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Art & Art History
University of Mississippi

Q&A with Molly Johnson (BFA Painting)

Bless Our Hearts 
April 1-5, 2024

Closing Reception
When: Wednesday, April 4th, 2024, 4:30–6:30 PM
Where: Gallery 130, Meek Hall

Introduce yourself and tell us where you are from.
My name is Molly Johnson and I am from Corinth, Mississippi.

What attracted you to the Department of Art & Art History?
In high school, I never enjoyed any of the other subjects in school besides art. It was the best part of my day. When exploring options for future jobs, I felt like every other career sounded boring to me. I decided that I wanted to pursue a route that would allow me to continue my art and create all I wanted to.

What type of artwork do you create and can you discuss your process?
I create mostly figurative oil paintings that bring me joy. I start by searching through my camera roll and a collection of old family photos. I then come up with a composition using my iPad that I feel sparks the most interest. I start with an underpainting of acrylic and then get to work going in with oils.

Which artists do you look to for inspiration?
Two of my favorite artists who I look to for inspiration are Eric Fischl and Liu Xiaodong.

Which professors inspired you the most?
The two professors that inspired me the most would be Philip Jackson and Brooke Alexander. Throughout my time at Ole Miss, they have continuously encouraged me and pushed me to be the best I can be. They have also always been so supportive of my artwork.

What has been your favorite class during your years here?
Advanced Painting has been my favorite class here. I love that it feels less like the typical classroom setting and it is more of a time and place to create. You essentially come up with your own assignments and Jackson is there to foster you as a painter and grow your knowledge of what it means to become an actual artist.

Do you have a favorite memory here in the department?
One of my favorite memories at the art department has been the plein air class. It was so much fun and felt like a painting retreat.

Do you have any advice for incoming art students?
My advice would be to do the BFA program! It has allowed me to focus so much more of my time on just my major since it reduces the number of general education requirements.

Do you have any hobbies outside of the art department?
Yes! Some of my favorite things to do are exercise, thrift, and hang out with friends at Pickwick lake.

What is your favorite thing about Oxford or the University?
My favorite thing about Oxford is the sense of community. I like that it feels like a small town but it is still fairly large compared to where I am from. I can go anywhere and find people I know but also more people to meet.

Can we find you on social media?
My art instagram account is @mollyjohnson_art.

Do you have any plans after graduation?
As of right now I am going to be doing a teaching certification course so that I can teach art at a high school. Eventually I would love to have a studio where I can be a full time artist.