities of aluminum, bronze, and iron. The sculpture area is equipped for large resin sand and investment molds with ceramic shell coming in the near future. The rest of the outside area is used for large fabrications and a storage area for materials. The outdoor area is enclosed by a large brick wall that provides ample security and safety for those inside and outside of the space.

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Organizations:

The Rebel Sculpture Society
The Rebel Sculpture Society (RSS) is an organization of advanced sculpture students and is led by Associate Professor Durant Thompson. The group meets once a month to promote awareness of sculptural exhibitions and events, employment opportunities, and educational options. Meetings involve discussions for possible field trips to museums and conferences. They also choose visiting artists’ to invite to the school to demonstrate through workshops and give lectures. RSS holds its own metal casting event at least once a year where the community is invited to donate materials and participate in casting activities. For more information, call (662) 915-5828.