Catharsis exhibition features thesis projects from MSU fine arts graduates

Mississippi State fine arts seniors will present their recent projects in a campus exhibition from May 5 to 11. (Photo submitted)

STARKVILLE, Miss.—Seventeen graduating fine arts students at Mississippi State University will exhibit their latest creations and celebrate their imminent graduation through a thesis display across three venues at the Starkville campus.

The “Catharsis” exposition, running from May 5 to 11, will feature installations at the art galleries of the Visual Arts Center, Cullis Wade Depot, and Colvard Student Union. Each student’s work, characterized by its unique content, medium, and size, will be brought together for this collective showcase of diverse thoughts and concepts.

An open reception is scheduled for May 5 from 2 to 4 p.m. across all three galleries, providing an opportunity for the students to engage with visitors and discuss their artistic endeavors.

Student contributors include (listed by hometown):

KADENCE LEWIS = WhereItsQuiet2[38].jpg – Wood Block Print
“Where It’s Quiet 2,” a wood block print by Kadence Lewis

BRANDON—Gabrielle Dunn, delving into social anxiety and depression through an animated video trilogy that explores shifts in one’s worldview.

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado—Kadence Lewis, utilizing woodcut printmaking techniques and symbolic representations to delve into emotions and the subconscious.

COVINGTON, Louisiana—Chloe Ruggiero, focusing on portraiture to capture intimate moments shared between friends and family.

GREENVILLE—Melanie Word, creating oil paintings that depict stuffed animals as a means to evoke empathy, understanding, and depict humanity.

HOLCOMB—Rayeanne Williams, examining themes of anger, loss, and violence from both protagonist and antagonist perspectives.

HUNTSVILLE, Alabama—Rabia Siddiqui, channeling her interests in theology and independence into artworks that explore concepts of humanity.

KNOXVILLE, Tennessee—Natalie May, producing works predominantly using acrylic, alcohol marker, and cut paper based on personal experiences with loved ones.

LISMAN, Alabama—Raine Phillips, expressing personal emotions across the spectrum through a digital illustration series featuring creatures and their environments.

MADISON—Liza Ambriz, raising awareness and compassion towards invasive and dislocated species through handcrafted ceramic altars.

OCEAN SPRINGS—Madi Hart, showcasing abstract and non-objective forms through metal, masonry, and woodworking.

MARY CHEN = Chen_Transitionary Guidance Panel 11[64].jpg – Digital Illustration
“Transitionary Guidance Panel,” a digital illustration by Mary Chen

PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania—Mary Chen, orienting her artworks around personal experiences, imaginative narratives, and societal issues.

RIDGELAND—Abbey Temple, employing visual storytelling techniques to evoke emotions, contemplation, and wonder through her works.

SOUTHHAVEN—Emily Crunk, using clay figures to convey complex emotions and establish connections with viewers.

TUPELO—Hallie Andrews, delving into fantastical imagery and surreal settings to explore various subjects; and Maury Johnston, portraying human emotions within liminal spaces through her compositions.

WINONA—William Donovan Weathers, focusing on novel reflections on relationships using internal, external, and subconscious archival methods to reflect the passage of time.

For further details on the artists and gallery hours, please visit

Explore more about Mississippi State University’s College of Architecture, Art, and Design and the Department of Art at

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