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Art & Art History
University of Mississippi

Virginia Rougon Chavis

Associate Provost and Professor of Graphic Design

Graphic Design/Web Design
MFA, Savannah College of Art & Design
BA, The University of Mississippi


Virginia is a designer, artist, educator and lover of all things printed. Originally from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she has been a part of the faculty in the Department of Art & Art History since January 2002. She earned her MFA in graphic design from Savannah College of Art & Design in Savannah, Georgia, where she honed her teaching skills in the classroom and refined her design aesthetic as a freelancer.

Working with contemporary technology and historical letterpress equipment, Virginia’s approachable works on paper push the limits between fine art and graphic design by combining text with metaphorical imagery. She gathers inspiration from routine life experiences and looks for the irony in mundane situations, which are portrayed through the use of sarcasm and play on words. Symbols such as insects, toys or machines can be found to represent relatable individuals, emotions, or events. The work generally combines digital and traditional printmaking processes, and often mixed media.

In 2010, she was able to merge her love of design and typography with the handmade through letterpress printing while studying at Penland School of Crafts. She brought this knowledge back to the University of Mississippi, where she has incorporated letterpress classes into the design and art curriculum.

Virginia is active in the art community and participates in national and international exhibitions. She has been awarded several grants and served as a consultant for design education in surrounding state programs. She has also been recognized for her leadership at The University of Mississippi as an SEC-ALDP Fellow and has held AIGA chair positions in the Memphis and New Orleans chapters. She has presented her work at the Southeastern College Art Conference and various AIGA events. One of her typography assignments was published in Ilene Strizver’s Type Rules!: The Designer’s Guide to Professional Typography. She participates in professional organizations including SGCI, CAA, SECAC, and AIGA.

Her work has been shown in exhibitions/publications including: HOW Magazine, Mighty Tieton Warehouse (Tieton, WA), Eugeniusz Geppert Academy of Art and Design (Wroclaw, Poland), Five Points Gallery (Torrington, CT), Lessedra Art Gallery (Sofia, Bulgaria), The Brand Library & Art Center (Glendale, CA), Jones-Carter Gallery (Lake City, SC), Northwest Art Center: Walter Piehl Gallery, (Minot State University, Minot, ND), Washington Printmakers (Leesburg, VA), SUMEI National Print Exhibition (Sumei Multidisciplinary Art Center, Newark, NJ), Southside Art Gallery (Oxford, MS), Los Angeles Center For Digital Art (Los Angeles, CA), Period Gallery, (Lincoln, NE), Gallery AD (Savannah, GA), Slocumb Galleries (East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, TN), Abercrombie Gallery (Lake Charles, LA), Farmington Museum (Farmington, NM), and Brooklyn Art Library (Brooklyn, NY), among others.