SU alumni to present art exhibit in Frank Hayden Hall

SU alumni to present art exhibit in Frank Hayden Hall

POSTED: Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 9:00am

UPDATED: Sunday, April 1, 2012 - 9:04am

The works of three former Southern University students will be on display at a free art exhibit and reception from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.,Wednesday, April 4 in Frank Hayden Hall.

The exhibit, which is open to the public, runs through May 2.

The works of Nathaniel Landry, Antoine “Ghost” Mitchell and Heather Holliday will display different perspectives of African-American history and culture. Each artist will show 6 to 12 pieces.

Robert Cox, director of SU’s Visual Art Gallery, said the group’s show is an exhibit some of the university’s best artists. “This exhibit promotes some of the best skills and creativity of these artists,” said Cox, who is an associate professor of art.

“The artist and their work show our teaching,” Cox says proudly about the artwork.

Landry, a comic book artist, will show portraits of comic characters pieces. His work is a mix of African art and Japanese Manga (cartoons). Many of the characters are creations of his imagination. Landry, a 2000 graduate of Southern, is an art teacher at Park Forest Middle School in Baton Rouge.

“I really enjoy showing at Southern and giving back,” said Landry. This is his second exhibit at Southern.

Mitchell’s artwork is 2-Dimensional mix-media style using graphic pencils, color pencils, charcoal and watercolors. Mitchell, a 2007 graduate, said his work is inspired by the black community and the history of Africa and African-Americans.

Mitchell describes his work as a way “to tell our story and reach out to people through the medium of drawing.” He recalls that he did not learn about African Art until he attended Southern.

The Baton Rouge resident is currently a freelance artist and said the exhibition of alumni art shows that the “Visual Arts Program at Southern is alive and well.”

Mitchell hopes that the exhibition will pique the public’s interest in the artwork of Southern University artists and inspire some high school students to investigate the program.

Holliday, a 2010 fine arts honor graduate, is a visual arts instructor at Forest Heights Academy of Excellence in Baton Rouge. Her pieces consist of acrylic and mixed media of self- portraits and pop art.

She has a series of Michael Jackson pieces that will be on sale at the exhibition.

Holliday describes her work as “detailed and as bold as my personality. I guess what I'm really trying to say is my work is a true reflection of myself.”

The former students said the Alumni Art Gallery is a great way to support African- American art and young artists.

“The Visual Arts department needs the support of the community,” Holliday said. “Art is how I feel, (it’s) my thoughts and how I see things. I’m so excited to be on ‘The Yard’ (SUBR campus) for my first alumni show.”

“Southern University was the greatest decision academically and artistically that I made,” Mitchell said reflecting on his days in the Visual Arts department at SU.

Landry said he thinks the exhibit can be a boon for younger artists like him. “So many good (young) artists don’t get the mainstream publicity,” he said.

The Gallery hours are Monday through Thursday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and it open to public. It will be closed the week of spring break, April 9.


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