DSVC National Student Show and Conference 14

Written by   in 


This past weekend, 24 Graphic Design students from the Creative Collective, our student design organization, traveled to Dallas to attend DSVC’s National Student Show (NSSC) and Conference in Dallas, Texas. Our students worked hard fundraising and organizing for the event and preparing work for submission into the juried exhibition. The DSVC NSSC, is the largest of its kind and truly a once in a lifetime experience for students. To quote Asst. Professor Cotton:


 “Having personally sat in on numerous breakout sessions through the years and I have been personally inspired by such greats as Wayne Geyer, and Jeff Barfoot. The conference has always done an amazing job of showing students and professors alike what is happening in the design world, whether with the studio tours exposing many students to the inside of a design environment for the first time or the keynote speakers laying down earth shattering design wisdom.

In my experience this conference does those things second to none, but as a student it did something more for me. Every year in the spring semester I begin to gear up the excitement in my classrooms for this event, trying to galvanize my students behind a singular goal: Get To Dallas. This has been my goal since before I was teaching. As a student leader in the university design club it became our focus every year. It gave us a common goal, a reason to be around each other, to put up with each other. What was a mere classroom acquaintance at the beginning became a trusted friend. You began to grow together as designers, sharing your skills, resources, and alcohol. Before long instead of a design club we had a community of late night owls and x-acto swordsmen whose strive for perfectionism and caffeine could not be rivaled. This community still binds many of us together to this day.”


Our students left Wednesday morning in order to partake in the studio tours which were on the first day of activities on Thursday. The studio tours allowed students to directly interact with active professionals in their field and gain a better understanding of their future work environment. The following two days were packed with keynote speakers who dropped great words of wisdom about many aspects of design and life as a creative. Between speakers, students were able to attend breakout sessions from Dallas area professionals and professionals from across the country that covered a wide range of topics such as handlettering and poster activism to freelancing and designing for a museum. The NSSC concluded with an awards gala and after-party which allowed students the opportunity to screen print their own posters in a fun and lively setting.

This year three talented students from our program were accepted into the exhibition marking the first time in program history that our students have been represented in this prestigious national show which had close to 2000 entries from across the country.

Asst. Professor Jacob C. Cotton also served this year on a panel of blind jurors made of nationally recognized educators from around the country to select session speakers for the education forum which covered two days of topics on how to better design education. The forum saw professors and psychologist from 5 different states present their research on topics ranging from sports psychology to community building and more.   

For more information about the conference please visit: www.nationalstudentshow.com


Stay updated on what the Art + Design students are up to by following SMAD and Creative Collective on social media!






Graphic Design Field Trips

Written by   in 


This week was a big week for our students filled with opportunities to see and experience design beyond the Hattiesburg campus. On Wednesday Nov. 15th close to 40 students and 3 of our design faculty traveled to LSU in Baton Rouge to view 2 great exhibitions on typography and to hear a lecture by one of the preeminent typographers of our time, Matthew Carter. The lecture, a presentation on the typographer Bruce Rogers and his typeface “centaur” covered many of the issues talked about in our required typography course. 

The very next day, students from Professor John Mark Lawler’s Print Production course traveled to Bourne Brothers Printing to tour their facilities, experience the offset printing process and to see a student designed poster series be produced. Pictured below are students from the course on tour and Gabbi Graham the student designer of the poster series. 

New Train Kiln and Wood Firing

Congrats are in order for Professor Allen Chen and our amazing students for a successful wood firing in our new student built train kiln. The train kiln build was a part of an advanced ceramics course taught this summer by Professor Chen. The wood firing of the kiln, which took place during fall break in October, was a great experience for students and faculty alike and resulted in exceptional work. 

New Student Organization of the Year

Written by   in 
On Wednesday April 26th at the Annual SOAR Awards sponsored by the Southern Miss Office of Leadership and Student Involvement, the Creative Collective, our newest organization in SMAD was awarded The New Student Organization of the Year Award. The Creative Collective is a group of designers whose goal is to provide a community for design students outside of the class, to provide opportunities for trips to see art and design, bringing lecturers to campus, arrange workshops, and perform community outreach. The organization is known for its social events such as laser tag and useful workshops on topics such as bookbinding and handlettering.  

This year the group was instrumental in helping bring students to the DSVC National Student Show and Conference in Dallas, as well as aiding students beyond the classroom with weekend workshops. If you’re a design student or prospective student interested in joining the Collective please email Asst. Professor Jacob Cotton for details. 

2017 Senior Show

Written by   in 
From April 25th through May 12th senior graphic design and sculpture students will be showcasing work completed this semester in their capstone course. The show, one of the largest of the year showcases a variety projects ranging from brand development to games. Come by April 25th from 5-7pm for our opening reception.

DSVC National Student Show and Conference

On March 29th, 21 design students and one faculty member from the Southern Miss Art + Design Department traveled to Dallas TX. to take part in the 13th Annual National Student Show and Conference hosted by the Dallas Society of Visual Communicators. The conference, the largest of its type for students, boasts keynote speakers who are design and advertising industry leaders along with studio tours, breakout sessions, portfolio reviews, a job fair, and an educator’s forum.

Students were lead to the conference by Asst. Professor Jacob C. Cotton. Cotton, is no stranger to the conference, he was awarded a gift set in the welcome ceremony for having been the one in attendance to have attended the most conferences to date, and was selected at the 11th Annual National Conference as Educator of the Year. This year Professor Cotton took on a more elevated role by being one of only three speakers in this years Educator’s Forum. His presentation entitled “Motivating Millennials: Sport of Design” was selected after a national call for abstracts and was well received by those in attendance.

2017 Student Show

Written by   in 

Come by and checkout the great work our students are creating in the 2017 Student Show. Awards be given out to students in multiple categories such as: foundations, sculpture, ceramics, drawing, painting, and graphic design at the opening reception on March 21.

Open House Registration Open!

Written by   in 

Registration has opened for our annual Open House and Scholarship Competition. The annual event is an excellent opportunity for prospective students to tour the facilities, speak with current students and faculty, and participate in the portfolio scholarship competition. Lunch will be served for the event. Please check out our event page HERE to register.

Hub City Invitational

Written by   in 

On January 26 the USM Gallery of Art and Design hosted the opening reception to the Hub City Invitational Exhibition which showcased work by some of the finest artist in the area. The strong showing of work highlighted the strength of the local art community and helped to introduce SMAD students to the fellow artist working around them. The exhibition will be on display until February 17th. 

Visiting Artist Series: Peter Christian Johnson

Written by   in 

February 6-8th SMAD welcomed visiting artist Peter Christian Johnson for a 3 day workshop which included lectures, demonstrations and workshops for students and visitors. The interactive projects included a team project in which students developed a large totem based on three words, synchronized wheel throwing, and a senior critique.