Senior Show in Graphic Design

Congratulations to our Graphic Design Seniors! You’ve made it! For the past year, seniors have been developing and defending a fully-fledged design project that aims to incorporate their professional aspirations with their personal style and vision for the design. This past week has wrapped all that up and is now on display for all to see how hard our seniors have been at work to really show off how much they have learned during their time here. In total, fifteen seniors are in the Senior Showin Graphic Design:

Melanie Appel
Jessica Bourn
Stefani Cayten
Rebecca Corey
Gracie Fletcher
Christopher A. Franklin
Hannah Heneghan
Case Johnson
Cody Montefusco
Philip Mosely
Harley Perdue
Alyshia Rodgers
Amanda Seymour
Michael Tucker
Kari Zendejas

Earlier this week, the Opening Reception was hosted in the Gallery of Art + Design and students were awarded for their perseverance in the program with personalized dog tags. Harley Perdue was also presented with the annual Outstanding Student in Graphic Design Award because of her exceptional work that she has produced throughout her time here in the graphic design program. The event was well attended by friends and family in support of our graduating seniors.


The show will close next week on Tuesday, April 24th, so make sure to come by to see the awesome work our seniors have put together! Also keep an eye out for the announcement of the following senior show for the Sculpture and Painting and Drawing majors, so stay tuned on our social media!

2018 Annual Student Show


Congratulations to the 2018 Annual Student Show winners! Over the past couple weeks, the Department of Art + Design held its annual competition for students’ art, showcasing works selected from a larger group of submitted work. Students had the opportunity to submit up to five pieces of artwork that was done for any class offered through our department.

Last night, the Opening Reception and Awards Ceremony was hosted in the Gallery of Art + Design and students were awarded for their artistic efforts with monetary prizes. This event was well attended and the student artists were surrounded by supportive family and friends as awards were given for individual categories in Painting and Drawing, 3-D works, and Graphic Design. The exhibition will continue until April 6th. Keep up with the Department events by following us on social media!



Tad Carpenter Lecture

Last night we had the honor to host one of the most accomplished designers of our time, Tad Carpenter! All the thanks go to the USM Art+ Design department and USM’s RISE Creative student design agency. This unique event began with a tour of the Art + Design department building, allowing the students to interact with Mr. Carpenter before the actual event even began. Tad was able to sit in on design classes, listen to student presentations on current work, and also look at student portfolios. The evening lecture began with another opportunity to speak with Tad, especially for the visitors from LSU and MSU. Tad Carpenter was very open to talking to everyone individually and gave design students a memorable and positive experience to interact with a professional in the design industry. The lecture itself was a perfect insight into the professional world, his journey to get where he is today, and how he keeps his designs fresh (hint, its a constant practice). Tad Carpenter followed up the lecture with a workshop the next morning exclusively for the Rise students who worked hard to bring him here to USM.

Thank you to everyone who helped make this possible and also thank you to all the people who came out last night, especially those who traveled from other schools! Keep up with us on social media and check the website’s calendar to stay updated on future events like these!


Visiting Artist Stacey Rathert

USM Art + Design has had the honor of hosting a three day art experience this week with the visiting artist, Stacey Rathert, all thanks to The Artist Guild for sponsoring this event! Stacey Rathert is a sculptor and an adjunct professor for sculpture at the University of Mississippi. The first and third day of this event consisted of demonstrations on her process for sand mold making for metal casting. A specialty of hers is a multi-part mold of a three piece teacup set used as a test in foundries to determine skill. Stacey also went over techniques for the students to use in future projects.

The second day was split into critiques on student’s work and also an evening lecture. For the critiques, Stacey spoke to each sculpture student individually to discuss possible improvements on their work and gave them advice based on her own experiences and tips and tricks she has learned from other artists. During the lecture, Stacey Rathert gave the audience a personal background to explain her inspiration, discussed how she improved over time, and also talked about how she balances her teaching position with her personal projects. This was a fantastic experience for all those who had the opportunity to attend, so make sure to keep an eye out for future events like this by following USM Art + Design on social media or checking the calendar!


Lee Renninger Ceramics Workshop & Demonstration and Gallery Talk


On Wednesday, January 31, we were honored by the return of Lee Renninger to lead a ceramics workshop and demonstration, and later on in the day, revisit her ceramic installations in the Gallery of Art + Design to give a gallery talk and speak about each of the works individually. 

The event started in the morning with Renninger speaking on her artistic development and how her style of creation tended to be process based. She was enthusiastic in answering all questions, and encouraged the students present to strive to be open-minded and authentic with their work and ideas. Renninger gave insight to how she always pushed for success in getting exposure for her work, but accepted that she has to work other jobs for income. 

She also introduced a sneak-peak into her work in progress, revolving around the phrase “let them eat cake,” which Renninger feels that the public has been told by the government in relation to recent policies, and pulled out tiny, delicate, multicolored porcelain leaves, some of which she was already experimenting with how she would tie them together. This new body of art seems to be at its start, but is certainly something to keep an eye on in the future! The remaining time of the workshop, Renninger spent time individually with current students and those who had brought ceramic work in to discuss processes and troubleshooting.

Thank you to all who came and participated in the workshop, and a huge thanks to Lee Renninger for spending time in the studio with us and her wonderful advice! Follow SMAD on social media (@usmartdesign) for future updates and announcements for future events like these!