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drawing on katrina

A remarkable collection of artwork is on view at Southern Miss through August 15, 2015: “Drawing on Katrina: Mississippi Children Respond to the Storm,” curated by professors Janet Gorzegno and Mark Rigsby.

This project originally began in 2005 following Hurricane Katrina when the USM Exhibitions Committee for the USM Museum of Art (currently the Gallery of Art and Design) met to discuss upcoming initiatives. Janet Gorzegno, committee member and professor, proposed the idea of organizing an exhibition of works of art created by children who were affected by the hurricane.

As lead organizer of this unique project, Gorzegno said the exhibition was designed to feature the viewpoint of children in the wake of this terrible disaster, with the hopes it would become an important venue for dialogue and healing in the affected area.

“The Katrina storm shook Mississippians young and old to the core, leaving many numb.  The art of children can be so honest and direct, and so full of love; it can cut through barriers we sometimes construct to keep difficult emotions from surfacing. I felt a show of children's art about Katrina could bring forth solace, catharsis, even joy—in spite of the horror and raw reality of the subject matter,” Gorzegno said.

 

Drawing on Katrina exhibit at the Gallery of Art & Design in the George Hurst Building, The University of Southern Mississippi.
Drawing on Katrina exhibit at the Gallery of Art & Design in the George Hurst Building, The University of Southern Mississippi.
Artwork from the Drawing on Katrina exhibit.
Local children viewing the Drawing on Katrina exhibit.
Local children viewing the Drawing on Katrina exhibit.
Artwork from the Drawing on Katrina exhibit.
Local children viewing the Drawing on Katrina exhibit.
Local child viewing the Drawing on Katrina exhibit.

“Children truly have a natural ability to capture an experience and convey it with art. While many of the works do convey the terrible experience of the storm and its aftermath, others depict a community working together to rescue, recover and rebuild. There are images of people being airlifted to safety, ice and water delivery trucks, emergency response crews and construction workers and people working together to repair the roofs of damaged homes.”

 

– Mark Rigsby

Drawing on Katrina exhibit at the Gallery of Art & Design in the George Hurst Building, The University of Southern Mississippi.
Local children viewing the Drawing on Katrina exhibit.
Local child viewing the Drawing on Katrina exhibit.

"Communication is a very important part of the path to healing and Hurricane Katrina left a very big wound to heal. Creating these works of art provided the children with an outlet to tell their story, and to communicate their own personal experience about the storm." – Mark Rigsby

Local children viewing the Drawing on Katrina exhibit.
Drawing on Katrina exhibit at the Gallery of Art & Design in the George Hurst Building, The University of Southern Mississippi.
Drawing on Katrina exhibit at the Gallery of Art & Design in the George Hurst Building, The University of Southern Mississippi.
Artwork from the Drawing on Katrina exhibit.

“Perhaps as a result of this anniversary exhibition, the artists who created the works in this show will be inspired to consider how the experience of Hurricane Katrina has shaped them. The storm was terrible, but it was also potentially a great teacher, dispensing lessons for us all about the importance of resilience, gratitude and service.”

– Janet Gorzegno

This exhibition is available for loan to qualified venues. For details, please contact artmuseum@usm.edu.

College of Arts & Letters • The University of Southern Mississippi • 118 College Drive, Hattiesburg MS 39406