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University of Mississippi Museum hosts winners of statewide collegiate art competition

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Mississippi Collegiate Art Competition Winners in University Museum. Photo by Taylor Gore.

Taylor Gore
Oxford Stories
kgore1@go.olemiss.edu

The Mississippi Collegiate Art Competition is a yearly art contest between art students from around the state. This year marks the 68th year for this annual competition.

Eligible pieces were created in the last 12 months by Mississippi college students from 10 four-year colleges and universities in Mississippi.

This contest is an annual representation of the best collegiate art from across Mississippi. It’s main goal is to showcase the highest quality of art education in Mississippi higher learning establishments.

This year, the University of Mississippi hosted the annual competition. Ole Miss has not hosted the winners for six years.

Winners were showcased in the University Museum from Feb. 10 to March 6. A reception and awards ceremony was held Feb. 10 to honor winners.

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From left, “Blue” by Brooke Alexander; “Sculpture Ease” by Ian Skinner; and “War of Dogma” by Anna Yates. Photo by Taylor Gore.

Out of 396 entries submitted, 106 winners were chosen from numerous art mediums, including clay, sculpture, painting, printmaking, mixed media and multiple others.

Marti Funke, collections manager for the University Museum and Historic Houses, said they had a lot of variety this year. “A lot of different winners were picked,” she said.

Funke, who installed the exhibit at the University Museum, said she was surprised by the number of winners this year. She attributed this to the many mediums represented in the competition.

For the sake of unbiased judging, entries submitted for the contest are judged by a group of jurors unassociated with the schools represented in the contest. This year’s contest was juried by Dan Brewer, chair of graphic design of Watkins College of Art, Design & Film.

The jury does not have the same criteria for every piece of art entered in the competition. Depending on the medium, the juror looks for certain characteristics. This way of judging does not value any particular medium over another, or any student from a specific university over another.

Out of the 106 winners of the this year’s contest, six awards were given to five different art students from the University of Mississippi. Many students have now graduated with a MFA or BA.

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From left, Will McComb’s clay sculptures “Architection” and “Architectonic Vessel.” Photo by Taylor Gore.

Brooke Alexander’s painting “Blue” won the Juror’s Award of Excellence.

Will McComb’s clay sculptures “Architection” and “Architectonic Vessel” won the Juror’s Award for Superior Achievement In Ceramic Arts.

William McKinney’s clay arts piece entitled “Runoff” won the Best of Show.

Ian Skinner’s sculpture “Sculpture Ease” won the Juror’s Award for Superior Achievement in Sculpture.

Anna Yates had three prints win in the competition. Her print “War of Dogma” received the Award of Excellence, and her print “The Benevolent Contradiction” won the Juror’s Award for Superior Achievement In Printmaking. Her print “Narcissist Rising” was also featured in the exhibit.

“It was truly an honor, not only to represent our art department, but to win things on behalf of it alongside my fellow art students who won awards,” Yates said. “I felt proud of myself, but especially proud of the art department at Ole Miss.”

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“Runoff” by Ian Skinner. Photo by Taylor Gore.

Junior art major Abby Smith said she loved the exhibits. “It was really cool to see the different works being produced from other art students from around the state,” she said. “After seeing the winners from Ole Miss, I am planning on submitting some of my work for next year’s competition.”

Many UM students viewed the Mississippi Collegiate Art Competition winners showcased at the University Museum. UM classes ranging from art appreciation to creative writing have come to the museum to see the winners. Art appreciation students received a formal tour from the museum staff, while students in poetry workshop came to seek inspiration.

“The museum is a beautiful building, and it really did the show justice,” Yates said.

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