Constance Pierce Schedules Second Workshop July 25-26

Master artist to assist all levels of experience in sketching at University Museum

Amateur artists enjoy learning from master artist Constance Pierce.

Amateur artists enjoy learning from master artist Constance Pierce.

OXFORD, Miss. – Aspiring artists have a second opportunity to learn from the best at a University of Mississippi Museum workshop hosted by Constance Pierce July 25-27. The workshop was added due to a large number of requests following the initial workshop in June.

“Learning to Sketch from Museum Masters” is a two-day weekend event July 25-26 in the museum’s studios and galleries. Sessions run from 2:30 to 5:30 p.m. each day. The cost is $30 for members and $45 for non-members and includes all materials.

Space is limited. and pre-registration is required. To register online, visit here or come by the museum front desk during normal hours of operation, Tuesday through Saturday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

“Our first ‘Learning to Sketch from Museum Masters with Constance Pierce’ filled up as soon as registration opened and was such a success that we have decided to offer this weekend workshop again at the end of July,” said Emily McCauley, education curator. “At the last workshop, several of the participants arrived saying they could barely draw a stick figure, and to see the work they created after just one weekend was truly exciting.”

The session on Saturday will demonstrate how to prepare sketchbook pages in advance by creating delicate watercolor monotypes. Students will then practice ‘paraphrase’ sketching of master artists’ drawings while experimenting with watercolor pencils and wash.

On Sunday, actual sketching begins in the Museum galleries. Participants use the watercolor pages created the prior afternoon to gesturally sketch over them while viewing works on site in the museum galleries. A surprising synchronicity often emerges as the sketches combine with the background colors.

To complete the afternoon, the group will return to the studio to add final accents with wash.

“This two-step process is especially useful for museum sketching, because the wet medium is utilized before the dry sketching that is required in galleries and museums,” McCauley said.

Pierce has twice exhibited her sketchbooks at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C. She served as a professor of drawing, painting and art journals at St. Bonaventure University in New York and was a Visiting Artist at Millsaps College in Jackson.

Her sketchbooks are in the collection of the National Gallery of Art Rare Book Library, the Yale Center for British Art, Prints and Drawings and at the Oxford Treehouse Gallery. She exhibited in Japan in June. 

UM Museum Offers Workshop with Masters

Art novices invited to learn sketching June 27-28 from professional Constance Pierce

OXFORD, Miss. – Amateur and aspiring artists have a rare opportunity to learn from a master, thanks to a workshop in June at the University of Mississippi Museum.

Constance Pierce

Constance Pierce

“Learning to Sketch from Museum Masters” is a two-day weekend event June 27-28 in the museum’s studios and galleries. Sessions begin at 2:30 p.m. each day. The cost is $30 for members and $45 for nonmembers and includes all materials.

Space is very limited and early registration is recommended. To register online, click here or come by the museum front desk during normal hours of operation.

“We are so thrilled to announce this newest adult workshop, led by esteemed artist and educator Constance Pierce,” said Emily McCauley, education curator. “Coming with an amazing background in museum and art workshops, Constance Pierce’s first weekend workshop at our museum promises to be an engaging program that you will not want to miss out on.”

Saturday’s session in the museum’s Art Studio demonstrates how to prepare sketchbook pages in advance by creating delicate watercolor monotypes. Students will then practice “paraphrase”‘ sketching of master artists’ drawings while experimenting with watercolor pencils and wash.

On Sunday, actual sketching begins in the museum galleries. Participants use the watercolor pages created the previous afternoon to gesturally sketch over them while viewing works in the galleries. A surprising synchronicity often emerges as the sketches combine with the background colors.

To complete the afternoon, the group will return to the studio to add final accents with wash.

A surprising synchronicity often emerges as the sketches combine with the background colors.

A surprising synchronicity often emerges as the sketches combine with the background colors.

“This two-step process is especially useful for museum sketching, because the wet medium is utilized before the dry sketching that is required in galleries and museums,” McCauley said.

Pierce has twice exhibited her sketchbooks at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington, D.C.

Her sketchbooks are in the collection of the National Gallery of Art Rare Book Library, the Yale Center for British Art, Prints and Drawings and the Oxford Treehouse Gallery. She is exhibiting in Japan in June.

UM Museum to Offer Free Family Days for Three Years

Corporate sponsorship puts fundraising campaign over goal

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UM Museum to offer free Family Activity Days for the next three years.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum will host free Family Activity Days for the next three years, thanks to the support of corporate sponsors and community members.

Through the 30-day Ignite Ole Miss crowdfunding campaign, the museum surpassed its goal of $6,000. Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi donated $2,000 to the program.

“I am beyond excited that we were able to reach our goal of providing free Family Days for so many children, parents and grandparents to make lasting memories in the museum for years to come,” said Emily McCauley, the museum’s education curator. “We are so grateful to Baptist Memorial Hospital- North Mississippi for being such a wonderful community leader and coming forward with an amazing corporate sponsorship and also for each and every donor who supported this project.”

Families will make discoveries and create art as they participate in activities.

Families will make discoveries and create art as they participate in activities.

The UM Museum hosts Family Activity Days two or three times each semester, often based on themes from museum exhibits. Families participate in various activities and enjoy refreshments as they are led through artistic, educational experiences by education interns. Over the last few years, the program has grown tremendously. In 2014, 800 children participated in Family Activity Days.

“We want to make sure Family Activity Days are accessible for all families,” said Rebecca Phillips, museum communications coordinator.

April’s “Let’s Move!” Family Activity Day was rescheduled to the fall semester due to bad weather. At this active, outdoor event, families will make discoveries and create art as they participate in activities from the museum to Rowan Oak along the Bailey Woods Trail.

The University Museum is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Follow the museum on Twitter @UMmuseum and on Facebook.

University Museum Starched Contrast

Unique exhibit encourages viewers to find beauty in everyday objects

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Andrzej Maciejewski uses photography to take an abstract look at a relatively mundane object.

OXFORD, Miss. – A group of unlikely models is the focus of “VIP Portrait Gallery,” a new exhibit running through Sept. 5 at the University of Mississippi Museum.

For this collection, Andrzej Maciejewski used black-and-white photography to take an abstract look at a relatively mundane object, the potato.

“What drew me to potatoes in particular, was their commonly unappreciated diversity created by nature, not by human artfulness,” Maciejewski said. “For my potatoes, I chose to make portraits rather than simply still lifes and I gave them names – not in order to suggest that they look like people, but simply to emphasize their individual uniqueness.”

Using a large-format camera, Maciejewski printed the portraits as if they were being viewed through a magnifying glass to capture “tiny, but meaningful details.” With a focus on shape, texture and light, he gives audiences an opportunity to interpret his subject not as mere potatoes but as VIPs, or Very Important Potatoes.

Rebecca Phillips, the museum’s communications coordinator, encourages visitors to come by and experience this free, unique exhibit.

“After experiencing ‘VIP Portrait Gallery,’ I hope that our guests learn to look more closely at ordinary objects and see the beauty and uniqueness of what is around us,” Phillips said.

The University Museum, at the corner of University Avenue and Fifth Street, is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays. Admission is free. For more information, visit the museum online or call 662-915-7073. To book a tour, contact esdean@olemiss.edu.

Registration Open for Museum Summer Camps

Variety of weeklong sessions provide art, education for children of all ages

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum is registering participants for a variety of summer camp sessions that will have children traveling back in time, journeying to faraway lands and creating art inspired by their surroundings.

Camp sessions will have children traveling back in time, journeying to faraway lands and creating art inspired by their surroundings.

Camp sessions will have children creating art inspired by their surroundings.

Camps begin the week of June 8 and continue through the week of July 24. Each session runs Monday-Friday for one week. For family-level museum members, the fee is $60 for each weeklong session per participant. For nonmembers, the fee is $80. All supplies and snacks are included.

Space is limited and pre-registration is required. Parents can pick up a registration form at the museum or, for the first time, register online here.

The exciting and educational camps are inspired by the museum’s collections, including rarely-seen artifacts from the museum vault.

“Summer is always a busy and exciting time at the museum, and we are looking forward to exploring a variety of engaging themes with our elementary-aged participants, introducing our youngest mini masters to the museum with a grown-up, and delving a little deeper into artistic explorations with our middle school camp,” said Emily Dean, the museum’s curator of education. “‘Potato: Art or Dinner’ and ‘Myths, Monsters and Faraway Lands’ are already booked.”

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From ancient civilizations to modern marvels and all points in between, each session promises new adventures.

From ancient civilizations to modern marvels and all points in between, each session promises new adventures, so even children who participated last year will find new experiences. Besides camp sessions for children entering grades 1 through 5, a special “Meet Me at the Museum – Mini Masters” session will provide fun and learning for children ages 3 to 5 and the adults who join them. (Due to university policy, children under 5 must be accompanied by an adult.) “All About Art: Middle School Edition” will introduce children entering grades 6-8 to illustrating, painting, drawing, sculpting and more.

For more information about the museum’s 2015 Summer Camp, visit http://museum.olemiss.edu/summercamp/ or email esdean@olemiss.edu.

This year, the University Museum is celebrating 75 years of exhibition and service to the community. Located at the intersection of University Avenue and Fifth Street, the museum is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Tuesdays-Saturdays.

University Museum Gets Moving in the Great Outdoors

Let's Move! Family Activity Day explores art and nature with activities on Bailey's Woods Trail

The UM Museum is hosting Let's Move! Family Activity Day on Saturday, April 18.

The UM Museum is hosting Let’s Move! Family Activity Day this weekend.

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum and Baptist Memorial Hospital- North Mississippi are teaming up to bring art alive in nature during this weekend’s Family Activity Day.

Fun for the entire family awaits with activities exploring art and nature along the Bailey’s Woods Trail during the Let’s Move! Family Activity Day, set for Saturday (April 18). The drop-in event runs from 10 a.m. to noon.

The fun begins in the museum parking lot and continues down the trail all the way to Rowan Oak. It is free to the public, and transportation is provided back to the museum. Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi is sponsoring the Let’s Move! Family Activity Day.

“Let’s Move! Family Activity Day is one of our most anticipated events of the year,” said Emily McCauley, the museum’s curator of education. “We take the museum outdoors as we create art and explore museum themes all along the Bailey’s Woods Trail. The trail is an important asset to the museum and Rowan Oak, and we are so thrilled to have the support of Baptist Memorial Hospital- North Mississippi to make this unique event possible.”

In 2011, the University Museum joined the Let’s Move! Museums and Gardens initiative, overseen by the National Institute of Museum and Library Services. Let’s Move! was launched in 2010 by first lady Michelle Obama to help combat childhood obesity. Institutions participating in Let’s Move! encourage their communities to fight childhood obesity using interactive exhibits and outdoor spaces.

The museum is trying to keep Family Activity Days free for all children by launching a fundraising campaign this month on the crowdfunding platform Ignite Ole Miss. The goal is $6,000 to keep Family Activity Days free for three years.

“We want to make sure Family Activity Days are accessible for all families,” said Rebecca Phillips, the museum’s communications coordinator. “In the month of April, we hope families and businesses will donate and support to help us reach our goal and give children in the community a constant creative outlet for years to come.”

The museum has raised $2,500 of its $6,000 goal, but is looking for more support. Anyone interested in making a contribution can donate online at  https://ignite.olemiss.edu/ or make their contribution directly to the museum. To keep up with museum events, follow it on Facebook or Twitter, or visit the museum website.

For more information about Let’s Move! Family Activity Day, contact Emily McCauley at esdean@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7073. In case of inclement weather, the event will be canceled.

UM Museum’s Master Gardener Lecture Series Begins April 9

The Master Gardener Lecture Series will begin April 9 at the University Museum.

The Master Gardener Lecture Series begins April 9 at the University Museum.

The University of Mississippi Museum is once again teaming with the Master Gardeners of Lafayette County to host the 2015 Master Gardeners Spring Lecture Series throughout April.

The series features guest speakers, such as landscaping and gardening experts, to offer tips about gardens and gardening.

The first lecture, set for April 9, will feature guest speaker and master gardener Susan Tackett. In “Booms Gone Wild,” she will discuss the basics of gardening, including sun, shade, watering tips and container gardening.

Each event runs from noon to 1 p.m. at the University Museum. More information is available on the museum website.

Here’s the remaining schedule:

April 16 – “Beyond Azaleas” with Carol Reese

April 23 – “Challenges of a Difficult Landscape” with Joe Ann Allen

April 30 – “Applying Sustainable Design Guidelines to our Local Landscape” with Damian Augsberger and Jenny Long

The University Museum is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

UM Museum Launches Fundraising Campaign for Free Family Activity Days

The University Museum is hoping to raise $6,000 to host Free Family Activity Days for three years.

The University Museum is hoping to raise $6,000 to host Free Family Activity Days for three years.

With your help, the University of Mississippi Museum soon could offer free Family Activity Days for three years to the Oxford community. The UM Museum is launching a 30-day Ignite Ole Miss crowdfunding campaign today (April 1), with a campaign goal of raising $6,000.

To contribute to the campaign, go to https://ignite.olemiss.edu/project/54b6e0f9092065055ac7f898.

Family Activity Days are hosted two to three times a semester and are often based on themes from special traveling exhibits at the University Museum. Families enjoy a variety of activities led by museum education interns, along with refreshments.

The program has grown tremendously over the last few years, and more than 800 children participated in Family Activity Days in 2014. The projected cost of offering Family Activity Days free to families is $2,000 per year. Your generosity can help make these family days accessible for many deserving children and families.

The last few Family Activity Days were sponsored by the Children’s Dental Center, and the museum’s vision is to continue offering these events and reach many more families without any cost limitations.

“We want to make sure Family Activity Days are accessible for all families,” said Rebecca Phillips, the museum’s communications coordinator. “In the month of April, we hope families and businesses will donate and support to help us reach our goal and give children in the community a constant creative outlet for years to come.”

Come experience the fun April 18 for the Let’s Move Family Activity Day, running from 10 a.m. to noon and sponsored by Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi. Families will explore nature and participate in outdoor activities from the museum to Rowan Oak along the Bailey Woods Trail.

Please consider donating to create lasting memories for families as they travel through time, explore new cultures, make new discoveries on our outdoor trail and create art together at the University Museum.

Follow the progress on Facebook and Twitter and help spread the word using #FREEFAMILYDAYS.

Viewers Encouraged to Study ‘Brief Encounters’ at UM Museum

'Brief Encounters' to debut later this month at the University of Mississippi Museum.

‘Brief Encounters’ is debuting this month at the University of Mississippi Museum.

The University of Mississippi Museum is debuting a brand new exhibit this month. “Brief Encounters” by Martin Arnold is a collection of nearly life-size oil paintings of human subjects. Viewers will be left in awe as the paintings, as clear as photographs, capture their attention.

Arnold, originally from Michigan, has lived in Mississippi for eight years. He received his undergraduate degree in art education from Mississippi University for Women and a master’s degree in fine arts from UM.

For 37 years, Arnold’s career was designing automation machinery for the automotive industry before he decided to pursue his lifelong dream of figure painting. In addition to painting, he teaches art at East Mississippi Community College’s Golden Triangle Campus.

“The human figure, in all of its expressiveness, is the language that I use to graphically parse our mental, physical and spiritual human facets,” Arnold said.

Arnold’s subjects include people of all ages, ethnicities and genders, and his goal is to make viewers wonder about the subjects, as he does while painting them, asking “Who is this person?” and “What is going through this person’s mind?”

“With little else to ponder, the viewer’s attention is left to linger on the stark humanity of the person before them,” he said. “Viewers must become incrementally aware that my subjects reciprocate their curiosity and scrutiny. Metaphorically, my paintings function as psychological mirrors, wherein viewers may recognize and examine aspects of their own psyche in its penetrating, unrelenting reflection.”

Arnold adds that the intention of his painting, unlike conventional portraiture, is to probe both the individuality of the subjects as well as common traits that bring everyone together.

“Martin Arnold’s figural paintings are extraordinary representations of the human form and his work has received numerous regional and national awards,” said Robert Saarnio, UM Museum director. “As an artist, Arnold strives to create ‘a psychological mirror’ with his almost life-sized oil paintings. The University Museum is honored to exhibit the work of this deeply talented north Mississippi artist.”

The exhibit is up for viewing through May in the Lower Skipwith Gallery. A grand opening reception is set for 6 to 8 p.m. during the monthly Oxford Art Crawl on Tuesday (March 24). Arnold will also give a lecture about his exhibit at noon Wednesday (March 25) at the University Museum as part of the Brown Bag lecture series.

In his lecture, Arnold will describe how he approaches his paintings as psychological studies and how they differ from portraits. He wants viewers to study the paintings and sense that the subjects are returning their scrutiny.

The University Museum is offering free entry as part of its celebration of 75 years of service to the community. The UM Museum is opened from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information about exhibits, how to become a museum member and other activities, visit the museum website.

Museum’s Buie Bacchanalia Raises Project Awareness

The Buie Bacchanalia event was filled with fun, food and dancing and was a huge success for the University Museum.

The Buie Bacchanalia event was filled with fun, food and dancing and was a huge success for the University Museum.

Last month, the Friends of the University of Mississippi Museum hosted the Buie Bacchanalia event to raise awareness of the pre-installation of the museum’s Mary Buie wing, and it was a huge success.

Attendees experienced a night filled with Greek food, wine and dancing.

“The Buie Bacchanalia event to celebrate the ongoing project of reinstalling the museum’s Greek and Roman antiquities in our signature 1939 building was a massive success,” said Robert Saarnio, the museum’s director. “Its capacity attendance speaks volumes about the growing awareness of these collections being the finest and largest of their type in the entire South. The event built community and regional enthusiasm for one of the most significant exhibition projects in the museum’s 75-year history.”

The museum is home to the David M. Robinson Memorial Collection of Greek and Roman antiquities, one of the finest of its kind in the nation. The collection includes more than 2,000 items. Unfortunately, only 134 of those are on display. The reinstallation of the original Mary Buie wing will remedy that, allowing for more space to show these unique items.

The night brought the community together, and the museum staff looks forward to ongoing support for the project, said Rebecca Phillips, the museum’s communications coordinator.

The next big event planned by the Friends of the Museum is the third annual Harvest Supper this fall on the grounds of Rowan Oak. The event has become an Oxford tradition. Patrons will enjoy a beautiful night at William Faulkner’s home with local dishes and entertainment, as well as an opportunity to purchase paintings at auction. All money raised will support museum projects.

To donate to either of these projects or to get more information about supporting the museum, visit the website or contact the UM Museum at 662-915-3181.