Painters from around the region have been selected to participate in the MSSU Contemporary Painting Symposium, which will run through Nov. 21.

The event includes an exhibition by the nine participating artists, which opened Oct. 15 in the Spiva Gallery, as well as a series of lectures, student critiques and a panel discussion.

Kyle McKenzie talks about the exhibition on display in the Spiva Gallery.

Kyle McKenzie talks about the exhibition on display in the Spiva Gallery.

“I wanted to pick painters whose works are not only accessible, but also tied to the traditions of painting while being very contemporary,” said Kyle McKenzie, assistant professor of art and coordinator of the symposium. “Hopefully, people can listen to these artists describe their processes and find contemporary painting more accessible than the thought it was.”

Each of the visiting artists will attend a noon lunch reception in Spiva Gallery and a lecture in the Fine Arts Building’s painting studio. Following the lecture, artists will offer individual critiques of students’ works.

The visiting artists include instructors from Missouri State University, Pittsburg State University and the University of Arkansas. McKenzie hopes that the painting symposium becomes an event that can rotate each year to a different location.

“I think it’s a great way to increase communication between all of the different art departments at the different schools,” he said.

The receptions, lectures and panel discussion are free and open to the public. The Spiva Gallery exhibition is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.


Friday, Oct. 24

“The Scientist,” by Joey Borovicka

“The Scientist,” by Joey Borovicka

Joey Borovicka – A Springfield, Mo., resident, Borovicka has taught painting, drawing and design at Missouri State University, Drury University and the Missouri Fine Arts Academy. His paintings have been shown in solo and group shows nationwide.

Sam King – An artist from Fort Smith, Ark., Smith serves as assistant professor in the art department at the University of Arkansas. He is co-editor of MW Capacity, a website devoted primarily to painting in the Midwest.

Friday, Oct. 31

Kristin Musgnug – A member of the art faculty at the University of Arkansas, Musgnug has held residencies a the Houston Museum of Fine Arts’ Core Program, Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge University and the Norton Island Artists Colony. Her work is featured in the collection at the Art Museum of South Texas and the Houston Museum of Fine Arts.

James Oliver – Oliver lives and works in Pittsburg, Kan., where he teaches painting, drawing and color theory at Pittsburg State University. His work is represented by George Billis Gallery in New York City.

Stephanie Pierce – A Fayetteville, Ark., resident, Pierce teaches at the University of Arkansas. Her work has been exhibited nationally including the Henry Art Gallery in Seattle, Wash.; the Asheville Art Museum in Ashville, N.C.; the Space Gallery in Portland, Ore.; and featured in The New Yorker magazine.

Friday, Nov. 7

Ashley Laird – A muralist and studio artist based in Lawrence, Kan., Laird has worked on numerous public art projects including the Mid-America Mural Project in Joplin, Arkadelphia, Ark., and Waco, Texas, and the second annual Welling Court Mural Project in Queens, N.Y. She is one of the founders of Chords and Oil art collective in Topeka, Kan., a springboard organization for many unique projects from 2009-10.

Dave Loewenstein – A muralist, writer and printmaker based in Lawrence, Kan., Loewenstein’s community-based murals can be found across the United States (including “The Butterfly Effect” in Joplin) and in Northern Ireland and South Korea. This spring, he was chosen to be one of the founding Cultural Agents for the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture.

Friday, Nov. 14

"Feeding the World No. 2" by Amber Hansen

“Feeding the World No. 2” by Amber Hansen

Amber Hansen – Having held the position of artist in residence at the University of Kansas from 2010-12, Hansen actively exhibits in the mediums of film, drawing and musical performance. She has also been the lead artist in many public murals throughout the Midwest. She’s co-director of “Called to Walls,” a soon-to-be release documentary about community murals.

Nicholas Ward – Ward has experience with almost any artistic medium – from filmmaking, photography and painting to drawing, storytelling and creative writing.

Friday, Nov. 21

All nine artists will return to Missouri Southern for a panel discussion from noon to 2 p.m. and a closing reception for the gallery exhibit.