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Art & Art History
University of Mississippi

Sculpture: Beyond the Studio

Learning art is more than what’s learned in the traditional studio courses. Our courses are complemented with demonstrations, lectures, and critiques from faculty and visiting artists. Students can also join in the activities of the sculpture student organization, interact with visiting artists through the Yokna Sculpture Trail, volunteer with the UM Museum, and experience a residency with a relevant site or artist.

The UM Sculpture Society

An organization of advanced sculpture students led by Professor Durant Thompson, the UM Sculpture Society 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. Students choose visiting artists to invite to our department to demonstrate techniques through workshops and give lectures. The UM Sculpture Society holds its own metal-casting event at least once a year, when the community is invited to donate materials and participate in casting activities. The society is also assists with the installation of sculpture on campus and in the community for the Yokna Sculpture Trail.

For more information, call (662) 915-5828. Check out their Instagram: @um_sculpture

We are interested in introducing different processes to the public because a lot of times it seems foreign to individuals. We have done aluminum pours for the public in the past and it’s cool to see young people get interested and involved in conversations.”
– Sculpture Society President Gabrielle Dinger (MFA)


Yokna Sculpture Trail

Featuring a rotating exhibit of 18-20 large-scale sculptures by locally, regionally, and nationally renowned exhibiting artists, this collaboration between the City of Oxford, University of Mississippi, UM Museum, and the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council is the first outdoor sculpture program of its kind in North Mississippi. A vibrant arts culture and beautiful green spaces are at the heart of what makes our community great. It is our hope that the Yokna Sculpture Trail, that highlights both, will be a source of enjoyment for residents and visitors for years to come! Sculpture students can be part of the installation process and interact with the working sculpture artists.

Art Talks

In addition to the many artists who visit campus through the Yokna Sculpture Trail and the UM Sculpture Society, the department also has an established visiting artist program – Art Talks. This program creates access to artists in person and via webcam, and helps students and faculty to keep pace with critical thought, contemporary artistic practice, and emerging technology used in cultural production today.

The list of visiting sculptors includes: 

UM Museumwoman is painting a sculpture outside the UM Museum

Four of the last five years our museum has been named to EDsmart’s list of “51 Most Astounding University Museums”, with a recent ranking of 17—one spot ahead of Princeton University. Many art students intern or volunteer with the UM Museum where they might work with art education programs or curate an exhibit. The museum grounds is also part of the Yocona Sculpture Trail.

Residencies and Internships

Students and faculty work together to identify relevant residencies to provide valuable work experience, professional networks, further application of skills learned at the university, and a stronger resume. 

For those planning different career paths, the UM Office of Outreach’s formal Internship Experience program also assists students with internship placements in any career area of interest in Atlanta, New York City, and Washington D.C.

Study Abroad

Art majors have exciting opportunities to experience the art and architecture abroad. They can arrange their own study abroad experience through the Office of Study Abroad. Or, they can travel with UM faculty.

One possibility is the course titled Art on Location, where UM faculty can take a course of students to different locations around the US and abroad. For example, in the 2-week Winter Intersession in the first two weeks of January 2019, art historian Dr. Louise Arrizoli teamed up with a French professor to offer a study of art in Paris, France.