Friday, October 29, 2010

“100 Alumni”: Masters, or least Bachelors, in Art

            The thing I like most about the art studio at USM is that it showcases a variety of exhibits. In the case of the current art exhibit, “100 Alumni: Centennial Alumni Exhibition”, I was not disappointed.  While visiting it earlier today, I viewed dozens of pieces of art from former USM students.  The exhibit, lasting from October 21 through November 20, is located in the Museum of Art at Marsh Hall.  Containing artwork from over eighty Southern Miss alumni, the collection is diverse in its contents as well as its mediums.
            It was this diversity of the exhibit that appealed to me most.  From the floral oil paintings to the abstract sculptures of clay and metal, the museum is filled with varied artworks.  An oil painting I grew particularly fond of is “Tossed Away” by 1975 alumnus Paula Duren.  Its eddies of color, which appear to have been indiscriminately strewn about on the canvas, almost seem to have been strategically patterned at the same time.  It was my favorite piece to wonder about, as I tried to find objects within the flowing lines of colors.  Another piece I especially liked was “Hot Chicken” by 2001 alumnus Donna Delmas.  This satirical piece, with two shots of a processed chicken lounging on a luxurious pillow, confused me.  I felt challenged by the artist to consider what my reaction should be.  Though still perplexed about both paintings, I am certain about one thing:  my appreciation for and enjoyment of the “100 Alumni” exhibit.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The Southern Miss Centennial Exhibit: Treasuring Golden Memories

    Typically, the only trip down memory lane I’ve ever taken in a library was either through my cell phone’s text inbox or on my Facebook® page.  Yet, I was able to connect with one hundred years worth of nostalgia on my visit to the Centennial Exhibit.  Located in the former Cook Library computer lab, this exhibit showcases countless memories of all who walked the campus before me.  From buttons to photographs to sports’ uniforms, the Centennial Exhibit was a visually enriching display that allowed me to appreciate how Southern Miss has continually transformed.
     Of all the intriguing artifacts and memorabilia at the exhibit, a handful of them caught my attention most.  The first thing that caught my eye was the framed map of the original campus.  It amazed me how small it looked compared to today, and it reinforced how much I prefer the earlier architecture compared to some of the modern buildings we have now.  Another item that piqued my interest was a hand-made hat of yarn and tin cans by “ultimate fan” Ray “Two Bits” Crawford.  The look of the cap, with its assortment of ticket stubs and pins, made me wish as if I could have seen “Two Bits” in all his glory.  What I prized most, however, were the volumes of past editions of Student Printz.  These age-stained bundles of paper contain decades of history that a single photograph or tattered sports’ uniform simply does not.  And it is in this history of the aforementioned items, as well as the collection as a whole, that excite anticipation in me for all the golden years to come here at Southern Miss.