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The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University

The Reflector

Starkville Area Arts Council blossoms with its Spring Showcase

Landon Scheel | The Reflector

Joseph MacGowan’s ceramic clay sculpture “Rabbit Field Theory” is a play on unified field theory featuring rabbit-like beings.

The Starkville Area Arts Council opened its first 2023 Art in Public Places Group Exhibit, the Spring Showcase, March 6.


The exhibit is available online or at 122 E. Main St. through May 1. The display is open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and features art from photography to printmaking. With paintings, virtual poetry and sculptures as well, the diverse collection is unified by its spring theme. 


J.C. Long, a photographer involved with the SAAC’s Art in Public Places program since fall 2022, talked about his experiences capturing spring scenery.


“I love the season of spring and the theme of new beginnings it brings. Each spring, I enjoy photographing tulips and other emerging flowers. The act of photographing them is sort of like color therapy  pleasing and calming, a renewal of creativity and growth in the practice of photography,” Long said. 


Long also described “Backyard Love,” his favorite piece in the exhibit. 


“My favorite piece in the Spring Showcase is an image of a yellow fireweed bloom shaped like a heart,” Long said. “I captured the image one spring dusk in 2022. I pushed the camera system to its limits, and it captured the deep blue tones in the shadows near the ground, complementing the bloom in color contrast and depth.”


Long’s photographs allow him to preserve the beauties of spring he witnesses.


“I was pleasantly surprised how well the camera captured the spring moment,” he said.


Rah Lowry, a Brooklyn, New York, native who now lives in Mississippi, said he featured his works in a SAAC exhibit for the first time.


He talked about the way spring relates to art as a whole.


“Spring represents life being reborn, a chance at new life, possibility and regrowth,” Lowry said. “When it comes to art, everything is new. A piece can change each time you view it.”


For Lowry, both the creation and viewing of art lead to new ideas, even for lifelong artists like him. Lowry discussed his long-lasting dedication to his art.


“I started drawing at the age of four, and I’m 29 now,” Lowry said.


His piece, “Immortality,” is one of the 47 works in the Spring Showcase, and he asked people to view his art website.


Kadence Lewis, a junior art major at MSU, also participated in the Spring Showcase for her first SAAC event. She has engaged with the local art community for three years.


In the exhibit, her reduction woodblock print, “Twice As Many Stars,” features a cow amongst a nighttime scene inspired by Laura Gilpin’s poem “Two-Headed Calf.”


Lewis said she enjoyed working with printmaking as a medium.


“I love the fact that you can make multiples of the same print. I’ve always struggled with letting go of my pieces because I love them so much, but printmaking allows me to let someone else love it just as much,” Lewis said.


Like the other artists, Lewis said the spring theme works well creatively.


“I really enjoyed the spring theme because it can tie into your work in so many ways since spring is associated with rebirth or reinvention,” Lewis said. “It is also a push to maybe try something new or challenge yourself as an artist.”


These artists represent just a few of the many talented people involved with the SAAC’s Spring Showcase who bring inspiring creations to downtown Starkville.


The SAAC invites people to admire or purchase the pieces that encapsulate springtime. Interested buyers can call or email the SAAC about any piece, and 80% of the proceeds will go directly to the artist.

About the Contributor
Rowan Feasel
Rowan Feasel, Staff Writer
Rowan Feasel is a junior English major. Rowan is currently a staff writer for The Reflector.
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Starkville Area Arts Council blossoms with its Spring Showcase