Jay Kucia, contributing writer
Mississippi College has a stellar reputation for its Christian environment and its academic programs for aspiring doctors, nurses, and the like. Not too many people, though, know of the university’s remarkable offerings for aspiring artists.
The Mississippi College Art Department provides developing artists of all mediums with a positive, constructive learning experience. Led by faculty with years of experience in both the studio and the classroom, students in the department study the theory, technique, and business of art. The school offers classes in studio art, art theory, and art history, and also graduates students with a wide knowledge of the world generated by success in the intensive liberal arts curriculum undertaken by all MC undergraduate students. The school offers both majors and minors and provides instruction to creatives of all levels of experience. With bachelor’s degree offerings in studio art, graphic design, interior design, and art education, plus numerous graduate degrees, and minors in studio art, art history, and residential design, the MC art department really offers something for everyone. The school succeeds in offering all of these options at a high-level too. Graduates from the department have success in all variety of artistic fields as well as fields outside of the arts.
One of the artistic fields experiencing the most growth right now is graphic design. As computers and the Internet grow even more popular and powerful, the demand for talented graphic artists increases exponentially. Today, almost every successful company employs one or more graphic artists as a key component of their business. After all, as they say, presentation is key, and that is why anyone interested in this growing field should look into the newly created graphic design minor offered by the art department. It will give anyone with a creative bend the edge up in a competitive job market.
An important part of the development for any artist is showcasing his or her work, and the students in the MC art department have numerous opportunities to do just that. Choctaw art students display their work around campus, in the Clinton Baptist HealthPlex, and most notably, in the Gore Art Gallery. Founded rather recently by celebrated MC art professor Samuel Marshall Gore, this gallery is located right on campus adjacent to the Leland Speed Library and has hosted numerous receptions and exhibits for talented artists from both Mississippi and elsewhere. The gallery also showcases photography and sculpture alongside paintings, drawings and much more. Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of the gallery and its work is that it allows young student artists to display their work in the same space as established MC artist alumni who are some of the best in their fields. The Gore Gallery truly provides an educational experience for all.
The art department is not the only artistic stronghold at Mississippi College. The university has an incredibly well-respected and sought-after music department as well as small but powerful programs for theatre and dance. All of these programs put on exceptional performances throughout the year, with one of the most impactful being a string of concerts by the music department called the James Sclater Chamber Music Series. Performed in honor of Mississippi College music professor James Sclater, these concerts occurred over this year and the last and displayed the talents of the university’s music faculty proving that the school’s music students are in good hands. Like the other artistic projects created by Mississippi College, the Sclater series received significant local media attention and praise.
When one looks at Mississippi College, they should pay attention to all of its fantastic offerings. Each and every department on campus succeeds and exceeds expectations every day, and the Mississippi College art department may be among the best around.