For this year’s Junior Seminar Art Show, Millsaps students Michael Montgomery, Lady Taylor, and Katey Bargender exhibited the diverse pieces that they had been working on since the beginning of the semester in August. The show ran from November 19th to the 23rd at Pacesetter Gallery in Flowood, Mississippi.
The venue provided the exhibits with a cozy and professional place to be showcased. The works of the three artists were displayed differently: Katey Bargender’s four pieces were mounted on a wall next to her artist statement, while Michael Montgomery and Lady Taylor had pieces that were freestanding, which made it so that viewers could walk around them.
From 6pm to 9pm on November 19th, the artists attended the show to interact with those who came to support them and view the exhibits. Food and beverages were provided and the show became a place to socialize with the artists about their work.
For Michael Montgomery, he showcased his art piece, “Navigating Noise,” which he had been developing for months. In the beginning, they had intended to create multiple rooms in order to convey how important silence and breaking away are in the midst of life. However, factors such as money and gallery space pushed the exhibit to transform into a display of three walls with sculptural pieces.
“Navigating Noise” aims to include the viewers in order to contribute to its message of “defining the noises of life and how overwhelming it can be,” according to Montgomery. In fact, this complex piece allowed viewers to answer the question, “How are you?” on tags which they then tied to the exhibit itself. This pushed the artist’s points about not only noise but also social and mental health.
Another artist whose work was showcased was Lady Taylor. Her piece aimed to create a world that the viewer could get lost in. They did this by developing a spread of sculptures, drawings, and other items on a table. Next to the art pieces, three tags with the writing, “The Brains,” “Petal Mouse,” and “Map” were displayed.
These components presented the view of the discovery of a new life form. This included information on intricate details of the creature and the ecosystem that it is imagined to live in. The artist wanted the viewer to feel fully immersed in the world that she created by providing a plethora of both visual and written information.
The final artist at this year’s Junior Seminar Show was Katey Bargender. She actually exhibited four pieces, which were titled “Chapter 19,” “Excelsior,” “Mysteriousness of Man’s Face,” and “Death of an Artist.” These were two-dimensional mixed media pieces mounted to a wall. Each of the pieces presented the viewer with varied compositions, color schemes, and media.
Bargender’s goal was to explore the stages of life, love, loss, and identity while also creating relatability that would inspire a conversation between the art and the viewer. Her emphasis on faces and expressions also encourages the viewer to connect with her works. She additionally did extensive research and brainstorming in order to perfect her pieces to ensure that they were visually pleasing.
These talented students showed off their work from their Junior Art Seminar class as part of its curriculum that aims to teach students skills required for future art jobs. These skills include creating art portfolios, CVs, resumes, and more. As such, they were tasked with reaching out to a public gallery and finding a place to present their show. They also had to set everything up within the show such as the food that was provided.
The Junior Art Seminar show was an effective celebration of the works of Michael Montgomery, Lady Taylor, and Katey Bargender as they displayed their meaningful pieces to the public. The exciting event showcased the skill of the students and their dedication to their craft.