JCJC’s art gallery features JCJC faculty, Paula McNair Pierce and Mark Brown

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2015-11-17 15:20:47

ELLISVILLE – Jones County Junior College art instructors, Paula McNair Pierce and Mark Brown will have their work on display in the Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery through December 15.  McNair-Pierce’s work features “Beetles,” the bug, not the rock band, and Brown’s display includes sculptures and 3-D creations or assemblages.
“This is a collection of various works that visualize items to mark or identify a time and place, therefore the name of the display is, ‘Origins.’ For example, I have my dad’s flight helmet, a scene from my childhood where we played under the street lights in Miami, Florida, to a view of the Alaskan water when I lived there,” said Brown.
The son of a Commander and pilot for the U.S. Coast Guard, Brown moved from the northern most state of Alaska where he was born, to Miami, Florida where he was first introduced to art and artifacts at the King Tut exhibit. He eventually made Mississippi his home after annual visits to his grandparent’s small farm in Lumberton.  The former Curator of Education at Lauren Rogers Museum of Art in Laurel said he has always been drawn to unique methods of art, especially those of Robert Rauschenberg. The notion of any material or object being intended as a component of a larger whole is appealing to him.
“Technically, my sculpture draws upon gestural and figurative approaches. Furthermore, I employ discarded items to take advantage of their aesthetic attributes and to achieve desired effects. Because I choose to assemble such a wide range of materials, the process of art making has become as important as the finished object itself. It is my intention that the viewer becomes aware of this process through the investigation of the layers,” said Brown.
The JCJC Humanities Teacher of the Year recipient will also display some of his acrylic paintings incorporating items from his past.
Paula McNair Pierce’s display centers around the theme of the beetle bug.  She creatively displays the small creature in various visual colors and mediums, showing off the black creatures’ features.
“Several months ago I saw an image of a beetle and became intrigued with the shape and color. After some research, I learned there are a quarter of a million species of beetles. I am also astounded by God’s use of metallic color in nature and a beetle is just one place to find it!” said McNair-Pierce. “I decided to do an installation of approximately 50 beetles, 8”x10” in size, using mixed media. The installation is primarily meant to be a comical slant on the insect. In other words, the viewer need not look for it to be scientifically correct but instead find the humor sprinkled throughout.”
Some of the media used in this body of work are acrylic paint, fabric, gold leaf, oil pastel, block print, and spray paint. The use of bright colors and sparkly items gives the boring black bug a new look in this display.  The flashy look for the plain old bug was very enjoyable to create, said the 1982 JCJC graduate.
“The process of doing anything creative simply serves as fuel for the next artistic attempt. It was challenging to bring the installation process to an end. Finding ideas and material had become a habit over the last couple of months and I found it difficult to stop. This has been a very therapeutic study and enjoyable to work on. I hope it’s fun to look at!”
Also hidden in the body of the beetles are well known historical figures and unusual textures, forcing the viewer to take another look at this often overlooked bug.
The JCJC art show is free and open to the public from Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. through 3 p.m., and Fridays, 8 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The JCJC campus will be closed during the week of Thanksgiving, November 23 through 29.  For more information call 601-477-4148.


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