The Department of Fine Arts at Mississippi Valley State University’s Johnston Gallery is presenting an art exhibition through April 19, 2013. The exhibit will consist of drawings, paintings, collages, photographs, ceramics, an etching, and a wall sculpture by Justin Como, Frank Hardmon, Ronald Minks, Melody Tiemann, and Dorothy Vaughn. The Johnston Gallery is located on the MVSU campus in the Walter Sillers Fine Arts Building.
With the exception of Frank Hardmon, five artists are faculty members in the Department of Fine Arts at Mississippi Valley State University. Frank Hardmon is an alumnus and a retired art instructor from Mississippi Valley State University, serving presently as an adjunct instructor at the Greenville Higher Education Center.
All artists have exhibited their works either locally or nationally or both locally and nationally.
Justin Como, a resident of Syracuse, New York, received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the State University of New York at Oswego and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Ohio University.
Como’s works include a triptych of drawings (a mixture of watercolor pencil and paper on plexi glass) and a wall sculpture. According to the artist, “Drawing is used as a means of conversation and exploration. One line is created which informs every other line where to live. The imagined anatomies are simultaneously off-putting for reference to the corporeal body and delicious for their formal links to an ice cream parlor. The positioning of the triptych varies in order to develop a bodily relationship with various viewers. As the work is approached closely, there becomes a moment of questioning about what we see and where it is seen from. I want the viewers always to question this.”
Within his installations Como questions “the concept of movement” and uses references and ideas that are “so integrated into the process of the composition of the work that they may escape those who do not take the time to explore how and why these images haunt you, like a good film, long after you’ve seen them.”
“Through a radically singular approach that is nevertheless inscribed in the contemporary debate,” Como formalizes the coincidental and emphasizes “the conscious process of composition that is behind the seemingly random works. The thought processes, which are supposedly private, highly subjective and unfiltered in their references to dream worlds, are frequently revealed as assemblages.”
Frank Hardmon, a resident of Greenville, graduated in 1966 with an emphasis in Art Education. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree in Painting from the Instituto Allende, San Miguel de Allende in Guanajuato, Mexico and an Associate of Arts degree from Coahoma Junior College in Clarksdale. He pursued additional study at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles (studying drawing under the late and famous Charles White) and Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. Hardmon is a recipient of the HEADWAE teacher’s award.
Hardmon’s art works include collages that focus on some of the social and political issues of today. Within magazine and newspaper clippings, an audience can observe themes dealing with presidential, political and civil rights leaders, world wars, crime, terrorism, education, voting, religion, art and other subjects.
Ronald Minks, associate professor, is a native of Western Kansas. He received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Design with a specialization in Industrial Design from the University of Kansas and a Master of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design from Memphis State University (now known as the University of Memphis).
Minks’ art works consist of photographs taken at recent Blues Festivals throughout the Delta, including Hill Country Picnic (near Albany and Oxford); Sunflower, Cathead, and Juke Joint (Clarksdale); CrossRoads Blues and Heritage (Rosedale): Betonia Blues (Betonia); Highway 61 Blues (Leland); Arkansas Heritage and King Biscuit Blues (Helena); Hobson’s Plantation; and additional festivals in Greenwood, Greenville, Duckhill, Clinton, and Indianola. Other photographs feature events involving members of the Blues Players who performed at the Mississippi Governor’s Award Ceremony and Reception.
According to Minks, “The Blues performers are presented as they are in concert, providing the public with that special sound we call the Blues. They range from small children to the Old Timers. These people are still leaving a lasting impact on society. My depictions are a photographic record of those who have brought the Blues to an appreciating public.”
Melody Tiemann, assistant professor, was born and raised in a small Texas town. According to Tiemann, “Some of my earliest memories are of playing in the mud with my brothers and cousins while building cities, roads, and forts. It is this love of being in the earth and creating imaginary worlds that eventually led to my pursuing a degree in ceramics.” She received an Associate of Science degree in General Studies from Victoria College in Texas before studying ceramics and continuing her education at Texas State University-San Marcos where she acquired a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in studio art with a ceramics specialization. She culminated her education with a Master of Fine Arts degree also in ceramics from the University of Mississippi in Oxford.
Tiemann’s ceramics consist of functional hand-built pottery ranging from platters and plates to mugs and bowls. Her works have been published in the Yalobusha Review. She is a member of Kappa Pi National Art Honor Fraternity and the National Council on Education of the Ceramic Arts (NCECA). Additional information about her can be found at the following web site: melodytiemann.com.
Dorothy Vaughn, assistant professor, is a native of Starkville, Miss. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in art from Tougaloo College, certification courses in elementary education from Mississippi State University (Starkville), a Master of Arts degree in painting from the University of Wisconsin-Superior, and a Master of Fine Arts degree also in painting from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Vaughn’s art works consist of figurative drawings (ink and pastel), paintings (oil and watercolor), and one etching. Her subjects include portraits of relatives, political leaders, and family scenes.
Vaughn is the recipient of a Hillcrest Festival of Fine Arts First Place Award in California (Tougaloo College Competition), Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Fine Arts Award (Itta Bena), Black History Week First Place Award (Mississippi State University), and a share of blue and red ribbon awards from the Mississippi Homemaker Volunteers’ Conference competitions (Mississippi State University).
The public is invited to attend this exhibition, free of charge. The gallery hours are 10:00 a. m. to 4:30 p. m. (Monday through Thursday) and 8:30 a. m. to 1:30 p. m. (Friday). The gallery is closed during holidays and semester breaks.