JCJC sophomore art students display work in campus gallery

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2018-04-24 18:13:16

ELLISVILLE – Twelve Jones County Junior College sophomores had the chance to display their art as part of the Sophomore Art Exhibit in the Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery recently. The aspiring artists were also honored for their accomplishments at a reception hosted by the college. This Exhibit, which ends May 1, is the final opportunity for these sophomores to show off their talents but as JCJC art instructor Melanie Eubanks explains, exhibiting artwork was a new experience for JCJC art graduates.
“We prepare them all semester on how to set up an art exhibit in a gallery. The students are taught how to display their work, label artwork and what works of art to show, among other things. This is their opportunity to apply that knowledge before they graduate,” said Eubanks.
Sophomore artists who participated in the Sophomore Art Exhibit included Chanler Baker of Ellisville, Sydney Baker of Laurel, Christian Gammill of Hattiesburg, Kory Green of Ellisville, Alana Jolly of Clinton, Grace Leavitt of Bay Springs, Tiffiany Lightsey of Heidelberg, Douglas Little of Soso, Robert Larry McGee of Hattiesburg, River Prince of Ellisville, Conner Smith of Hattiesburg, Casey Wade of Collins and Mady May of Mize. 
“I think I’ve finally made the right decision,” said Chanler Baker, who is an aspiring interior designer. “Art has always been a part of my life. I just never considered making it my career. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made.”
Collins’ Casey Wade said he is preparing to spend as much time as possible creating art. In fact, he’s coming back to Jones next fall to earn another degree to ensure he also has the funds to do everything he enjoys.
“I hope I can make enough money to paint and make pottery but I’m coming back to get a degree in welding for more options to guarantee I have some income,” said Wade. “I like to travel too.  I realize my art may not be enough to fund what I want to do so I have something to fall back on.”
Metal welding is a skill Alana Jolly has picked up while at Jones as a method to create another form of artwork. The Clinton resident said she loves to express herself by making things look different than how they normally appear. Her plans include transferring to William Carey University to continue her passion for art.
She added, “Jones has challenged me in many ways and has definitely sparked the interest of focusing on sculpture and painting.”
Robert McGee of Hattiesburg hopes to continue the family business. Influenced by his father, who is an artist, McGee’s dream is to be as talented as his dad and pursue graphic design at the University of Southern Mississippi. He explained, “Art isn’t easy or just a hobby because dedication is required and the time you use is very valuable. Every little second counts along with every detail and this helps create your work. As an artist, the world may be challenging but you should pick up your brush and create a new path to fulfill your needs,” said McGee.
River Prince of Ellisville said he is already enjoying a steady flow of art related jobs. Being passionate about creating things and craftsmanship, he wants to focus on the traditional methods of making things. He said his future plans include beginning an apprenticeship with a master sign painter and continue studying the traditional methods of design and sign painting.

“I am most fascinated with design, traditional sign painting and letterforms as art because there are certain rules to what you are creating, whereas in other areas of art there aren’t necessarily rights or wrongs,” said Prince.
Two students, Grace Leavitt of Bay Springs and Christian Gammill of Hattiesburg began their art careers out of boredom in their younger days. Leavitt said it’s what led her to produce a lot of artwork before she realized it was a gift.
“That’s why I am here at JCJC. I wanted to use my gift from God to better my future,” said Leavitt. “I want to learn as much as I can from as many people as I can so when I go on and teach art to children or young adults I can give them a solution to their problem if they are struggling. Much like the art teachers here at JCJC, I want my students to have the best experience, create mounds of great artwork from trying new things and know there is nothing like being an art major.”   
Gammill explained, “My art is simply a translation of me and what I am experiencing; the satisfaction of creating new worlds through a medium. As for the creation, much like the God I believe in, I am compelled to create.”
Sydney Baker explained she has been addicted to art and the Internet before she was two-years-old. However, being accepted into an arts-based elementary school and special art program for talented, young artists is what made the Laurel native focus on art.
“I want to create art, no matter the medium and no matter where I am in the world. Pencil sketches were my tried and true art all throughout high school and it is what I am known for. I believe art can be created with anything and by anyone, and that’s the beauty of it,” said Baker.
Doug Little of Soso is best known for his masks. He said he especially likes to paint masks other artists have sculpted because he likes the idea of creating on a pre-made, custom canvas.
“I do a lot of replica work which requires close attention to detail and patience, but I prefer to do custom pieces. Working with custom pieces leaves a lot of room for experimentation and that experimentation can often result in interesting happy accidents,” said Little.
The artwork of Tiffiany Lightsey is a reflection of her learning process, showing progress along the way, she explained. In her assignment, “An Aspect of Myself,” Lightsey said it is a small reflection of herself.
“I decided to do the large bust of a survivor’s soul. I continued on that theme with four smaller busts that are the soul broken down into what makes up that soul. I learned a great deal about working with clay while building the sculptures. It’s been very therapeutic,” said Lightsey.
Mize’s Mady May is a self-taught artist who plans to teach in the future. She said she is glad she came to JCJC because it has exposed her to new ideas.
“I knew I enjoyed art, but until I came to Jones I didn’t have the opportunity to really explore art and see what I can do with it.”

The Sophomore Art Exhibit included various forms of artwork including charcoal drawings, paintings, graphic design, ceramics and pottery. Students learned how to do matting, mounting, and spacing of two-dimensional works, as well as lighting and arrangement of pedestals for three-dimensional works as part of the learning process.
For more information about the JCJC art show or to arrange a visit to the gallery contact the gallery office at 601-477-4148. The Eula Bass Lewis Art Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 8:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m., and Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. The gallery is closed for lunch daily from 11:30 until noon. If you want to know more about the JCJC Fine Arts Department check out the JCJC Fine Arts Facebook page at JCJCFineArts.


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