MFA, Louisiana State University
BFA, The University of Tennessee
Durant Thompson is a Professor of Art and the Area Head of Sculpture in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Mississippi. He is also the BFA Program Coordinator for the department. In 1997, he received a BFA in Sculpture from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville and in 2001 he earned an MFA in Sculpture from Louisiana State University. Durant has also worked at The Johnson Atelier School of Technical Sculpture in New Jersey as a metal fabrication specialist and the University of Southern Mississippi/LSU as a technician/instructor before accepting his current position. In 2015, Durant co-founded the Yokna Sculpture Trail in Oxford, Mississippi, in association with the Yoknapatawpha Arts Council, The University of Mississippi and the City of Oxford.
Durant has been actively showing at exhibitions regionally, nationally, and internationally for the past two decades. His recent exhibitions includes group or solo shows at The Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition in Boone, NC; Sculpture Walk Jax, Jacksonville, FL; Sculpture Salmagundi at the Maria V. Howard Arts Center in Rocky Mount, NC; Art In Public Places Knoxville Exhibition and Competition, the Armory Arts Center in West Palm Beach, FL; the Lighthouse Art Center, Gallery and School of Art, Tequesta, F; the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles, MO; Space 301 in Mobile, AL; the Shaw Center for the Arts in Baton Rouge, LA; and The National Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis, TN. Current and future exhibits include the HAPA Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition in Hattiesburg, MS; the Outdoor Sculpture Biennial at Delta State in Cleveland, MS; and the ICCCIA Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition in partnership with The Lackawanna River Heritage Trail in Scranton, PA.
Durant has participated in several national and international conferences, giving lectures, workshops, and panel presentations. He has presented research at conferences with SECAC in New Orleans, LA; Charleston, WV; and Greensboro, NC; as well as at the Mid-America Art Alliance conference in San Antonio. He has also been active as a panelist, exhibitions coordinator and steering committee member for International Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art in Hamilton, NJ, in 2002; Telford, England in 2006; Kidwelly, Wales in 2010; Pedvale, Latvia in 2014; and Scranton, PA, in 2018. Durant has also been an active participant on the panels, workshops and the steering committees for the National Conference on Contemporary Cast Iron Art and Practices at Sloss Furnace National Historic Landmark in Birmingham, AL since 2001. In 2019, Durant participated as a member of the Exhibitions Committee for the International Sculpture Conference (ISC) that was held in Portland, OR.
In 2011 Durant was awarded a Mississippi Arts Commission Fellowship through funds from the National Endowment for the Arts. He also has several works in permanent collections including Hattiesburg Area Historical Society Museum in Hattiesburg, MS, and the Talsi Regional Museum, Talsi, Latvia. Durant has given artist’s lectures on his work and research at the University of Tennessee, Louisiana State University, Nicholls State University, Jackson State University, University of Mississippi Museum, the University of Louisiana Monroe, and the University of Southern Mississippi. He has also conducted workshops at the National Ornamental Metals Museum in Memphis, TN; the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, MS; Keen Foundry in Houston, TX; and the Johnson Atelier School of Technical Sculpture in Mercerville, NJ.