University Museum Hosts Bicentennial-themed Activity Day

Activities will be centered around Mississippi's 200th year of statehood

Steven James Mockler, an Americorps VISTA with the UM Museum, and Emily Hargrove, a graduate student working at the museum, help children with fun activities. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum celebrates 200 years of statehood June 24 with the Made in Mississippi Summer Family Activity Day.

Children and their families are invited to attend the drop-in session celebrating Mississippi’s Bicentennial from 10 a.m. to noon. Guests can participate in activities inspired by different cities in Mississippi that have left a lasting impression on the arts scene over the last 200 years of statehood.

“We are very lucky to live in a state with such a rich artistic history,” said Emily McCauley, the museum’s curator of education. “During this fun family day we will explore a wide range of Mississippi artists through a gallery search and art activities.

“There will be something for everyone, as we will even have a Mini Mississippi Oxford play area for ages 0-3.” 

The event is free and children of all ages are welcome to attend. A Buie Babies play space for younger children is also available.

Oxsicles will be on hand, selling the company’s signature handmade popsicles at the event.

For more information about the University Museum and event, visit http://museum.olemiss.edu/.

Following the activity day, the Governor’s Concert will begin on the Grove stage with performances by Marty Stuart, Mac McAnally, Steve Azar, Vasti Jackson, Shannon McNally, David Lee, the Mississippi Bicentennial Symphony Orchestra and the Mississippi Bicentennial Singers. The free concert starts at 6:30 p.m.

For a full schedule of events, visit http://200.visitmississippi.org/events/north-event/.

UM Museum Opens Registration for Summer Camps

Weeklong sessions with themes will be separated by age group

The University Museum is hosting summer camps beginning in June for children of all ages. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum will once again host educational summer day camps for children of all ages throughout June and July, and registration is open for all the offerings.

The weeklong camps, broken into age groups, teach children the ins and outs of the museum and allow them to create their own masterpieces inspired by current exhibits.

“Museum camps are a fun and educational way for kids to experience the museum and experiment with a wide range of artistic mediums,” said Emily McCauley, the museum’s curator of education. “Each week, we will explore a new theme, and children can register for one or more weeks of camp.

“Summers at the museum are a busy, fun time, and we can’t wait to make new discoveries through art this summer.”

The full schedule of camps features:

For Children Entering Preschool or Kindergarten

Mini Masters Explorer Camp, 9-11 a.m. June 5-9 – This camp is for children ages 3 to 5. These mini masters will be ready to head back to preschool or kindergarten after making their own artworks inspired by toddler stories and art from the museum’s collections. An adult must accompany all participants, but one guardian can supervise multiple children. Coffee and snacks will be provided for parents or guardians.

Children can explore art and create their own masterpieces in various University Museum summer camps. Photo by Emily McCauley

For Children Entering Grades 1-5

Modern Art, 9 a.m.-noon June 12-16 – Children will learn about art from 1950 to today while experimenting with painting, sculpture, digital art and much more.

Mythology Camp, 9 a.m.-noon June 19-23 – Young artists will explore the David M. Robinson Collection, one of the country’s greatest collections of Greek and Roman artifacts and create art inspired by the gods, goddesses and myths of the ancient world.

Made in Mississippi, 9 a.m.-noon June 26-30 – Children will learn about the many different Mississippi artists showcased in the University Museum’s collections and beyond, including the ongoing special exhibit of works by impressionist painter Kate Freeman Clark.

Art is PUZZLING, 9 a.m.-noon July 10-14 – Children will be inspired by the museum’s unique exhibition of puzzle collages by Kent Rogowski, “Love-Love.” They will create their own masterpieces from puzzles, optical illusions and other unusual forms of art.

For Children Entering Grades 6-8

Adventures in Art, 9 a.m.-noon, May 30-June 2 – Middle-schoolers will experiment with different types of art, including drawing, illustrating, painting and sculpture after drawing inspiration from the museum’s collections and exhibits.

Each weeklong camp costs $65 for museum members at the Family level and above and $85 for nonmembers. All supplies and snacks are included.

A limited number of need-based scholarships are available. Families can request a scholarship application by contacting McCauley at 662-915-7205 or esdean@olemiss.edu.

Space is limited and registration is online only. Click here to register your child for a camp. A computer for registration is available at the museum front desk, if needed.

UM Museum to Host Kate Freeman Clark Family Activity Day

Children of all ages invited to explore people, places and things through interactive art projects

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum’s Kate Freeman Clark Family Activity Day this weekend will allow families to explore artistic people, places and things.

The free drop-in event, from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday (April 22), will allow children to draw inspiration from the museum’s newest exhibit, featuring Holly Springs native and impressionist painter Kate Freeman Clark.

“This family day provides a great opportunity for families to check out our newest exhibition and be inspired by the talent and story of Kate Freeman Clark,” said Emily Dean McCauley, museum education curator. “We will have projects for families in every space as we create educational connections to the people, places and things captured in exhibit.

“Families with children of all ages are encouraged to attend, as we will also have a space for our youngest ‘Buie Babies’ to explore and discover.” 

The theme for the day is “People, Places and Things,” and interactive projects inspired by these nouns in the art of portraits, landscapes and still life paintings will be adapted for all ages. Activities include creating collages, painting and participating in a scavenger hunt through the exhibit.

All children must be accompanied by an adult.

This event is made possible by sponsorship of Baptist Memorial Hospital of North Mississippi.

For more information, contact Emily Dean McCauley at esdean@olemiss.edu or at 662-915-7073.

Volunteers Sought to Fight Poverty in Mississippi

North Mississippi VISTA Project accepting applications for terms of service beginning in August

Jeffrey Peavey, a former VISTA with Delta State University, and Shannon Curtis, co-leader of the North Mississippi VISTA Project, visit while working on a community project. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – The North Mississippi VISTA Project is recruiting members to begin a yearlong term of service in August. The Volunteers in Service to America Project sponsors 14 organizations and can recruit up to 25 full-year VISTA members to serve throughout north Mississippi and the Delta.

The University of Mississippi’s McLean Institute for Public Service and Community Engagement, directed by Albert Nylander, professor of sociology, works with the Corporation for National and Community Service and to lead the North Mississippi VISTA Project.

VISTA members commit to one year of service, where they focus on building sustainable capacity within community-based organizations and delivering a measurable impact on the impoverished populations they serve.

“My years serving with VISTA have been two of the most enriching and fulfilling professionally and personally of my life,” VISTA leader Shannon Curtis said. “My time in service with the North Mississippi VISTA Project has allowed me to hone skills and knowledge that allows me to build capacity for my sites, as well as my own resume, while working toward eradicating poverty in Mississippi.”

The North Mississippi VISTA Project is recruiting for several organizations based on campus and in Lafayette County, including sites such as the University Museum and the United Way of Oxford and Lafayette County. Positions outside the county include Title I school districts and nonprofit organizations such as the North Panola School District and Sunflower County Freedom Project.

Prospective applicants must be motivated, reliable team players who are 18 years or older and have earned at least a high school diploma or GED. Interested individuals are invited to visit http://vista.olemiss.edu/ for application instructions. The priority deadline for applications is May 1.

Project leaders plan to continue to develop host sites around north Mississippi, cultivate projects and place VISTAs with community partners that fight poverty through education. In the 2016-17 program year, the VISTA project contributed more than $650,000 to the region.

Alumna Lauryn DuValle, who served as a VISTA with at the UM School of Education before becoming a North Mississippi VISTA leader, is an Eli J. Segal Policy Fellow at the Service Year Alliance in Washington, D.C.

“My experience with the North Mississippi VISTA Project helped me garner the resilience necessary to succeed in life,” DuValle said. “The supportive collaboration of university students, faculty, staff, Mississippi’s many communities and the passion led by my fellow VISTAs helped in solidifying the theory of serving your fellow man as a means of us all succeeding. We are only as great as the least of us.”

Many North Mississippi VISTA alumni have gone to graduate programs at Harvard University, New York University, Princeton University and Stanford University, as well as to find work in the public, nonprofit and private sectors.

For more information on VISTA service opportunities, contact VISTA leaders Sara Baker and Shannon Curtis at VISTA@olemiss.edu or 662-915-2397.

UM Museum Readies Major Exhibition Honoring Kate Freeman Clark

Curators hope to broaden awareness of painter's works and raise support for conservation

University Museum workers hang a portrait for the ‘Lasting Impressions: Restoring Kate Freeman Clark’ exhibit, set to open March 28. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The largest exhibit in more than two decades featuring works by acclaimed Mississippi painter Kate Freeman Clark is set to debut March 28 at the University of Mississippi Museum.

“Lasting Impressions: Restoring Kate Freeman Clark” includes more than 70 paintings from the Kate Freeman Clark Art Gallery and several artifacts from the Marshall County Historical Museum to illustrate different times and aspects of the artist’s life.

The exhibition was developed by guest curators James G. Thomas Jr., associate director for publications at the university’s Center for the Study of Southern Culture, and Annette Trefzer, UM associate professor of English.

“The fact that there was an accomplished and prolific female artist in our neighborhood whose name I had never heard before was the magnet that drew me first to the Holly Springs museum,” said Trefzer, also owner of Bozarts Gallery in Water Valley.

“And visiting there, I was overwhelmed by the quality and depth of her work: hundreds of canvases of landscapes, portraits and still lifes reside in the little museum. What a treasure and what a story!”

The exhibition is a major event for the University Museum and for art lovers across north Mississippi, said Robert Saarnio, museum director.

“The University Museum is honored and thrilled to have developed this major exhibition of the work of Kate Freeman Clark, in partnership with our guest curators, the Holly Springs lending institutions and our donors who so graciously provided the required funding,” Saarnio said.

“The compelling story of this exceptional artist and the beauty of her work will captivate audiences and inspire a renewed appreciation for one of Mississippi’s artistic treasures.”

A colorful garden scene from the ‘Lasting Impressions: Restoring Kate Freeman Clark’ exhibit, set to open March 28 at the University Museum. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

A Holly Springs native, Clark spent many years in New York City, where she studied under teacher, mentor and well-known American impressionist William Merritt Chase. She produced hundreds of paintings and had major exhibits at the Boston Art Club, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Corcoran Gallery, Carnegie Institute, New York School of Art, National Academy of Design and the Society of American Artists.

After 27 years of painting and following the deaths of Chase and her mother and grandmother, Clark stored her entire collection in a New York City warehouse in 1923 and returned to Holly Springs, where she remained until her death in 1957. She left her collection and estate to the city.

“I was first drawn to Kate Freeman Clark’s fascinating life story, and as I examined her vast body of work, she became all the more intriguing to me,” Thomas said. “How could a person with such great talent and obvious drive to create, and who had achieved a not inconsiderable measure of success, suddenly abandon her passion?”

An opening reception is set for 6 p.m. March 28 in conjunction with the Oxford Arts Crawl. The city’s double-decker busses will stop at the museum every 20 minutes for guest convenience. The event is free and open to the public.

A landscape from the ‘Lasting Impressions: Restoring Kate Freeman Clark’ exhibit, set to open March 28 at the University Museum. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

“The main concept of our show is to highlight her work as that of a woman artist,” Trefzer said. “We also want to show the variety of work in terms of styles, themes and media that she created as a student. We call the show ‘Lasting Impressions’ because we want the viewer to confront her ‘impressions’ of the world around her, a domestic life largely dominated by her mother and grandmother, and her love of the landscapes, both cultivated and natural, that she painted.”

Only a fraction of Clark’s paintings have been exhibited for many years, so the exhibit represents a rare opportunity for art lovers to view the works, Thomas said.

Both Thomas and Trefzer expressed special thanks to Walter Webb, director of the gallery in Holly Springs, for his assistance in developing the exhibit. They also hope the showing will boost support for continued conservation of the artist’s works, Trefzer said.

“These canvases have lasted more than 120 years, and we hope that with ongoing restoration efforts, more of them will be preserved for the future,” she said. “This is why we are also showing unrestored work. We want to make the public aware of this woman’s tremendously accomplished work so worth preserving and of her unique story that should be included in books of art history.”

A panel discussion on “The Art of Kate Freeman Clark” is slated for 1:30 p.m. March 30 at the museum, as part of the Oxford Conference for the Book. A reception will follow the discussion.

Panelists include writer, editor and scholar Carolyn Brown, who published award-winning biographies of Eudora Welty and Margaret Walker, as well as “The Artist’s Sketch: A Biography of Painter Kate Freeman Clark” (University Press of Mississippi, 2017). She will sign copies of the book at the reception.

Other panelists are Thomas, Trefzer and Beth Batton, an art historian and executive director of The Oaks House Museum in Jackson.

Funding for the exhibition was provided by Lester and Susan Fant III, Tim and Lisa Liddy, David B. Person, the Bank of Holly Springs, Ellis Stubbs State Farm Insurance, First State Bank and Tyson Drugs Inc.

The museum, at Fifth Street and University Avenue, is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free. For more information, visit http://museum.olemiss.edu/.

Asian Art Expert to Discuss Significance of UM Museum Photo Exhibit

Angela Howard to lecture Tuesday on Dunhuang exhibit

The inside of a cave in Dunhuang, China, displays intricate paintings and a Buddha statue. Photo courtesy Angela Howard

OXFORD, Miss. – An expert on the Buddhist art of China will discuss what we can learn about the evolution of religion and culture of Central Asia through photographs of the intricate cave paintings of Dunhuang, China, during a lecture Tuesday (March 21) at the University of Mississippi Museum.

Angela Howard, professor of Asian art at Rutgers University, will speak at 5 p.m. in the museum’s Speaker’s Gallery. The event, held in conjunction with the museum’s “Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo,” is free and open to the public.

“The University Museum is very pleased to offer this lecture by such a distinguished international scholar,” said Robert Saarnio, the museum’s director. “Professor Howard’s teaching spans Chinese and Japanese art and has focused primarily on the development of Buddhist art in China, making her a perfect speaker to accompany this exceptional Silk Road photography exhibition.”

The exhibit features photographs taken of the caves in the 1940s by the Los. The nearly 500 caves are in the northwestern area of China, along the ancient Silk Road, and are a major Buddhist pilgrimage site. Each one features intricately painted artwork, dating to between the fourth and 14th centuries.

Joshua Howard, UM Croft associate professor of history and international studies and Angela Howard’s son, approached the museum staff about partnering for this event in conjunction with the exhibit of the Los’ photographs.

“Dr. Angela Howard is an authority on the Buddhist art of China and Central Asia, and she happens to be my mother,” Joshua Howard said. “When the University Museum was able to borrow the photographic exhibit on Dunhuang caves, which was facilitated by my mother’s contacts at Princeton University, I reached out to my mother to present a talk.

“Dunhuang is very much on her mind these days as she’ll also be teaching an on-site workshop there this summer sponsored by the Woodenfish Foundation.”

Angela Howard specializes in the Buddhist art of China and Central Asia and has studied the culture and area extensively. She said she plans to discuss “how the photos of the Dunhuang caves’ architecture and paintings enable us to reconstruct the type of Buddhism practiced at Dunhuang, a Chinese transformation of Indian and Central Asian traditions.”

The “Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo” exhibit is on display through April 29.

The museum, at the corner of University Avenue and Fifth Street, is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. Admission is free. For more information about museum exhibits and events, visit http://museum.olemiss.edu/.

UM Museum Hosts Family Activity Day

Event takes children on a journey to China

Children and their families create works of art inspired by museum exhibits at Family Activity Day. Photo Nathan Latil/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – The University of Mississippi Museum will host “On the Silk Road” Family Activity Day from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday (Feb. 11).

The free event is based on the new photography exhibit “Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo.” Children of all ages and their families are invited to celebrate the Chinese New Year and learn about the Year of the Rooster through activities that involve traveling along the Silk Road trade routes through interactive projects. Pre-registration is not required.

“We are thrilled to share the museum’s current exhibition, ‘Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo,’ with families in this interactive family day,” said Emily McCauley, the museum’s curator of education. “At first glance, this exhibit may not seem as accessible to our youngest of learners, so this family day will aim to bring Chinese New Year and the many traditions and traded goods of the Silk Road to life for all ages.” 

Families can follow trade route maps to visit Guangzhou, China, stop at the exhibit in Dunhuang, create peacock fans in Goa, India, and make blue-and-white wares in Venice, Italy.

Children must be accompanied by an adult throughout the drop-in event, and snacks will be provided.

For more information, contact McCauley at esdean@olemiss.edu or 662-915-7073.

 

 

 

 

UM Museum Opens Photography Exhibit of Buddhist Caves

Images from China illustrate artistic and architectural achievements

The exhibit ‘Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo’ is open at the UM Museum. Submitted photo

OXFORD, Miss. – Photographs of the intricately painted Mogao and Yulin Caves in Dunhuang, China are on exhibit at the University of Mississippi Museum.

“Dunhuang through the Lens of James and Lucy Lo” features photographs taken of the caves by the Los in the 1940s. The nearly 500 caves containing artwork are in the northwestern area of China along the ancient Silk Road and are a major Buddhist pilgrimage site. The caves, which served as spaces for meditation and worship, were painted between the fourth and 14th centuries.

The exhibit opened Jan. 10 in conjunction with the Southeast Conference of the Association for Asian Studies, held on the UM campus Jan. 13-15. The free exhibit runs through April 29, and an opening reception is set for 6-8 p.m. Jan. 31.

Joshua Howard, Croft associate professor of history and international studies and a Chinese historian, proposed this exhibit to the University Museum.

“These photographs have high artistic value,” Howard said. “James and Lucy Lo used natural light and often placed mirrors in the caves to create special lighting effects and create a sense of the caves’ spirituality.

“James Lo also experimented with his photo angles; for instance, shooting a 50-foot reclining Buddha from the vantage point of the head of the statue rather than from the feet looking toward the head. The result is a more intimate and serene shot of the Buddha. Other landscape photos they took give a sense of the harsh but beautiful desert terrain the caves inhabit.”

The collection of 31 black-and-white photographs is from the Lo Archive and the P.Y. and Kinmay W. Tang Center for East Asian Art at Princeton University. The Mogao and Yulin caves illustrate artistic and architectural achievements, as well as provide an intimate look at the history of Buddhism and other religions of the region.

Museum officials were excited about the opportunity to open the exhibit to conference attendees, said Robert Saarnio, museum director. The conference included workshops, panel discussions, lectures and film screenings of Asian poetry and literature, history, language, art, philosophy and politics.

“These are exactly the kinds of multidisciplinary and cross-campus partnerships that the museum seeks to foster and welcome, wherein great art and artifact content can be exhibited in such close correspondence to curricular, research and teaching endeavors,” Saarnio said.

The museum, at the corner of University Avenue and Fifth Street, is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

Rowan Oak Attracts Visitors from 58 Countries

Faulkner's work still appeals to readers worldwide

Rowan Oak was visited by people from 58 different countries over the last 12 months. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

Rowan Oak was visited by people from every state and 58 countries over the last 12 months. Photo by Robert Jordan/Ole Miss Communications

OXFORD, Miss. – Rowan Oak is a destination known around the world, as guests from 58 different countries visited the estate of Nobel-prize winning author William Faulkner over the last 12 months.

The home and 33-acre grounds are part of the University of Mississippi Museum. After a review of the guestbook from December 2015 to this month, museum staff discovered visitors from all 50 states, Puerto Rico and 58 countries stopped by the preserved home of Faulkner.

“William Faulkner’s work is read throughout the world, so Rowan Oak’s visitors reflect his global influence,” said Bill Griffith, Rowan Oak curator.

The countries represented include Argentina, Cambodia, Israel, Nigeria and the United Kingdom.

“We’re exceptionally proud of the fact that the University of Mississippi Museum and Historic Houses attract such demographically diverse audiences, and the compilation of the number of foreign countries represented in the Rowan Oak visitor count is such strong evidence of its appeal internationally,” said Robert Saarnio, University Museum director.

“With collections and exhibitions representing several millennia of world cultural and artistic heritage, the museum also appeals to wide-ranging visitor interests, backgrounds and points of origin.”

Rowan Oak will be open to the public through the holiday season from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1-4 p.m. Sundays, closing Dec. 22 to Jan. 2.

UM Museum Unveils 2016 Holiday Keepsake Ornament

Ole Miss powder blue helmet celebrates throwback colors

The UM Museum’s 2016 Ole Miss Powder Blue Helmet keepsake is now available for purchase. Submitted Photo

The UM Museum’s 2016 Ole Miss Powder Blue Helmet keepsake is now available for purchase. Submitted photo. 

OXFORD, Miss. – For the 16th year, the University of Mississippi Museum is offering a new keepsake ornament for the holidays. This year’s design features the Ole Miss powder blue football helmet.

“As with our 2012 Walk of Champions gateway design, we celebrate the traditions of Ole Miss athletics and campus life in these ornaments, and we’re grateful to have such collegial partners in athletics as we develop these keepsakes,” said Robert Saarnio, museum director. 

The team wore the color until 1977 and then again from 1983 to ’94. The nostalgic color is often associated with the “golden age” of Ole Miss football, having been worn by notable players such as Billy Brewer, Jake Gibbs and Archie Manning.

In 2014, the university renamed Coliseum Drive in honor of Chucky Mullins. In addition to this commemoration, the powder blue helmet, which Mullins wore, saw its second revival on the field.

“The powder blue helmet has a long history with the Ole Miss Rebels football,” said Melanie Munns, the museum’s antiquities collections manager. “While the University of Mississippi chose Yale’s navy and Harvard’s crimson as its official colors, the powder blue has become a signature color of the team.

“Legend attributes the first iteration in 1948 as an accident in production, which Coach Johnny Vaught chose to embrace.”

The Ole Miss Powder Blue Helmet commemorative ornament is available for $25, plus tax.

Collectible ornaments from previous years include the Old Skipwith House, Brandt Memory House, Ventress Hall, Lafayette County Courthouse, Oxford City Hall, the Ole Miss Women’s Basketball Jersey, Theora Hamblett House, Theora Hamblett’s “Christmas Trees,” Walk of Champions, Oxford’s Double Decker Bus and the Herakles Neck Amphora. These ornaments retail for $20, plus tax.

The keepsake ornaments can be purchased in the Museum Shop or by phone with a credit card by calling 662-915-7073. Orders must be placed by Dec. 14 if needed by the holiday and require a $7 shipping and handling fee.

Museum members and Friends of the Museum receive a 10 percent discount on all merchandise in the museum store.

The University Museum is at the intersection of University Avenue and Fifth Street. Holiday Hours for the Museum Shop are 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Museum visiting hours are 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays. For information about events and exhibits, visit http://museum.olemiss.edu or call 662-915-7073.