Contact: Sasha Steinberg
STARKVILLE, Miss.âArtworks by the co-author of Mississippi Stateâs 2015 Maroon Edition book selectionâas well as others by self-taught artistsâare on display at the university.
Free and open to all through Oct. 2 in the McComas Hall Art Gallery, the exhibit titled âHere and Beyond: Outsider Art from the Mississippi Museum of Artâ features 16 varied pieces. They range from visions of space ships to rural landscape memory paintings to observations of New Orleans street life.
Among them is a print made from an original painting by Denver Moore (1937-2012). Titled âWe Are All Homeless Just Working Our Way Home,â it shares its name with the last line of this yearâs Maroon Edition selection, âSame Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together.â
Moore is co-author of the 245-page novel released in 2006 by Thomas Nelson, a HarperCollins Publishers subsidiary. His art piece was donated to the MMA exhibit by Cerulean Gallery in Amarillo, Texas.
Among other self-taught artists being featured are Eula Crabtree (20th century), Roy Ferdinand (1959-2004), M.C. âFive Centâ Jones (1917-2003), Prophet Royal Robertson (1936-97), Juanita Rogers (1934-85) and Luster Willis (1913-94).
In addition to the Jackson museum and its Traveling Exhibition Endowment, the campus exhibit is supported by MSUâs Maroon Edition freshman common reading program and College of Architecture, Art and Designâs art department.
A 5 p.m. exhibition reception will take place Oct. 1 in the ground-floor gallery whose main entrance is located off the parking lot on McComasâ east side. The reception also is free and open to all.
In addition to Mooreâs creation, the exhibit includes three works by self-taught artist Loy Allen Bowlin (1909-95), a Franklin County native who resided in McComb until his death.
Bowlin experienced a spiritual awakening of sorts in 1975 after hearing Glen Campbellâs hit song âRhinestone Cowboy,â which he said inspired his passion to create colorful, glittery art works. Bowlin also favored embellished satin suits that, along with his distinctive artworks, earned him the nickname âThe Original Rhinestone Cowboy.â
âThe art on view was created sometimes for spiritual reasons and sometimes from the sheer pleasure of creating,â said Beth Batton, MMAâs curator of the collection. âArt by outsider artists was shaped less by an ambition to âmake itâ in the art world and more by the ups and downs of life.â
Ron Hall, the other co-author of âSame Kind of Different as Me,â was keynote speaker for the universityâs second Freshman Convocation held earlier this month.
MMAâs Traveling Exhibition Endowment is supported by significant private contributions that are matched by the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information, visit www.msmuseumart.org.
Now in its seventh year, Maroon Edition is a university-wide program that encourages incoming freshmen to read the same book prior to fall-semester arrival. Throughout the school year, they discuss the selected work with other students, administration, faculty and staff members. For more, visit www.maroonedition.msstate.edu.
Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSUâs art department is home to the Magnolia Stateâs largest undergraduate studio art program. It offers a bachelor of fine arts degree, with concentrations in graphic design, photography and fine art (ceramics, drawing, painting, printmaking and sculpture).
The McComas Art Gallery is one of the several departmental venues that regularly features traveling exhibits, student shows, and group and solo exhibitions by professional artists. Exhibit hours for the gallery are 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Friday, as well as by appointment. For more, visit bit.ly/MSUArtGalleriesFB.
Additional gallery information is available from Lori Neuenfeldt, MSU art departmentâs coordinator for gallery and outreach programs, at 662-325-2973 or LNeuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu.
MSU is Mississippiâs flagship research university, available online at www.msstate.edu.
Contact: Carol Gifford
STARKVILLE, Miss. â The Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway is an engine for economic development with great potential for future growth, said Domenico âMimmoâ Parisi, executive director of the National Strategic Planning and Analysis Research Center, or NSPARC, a research unit of Mississippi State University.
Parisiâs remarks, delivered Thursday [Aug. 27] at the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway Development Opportunities Conference in Point Clear, Ala., were based on a recent economic analysis of the Tenn-Tom Waterway produced by NSPARC.
The Tenn-Tom is a 234-mile manmade waterway that connects the Tennessee and Tombigbee Rivers and runs through Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee and Kentucky. Constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and opened in 1985, the Tenn-Tom creates a 1,300-mile water system between the Ohio River and Gulf of Mexico.
âThe Tenn-Tom Waterway was strategically planned to create an economy around it,â said Parisi, a sociology professor at MSU.
The waterway primarily provides a cost-effective and safe way to transport goods, Parisi said. Shipments are increasing and more diverse commodities are being shipped on the Tenn-Tom due to the development of advanced manufacturing nearby, including automotive, aerospace, chemical, petroleum product and hydropower firms.
âFor every federal dollar spent [for the Tenn-Tomâs commercial navigation], an additional $3.54 is returned to the treasury, resulting from local, state, and federal tax revenues and annual economic output,â he said. âThe Tenn-Tom is also responsible for more than 24,000 full-time jobs, developing a middle-skill workforce, and supporting an education system of 23 community colleges and 14 universities.â
The Tenn-Tom is poised to capitalize on growth in manufacturing in other parts of the country, added Parisi, citing the rapid growth of a variety of advanced chemical and plastic manufacturing facilities located on the Ohio River basin. He said the Tenn-Tom is uniquely positioned to emerge as the prime means for transporting chemical and plastic goods from Ohio River-based facilities to the Gulf of Mexico.
Outdoor recreation represents another major contribution from the Tenn-Tom, Parisi said. More than 1.7 million annual visitors to the Tenn-Tom region take part in fishing, boating and water activities, camping, hiking picnicking, sightseeing, and hunting.
Parisi said that for every federal dollar spent on recreation around the Tenn-Tom, $1.22 is returned to the treasury from tax revenues, job creation and personal income.
Parisi also discussed other uses of the Tenn-Tom, including water for residential and commercial use, water for irrigation of farmland and infrastructure, and flood control.
âThe Tenn-Tom impacts 17 metro areas, 111 counties and 6 million people,â said Parisi. âWith expansive room for growth and more investment, the waterway can be the centerpiece of multi-state regional opportunities and become a gateway to the global economy.â
For more about NSPARC, visit www.nsparc.msstate.edu. Parisi may be reached at 662-325-9242.
MSU, Mississippiâs flagship research institution, is online at www.msstate.edu.