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Art & Art History

University of Mississippi

Online Thesis Exhibitions

FALL 2020 BFA Thesis Exhibitions

We are highlighting a few photos of each student but you can view their full album on our Flickr page!
Be sure to click on the links as well!

Samara Dallaire: ثورة (Revolution)  

View more of her ceramics on our Flickr.

Artist Biography

Samara Dallaire is from Jackson, Mississippi, and is pursuing a BFA in studio art with an emphasis in ceramics at The University of Mississippi. She will graduate in the Spring of 2021. Having been nominated for the ASPN residency program at the Red Lodge Clay Center, Samara looks forward to the opportunity to further develop her knowledge of ceramics.

Samara has always been versatile in the arts and was even voted “Most Talented” by her high school class. From ballet and band to theatre and creative writing, she has participated in numerous creative departments over the years. Samara is fascinated by clay because she found that it is, like her, a versatile medium that allows her to relate back to her roots in music and performance when creating visual work.

 

Artist Statement

Have you ever found yourself digging through the garbage to find a valuable object that you’ve accidentally thrown away? Surely it wasn’t a pleasant experience, but the reward of finding the object was worth having your hands covered in germs, rotting substances, and other hazardous materials. Apart from the occasionally lost object, the only times we’re really beckoned to a garbage can is when it’s full, or when the smell of the trash inside is so pungent that it needs to be taken outside. By using the form of a generic garbage can for my sculptures, I’m aiming to draw people into what they might normally be disgusted by, ultimately challenging the idea of trash and beauty.

From a historical standpoint, I am utilizing certain characteristics of Chinese porcelain ceramics produced during the Yuan dynasty. This porcelain with its intricate, cobalt blue and white surfaces was known for its durability, yet had very delicate and clean designs. Highly coveted throughout China and eventually the world, this was the porcelain of the powerful and the privileged.

In conjunction with cubism and abstract expressionism, I have also been greatly influenced by graffiti art. With its roots in rebellion and vandalism, graffiti art has always been controversial; yet it remains some of the most influential art due to its social and political implications. It is often a visual staple of many movements and uprisings, wherein walls and other public property are defaced with iconography representative of a minority’s opposition and identity.

By combining the characteristics of both Chinese porcelain and graffiti art in my pieces, I am creating a juxtaposition that brings attention to a social dilemma between those in power and those whose voices are stifled. The porcelain which is considered more beautiful and valuable being held up by the clay which is “dirty” or trashy symbolizes a divide amongst people and cultures within society. The surreal surfaces of these garbage cans reflect the hypothetical trash they are meant to hold, all representative of various states of mind. The convoluted line-work is an abstraction of various thoughts, emotions, and instinctual desires which society deems “trashy” or unacceptable to otherwise express.

This body of work marks the beginning of a journey in which I hope to express my voice and identity as a Lebanese-American. My culture is very important to me, and I want to pay homage to the overlooked cultures by juxtaposing trash with the beauty that exists within our world. These trashcans are meant to represent all the misunderstood voices in such a way that hopefully brings people closer to understanding what beauty really is.


Chance Flint: Xenopparel Clothing Line

View more of his clothing line on our Flickr.

Artist Biography

My name is Chancellor Flint and I’m a twenty-three-year-old BFA graphic designer at the University of Mississippi. I was born in Birmingham, AL but shortly thereafter moved to Pascagoula, MS, where I lived until I was 4. From there my family moved to Jackson, MS where I lived until I began attending Ole Miss. When I was younger, I always wanted to be an artist, but I wasn’t very good at anything and so I gave up on trying; however, that changed my freshman year of high school. I attended St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Ridgeland, MS from eighth grade until I graduated from high school, and for my freshman year a new class was offered, Graphic Design. I decided to take the class and really fell in love with the medium. After the class had ended and I had a rudimentary understanding of Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, I continued to experiment with the medium by making logos and Youtube channel backgrounds for the Call of Duty clans that I was in. A Call of Duty clan is a group of people who record themselves playing Call of Duty and upload edited versions of the gameplay to Youtube. I actually ended up in some pretty successful clans as a result of my graphic design work and it was at this time, around my senior year of high school, that I decided to try to make a career out of it. In addition to the logo creating for the CoD clans, I was the head designer for my high school’s yearbook both my junior and senior year. I ended up getting the book award in Yearbook my senior year; in addition to that, the book cover that I designed was nominated for best design at the MSPA convention that same year, and the yearbook as a whole won the best theme and best yearbook. I began doing paid client work towards the end of my high school career, but it has really picked up over the last three years. Among my clients are elected state officials for Mississippi, One Oxford, which is an Ole Miss affiliated non-profit, and various businesses located in the greater Jackson, Tupelo, and MS Gulf Coast areas. In addition to those clients, I designed the book cover for Dreams About Food, a book compiled by Lee Ingram of his deceased twin brother’s poetry and short stories and I have been a graphic designer at Convention Display Services for over a year now.

Some other things of note about me are that I am an Eagle Scout, was co-leader of my high school’s lacrosse team, have volunteered at Stewpot Soup Kitchen for hundreds of hours and I have a pet cat named Pancake. My favorite pastimes are playing video games, kayaking, camping, and hanging out with my extremely close-knit group of friends that I have known since the eighth grade. After I graduate, I would like to pursue a position at Thrive in West Helena, AR where I would be working in a professional design firm and teaching high school graphic design for the duration of a school year. After that, I would like to get a job in a larger city that is still close to home, ideally Atlanta, and begin my post-grad work. I ultimately plan on going for my MFA after I have a few years of professional experience under my belt. Currently, my end goal is to get my MFA and either work in a well-known design agency where I will be able to have some creative freedom or teach college graphic design and freelance on the side.

 

Artist Statement

Growing up in Mississippi sometimes felt like living in an alien world. A lot of things that native Mississippians consider normal would be considered very foreign to outsiders. For example, there is a lot of generational wealth here with families that have been extremely well off for many decades, and they are often living side-by-side with the most extreme cases of poverty that you will see in the United States. You can drive out to the rural areas of North-East Mississippi and find these massive, beautiful antebellum homes that sit abandoned in ruin and decay, while people live in tin shacks just across the road. Before the flag design was up for debate, which is ongoing to this day, you could drive through Pearl and see Confederate Battle Flags swinging proudly in the wind, and then drive ten minutes up the highway and find people in Jackson marching in opposition to that exact same confederate iconography. The division of culture and class is often hard to navigate and can leave Mississippians feeling torn between the state, the people we love, and the often complicated past that we share.

Contemplating these paradoxes and oddities inherent in our state, I began to imagine what it would be like if an extraterrestrial crash-landed here on Earth and just so happened to end up in Mississippi. Would it seem odd to it for the same reasons? Would the inconsistencies stick out?

From this initial concept, I decided to expand it into a Mississippi inspired, alien-themed apparel line, “Xenopparel.” The name is a combination of the prefix “Xeno”, which means something foreign and is often related to extraterrestrials, and the suffix “apparel.” My clothing line aims to take ownership of our otherworldly state and hopes to start a positive conversation between all inhabitants.

In order to create the designs for my apparel line, I used a combination of drawing directly on my iPad using Adobe’s app, Illustrator Draw in tandem with the desktop version of Illustrator on my computer. I wanted to explore a more illustrative style than I usually use, and this is where the iPad exploration came into play. In contrast to that, the Mississippi City-scape shirt series was created entirely on my computer, which stands out from the rest of the designs creating a custom look within the brand for the triptych. Once I had all of the designs ready for print, I created and designed an online store around the brand utilizing BigCartel‘s online store content management system. While BigCartel facilitates the money exchange by certifying orders and handling the purchasing; the production side is linked to my Printfulaccount. I am using Printful’s on-demand production services to get all of the apparel printed, embroidered, and shipped to customers.

To polish off the online shopping experience, I bought the domain www.Xenopparel.com and linked it to my online store. The final step that was needed to bring the entire project together was to source professional and cohesive mock-ups to bring all of my designs to life. Those mock-ups and models were purposefully selected to speak to the brand’s aesthetic and can be seen on the website as my product shots. Xenopparel aims to empower a younger generation through our brand’s authentic expression rooted in history, culture, conflicting values, and plenty of personality. We may be navigating an alien environment, but we are not afraid to explore it and push past the boundaries of what it means to be distinctly Mississippian.


Madeline Harrison: Disruptive Landscapes

View more of her paintings on our Flickr.

Artist Biography

Madeline Harrison is an artist from Tupelo, Mississippi. Madeline will be graduating from the University of Mississippi with a BFA in Painting. Madeline is extremely inspired by landscapes and color, combining the two in her work to create abstracted versions of picturesque scenes. After graduation, Madeline will be moving to Charlotte, North Carolina to start an internship at Allison Sprock Fine Art Gallery in Fine Art Consulting. Gallery work has been a dream of hers and Madeline hopes to continue to pursue this passion in the future.

 

Artist Statement

Paintings of landscapes are usually places of certainty. My paintings contain aspects of that tangibility, but they also contain moments of intangibility. We have deep connections to the landscape because they occupy our surroundings and we experience our life within them. They also hold the memories of our past. I have always appreciated the serenity of a beautiful sunset, the warmth it brings to the body and mind; but in the back of my mind, I am anticipating the moment when it will leave my eyes. It is fading into the distance and all I am left with is its memory. I work in the picturesque, presenting dramatically lit images that contain bursts of chromatic color. I utilize familiar aspects of our environment and flood them with dramatic lighting. The heightened color palette fills the eye and mind with an amplified sense of anticipation. Just as the sunset falls beyond the horizon, my images are in a state of continual change. They are becoming fragmented and dislodged from how we normally see them. The image is fading into beauty or passing out of it.

Each landscape is an abstracted view of special places that bring or have brought comfort and peace into my life. Juxtaposed alongside the shifting light and colors of nature are sharp mechanical edges and geometric shapes. This harsh contrast of interrupting edges signifies the hardships that can cut and intrude in on life. The process of layering paint allows the viewer to pass through the painting, experiencing the landscape layer by layer. In like manner, the layers are a reflection of the human experience; the scars, passages of light, and pleasing color live side by side. These moments of disruption and interruption throughout my work are as important as those of peace and serenity; and to present a fullness of what it means to be human they must be seen together.


Annie Hutchins: Worn 

View more of her cyanotypes on our Flickr.

Artist Biography

Annie Hutchins is an artist from Raymond, MS. She is graduating from the University of Mississippi with a BFA in art with an emphasis in Printmaking. During her time at the University of Mississippi, Annie has also worked as a work-study and assistant instructor at the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts. After graduating, Annie will be attending a residency at the Stay Home Gallery in Paris, TN.

 

Artist Statement

My work is influenced by my experiences growing up as a cis-gendered woman in the Southern United States within a conservative, religious community. I create prints that discuss the sexism found in the South, specifically within the conservative, Christian community of churches where I grew up. In these church groups, women were taught that we should focus more on becoming a wife and mother instead of their education. Women were required to dress modestly to protect their souls, never hold a position of power in life or work because women could not be over men, and they were forced to focus on their domestic life. I explore this culture by creating prints that use portraits of myself and other women from this community and pair them with bible verses used against us in these teachings. Young girls were made to write these bible verses repeatedly and to memorize them, so in doing this, I wanted to show these words physically written on a person’s body. In these portraits, I have the models pose in their underwear because through religious education we have received, it is taught that a woman’s only hope for salvation was through reproduction and sexual acts. The verses I used emphasize women having a lower standing than men, promiscuity in relation to women, and the patriarchal expectations imposed on women to serve their husbands and divine god.

Due to these experiences, I created my work to show the mental trauma caused to other young women and me in these communities. My art uses images of myself and other women with similar experiences shown only in their underwear due to the teachings that our salvation comes through children and a happy husband. These images were printed on cyanotype fabric and stained with red wine and black tea. I used verses taught to me and printed them on top of the body to show that these teachings never truly leave these other women and me. The verses were written on the bodies using a bleaching material, which led to a variety of legibility, which speaks to the individual experiences we all had. With these materials, I wanted to relate to the references of wine found throughout the Bible and the use of bleach to counteract the act of cleaning that is expected of women. Even though all of these women underwent the sexism exhibited in my school and community, we all have different degrees of how this trauma stays with us. I wanted to show this through the act of handwriting the verses on to the bodies to juxtapose the act of repeatedly writing the verse like we were forced to do. These prints were then pieced together with fabric to create large scale quilts. I find that the differentiating of craft vs. fine art parallels women’s sexist treatment due to craft art being considered feminine.


Reginald Pickering: Rainbow Toy Box Project

View more of his paintings on our Flickr.

Artist Statement

Rainbow Toy Box Project ​seeks to challenge the heteronormative, machismo image of masculinity that society expects out of all men. I along with many other boys have been told“boys don’t do that,” “that’s not for boys,” “man up,” or any variation of the three. If it was not by the men in our family, it was by individuals who have their own belief of how a “man” should act. For them, this lack of manliness in our actions is what society has associated with homosexuality, thus branding us “not a real man.” Within this series of paintings, I present a version of masculinity that is more inclusive in the sense that it embraces queerness, and showcases qualities that would earn a man the title of ​sissy.​

I have chosen children’s toys as my subject matter because toys are a child’s introduction to what society deems acceptable for their gender. For instance, toys for girls are geared towards beauty, nurturance, and domesticity, while toys for boys encourage adventure, competitiveness, and violence. By using such innocent items, my paintings are appropriate for any audience, including children, but the symbols they contain evoke a deeper conversation for adult viewers. The toys embody heroism, strength, and grit in the forms of figures from the west, superheroes, and military vehicles. These are objects that praise masculinity and are popular among males.

My paintings are apparent in their connection with queerness as it relates to the LGBTQ community and the idea of deviating from societal norms. The paintings are intentionally painted in a somewhat monochromatic color palette and exhibited in a rainbow order to reference the most recognizable symbol of queerness. Along with the arrangement, the use of specific figurines and the staging of the figures in several of my paintings references homosexual slang and sex.

Since men are especially expected to be queerphobic, viewing my paintings is slowly teaching tolerance towards the LGBTQ community. By painting representationally, I am creating a reality that viewers do not have to imagine. I am allowing my viewers to witness objects that represent hyper- and sometimes toxic-masculinity being rebranded in support of queer identity.


 Adrian Vinluan: Power in Solitude

View more of his prints on our Flickr.

Artist Biography

Adrian Vinluan is an artist from Gulfport, Mississippi. Adrian will be graduating from the University of Mississippi with a BFA in Printmaking. Adrian is also a proud Technical Sergeant in the United States Air Force. Adrian’s work is inspired by nature and animals. Adrian takes great stylistic influence from tattooing in his printmaking. After graduating, Adrian will work as a Tactical Data Link analyst at Booz Allen Hamilton and continue to serve in the Air Force. Adrian plans on pursuing an MFA in printmaking after his next deployment in 2022. Adrian will continue to make art and practice printmaking while pursuing other endeavors.

 

Artist Statement

When one typically thinks of the word “solitude” they often associate it with being lonely. I feel that the word “lonely” has a very feeble connotation. Although one is alone when in solitude, it doesn’t necessarily mean that the individual is “lonely.” Due to the past events of the pandemic, I spent a lot of time quarantining in solitude. My time spent in solitude really showed me the power that can be found within oneself. The power of solitude can only come from within. No one person or thing can grant this power to you. There will be times in life where others cannot offer guidance or help; in these times of solitude, we have to look within ourselves for strength and resilience.

Lately, my work has been centered on finding strength or power within uncommon creatures. In this current body of work, I portray animals that live very solitary lives. I chose animals that truly live alone and don’t rely on others’ strengths to survive in such a challenging world. These animals usually only interact with the same species when mating. In my work, I don’t downplay or dismiss the power of numbers. Humans and many other animals are very social creatures that get their strength when working together with others. That is why I find it genuinely fascinating when someone or some creature can make it through the struggle of life on their own. The power found in solitude is a true testament to one’s inner strength, resilience, and perseverance.