2020: An International Photography Exhibition

The University of Southern Mississippi Museum of Art and School of Performing and Visual Arts is pleased to present 2020: An International Juried Photography Exhibition, juried by documentary fine art photographer, Betty Press.

This juried exhibition features work by fifty photographers and images from the work they explored in 2020, including Todd Brittingham, Karen Bullock, Diana Cheren Nygren, Patricia Clarke, Jo Cosme, Saj Crone, Tim Davis, Norm Diamond, Richard Dollison, Joelle Ford, Sonya Fort, Ana Gadish-Linares, Audrey Gottlieb, Dave Hanson, Andrew Hendrick, John Hicks, Eileen Hohmuth-Lemonick, Sean Hoisington, Ed Holten, Don Jacobson, Jeremy Janus, Luke Jordan, Daniel Kariko, Brooklynn Kascel, Christopher Kaspar, Bette Kauffman, Deborah Kennedy, Honey Lazar, Elizabeth Limbaugh, Avrel Menkes, Maureen Mulhern-White, Michael Mulvey, Liz Nealon, Christos Palios, Ann Perich, Jelisa Peterson, Donna Pinckley, Marla Puziss, Emily Roe, Holly Romano, Jacque Rupp, Foad Seyed Mohammadi, Krista Shelton, J. Michael Skaggs, Ursula Sokolowska, Jack Straton, Todd Suttles, Omid Tavakoli, Brooke White, and Marthanna Yater.

Many of these artists used their creative skills to make photographs as a way of reflecting on all that happened in 2020, from the over-arching pandemic, resulting lockdowns, quarantining and loss of life, to the George Floyd killing, the Black Lives Matter movement, and the national elections. The works in this show speak to both shared and individual experiences, and while some express feelings of anxiety, sadness, loss, isolation and uncertainty, others offer a sense of healing and hope for the future.

Please join us online on February 18 at 6:30 for an online lecture and live Q&A with Betty Press.

Date //

Friday, Feb. 5 – March 22

Tickets //

All Museum events are free and open to the public.

Juror Lecture
February 18 – 6:30 p.m.

Meeting ID: 974 0448 9273

NEW GALLERY FEATURES

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Gallery

Welcome to the Gallery, please scroll at your leisure. Click images to view in light box gallery. Click artist statement to expand and view a statement from the artist.

Todd Brittingham

Todd Brittingham, “Ethan,” Photography, 20×16 Inches, Plantation, FL

“In Class” is a series of black and white photographs that I made during the Covid-19 pandemic in my elementary school art class. These candid pictures were taken as a testimonial to the resilience and determination of my students in this time of uncertainty and change. I am an art teacher in South Florida and this series serves as documentation of the present moment and the ability of these amazing kids to persevere, create and inspire.

 

-Todd Brittingham

Karen Bullock

Karen Bullock, “Unspoken Wishes,” Archival pigment print of scanned vintage-paper photos, 11×8.5 Inches, Mobile, AL

This year, I spent time walking in the woods with my camera. I titled the photos, Wilderness Time. It is an in- between place of learning to survive, adapt, & create with what is on hand.

I received some old photo paper & began to experiment outside with plants & negatives too. The slowness of the process is fitting to this time of waiting.

It is a work in progress. I am feeling my way through it, like one feeling their way through the forest at night- pausing, looking, touching. It is tactile, the surfaces of the papers, the seeds, & plants. The papers respond to light in unique ways with colors ranging from baby pink to brown. In this way, the paper itself has become one of the subjects of this series. It has pulled me through this time like a map for one who is lost.

Wilderness time can be refreshing, challenging, difficult, painful, full of wonder, and it is a time of learning, of growth, of coming to understand yourself and the world in a new way.

 

-Karen Bullock

Diana Cheren Nygren

Diana Cheren Nygren, “I Dreamed I Was in a Church,” Archival pigment print, 9×9 Inches, Brookline, MA

Just Another Alice

For the last nine months the world has been in the grip of a crisis unlike any experience in my lifetime. In these images I explore the feeling of being trapped and struggling to find joy and hope. During the pandemic we have been at times locked down, our movement has been restricted, and travel has all but disappeared. For nine months I have barely left my home. Being confined can make one feel a little crazy at times. We all have our ways of coping. Some escape in drink, in food, in imaginary travels. One way or another, we seek to bring light into the walls that confine us.

 

-Diana Cheren Nygren

Patricia Clarke

Patricia Clarke, “Lost in Time,” Archival pigment print, 13×19, Carpinteria, CA

Facing Ourselves in the Time of Corona:  The Coronavirus pandemic has brought the world to a sudden, shuddering, chaotic halt, and has kept its promise to change our lives, for better or for worse. It has attacked all races and all socioeconomic groups; in the United States it has hit communities of color disproportionately and broadened the conversation regarding racial and economic justice. While we simultaneously seek to extend a virtual helping hand to those who are more seriously affected by this new reality, we are also forced to isolate ourselves away from human contact.

The reality of how we face ourselves and each other is constantly evolving. Shall we turn our backs towards, or away from fear? Shall we face the future head on, adapting to our new environment with grace, generosity and caring? Or, shall we turn our heads, and have only ourselves to face?

 

-Patricia Clarke

Jo Cosme

Jo Cosme, “Perpetual State of Grasping in the Dark,” Photography, 60×40 Inches, Seattle, WA

Jo Cosme is a queer Puerto Rican multidisciplinary artist born and raised in Río Piedras, Puerto Rico. Graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Photography and a minor in Printmaking. She uses art as a tool to encourage social justice and activism by addressing socio-political and mental health issues, helping give visibility to matters that are often stigmatized or overlooked. Her main goal is to promote critical thinking and provoke relevant conversations for educational purposes. Her work can extend from photography and video to installations or sound pieces for mixed media purposes.

 

-Jo Cosme

Saj Crone

Saj Crone, “Sequim, Back to The Earth,” Photography, 16×24 Inches, Memphis, TN

2020 was a year of great change for our planet due to a pandemic. In many cases, isolated people have turned to the earth to help with giving them emotional balance, as well as for providing a food source. Many restaurants have permanently closed. Yet many continue to do business, while offering safe distancing for their customers. Many public places, like movie theaters, museums, and art galleries were closed. Yet many have remained open on a limited basis. For example, I was able to go to the top of the Seattle Space Needle, which gave me a sense of freedom. Public gatherings have been limited during the 2020 pandemic. Yet it was possible to attend a Dia De Muertos celebration.Those celebrating were isolated in their cars, while creating a safe drive-by enjoyment of Mexican culture, which was at the roadside. We are all adapting to our fast-changing world. My photography shows some of the things, which I have experienced in that changing world.

 

-Saj Crone

Tim Davis

Tim Davis, “Power to the People,” Digital photography, 11×14 Inches, Washington, DC

Tim Davis, “I Am a Man'” Digital photography, 11×14 Inches, Washington, DC

This is year was a powerful year for change awareness and transformation. Around the world, people came out to show solidarity and grieve the murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Sandra Bland, Tony McDade, Ahmaud Arbery, Philando Castile, and the thousands of Black people who have been murdered, over-criminalized, hyper-policed, arrested and unjustly accused of crimes they did not comment. The world has changed, the corona virus has continued to rise and as we continue to quarantine, continue Make a Difference. As an artist, photography has always been a opportunity for sharing a message with others and documenting events in time. Protest and marches are important for a change. These photos were all take in Washington DC during the many marches this year. They were intense and peaceful. I am glad I could take these photos and share for all people. Let’s continue to support Black Lives Matter, fight Oppression, and change the Injustices in the World.

 

-Tim Davis

Norm Diamond

Norm Diamond, “Campaign Signs,” Archival pigment print, 15×20 Inches, Dallas, TX

The current pandemic and political discord have cast a pall over the world. Although I love to celebrate joy and laughter whenever I can, I have always been drawn to scenes that recall the emotions all of us feel at some point and especially now: sadness, loss, isolation, and despair. They remind me of my most intense and painful experiences. But they also let me know that I am human, that I have survived and can go forward.

 

-Norm Diamond

Richard Dollison

Richard Dollison, “Generations of the Struggle #1,” Digital photography, 8×10 Inches, Mobile, AL

Richard Dollison, “Generations of the Struggle #3,” Digital photography, 8×10 Inches, Mobile, AL

My photographs were taken at a protest in Mobile, Alabama after the death of George Floyd. As I composed my images, a theme emerged. Protesters of all ages and races were gathered in unity to say, enough! Selecting the images I started looking into the subject’s eyes. In them I see the determination of a young black officer. The weariness of older women, both black and white, whose eyes reflect volumes of history filled with lessons of both pain and hope. These images are part of my ongoing project to capture the architecture, people, and celebrations of my hometown of Mobile.

2020 began with Mardi Gras celebrations and soon gave way to Covid shutdowns that left the streets empty. The pandemic, however, could not stop the drive for thousands of Mobilians; the young, old, black, brown, white, gay and straight, to cry out for justice.

 

-Richard Dollison

Joelle Ford

Joelle Ford, “Lengthy Wait for THIS?” Photography, 14×11 Inches, Lawrence, KS

I began studying art at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana, in 1961, and completed a BFA degree with Honors from the University of Kansas in 1999. In between those dates, I married, worked as slide librarian for the art and architecture department at the University of Arkansas while my husband obtained advanced degrees, had four daughters, and participated in many art-based volunteer opportunities. I worked on our rental property by knocking out walls and painting, refinished furniture and sewed clothes and costumes galore. These activities provided valuable experience and a foundation for my work in mixed media – collage and assemblage.

I am interested in the utilization of found objects. This has been my focus for many years – really my whole life. The habit of finding value in unwanted or undervalued items continues in my work today. Items that some see as junk, I see as idle art. I use photography in some of my work, and find it challenging.

 

-Joelle Ford

Sonya Tanae Fort

Sonya Tanae Fort, “Entangled,” Digital photography, 9×12 Inches, Brockton, MA

I am a self-taught photographer from Massachusetts. However, both of my parents and 8 of my 9 siblings were born in Mississippi. As were both sets of my grandparents, great-grandparents, etc. As a photographer I have the ability to suspend moments in time. Those moments then become part of history, so I strive to capture the very essence of each sentient being, inanimate object or landscape that I photograph. I tell their stories in the form of images. My portraits are a glimpse into the subject’s personality and the raw emotion that they are feeling in that moment. My still life photos convey how mundane and ordinary objects can become something unique and extraordinary. Landscape and wildlife photography allow me to express my love and appreciation for the beauty and wonderment of nature. I devoted 2020 to making my mark in the fine art world. To date, more than 30 of my images have been featured in fine art shows, exhibitions and competitions throughout the United States and Greece.

 

-Sonya Tanae Fort

Ana Gadish-Linares

Ana Gadish-Linares, “Ice Cream Cone #1,” Digital photography, 24×18 Inches, Richmond, CA

Ana Gadish-Linares is a Cuban-American multimedia artist, illustrator, and designer. She creates interdisciplinary art that stimulates discussions on a variety of topics including cultural identity, ancestry, mental health, and gender. Ana has a BA in Fine Arts from the University of Florida and an MS in Arts Administration from Boston University. She has expertise in photography, graphite drawing, printmaking, collage, graphic design, and digital media. Her photographs are characterized by macro scenes that reveal and illuminate the tiny and often overlooked worlds that exist around us (in spite of us). The physics works differently at that small scale, so water droplets look like massive, plump, perfect globes that reflect upside-down, distorted images of the scenes around them. Ana is now based in the East Bay area in California and she continues to work as a practicing artist and freelance graphic designer.

Audrey Gottlieb

Audrey Gottlieb, “Women and Pink Flamingos,” Digital photography, 16×12 Inches, York, ME

I live in a Maine seacoast village. When the Coronavirus came to town, our Governor declared a Stay-At-Home edict. This was very difficult for me – and continues to be – because I am a documentary photographer who walks and stalks (photographs) as my lifestyle.

Therefore, my main project during 2020 was spent archiving my thousands of existing photographs depicting American immigration in the Queens borough of New York City, where I used to live and work. However, in springtime I began to venture out of the house despite the “lockdown”, because I missed my daily beach walks. The town authorities had posted signs, roadblocks and cement barriers to prevent residents from walking on the beach and narrow pathways. Those obstacles lasted until June (some paths are still closed to the public).

So, come summer I happily started exploring again and photographed the rare and very special outings of local residents and tourists who braved the unprecedented situation. The photographs I have submitted for this Call for Entry are a variety of beach scenes and masked people and dogs. I hope they capture both the exuberance and tenacity of humans trying to celebrate the “normal” during abnormal times.

 

– Audrey Gottlieb

Dave Hanson

Dave Hanson, “Blue Bird,” Photography, 13×18 Inches, Price, UT

My photographs are elements of my ongoing visual journey. They are the outcomes of the variations of my thoughts and the evidence of my presence in the places that I have been, the things I have seen and of the people I have experienced. They tell of brief moments in my life that I have been paused in my steps and have awaken from my visual slumber.

 

-Dave Hanson

Andrew Hendrick

Andrew Hendrick, Untitled, Giclee archival inkjet print, 24×36 Inches, Brooklyn, NY

Andrew Hendrick is a Brooklyn based street photographer. With his work, Andrew captures the odd and the unique in our everyday life. His interest in street photography lies within its’ ability to provide a window to view society’s atmosphere and its’ human experience. This summer Andrew immersed himself into the protests in New York City both as an active participant and as a street photographer. He wanted to capture the voice of the people who have felt unheard and unjust as he himself has experienced growing up as an African-American in the United States and display with his work the positive energy when we as individuals come together for a greater purpose and show the power of the community.

John Hicks

John Hicks, “RR II,” Digital photography, 12×18 Inches, Tuscumbia, AL

My subject is usually the landscape of the rural South, where I’ve lived most of my life. Taking photographs is a way for me to connect with the present and the past in a meditative way. I hope my work inspires reflection on the beauty of this region.

 

-John Hicks

Eileen Hohmuth-Lemonick

Eileen Hohmuth-Lemonick, “Death is Present Everywhere,” Flatbed scanner, 20×15 Inches, Princeton, NJ

Eileen Hohmuth-Lemonick, “The Unknown,” Digital camera, lightroom, photoshop, 20×16 Inches, Princeton, NJ

These images contain traces of a lifetime’s memories. They have to do with the passing of time, moments and people that are gone, love, sexuality, family, beauty, decay, fragility, longevity, vulnerability, sickness, health, death, friendship, memory, loss, and the inner narrations we carry through the years. This project started when I fractured my pelvis, was immobile, and could only get around with a walker. Friends sent bouquets and with severely limited motion, I began to photograph them on my kitchen table, finding beauty in their decay. From that initial work I continued in many directions: among them portraits, flowers frozen in melting ice, images created with a scanner, self-portraits, combining live and dead flowers, painting on vegetation, and observing the passage of time in nature.

 

-Eileen Hohmuth-Lemonick

Sean Hoisington

Sean Hoisington, “The Pharmacy,” Photography, 32.5×13.5 Inches, Chesterfield, MO

I was inspired to create The Pharmacy after speaking through social media to people medicating or self- medicating during the pandemic. The number of people suffering through anxiety during these emotionally exhausting times is understandable, and, perhaps relatable. I also sought to evoke The Valley of the Dolls through not only the pill bottles, but also the Xanax blue 60s wardrobe. In this way, my piece reflects both art as art reflecting life. By creating this piece, I hope I am able to bring awareness to people suffering from anxiety during the pandemic.  –

 

Sean Hoisington

Ed Holten

Ed Holten, “6/2/20 BLM Protest in Richmond, VA – Robert E. Lee Monument,” Digital photograph, 16×20 Inches, Apopka, FL

Ed Holten, “7/18/20 Call to Action at Renamed Marcus David Peters Circle,” Digital photograph, 20×16 Inches, Apopka, FL

In 1993 I arrived in Richmond for graduate school. My apartment was a block away from the Robert E Lee monument. To a newly arrived white northerner this landmark seemed an odd, meaningless anachronism. However, as years passed, I witnessed the battle to add Arthur Ashe’s likeness to the Avenue as well as a city segregated by race and poverty. In time I understood these enshrined confederate “heroes” were not a vestige of the past, they represented an ongoing multi-generational power structure that the Civil War did not erase.

In 2020, the upheaval created by the George Floyd and Breonna Taylor incidents led me to document the call for change coming from the community victimized by the institutional racism represented by these monuments.

Instead of focusing only on confrontation, I decided to also show the hopeful leaders calling for reforms to policing, economic disparity and incarceration. The resulting portfolio “No Excuses” documents these people and events in Richmond VA.

 

-Ed Holten

Don Jacobson

Don Jacobson, “George Floyd,” Photography, 18×24 Inches, Portland, OR

I see the world differently now. The camera, which narrows the field of vision, has actually expanded my vision. When I realized I was viewing reality as if it were a series of photographs, I initially questioned that perspective. Now, I know my perception is enhanced and enriched from my pursuit of photography. An already dynamic and interesting world has become more so.

I am delighted by quality of light, vibrancy of color, unexpected and often unnoticed detail. The stunning structure of an orchid, the intricate ornamentation on an older building, or dishes stacked in a dish drainer are fascinating to me. Abstractions and patterns are richer and invite investigation. My subject matter is limitless. Anything that appeals to my eye is fair game for my camera.

 

– Don Jacobson

Jeremy Janus

Jeremy Janus, “Lightning on the Eastern Plains, ” Metal infused print 16×24 Inches, Denver, CO

I am an artist based out of Denver, Colorado focusing on nature photography. My artwork is a melding of my earlydays in painting and drawing with my days spent in nature. Both of these worlds were used to help ease my battles with anxiety and depression and helped to heal my soul. I now use my days of pain and suffering to inspire the world around me and I strive to be a constant light in the darkness for people to aspire to be in their own lives as well.

 

– Jeremy Janus

Luke Jordan

Luke Jordan, “Willie: Pictures from the Back Porch, 06/20/2020,” Inkjet print on Baryta paper, 23×34.5 Inches, Lawrence, KS

Recent Work in the Time of COVID-19:  Everything changed quickly, and as a teacher and part-time museum worker, it’s hard to imagine where we’ll end up or how long it will take to get there…Meanwhile, I’ve been trying to continue the work: my wife and I have created a makeshift workspace on our back porch, which she uses as a workshop for dyeing fabric and I use as a studio for taking photographs. For many of the photographs I’ve taken, my wife and son have played along as models. And like many family photographs something is revealed or suggested, but even more, is left hidden or unsaid.

 

-Luke Jordan

Daniel Kariko

Daniel Kariko, “Suburban Patterns [Pandemic Edition]: Back Yard,” Archival inkjet print, 20×30 Inches, Greenville, NC

This series of images arose from observations of quotidian environments and the patterns made by participants in those environments, both human and animal. These compressed slices of time are meant to evoke the sensation of “time disorientation” due to long periods of isolation during Covid-19 pandemic. These images are made up from a sample of ordinary photographs, taken over one-week period. Compositing the various “insignificant” events into a single image, makes one significant composition, playing on the humor and absurdity of our current condition.

 

-Daniel Kariko

Brooklynn Kascel

Brooklynn Kascel, Untitled, Digital image Fujifilm Xpro-1, 11×14 Inches, Minneapolis, MN

Brooklynn Kascel, “State Troopers,” Digital Image Fujifilm Xpro-1, 11×14 Inches, Minneapolis, MN

These images capture the development of events following the murder of George Floyd by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin and fellow officers Kueng, Lane, and Thao who were at the scene on Monday, May 25th, 2020. On May 26th I began to photograph my neighborhood and Minneapolis proper when peaceful protests turned violent amid clashes between protesters and militarized police presence. Grocery stores, fast food restaurants and family owned businesses became targets for arson and theft by groups traveling into the city to incite violence and intimidate residents.

Reformative action against the Minneapolis police force has since gained momentum. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has signed a police accountability bill to ban neck restraints like the one used by Derek Chauvin on George Floyd which resulted in his death, and The Minneapolis City Council voted 13-0 to shift nearly $8 million in police funding to support mental health crisis response teams and violence prevention.

 

-Brooklynn Kascel

Christopher Kaspar

Christopher Kaspar, “Modern Family,” Analog photo printed on metal plate, 24×30 Inches, Lakewood, OH

For this body of work I have used analog photography and technology to create new images that are printed on large scale metal plates. To further explain, I search for photographs that speak to me on an aesthetic level or I find an image from the past that seems relevant to current political and social issues. These photographs are taken from around the world dating from the late 1800’s to the 1970’s. I then scan the photograph where I apply a manipulation to the scan resulting in a new image.

 

-Christopher Kaspar

Bette Kauffman

Bette Kauffman, “Palm Psalm,” Archival pigment print, 14×11 Inches, Monroe, LA

I am a photographer-mystic, encountering the world, striving to see and know the forms and spirit of things. I am interested in the glory and pathos, the heroism and hubris of humankind, and our struggle to find and create meaning. One influence is Georgia O’Keeffe, who could draw a banana plant or paint a landscape pregnant with the human condition. Another is Margaret Bourke-White, who saw beauty in industry. Subjects include people who work/perform in public spaces, the natural world and the built environment. Framing is a foundational aesthetic and tool of the photographer. Imposing frames on reality profoundly disrupts that reality, isolating, freezing, re-presenting a fragment of time and space, which humans by and large experience as continuous. Through framing and other photographic methods like selective focus, use of color & monochrome, and abstraction, I transform an encounter, a telling detail, a fleeting insight into an invitation to viewers to see and know as well.

 

-Bette Kauffman

Deborah Kennedy

Deborah Kennedy, “Walls Within, 1,” Digital photograph, silver, medium, 8×10 Inches, San Jose, CA

Deborah Kennedy’s internationally exhibited practice confronts challenging humanitarian issues, from barriers between the self and others, to our on-going prison calamity, to the Anthropogenic environmental crises. Evolving fluidly between mediums and subject matter, her works reflect pressure points gathered from her ongoing studies. She constructively refigures our evolving understanding of our mounting humanitarian and ecological vicissitudes and seeks potential pathways toward a thriving world. She believes in the possibility of hope even as she envisions her art as “using butterfly wings to beat down mountains.

Honey Lazar

Honey Lazar, “Kami,” Photography, 16×24 Inches, Pepper Pike, OH

Honey Lazar, “Denis,” Photography, 16×24 Inches, Pepper Pike, OH

“Seen + Heard” is a documentary series about sexual assault, abuse, and rape. Until #MeToo, people who were molested, raped, assaulted, or harassed were rarely seen and less frequently heard. Each person wore a white tee shirt, and I used a consistent lighting set-up painting a sameness of appearance. The exhibit creates a conversation from the still images and participants’ narratives and bears witness – for their story cannot be heard until we stop and listen.

 

-Honey Lazar

Elizabeth Limbaugh

Elizabeth Limbaugh, “Viral Prayer,” Photography, 11×14 Inches, Birmingham, AL

As my own city, Birmingham, AL, began to shut down, I had to get out and document the signs of the times (mostly from my car window).  I went all over different pockets of my community to get a permanent record of how things looked at the time, under the circumstances. I used color and black and white, a vintage lens and a pinhole cap. I showed people shopping and empty mall parking lots, signs in the doors of closed businesses and churches, windows boarded up, and monuments defaced after unrest. For this show, I have chosen three images from churches-as we’ve all been in this together, we all see it in and react to it in a different way, including within faith communities.

 

-Elizabeth Limbaugh

Avrel Menkes

Avrel Menkes, “A Whole New World,” Photo Montage, 40×40 Inches, Bellmore, NY

The mask, a most isolating item during our worldwide pandemic, is ironically the commonality that links all peoples of the world together. Portrayed in this photo montage are a plethora of people from around the world- males and females, young and old, straight and gay, represented in a variety of professions and in all walks of life, in a variety of cultures and religions. Yet, all are unified by that which provides anonymity and by which all can relate. The mask has provided humanity with parallels for a “Whole New World.”

 

-Avrel Menkes

Maureen Mulhern-White

Maureen Mulhern-White, “Night Cam 211,” Turmeric toned photogram, 7×5 Inches, Roxbury, CT

These works are black and white photograms that I have toned with turmeric. They are part of my “night cam” series. This series, where the whimsical and the macabre often intersect, attempts to capture a fleeting moment when the camera (in this case, the camera with no lens) is a voyeur of sorts and holds still the viewer, the subject, and the object in landscape. I am still working on this project. It is a welcome relief in light of my other ongoing project which is devoted exclusively to the global pandemic. The alternative photographic processes that I use for the “night cam” images, include black and white photograms processed via traditional darkroom techniques, as well as cyanotypephotograms.

 

-Maureen Mulhern-White

Michael Mulvey

Michael Mulvey, “Transitory Home,” 8×10 Black and White Kodak Tri-X Film on C-print, 16×20 Inches, Addison, TX

When the worldwide pandemic hit, I set out to photograph the common places that were marked by this jarring andunusual transition. Using a large-format, 8×10 camera, black and white film, and donning a mask and gloves, I walked the empty streets and neighborhoods I’ve walked many times before.

I am greatly influenced by the traditional works of Walker Evans, Gordon Parks, and Dorthea Lange. All of whom documented catastrophic events and social movements in America. Given a different set of circumstances, I aimed to make images amidst a country in flux, documenting this moment in time with a commitment to sharing a small piece of our history.

I would go out and photograph these scenes and then come home and process them in traditional chemicals in a bathroom repurposed for this art project. The evidence of this transition comes in the form of parking spaces never to be occupied, the prom dress never worn, the diner shuttered, a stairwell home for the homeless.

 

– Michael Mulvey

Liz Nealon

Liz Nealon, “Rural Lockdown,” Archival pigment print, 10×13 Inches, Craryville, NY

I have been photographing as long as I have been traveling, virtually my entire adult life. Photography brings everything together for me in a single moment. My training as a journalist, my work as a visual storyteller in television…I love applying those disciplines from behind the camera.

 

-Liz Nealon

Christos Palios

Christos Palios, “Scrabble, Cheddar & Strawberries,” Archival pigment print, 33×47 Inches, Baltimore, MD

Dawn of 2020. World recedes into quarantine. Universal freedoms re-negotiated. Lifestyles consequently fraught with apprehension among our collective future. Detachment drastically tested psychology. Humanity’s fragile inter-connectedness amid a surreal stillness became a germane allegory of solidarity in an uncertain world.

As pastimes rooted in tradition, like mythology and literature, games are cultural agents for human experience– the zeitgeist of societies. While at home during isolation, on an old coffee table where memories abound, they cultivated comfort, intimacy, warmth of human presence.

As serendipitous surrogates to customary social interactions, these moments hearkened back to nostalgic times from which I’ve reassessed relationships and my approach to daily life. I grew intrigued by surface textures and backgrounds encompassing an at-home mindset. Reflecting upon what essentially matters in this paused, ambiguous arc of time, has suddenly come into sharp[er] focus.

 

– Christos Palios

Ann Perich

Ann Perich, “You Want Peace?” Archival pigment print, 32×24 Inches, New Orleans, LA

Ann Perich, “Determination or Distrust,” Archival pigment print, 30×24 Inches, New Orleans, LA

My photography explores cultural and societal themes engaging directly with the inhabitants, geographic space, identity and memory of the locale in which I find myself immersed. With portraiture, I endeavor to expose an intimate side of the subject while simultaneously revealing the larger cultural context.

I have a great fascination in tapping into the subconscious of my subjects, drawing upon varying degrees of recognition and abstraction. My passion for human nature and the human mind has been a life-long pursuit – initially as a student of psychology – then becoming the incentive as an artist and one of the driving forces behind my work. I am also inspired by the socio-documentary work of Roger Ballen and Diane Arbus in which “the real can look surreal.”

With my images I aim to have an immediate emotional impact with their strength being the ability to communicate what words cannot.

 

– Ann Perich

Jelisa Peterson

Jelisa Peterson, “Fraternal Twin Sisters,” Photography, 15×19 Inches, Austin, TX

These portraits are part of a long-term ongoing photography project I began in 2003 in Ilha de Moçambique, Mozambique Island. Ilha, as it is commonly referred to as is the former Portuguese colonial capital of Mozambique and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Ilha is home to the oldest Catholic cathedral in Sub Sarahan Africa as well as one of the largest fortresses used to sell slaves.

Mozambique Island provides a unique backdrop in terms of history, culture and artistic traditions. The Islanders began international trade in the 13th century with Middle and Far Eastern countries. This is believed to be part of of Ilha’s long tradition of religious tolerance and cultural diversity. For centuries, the population is majority Muslim, yet Catholic traditions remain an important part of the culture.

Ilha’s people shine in their generosity and in their ability to live and enjoy life in the moment. The children captivate my heart and imagination, fortunately enough I returned this year.

 

-Jelisa Peterson

Donna Pinckley

Donna Pinckley, “Fifteen Years and Beyond,” Archival Pigment Print, 22×17 Inches, Little Rock, AR

My husband suddenly died of a heart attack fifteen years ago and now I find myself the same age as him when he died. I never really grieved because I had our six-year-old daughter to raise. The loneliness and isolation just became my norm. This body of work reflects not only the time surrounding his death, but it also references some of the ghosts that I have come across in the fifteen years since.

 

-Donna Pinckley

Marla Puziss

Marla Puziss, “The Offering,” Photography, 16×20 Inches, Hapeville, GA

This photo is a portrait of the young daughter of the owners of Urban Sprout Farms near Atlanta, GA. The photo was made in late April, 2020, when the coronavirus was already bringing illness and death on a massive scale to our country and the world. At the same time Spring in Georgia brings with it the promise of green plants growing, flowers, balmier days and ripening fruits and vegetables for our tables. The girl’s delicate beauty- she is a ballet student- contrasts with the wild and luxuriant growth of the trees and weeds around her. She holds the plant as a symbol of new possibilities of growth and hope for a better future; while the plant itself is not lush and healthy – in need of human care and nurturing. To me this reflects our place as humans – at once part of the natural world and also stewards of nature.

 

-Marla Puziss

Emily Roe

Emily Roe, “Through the Looking-Glass,” Digital photography, 16×22 Inches, Windsor, Ontario, Canada

My interest in digital photography ignited in 2018, as I documented local music events around my hometown of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. That project later inspired me to continue to document the different phases of my life. During the 2020 year, I felt it was crucial to document my most common experience spent in quarantine; connected to the internet. I wanted to document my experience in a symbolical way; this was achieved by creating a stage andcostume. The installation contained an abundance of wires and string, representing the feeling of being tangled to the digital world. Lighting was also an important consideration in the photographic compositions since the only light source in these photographs is an electronic screen placed behind the camera. This light represents the window into the digital world. Overall, documenting this year in a composed manner helped me articulate what I was personally experiencing in the year 2020.

 

-Emily Roe

Holly Romano

Holly Romano, “Homeschool Hangover,” Digital photography, 20×24 Inches, Dublin, OH

Inspiration for my work comes from routine life and immediate surroundings. Accessible nature, family roles and dynamics, and reflections on identity are all things that inspire my paintings and photography. They show an introspective look at how we interact with each other and the world around us, and what I experience in modern motherhood. Morning light on dishes, a momentary glance, a shared emotion, and a cluster of trees on a city street can all be sources of inspiration. Even in the simplest, most ordinary moments, we can find meaning and beauty.

 

-Holly Romano

Jacque Rupp

Jacque Rupp, “Neena – Vienna, 1918,” Archival print, 19×13 Inches, Los Altos, CA

In my project, The Unveiling, I explore family and self through pictures and memorabilia.

I was in “shelter in place” and had the opportunity to go deep within myself in my now small limited world and delve into who I am and who and what has influenced my life. I used old photographs as both catalysts (prompts) and subjects in this body of work.

It was entirely intuitive and as I look back, it is fascinating to see what I was attracted to and how I chose to group items to tell my visual stories. I was viewing these items from a new perspective, from my more mature self, with many new life experiences effecting my lens and interpretation

I felt like I was seeing people for the first time. I felt warmth and was witness to a new sense of intimacy, beauty and pride in my extended family. I learned that my extended family went far beyond the boundaries of blood relatives and included important relationships with people that have impacted me (my identity) over time.

 

-Jacque Rupp

Foad Seyed Mohammadi

Foad Seyed Mohammadi, “ON,” Digital Art, 24×36 Inches, Gainesville, FL

Covid pandemic popped up, and as a documentary photographer, I couldn’t go out. No job, and a difficult time for me as an immigrant in the United States. I tried to use my creativity in the documentary photography field from quarantine. I tried to picture news from indoors.

My work is about the ritual conception of the Hajj among the Muslims. The rites of Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by all adult Muslims, but after Covid-19, for the first time, this ceremony is closed. People had different reactions, some said God stayed alone! by publishing a photo of the Kaaba with no one around, others seriously looked for a solution in the absence of believers. They wrote, “The Hajj will open the door to the transformational opportunity of a “virtual Hajj”…”

I liked to have the critique and a grotesque look about their ideas in my frame. Do we really need to think about the number of believers in the pandemic era?

 

-Foad Seyed Mohammadi

Krista Shelton

Krista Shelton, “The Mask,” Photography, 11×14 Inches, South Holland, IL

Krista Shelton, “I Matter,” Photography, 11×14 Inches, South Holland, IL

The works in the series, “2020,” examine 2020 experiences and evokes emotions and thoughts about it. I captured documentary, abstract, and other photography to transport the audience through memorable moments and experiences that shaped 2020 for me. These photographs explore and spark a range of emotions about the year from the areas they cover, to the way they were photographed, and to what and who were selected.

 

-Krista Shelton

J. Michael Skaggs

Michael Skaggs, “Rankin House Moonrise,” DSLR, 24×36 Inches, Cincinnati, OH

Imagine escaping slavery through Kentucky into Ohio prior to and during the Civil War. Over 2000 plus slaves found their way through the Underground Railroad station of the Rankin House with the lighted candle in a window as a beacon to slavery by crossing the Ohio River from Mason County Kentucky to Ripley, Ohio.

The destination was provided from 1822 until 1865 by the transplanted Kentuckian, Presbyterian abolitionist John Rankin and his wife Jean and 13 children atop a “Liberty Hill” bluff above the Ohio River in Ripley. The last part of the journey was to cross the Ohio River at night to avoid being captured. The river was narrow at Ripley. There were no dams at the time so the river was shallow, and a rowboat was used or at times could be walked across with grave danger.

It has been stated that slavery began in 1619 in Jamestown, Virginia with 20 African slaves who had been seized from the Portuguese slave ship Sao Joao Bautista. Many believe that slavery actually predated the 1619 historical date.

Imagine now crossing the Rio Grande River between Mexico and the United States as immigrants and refugees escape conditions that some compare to 400 plus years of slavery in the United States. The United States were torn apart during the Civil War and now the United States are once again torn with chants of “Build the Wall”.

There is a wall between citizens of the United States. It’s an invisible wall of racism that was institutionalized during slavery, which still haunts us to this day. It’s not a conservative wall. It’s not a liberal wall. It’s not a Red State wall nor a Blue State wall. It’s a “White Privilege” wall that must come down. Once the abolition of “White Privilege” recedes, then possibly the United States will truly become the United States OF AMERICA and all will stand together during the National Anthem.

 

-J. Michael Skaggs

Ursula Sokolowska

Ursula Sokolowska, “Self Portrait, Chicago, 2020,” Color pigment print, 25×18.5 Inches,

I use various camera formats (film and digital), 35mm slide projections and multiple exposures to construct a fiction around the deliberate act of remembering.

 

-Ursula Sokolowska

Jack Straton

Jack Straton, “All the comforts, residue from the Holiday Farm Fire, Blue River, Oregon,” Archival Lucia Pro pigment ink print, 13×19 Inches, Portland, OR

The surrounding world calls to the heart of each of us to notice, to drop our perceptual filters and truly see, to pause and participate in the being-becoming that surrounds us. The photographer’s eye must overcome its habituation to the world surrounding us so that what one attends to what is really present. If one is willing to pause and truly see with gaze unfiltered by preconceptions, one finds a profound connection to the world. It is the job of the photographer to capture the visual clues that evoke a sense of home, of connection, of an awareness of our larger selves in such a way that the viewer of the work may feel a resonant connection.

Noticing the play of light across a surface is the key to finding this world-resonance. This beneficence of light upon the gaze of the photographer can become a kind of benediction upon the head and the heart of the viewer. She may have an experience that is akin to remembering something she has never seen or someplace she has never been.

 

-Jack Straton

Todd Suttles

Todd Suttles, “Breaking for Sweetcorn,” Archival pigment print, 13×13 Inches, Blairsville, GA

Todd Suttles, “Class Of 2020, Union County, Georgia,” Archival pigment print, 10×15 Inches, Blairsville, GA

I make pictures of Invisible Ink. I expose reality and perception with a camera. With the first cry and breath, we begin to use Visual Thinking. We live by observing everything, deciding upon its purpose, and how best to join with it. We name everything: me, you, momma, family, other, home, world, school, job, people, places, and things. On, and on, it goes until the last breath; scripting it all with The Invisible Ink of this process. Every name or word we decide becomes the symbol of This Ink.

 

-Todd Suttles

Omid Tavakoli

Omid Tavakoli, “New Klan,” Archival pigment on metallic paper, 14×11 Inches, Richmond Heights, OH

This series titled “Over Policing,” investigates the protest and civic unrest focused on the police since the murder of George Floyd. Using images from media outlets and protestors, I digitally manipulate the footage to emphasize the local and federal governments’ response to peaceful protesters all over the world. Protesters against police violence have been greeted by militarized officers with tear gas, rubber bullets, pepper spray, and batons. In Sea of Cops, I multiply the figures of State troopers in full swat gear creating a wave of police officers. This wave is then duplicated repeatedly until there is an overwhelming accumulation of dark figures completely covering the bottom half of the canvas, creating a horizon line.

The Black Lives Matter movement has brought a magnifying glass to the funding received by police throughout America and has led to a call to defund the police by redistributing those funds into the community through education, social work, and outreach.

 

-Omid Tavakoli

Brooke White

Brooke White, “Southern Traces: Solo Tree,” Wet plate collodion & archival digital print, 24×28 Inches, Oxford, MS

Brooke White, “COVID Portraits: Ben,” Archival digital print, 28×19 Inches, Oxford, MS

As a photographer, my artistic practice focuses on the landscape, nature, and our response to place. When making images I constantly consider the landscape’s role in how the natural environment functions in the theatre of one’spersonal life. In my focus on the land, nature is often the central figure where events unfold and histories areestablished.

As a result of COVID-19, my studio practice moved closer to my home in north Mississippi. It was here that my daughter and I spent endless days walking in the woods finding solace and refuge in nature while my husband, a frontline healthcare worker, went to work. The images submitted reflect our familial experiences where new landscapes were discovered and (at times) a photographic collaboration between me and my family grew. These images incorporate a broad range of photographic approaches including digital capture and the wet plate collodion process.

 

-Brooke White

Marthanna Yater

Marthanna Yater, “The Afghan,” Photography, 18×12 Inches, Durham, NC

When I work with children, I feel every bit of the innocence, freedom, and reckless abandon, in which they sail through life. When I work with any beautiful form, I travel full circle, from behind my camera to in front of my camera. I often become the subject, so that I can communicate exactly what I expect to achieve in the photograph.

I revolve so that I can evolve.

It is with this passion and intensity that I approach each shoot. It is what makes me an award-winning photographer with such a varied career and a wide range of subjects. Seeing the photograph from the inside out is what sets me apart and consistently allows me to unveil the art of the moment.

 

-Marthanna Yater

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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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