The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

MSU art department presents ‘Collect 50’

Sarah Massey | The Reflector

Lori Neuenfeldt, a graduate from Florida State University, plans the layout for the new “Collect 50” gallery. 

The Mississippi State University art department is celebrating their 50th anniversary with the “Collect 50” art gallery in the Colvard Student Union starting Feb. 5 until March 4.

The gallery consists of various types of artwork from alumni, students, former faculty and donated or purchased art provided by the art department.

The gallery director for this project, Lori Neuenfeldt, a graduate of Florida State University, decided the gallery should not have a particular theme but instead show artwork the department collected over the years.

“We were looking at all the different ranges and styles, and we decided that there was not a theme other than let’s just show what we have in our collection to get people familiar with it,” Neuenfeldt said.

Based on oral tradition, the art department started in 1968 after a well-known actor named Vincent Price came to MSU for a lecture, and asked where the fine arts department was. After being told there was not a fine arts program, Price could not believe MSU called itself a university.

Leonard Farley was hired as the first employee and head of the art department. Farley had a small office in the basement of Lee Hall. The official establishment of the art department was not until later in 1969.

“We really were inspired by the idea of how we can celebrate this series of programs other than an exhibition of the collection, which does have works that date from the different decades the department has been around,” Neuenfeldt said.

Colleen Mcinnis, an art major with a concentration in photography from Tampa, Florida, is working alongside Neuenfeldt to research the art department’s history and organize the layout of the gallery.

“I came here for the international business program, and I changed my major about two years ago to art as in ‘I’m going to dive right in’ kind of thing because I love art,” Mcinnis said. “I am currently a photography major, but I have a love for museums. I want to work in museums after college.”

Mcinnis is organizing the gallery based on several criteria including the year the art work came out, different color schemes, different heights and widths of the paintings and themes.

Angi Bourgeois, the head of the art department, said they will celebrate the department’s 50th anniversary with not only the exhibition program but with their permanent collection.

“The department of art is proud of its history and legacy,” Bourgeois said. “Our 50th Anniversary exhibitions highlight the amazing impact of a creative education on generations of artists, photographers, and designers, as we can see in our Alumni Exhibition; as well as the significant cultural role the department and the university have played, and continue to play, for the broader community through our permanent collection and our exhibition program. Art defines humanity; these two exhibitions are a wonderful demonstration of the power of the arts.”

Mcinnis, who is focusing on gallery management, said she is proud to be a part of this milestone in the program she loves. In addition, she is passionate about raising awareness for the MSU art department.

“I keep saying it is the perfect year for me to study here,” Mcinnis said. “It is very cool to see all of the history and be able to be the one to help bring it together. It is giving a dose of this what I want to do for the rest of my life, and this program I love so much is where I came from.”

The “Collect 50” gallery is open in the Union. All are welcome to look through the gallery on the second floor, across from the conference rooms.

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The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
MSU art department presents ‘Collect 50’