Mississippi University for Women graduating seniors Patti Johnson and Shelby Prestage will display their artwork in the Eugenia Summer Gallery of the MUW Galleries, from through Dec. 11. A reception for the artists will be Friday, Nov. 13 from 6-7:30 p.m., preceded by senior presentations at 5:30 p.m.
The exhibition, entitled “Polarity,” is the culmination of Johnson’s and Prestage’s educational programs at The W. Although both will earn Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees in studio art, Johnson focuses on ceramics and painting while Prestage concentrates on photography and printmaking.
Johnson came to art later in life, having worked in business for more than 40 years. In 2009, the Columbus resident enrolled in ceramic courses under the “Life Learner” program at the university and was hooked.
“I was bitten by the clay bug the first time I picked up a hunk of clay and found I could sculpt something from it, and then I could plop a ball of clay onto a wheel and spin it into a work of art,” said Johnson.
She decided to pursue a degree in art and expanded her interests to include painting. Born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska, her paintings reflect a love of nature, particularly that of the Northwest coast.
Prestage, a native of Fulton, creates large-scale documentary photographs featuring images based on small-town America. Her photography displays an objective aesthetic that seeks to reveal her interest in the objects, people and places most would overlook.
In Prestage’s printmaking work, Nashville’s Hatch Show Print has inspired her the most. Hatch, noted for its handprinted letterpress posters, led her to produce prints based on classic country icons, like Johnny Cash and Loretta Lynn. As a musician herself, country music provides inspiration in her life and art.
The Mississippi University for Women Galleries are open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. They are located on the first floor of the Art and Design Building on The W campus. For more information, contact Dr. Beverly Joyce, gallery director, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 662-241-7812.
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