Two University of Mississippi grads earn money selling art in Oxford


Elgin Cato
Oxford Stories

In today’s world, college students are constantly pushing themselves to give our society a reason to be proud of them. Today’s youth are encouraged to work to change things. Some members of the current generation are living with a quiet voice that tells them to always reach for more and do more. It’s easy to say, but it’s a lot harder to do.

Two young women are bringing new meaning to the phrase “Do what you love, and love what you do.” Cici Rutherford and Cecelia Mosely run their own businesses and sell art through social media accounts. They have turned their passion and creative gift into a successful stream of income.

Both have a different story about how Oxford citizens have helped them gain confidence in their skills by encouraging local artists. Rutherford graduated from the University of Mississippi in May of 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in marketing. During her school years, she never thought about painting. Her time was mostly spent hanging out with friends, singing, or volunteering at her local church.

Rutherford grew up in a home of artists. Her father is a songwriter, and her mother was a UM art major. Rutherford said she always had a creative side, but never knew it was art.

After graduation, she moved into a new house in Oxford and needed to decorate a blank wall. She wanted a piece of art to hang there to “give the room some life.” When she began looking online, she was shocked at how expensive art was.

She began studying a painting of hearts she found and decided to try to reproduce it. Rutherford traveled to the Goodwill down the street from her and purchased a blank canvas that cost $5 and paint.

The moment the brush touched the canvas, a wave of untapped creative potential began to flow. She discovered a love for painting, and once her friends and family saw what she could do, they asked her to create a painting for them.

Rutherford saw an opportunity to turn her new passion into a business. She now sells custom paintings through her Instagram and Facebook pages, and is charging anywhere between $20-$175 for a painting.

“I have completed about 50 paintings since I began my business two months ago,” Rutherford said.

This is a reflection of her remarkable talent and incredible progress of her business.


Dyslexia influenced artist Cecilia Mosely. When she was diagnosed with this learning disability in elementary school, she was afraid she wouldn’t succeed in school.

The fear ended when her teacher began to notice drawings in the margins of her homework and discovered she had a gift. Mosely was tested and accepted into an accelerated art program designed for kids a little older.

She quickly began to gain confidence in her future as an artist when she began taking many art classes at school. When the time came to seek a college, she knew she wanted a school with a great art program.


Mosely said when she toured Meek Hall at the University of Mississippi, she knew it’s where she wanted to study art for the next four years. She is now enrolled into the sculpture Bachelor’s of Fine Arts program and said the professors are constantly pushing her and teaching her new skills to be a better artist. She also has an art business and does commissioned art.

When asked what her future plans are in art, she replied, “After I graduate at Ole Miss, I want to go to graduate school because I want to keep learning and be around a close art community. I also want the opportunity to possibly teach after graduate school. However, my overall dream would be to have my own business that sells 3D, 2D, and mural paintings for other big businesses such as hotels, restaurants, and airports”

Mosely said one of her favorite things about Oxford is the community’s open arms for local artists. The monthly Art Crawl or the Yonka sculpture trail are a few of her favorite local art traditions.


Tagged as: ,

Leave a Reply