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

‘Salvaged Splendor’ gives old objects new chance at life

Lori Nuenfeldt

A piece of artwork submitted last year was exhibited in the union’s art gallery.

A walk through Mississippi State University’s Visual Arts Center Gallery provides an overwhelming sense of simplicity, with whitewashed walls and meditative music but the artwork tells a different story.

Portraits line the walls in earthy colors, the warm greens and deep browns depict a woman sitting on a porch, her skin etched to match that of a worn tree trunk, a man with a cane looks out from a rural Mississippi setting, their lives seem wistful in today’s fast-paced world. 

The paintings are dated back from the 1970s and a realization can be made—the lives of those depicted in the artwork are being relived in a new way, each time someone looks at the piece, even 40 years later. 

In an era where waste runs rampant and reuse seems inconvenient, three organizations in Starkville are coming together to help give old objects a new chance at life.

The Mississippi State University Center for Student activities and the MSU Department of Art are pairing up with Starkville Habitat for Humanity to host the second annual, ‘Salvaged Splendor.’

Salvaged Splendor is an exhibition created to help the residents of Starkville and students at MSU come together as one and give back to the community.

The event includes using old materials that participants have at home or picking up useable material the Starkville Habitat for Humanity Resale store will provide and turning them into works of art. 

The artwork created will be transformed into an exhibit and displayed in the Colvard Student Union Art Gallery in February. 

A silent auction will take place for the created works and all funds raised will be donated to the Habitat for Humanity Maroon Edition House. 

MSU, which has a long-standing relationship with Habitat for Humanity, is in the process of building its eighth Maroon Edition House, which provides a home for a local Starkville family. Student and faculty volunteers build the home from the ground up in roughly a four-month period. 

‘Salvaged Splendor’ provides a way for those who cannot participate in the physical building of the home to create a new life and purpose for objects that have been sitting, dust-laden, in the back of a storage shed, or under a bed, while giving back to Habitat for Humanity in a new facet.

Lori Neuenfeldt, gallery director for MSU’s Department of Art galleries, discussed the idea of a second birth for items that have witnessed so much of history.

 “To see the changes in time, especially if it’s coming from a building in Starkville, what a witness to things it could have seen,” Neuenfeldt said speaking of the objects. “You imagine this object being part of a home that could be 60 old and placing it during a pivotal moment of Mississippi history, it gets discarded but then someone picks it up and turns it into a painting of something beautiful.”

Neuenfeldt said she believes the event will be a good way to bridge the Starkville community and the students at MSU while giving people an inventive outlet.

Brad Hill, the assistant director for the Center for Student Activity at MSU said they are trying to get many people engaged in the event in hopes of garnering support for Habitat for Humanity and for art in general.

“Art can be made out of anything,” Hill said. “It goes with that old saying, ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.’”

Those interested in receiving material for the event through the Starkville area Habitat for Humanity can pick items up from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Nov. 8 in the Dawg House located in the Colvard Student Union on MSU’s campus. The deadline for entry is Dec. 2 and forms can be sent by mail to PO Box 5368, Mississippi State, Mississippi 39762 or to Brad Hill at [email protected].

Neuenfeldt said she wants everyone to feel they can participate; all that is needed are old items lying around the house. 

“This is the day to finally look at that item you’ve been hoarding for a while and say ‘Okay, I can turn this into a work of art that will actually have a really good life to it,’” Neuenfeldt said, “because it gives back to Habitat for Humanity.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Reflector

Your donation will support the student journalists of Mississippi State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Reflector

Comments (0)

All The Reflector Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
The Student Newspaper of Mississippi State University
‘Salvaged Splendor’ gives old objects new chance at life