With the timing of the COVID-19 pandemic creating a global health crisis at the end of their final semester at MSU, the spring 2020 Bachelor of Fine Arts graduates were unable to install a physical exhibition. Despite this, the emerging artists created the online exhibition ESCAPADE to reach audiences and share their artwork with the world. Three months after their online virtual graduation, six of the artists from the class of 2020 return to participate in a physical exhibition. The artworks in this exhibition demonstrate that artistic production does not stop, and creative research continues even while artists experience quarantine-like conditions.
Artists included in the exhibition:
About the artists:
Justin Alexander, of Meridian, MS. His parents are Keith King & Michelle Alexander. He created “paintings used to promote the positive effects of video games through showing the personal connection to people’s lives.”
Ronni Brashear, of Madison, Mississippi. Her parents are Kerry Brashear & Peggy Collette. “My thesis is about the romanticizing of alcohol and the consequences of overconsumption. Using affective painting methods, I permit the viewer to reach a point of mindfulness about the drinking community and how it affects our overall well-being.”
Gracie Conn, of Jackson, MS. Her parents are Mary & Clark Conn. Gracie explains, "Styrofoam, plastic, and other disposable materials have become an increasing problem in the last 40-50 years, especially for the environment. My work shows the interaction between animals and one of the most used “throw-away” culture items: a Styrofoam cup."
Sydney Cozart, of Tuscumbia, Alabama. Her parents include her mother Ginger Suzanne Stokely and father and stepmother Dr. & Mrs. David Cozart. "My senior thesis project is a 2D-animated film inspired by Sarah J. Maas's epic fantasy novel series, Throne of Glass. The hand-drawn film consists of a montage of scenes and settings from the book series from my interpretation. Lots of magic, fighting, and drama - but also beauty, loyalty, and love."
Tori Mullins, of Starkville, MS. Her mother is Tina Mullins, and her grandmother is Maxine Mullins. “My thesis is about my grandmother's struggle with macular degeneration.” These paintings are scenes from her daily life, distorted by sanded plexiglass. The viewer struggles to see the painting through the altered layers. These works are a way to raise awareness about the struggles of the disease.
Marissa Stanley, of Rienzi, Mississippi. Her parents are Ricky & Sandra Stanley. She explains, “Changing Gears is a short cautionary tale about how you shouldn't trust everyone you meet. The story is personal to me with each character representing myself and key people in my life.”
Art Under Quarantine – Selections from ESCAPADE: Spring 2020 Fine Art Senior Thesis is open to the public August 31 through September 11 in the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery, on the second floor of the Cullis Wade Depot, 75 B.S. Hood Road, Mississippi State. Hours of operations are Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed holidays.