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Art & Art History
University of Mississippi

Q&A with BFA Imaging Arts Student, Charlesa Peters

Introduce yourself and tell us where you are from.
Hi! I’m Charlesa Peters and I’m originally from Tylertown, Mississippi.

What attracted you to the Department of Art & Art History?
My passion for Photography is what attracted me. I want to learn more about how to tell a story through photography.

When did you start getting into art?
I feel like I’ve always been interested in art since middle school, but I really didn’t get deep into it until the fall semester of 2017.

What type of artwork do you create and can you explain your process?
I create digital artwork (photography). My process is quite simple. I scan the location that I’m photographing within while paying attention to the lighting and shadows. I also make sure that everything on my camera is technically correct, such as the focus, aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.

Has your artwork changed during the coronavirus?
Yes. I think that all artists have been through this. When you’re not able to go out and be inspired, I think that this pandemic has enabled me to challenge myself and push my creativity a bit further.

What type of artist do you consider yourself?
A photographer.

Which artists do you look to for inspiration?
Carrie Mae Weems, Kara Walker, and Latoya Ruby Frazier.

With exhibitions moving online, could you tell us about your BFA thesis?
For my thesis, I will be telling a story about how this pandemic has affected plenty of families. It has caused the loss of loved ones, loss of connection with family, and hardship. I want my photographs to showcase how life was “before” the pandemic compared to now.

What has been your favorite class during your years here?
That’s a hard one! Of course, I enjoyed my photography classes, but I would say painting or ceramics because they were the most challenging, but yet fun to me.

Did you take an online, remote, or hybrid art class? Did it change your way of creating art or learning experience?
Yes, and it has changed my way of creating and learning. During the semester it began, it was difficult to learn how to do certain things without having direct instruction. I’m a visual learner, so it made me feel at ease when they allowed us to have our studio classes in person.

Which professors inspired you the most?
That’s a hard question as well. I don’t want to leave anyone out. They’re all amazing, but I would have to say, Brooke White and Lauren Cardenas.

Could you describe a favorite memory here in the department?
Meeting new people and discovering new artists that I can learn and gain inspiration from.

What does the Department of Art & Art History mean to you?
This department means a lot to me. It’s sad to realize that my time in this department is coming to an end. It was my second home. It was a place where I learned how to expand my creativity and challenge myself.

Do you have any advice for incoming art students?
Stay organized! Get a planner and put in all your deadlines for projects and exams. Use your in-class time to get most of your work done and definitely utilize studio hours! Please do not be afraid of critiques! That is when you have the chance to get good feedback and apply it to future projects. It is there to help you become a better artist.

What are you looking forward to when things get back to normal?
Being able to travel to different places and gain inspiration for my work.

How has the pandemic affected your life as an artist?
It was hard to find inspiration and have the motivation to still create work, but having those moments led me to where I am now.

Can we find you on social media?
Yes! You can find me on Instagram @charlesapeters and @charlesapetersart!

Has social media helped you more during this time?
Yes, somewhat.

19. What’s your favorite thing about Oxford?
The Double Decker Festival.

What type of music do you listen to while you’re creating art?
Anything that’s positive and upbeat, but I listen to Christian hip hop/rap most of the time.

What’s your favorite thing to watch while being a couch potato?
Crime shows/documentaries on Netflix.

Do you have any plans after graduation?
Do an internship with an organization that focuses on African American history and continue a project that I started two years ago while doing a summer internship.