MGCCC Jackson County Campus hosts “FULL HOUSE” art exhibit

"Sleeping Porch" by Neil Callander

“Sleeping Porch” by Neil Callander

The Fine Arts Gallery at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College Jackson County Campus is proud to announce the opening of the exhibit “FULL HOUSE,” on Thursday, February 2, featuring the paintings of artist Neil Callander and family. Along with Neil, knitted works by his wife, Adrienne, artwork by son, Finn, and mother-in-law, Dale Heath will be on display. A closing reception with an artist talk will be held on Thursday, March 2 at 1 p.m.

Neil Callander is a painter and assistant professor of Art at Mississippi State University. He was born in Louisville, Kentucky, and attended Indiana University (BFA, 2003) and then Rutgers University (MFA, 2006). After graduate school Neil worked as a painting assistant for the artist Jeff Koons in his New York studio. Neil has mounted five solo exhibitions, shown work in over 50 group exhibitions and given 14 talks on his work and process.

“Narrative is an innate and inescapable fact in a realist painting,” Callander said. “I pack a painting with cultural and personal references and work toward a flexible narrative. As more is added the internal relationships get denser, tighter, and more intricate. The act of viewing my paintings is an unlocking of these internal relationships. Experiencing dense paintings that slowly reveal their nature can help us cope with the pervasiveness of fast-talking, slick images. In a media-riddled world, painting is a stabilizing force.”

His wife Adrienne is assistant professor in New College at the University of Alabama. She received her master’s in Fine Arts from the Mason Gross School of Art at Rutgers University in 2006, her post-baccalaureate in Visual Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2002, and her bachelor’s degree in History from Reed College in 1998. She has taught at Rutgers University, The University of Louisville, The Kentucky School of Art, Mississippi State University and Indiana University Southeast where she also served as co-director of the IUS Arts Institute Young Artist Workshop.

“As a process, knitting presents the beginning, middle, and end at once,” she said. “The first and last stitches are received simultaneously. It is analog. Each stitch marks a unit of time, and the beginning and end are concurrent. Past is present. Knitting is the smaller narrative in which it is possible to capture a thing in its entirety. Sewing also marks time and, as a process, runs parallel with my interest in beginnings, middles, and ends. One of my guiding impulses is to mark a history, to excavate a thing buried within itself and obscured by the naming process or the passage of time. I try to capture the whole through its parts. What is the larger narrative, and at what point does it become discernible? Small mysteries mirror a larger state of not knowing.”

MGCCC JC Fine Arts instructor and Gallery director Marc Poole said he is excited to have the show. “It’s always a pleasure to host exhibits featuring the work of professors who are practicing artists,” he said. “It allows our students the opportunity to see how what they are currently learning is applied by those they may be receiving instruction from at the next level in their own academic and artistic journey. The diversity of what Neil and family will be bringing to our gallery will be enlightening for all.”

The MGCCC Fine Arts Gallery hours are 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., Monday-Friday. For more information, contact Marc Poole at 228-497-7684 or marc.poole@mgccc.edu.