UM art professor emerita Jan Murray (right) supervises Frank Estrada (left), gallery curator; Lauren Cardenas, assistant gallery director; and Tyler Barnes, gallery director, as they hang prints for her ‘Lost and Found’ exhibition in Meek Hall’s Gallery 130. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services
OXFORD, Miss. – Seven years in the making, the prints of a University of Mississippi art professor are finally available for public viewing on campus.
Jan Murray, associate dean of liberal arts emerita and professor of art emerita, will have an exhibition of her work, “Lost and Found,” in Meek Hall, Gallery 130, through Feb. 28. The artist will give a gallery talk at 3:30 p.m. Feb. 27, followed by a reception at 4:30 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
“‘Lost and Found’ explores several themes, including looking and seeing, and how we can learn life lessons – especially gratefulness and patience – by observing nature over time,” Murray said. “Framing, focus and perspective are explored.
“Nature can teach us many lessons about the elements of art, especially color, shape and form, the effects of sunlight and shadow.”
The gallery is open 8 a.m.-5 p.m. weekdays.
The project began in 2013 and continued to grow as more and more images were created from natural things that the artist collected on meditative walks in the countryside. All the objects photographed were “found” and collected from the world. These images are full of the colors and shapes of nature, leaves, plants, seashells, insects and butterflies.
“The changing seasons are evident as the colors and shapes and light changes from image to image,” she said. “Some prints are very small and some are quite large, so the viewer experiences the art from many different perspectives. Sometimes the viewer will feel like a giant, and sometimes, a tiny firefly.”
Jan Murray checks out the placement of prints for her latest exhibition, ‘Lost and Found,’ at Gallery 130 in Meek Hall. Photo by Thomas Graning/Ole Miss Digital Imaging Services
Murray’s work and process are being praised by her colleagues in the Department of Art and Art History.
“We are excited to see such a large show, particularly because many students have not seen Professor Murray’s artwork since she has been busy as an associate dean for many years,” said Nancy Wicker, interim chair and professor of art and art history.
“We are very proud of her and eager to see this culminating presentation of her work. I also would like to thank Brooke White and the gallery committee for their assistance with this exhibition.”
White, who began collaborating with Murray on her project in fall 2018, said it has been a pleasure to witness its evolution.
“When I first began to review her work, I was immediately struck by the vastness of the imagery and her approach to her subject,” said White, an art professor. “Trained as a designer, Jan has an innate sense of layout, color and materiality, and all of this is visibly apparent in her exhibition.”
White said as Murray printed the images for her show, she was privileged to experience the images in a new way that is not always immediately apparent on the screen.
“One aspect in her work that resonates with me is this idea of time, which reveals itself through her use of light and organic objects that, for me, become representations of the seasons,” White said. “All of the work in ‘Lost and Found’ demonstrates a commitment to a practice that has been decades in the making.”
Murray said she hopes the public will come view the collection.
“There are many things to explore and the images will appeal to everyone, from the youngest to the grownups,” she said.