Every year, the Department of Art & Design brings artists from all over the world to Southern Miss to give lectures, talk to students about their art, and run workshops where students, faculty, staff, and members of the public can get their hands dirty, creating art from the exciting new techniques they've learned.
The Visiting Artist Series is a fantastic opportunity for our art students to learn about ways of making art that are outside their regular area of study—graphic designers learn about ceramics, painters learn about printmaking, ceramic artists learn what it's like to work in a design firm. This not only exposes students to a wider world of art, but it unlocks new creative passions they may not even have known they had.
The Visiting Artist Series is supported by the Partners for the Arts, a community and university alliance committed to encouraging the arts in Southern Mississippi, and by Rise Creative, our in-house graphic design studio. Rise Creative creates posters, business cards, advertising campaigns, logos, websites, magazine layouts, teeshirt designs and more, for local businesses, charities, and members of the university community. Their earnings go to support the Department of Art & Design, providing much of the funding necessary to bring in visiting artists.
University of North Georgia professor Alex Kraft is a ceramic artist originally from Tuscon, Arizona, who has exhibited her work all over the world. She has a BFA and BSed from Northern Arizona University, and an MFA from the University of Montana.
To view Ms. Kraft's arts, please visit her website, alexkraftart.com.
Participants learned how to create surface designs in reverse on paper and transfer these hidden images to clay through a mono-printing technique.
Students created templates out of cardboard, then went to work rolling out their clay and forming hollow boxes which would serve as their canvases for monoprinting.
Southern Miss ceramics professor Allen Chen working with a student as she adds a fourth wall to her box.
Professor Kraft explains to students how to begin painting on the paper that will be used to transfer the glaze to their clay boxes.
Adding glaze to the paper.
Transferring the glaze to the clay with a rolling pin.
Boxes awaiting firing. They'll go into a 1900° kiln for 36 hours to harden the clay and fuse the glaze to the surface. It's always exciting to see things come out of the kiln because astonishing things can happen as the glazes react to the intense heat.
A week later Professor Chen gives us a peek inside the kiln. These have been fired at a relatively low temperature, and the designs are still recognizable. The artists can decide to leave the boxes as is, or to have them fired at a much higher temperature, which will result in more blending of the glaze. They'll be shinier, but the designs will have less clear definition and become more abstract.
Our Visiting Artist lectures and workshops are always free and open to the public. No art experience necessary! To make sure you don't miss an event, sign up for the A&L Buzz to receive an email every other week with all Arts & Letters events.
College of Arts & Letters • The University of Southern Mississippi • 118 College Drive, Hattiesburg MS 39406