USM Art and Design’s Annual Juried Student Show Set for March 23

By Ivonne Kawas

Artwork by students in the Art and Design program, housed in the School of Performing and Visual Arts at The University of Southern Mississippi (USM), will be on exhibit for its 2022 Annual Juried Student Show, from March 23 through April 8 on the Hattiesburg Campus. An awards ceremony will be held March 24 at 6 p.m.

The Exhibition was juried by Anthony (Tony) DiFatta, Director of Education at Walter Anderson Museum in Ocean Springs; Christian Bailey, potter, sculptor, and art teacher at Harrison Central High School; and Zach Blessing, graphic designer and Vice President of American Advertising Federation of Pensacola.

DiFatta, USM alum and juror, says he has judged many art competitions from children to professional artists.

“I’m always amazed with the work I see from the students at USM and visit the gallery and studios any time I’m in town,” said DiFatta. “Some of the pieces in this show are stronger than most professional art that I’ve judged.”

DiFatta stated that the work exhibited by USM students make it clear that art instructors at USM really emphasize the basics of craftsmanship and composition, without hindering creativity.

“Even though I graduated over 20 years ago, I can still see the influence of the USM faculty in my own work,” said DiFatta.

The show features more than 151 works of art that were selected from 192 entries. These include entries from studio courses in art foundations, drawing, painting, printmaking, digital photography, ceramics, sculpture, and several categories in graphic design.

“We are delighted this year to be back in the gallery for our Annual Student Show after the past two years of online exhibitions,” said Mark Rigsby, associate professor and director of the Gallery of Art and Design.

“This is one of our most anticipated events of the year and we look forward to viewing and celebrating all the hard work and studio achievements of our students in Art and Design,” he added.

The exhibit can be viewed at the Gallery of Art and Design in the George Hurst Building, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. For questions about the Annual Student Show, contact Mark Rigsby at 601.266.5200.