Student Spotlight: Artist Katey Bargender

The importance of art is a topic that has long fascinated individuals interested in furthering their understanding of the world and those who live in it. Because of this, many people choose to study art, whether it be its creation or its history. At Millsaps College, students find themselves studying art through engaging programs to enrich students’ understanding of the subject.  

One such student is Katey Bargender. She currently attends Millsaps as a junior who is majoring in studio art with a minor in education. Inspired by David Salle, Georgia O’Keefe, Jonathan Lyndon, and Richard Hamilton, Bargender has been enjoying studying art in a way that allows her work to be as diverse as her artistic influences.  

Bargender enjoys focusing on emotion in her work, and she specifically likes depicting faces. She stated, “Faces are quite interesting to me, there’s so much mysteriousness to us.” Because of this, her art often features portraits. Additionally, her effort to depict emotion in her work has led to an exploration of various types of imagery and overlapping narratives.  

Her medium of choice is often her favorite: graphite and ink. However, she notes that she has been exploring various mediums in Junior Studio Art Seminar, as her series features mixed media work.  

Although she does enjoy producing work in the studio, she additionally appreciates her Modern Art class where she experiences a recess from constantly creating art. Bargender said, “We go to the museum every week and it’s so much fun to sit and discuss different works since I’m constantly producing. It’s like a nice break to just talk about it instead of making it.”  

That class is not the only thing she enjoys about Millsaps. In fact, she speaks highly about the opportunities that the college provides and how helpful the professors are. She stated, “Every art professor I’ve had has gone out of their way to push me to go be the best artist I can be.” This contributes greatly to the appreciation that Bargender has for the art programs at Millsaps.  

She also relishes in connecting with other students that she has met. She said, “I feel very welcomed here and there’s always an event to go to, it’s easy to make connections here because there’s always something happening. I also just love being around like-minded people. The students in this field are insanely talented [and] it’s exciting being around people who just get what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It inspires me and gets me excited to produce art.” Her love for the art community at Millsaps has defined her experience so far at the college, and she appreciates the inspiration that it supplies her with in her studies.  

Bargender is excited for her future art journey at Millsaps. She is looking forward to exploring mediums that are currently out of her comfort zone. Notably, she is thrilled to learn both printmaking and digital art skills as she heads towards her current goal to become a mixed media/collage artist. Her time at Millsaps so far indicates that doing so will be an enjoyable experience filled with interesting classes, helpful professors, and a great community to inspire her throughout her journey.  

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