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.

Congrats! Dr. Ventura

Written by   in 

A big Congratulations is in order for SMAD’s very own Dr. Cathy Ventura who was recognized as Staff Member of the Year by the University for her outstanding work. We are very proud and feel very privileged to have her in our department!

Proximity by Tirzah Legg – November 29-December 16

Written by   in 
senior-show-in-sculpture-tirzah-fbimage

The work of Tirzah Legg, senior art student at USM, is on display in the Gallery of Art and Design in the George Hurst building. The show is titled Proximity, and will be open until December 16.

The works presented in the show carry the overarching theme of the natural. When you first walk into the gallery, the first thing that catches the eye are several white net-like structures, rising around orange clay pots full of what appears to be water. According Legg’s artist statement, these structures are inspired by fungi.

The pots were made from clay that Tirzah harvested from three specific locales. The first is from her hometown in Saucier. The second was from Perkinston, where Legg attended community college, and the third is from around Hattiesburg, where Legg will be graduating from USM.

Legg states that the logs refer to the mythological phoenix, in which a bird is born from its own ashes. “So too,” states Legg, “are the logs that were burned to create these ceramic forms.” These plaster-cast logs stand upright on end, a marbled covering giving them a stony look over their organic, wooden forms.

The third type of object represented are the beetles, which Legg was drawn to because of their diversity. The beetles are colorful and shiny, displaying a variety of texture. Legg says that she used “the formal study of the form, color, and texture of beetles” to represent a “transition from functional pottery to sculptural ceramics.”