2020 Biennial Art + Design Faculty Show

The Faculty Show is a celebration of the visual arts at Southern Miss. This biennial exhibition features works of art created by Art & Design faculty and includes a broad range of works in drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, graphic design, mixed media, ceramics and sculpture.

This show offers an opportunity for Art & Design faculty to exhibit together as a collective whole and to share our creative research with the community. The show also serves as a chance to inspire and remind our students that we are not only their instructors, but professional practicing studio artists as well.

Feel free to use our gallery directory, scroll through the artist sections, or view the gallery tour to experience the show.

Please be sure to sign our guestbook through the comment section at the bottom of the page.

Date //

Friday, Sept. 10 – Oct. 16

Tickets //

All Museum events are free and open to the public.


Click to jump to the Gallery Tour to experience the work in a traditional setting.


Click images to view in gallery.






Allen Chen

Assoc. Professor

Like most sculptors, I explore possible experiences shared in an object when it’s interpreted as art.  Currently I am interested in the relationship between the vessel and its contents: how vessels contain and transport the intended content and how that relationship alters both properties. Characteristics of vessels are expressed and revealed as responses to the changing environment. For example, seedpods as a vessel will reveal the condition and maturity of the seeds inside through the characteristics of its surface texture, aroma and color; which is also a response to the environment of its location. Is the environment suitable for the seed to sprout and extract nutrient from the soil, or does the seedpod need to emit aroma to attract another transport vessel to devour and outfit the current vessel with its feces so that upon delivery it can access a more suitable location for sprouting? This process can be looked at as a packaging and delivery process, which we can interpret as metaphor. So in the context of language, this idea of packaging an idea with metaphor before delivering its content in the form of meaning is reflective of how most of the observable world works. We don’t simply receive information as is, in order to understand and absorb raw content, we package it with context in order to understand the information.

The conceptual relationship between the vessel and content leads directly to the rigors of technical research in studio activities. This is the engine of all research effort where new ideas of possible vessel forms and surface properties are developed, recorded and built upon for the next sequential project.  The technical aspect of clay body formulation, ceramics surface treatment and sculpting processes is the heart of my studio activity.



Jacob Cotton

Assoc. Professor
Graphic Design

My work is illustrative in nature each piece telling a part of a story as if sitting on a page of a book. The work stands as a record of pain and recovery. Emotions are time stamped in memory and replayed on paper. Each piece illustrates either the agony through visceral abstractions of grit and distress, or the rise from torment through more literal parables.

The tedious act of drawing infinite details helps me to illustrate the time it takes to overcome the memory stamped within. Each drawn piece calling upon an allegory to explain the events they describe. The use of color muted or non-existent as to allow for the darkness and contrast of the graphite and charcoal to take hold in the viewer; giving them a sense of ominous foreboding or an uneasiness to the unknown.

My work is meant to communicate clearly but not always an elaborate message. Through drawing and the laborious nature of providing such detail I am able to use more literal objects and subject matter to create parables of emotional events. Through this I can communicate agony, and the beauty that sometimes accompany it.



Matthew Gordon

Adjunct Professor
Fine Art



Janet Gorzegno

Painting and Drawing

“This place where you are right now, God circled on a map for you.” -Hafez



John Mark Lawler

Assoc. Professor
Graphic Design

Much of my work deals with memory, experiences and the effects of both on one’s being, specifically in the area of self-improvement. Many times this self-improvement is a development brought on by some type of physical accomplishment or challenge. Other times, this self-elevation is a result of attaining a more enlightened state, be it religious, intellectual or the like. I am continually in search of and ever watchful for the moments that elicit such changes in others’ lives as well as my own.



James Meade

Painting and Drawing



Marcus Michels

Assoc. Professor
Painting and Drawing

I construct original compositions based on direct observation of forms in nature. Specifically, my work involves the figure in an interior/studio environment. My paintings are a response to the formal relationships between the elements of color, light and shape. The gesture of the figure adds a sense of fluidity and ties together the formal elements of the composition in a way that engages our own sense of movement and physicality.


I prepare for a final painting by creating numerous smaller scale linear and tonal works. I use these preparatory works as stepping stones in the creation of one essential, final design. Distilling into singular 2D form the many rich observable conditions of nature, I seek to convey the subtleties of light, temperature and atmosphere as these impact our visual perception of the figure. A natural, yet ephemeral condition is paused for our reflection. Painting communicates in a glance that which cannot be said simply.



Nathan Mullins

Adjunct Professor
Fine Art

I make figurative oil paintings that engage in the myths that have shaped the tenets of my personal philosophy. Pulled from sources as varied as Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Wilco lyrics, Shakespeare’s plays and poems, the comic books of Grant Morrison, David Foster Wallace’s Infinite Jest, and blues legends from the Mississippi Delta; my paintings examine my relationship with the archetypes inherent in these stories. The snapshot quality of frozen action tends to suggest a narrative rather than provide any real string of events, while the color interplay provides the closest thing to any statement I have on the subject. This is increasingly selfish and subjective work, I know; however, I believe the most particular points of view offer the deepest glimpses of the universal. While I cannot claim to have achieved such an impossible task, I can submit for you here a statement as justification for pursuing my own very narrow interests.



Linh Nguyen

Asst. Professor
Graphic Design

What happens when you create a piece that fuses graphic design and sculpture? To me, the most challenging feat is capturing the best of both worlds.


I love the tight control and communication power of design along with the three-dimensional aesthetic of sculpture. The idea that one can walk around seeing different perspectives is enticing and thought-provoking.


The works are the result of these two, art and love merged.

However, I still wanted a link between the two disciplines. Paper became the solution. It no longer lives in my mind as a two-dimensional entity for printing. Now it has form.



Carolyn Norton

Adjunct Professor
Fine Art

These works are part of my ongoing photographic investigation into the nature of different types of rivers. “Wild Grace” is the overarching project and “The River Stour” is the series of images made in Canterbury, England that explore a chalk river. My goal was to capture the clarity and serene nature of this particular type of river, one of only about 200 in the world. Other investigations, so far, are of the Bow River in Banff National Park, in Alberta, Canada, a glacial river, and the confluence of the Kennet and Avon Canal with the Avon River in Bath, England.



Mark Rigsby

Assoc. Professor

My work includes both sculptural and functional explorations in ceramics. Having worked in clay for over 30 years, I am still enamored by the process and the possibilities for creative discovery within this ancient art form. Whether sculpture or utilitarian, my work is rooted in a deep respect for both fine craft and fine art. I strive to create well-crafted, sculptural works that provoke curiosity in the viewer while at the same time satisfying my own creative ideas and need for personal expression, and functional works that elevate everyday tangible experience.



Jennifer Torres


My current body of work, Weirdo Children, is my way of interacting and compartmentalizing the issues I see in how we treat those marginalized by society. My focus is not to judge or romanticize but to build my version of the glorious misfit; strange bodies, giant holes for faces, legs all akimbo, and joyful colors. My own legacy is to not fit into the norm and I have had to deal with that all my life, so I see myself as part of this crew. This is my imaginary army, ready to rise up and fight for what is rightfully theirs in this world.



Kevin Vanek

Adjunct Professor

In my current studio practice, I create artwork that represents (and helps me cope with) my own mental illness. As a long-time sufferer of depression, mania, and anxiety disorders, my personal life has been dictated largely by my ability to subvert the mental anguish. I have grown used to these illnesses, having accepted them as part of my every day. Through the creation of art using traditional industrial crafts I can channel these raw mental states into creative outlets, and create objects that expose my truth.

Using the times when I am alone and feeling the effects of my mental health disorders the most, I sketch and imagine new works to craft and occupy my time with. Whether it is a depressive bout that leaves me imprisoned in my house. Or manic swings that keep me over stimulated for days. Or the anxiety attacks that lead to me fleeing social gatherings. These, and any number of similar situations that ebb and flow through my life, I am able to view myself, and record the often cringe worthy versions I see. Through these mental cues, gestures and poses are assigned, allowing me to create figural forms which give shape to my mental states. The human form is a strong object within the psyche. It represents me, you, us, anyone, and everyone. These objects are stand-ins for me, but many people have similar tales to tell.

The studio has always been a place where I go to keep myself active during my worst times. Metal fabrication is a cathartic activity for me, as it offers a task that keeps me physically and mentally distracted from my problems. This is reflective of my blue-collar heritage. Within working class society, particularly the fields of manual and industrial labor, mental illness is not afforded any sympathy and we are taught to simply work harder and ignore the pain. This has been my learned mentality. Through the skills and techniques of industrial craft and an emotionally empathetic ability to read body language in the human form, I attempt to create objects that speak for me. By exposing the vulnerability of mental illness in materials often associated with strength and permanence such as steel, iron, and wood, the seriousness of these illnesses is made clear.


Gallery Tour

Thank you for visiting please sign our guestbook below.

About the Museum of Art

Our mission is to enrich the educational and cultural experience of the university and Hattiesburg community; while at the same time serving as an educational platform for students of the Art & Design program.

The University of Southern Mississippi Museum of Art was established in 1997 by The Mississippi Institute of Higher Learning Board of Trustees, as an expansion of the C.W. Woods Gallery founded in 1977.

In 2014, the Art & Design program and the Museum of Art moved to a new location in the historic George Hurst Building on Southern Drive. The newly completed Gallery of Art & Design, a 2000 sq.ft. contemporary art gallery in George Hurst, is now the primary exhibition space for the Art & Design program and Museum of Art exhibitions and events.


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