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School Department News

Art

Monday, March 21, 2016 - 2:30pm
William Carey University and Oddfellows Gallery will present “The Art of Osmo Visuri,” an exhibit of watercolor paintings by the late Finnish artist, from April 14 through May 21 at the gallery in downtown Hattiesburg.
 
The opening reception for the exhibit will be held from 5:30 until 7:30 p.m. on April 14.
 
The exhibit, which consists of 26 paintings on loan from Mary Pyle of Gulfport, is currently on display at the Tradition campus in Biloxi through March 31. Pyle met Visuri, who was a professor at the University of Helsinki and a noted photographer and author, in 1988 through her work as a presidentially-appointed member of the National Council on Vocational Education.
 
Visuri would later visit Pyle and her husband, Jack, at their home. During his visit, the artist and the couple attempted to find a place to exhibit his paintings. After finding no success in this endeavor during his month-long stay, Visuri left his paintings with Pyle. The art was stored in a closet in Pyle’s home for 27 years until the Tradition campus exhibit this year.
 
The watercolors depict scenes of Visuri’s native country and prominently feature a lake and other landscapes near the artist’s home. A presentation about the artist’s life, along with Pyle’s memories of her friend, will be given, along with a video created by Visuri in the early 1990s explaining his unique techniques and settings.
 
Keijo Karjalainen, a cultural counselor from the Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C., attended the opening reception for the Tradition exhibit on Feb. 25 and commented on Visuri’s prominence in his home country. Visuri was also known in Italy, where he operated a studio, and in Israel, where he authored several books about the Biblical Parables.
 
Oddfellows Gallery, located at 119 E. Front St., is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information on the exhibit, call (601) 318-6561.
Friday, March 11, 2016 - 10:23am
The William Carey University Department of Art hosted the seventh annual High School Art Scholarship Competition on March 5 at the Lucile Parker Gallery on the Hattiesburg campus.
 
Homeschool students and students from Picayune High School, South Jones High School and West Jones High School entered the contest, which awarded scholarships ranging in amounts from $500 to $2,000. Thirty-six students participated in the competition.
 
West Jones student Lauren Stevens won best of show for her work, “Posing in the Deep.” The first place winner was South Jones student Lauren Jones for “Midnight Slumber.” South Jones student Lizbeth Sanchez won second place for “Lady of the Forest” while Sarah Wedgeworth, a homeschool student, won third place for “Lizard Stalking Butterfly.”
 
Honorable mention winners included Paige Walters of West Jones, Kayla Yates of West Jones, Samantha Grafton of West Jones and Keegan Strickland of South Jones.
Tuesday, March 1, 2016 - 8:38am
William Carey University is presenting “The Art of Marie Hull,” a special exhibit of drawings and paintings by the famous Mississippi artist, through April 9 at Oddfellows Gallery at 119 E. Front St. in downtown Hattiesburg.
 
The closing reception for the exhibit will be held from 5 until 7 p.m. on April 9. Refreshments will be served and live music will be presented by the Carey Guitar Ensemble. The reception is a part of the Downtown Hattiesburg Art Walk.
 
Hull, born in Summit in 1890, was known not only for her oil paintings, drawings and watercolors, but also for her work as an art teacher. Identified as “an adventurous artist” in an article written by Marion Barnwell for the Mississippi Historical Society, Hull was known for her love of rich colors and her joke that she “liked any color as long as it was pink.” Hull was invited to exhibit her work at events including the Golden Gate Exposition in San Francisco and the New York World’s Fair.
 
She received numerous accolades for her work, including the Katherine Bellaman Prize in 1965 and the designation of “Marie Hull Day” by Gov. William Winter in October 1975, and continued to paint until her death at the age of 90 in 1980. Hull was also known for her close friendships with Sarah Gillespie, a Hattiesburg art collector and the namesake of Carey’s Gillespie Museum, and with Lucile Parker, former chair of the Carey art department and namesake of the Parker Gallery. 
 
Carey’s art collections include 40 works by Hull, all of which will be on display during the exhibit.
 
The Oddfellows Gallery is open from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. For more information on the gallery, call (601) 544-5777. For more information on the university’s art collections, visit www.wmcarey.edu or call (601) 318-6051.
Friday, February 26, 2016 - 9:26pm
The William Carey University Tradition campus in Biloxi hosted the opening reception for “The Art of Osmo Visuri” exhibit on Feb. 25.
 
Twenty-six paintings by the late Finnish artist, which are on loan from Mary Pyle of Gulfport, are on display at the campus through March 31. Pyle met Visuri, who was a professor at the University of Helsinki and a noted photographer and author, in 1988 through her work as a presidentially-appointed member of the National Council on Vocational Education.
 
Visuri would later visit Pyle and her husband, Jack, at their home. During his visit, the artist and the couple attempted to find a place to exhibit his paintings. After finding no success in this endeavor during his month-long stay, Visuri left the paintings with Pyle. The art has been stored in a closet in Pyle’s home for 27 years and is now on display for the first time for local audiences.
 
Keijo Karjalainen, a cultural counselor from the Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C., attended the reception and gave brief remarks during a presentation about the artist’s life. Visuri, who died in January 2013, was a noted artist in his home country, according to the embassy representative. Visuri was also known in Italy, where he operated a studio, and in Israel, where he authored several books about the Biblical Parables.
 
The presentation included a video created by Visuri in the early 1990s to explain the settings of his paintings and his particular techniques. His watercolors depict scenes of Visuri’s native country and prominently feature a lake and landscapes near the artist’s home.
 
The exhibit is on display in the lobby of the A Building on the Tradition campus. It may be viewed during regular operating hours from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. on Friday. The exhibit will be closed for spring break from March 14-18.
 
For more information on the exhibit or for directions to the campus, call (228) 702-1775 or email Tracy Williams, director of the Tradition art program, at twilliams@wmcarey.edu.
Wednesday, February 10, 2016 - 4:53pm
Osmo Visuri is a name unknown to most Mississippians.
 
However, the very mention of the name brings a smile to the face of Mary Pyle of Gulfport as she recalls the colorful, adventurous character who is forever imprinted in her memory. She hopes to soon share her memories of Visuri, along with some of Visuri’s unique watercolor paintings, during a special exhibit at the William Carey University Tradition campus in Biloxi from Feb. 25 through March 31.
 
Pyle met Visuri, a Finnish artist, university professor, author, world traveler and photographer, in June 1988. Pyle was in Los Angeles participating in a People to People International program on distance learning. At that time, Pyle was a member of the National Council on Vocational Education, a position she was appointed to by President Ronald Reagan.
 
“There was a meet and greet,” said Pyle. “I would say that in most situations like that, you find people that you get attracted to as far as common interests and personalities.”
 
That was the case for Pyle and for Visuri, who was then serving as the director of television production at the University of Helsinki.
 
“I can still remember when Osmo walked in the room, dressed in a blue trench coat and with a warm and deep voice,” she said. “We chatted and instantly became friends.”
 
For three weeks, Pyle and Visuri traveled through Australia and New Zealand as part of a group working on educational projects. As the trip drew to a close, Pyle invited Visuri to visit her at her Gulfport home and to meet her husband, Jack.
 
He accepted the offer several months later in February 1989.
 
“The phone rings late in the middle of the night,” said Pyle. “We answer it and hear, ‘Hello, this is Osmo … I’m in New Orleans.’”
 
Visuri stayed with the Pyles for nearly a month. He brought with him 20 of his watercolor paintings depicting things of interest to the artist, including Finnish landscapes, in the hopes of finding a place to exhibit them in the United States.
 
“We thoroughly enjoyed Osmo because we really got to know more about him during his stay,” said Pyle. “We discovered that he had been a photographer and writer in the 1950s and had written five books on the Parables of Jesus. He had spent a lot of time in Israel and had also trained as a painter in China.”
 
They discovered many of Visuri’s other talents, including his baritone voice, and enjoyed escorting Visuri to areas such as New Orleans, Jackson and Baton Rouge. During their visit to New Orleans, Visuri was made an honorary citizen of the city by Mayor Sidney Barthelemy, a friend to the Pyles.
 
The Pyles and Visuri were unsuccessful in finding a place to exhibit the paintings before Visuri returned home. As he planned to depart, he made the decision to leave the paintings in Pyle’s care.
 
“I remember him saying, ‘I’m going to leave the paintings with you … that way, you’ll have them should you decide that we can get an exhibit going,’” said Pyle.
 
Visuri would go on to open an art studio and teach art in Italy. He kept in touch with the Pyles and sent them postcards and videotapes explaining his technique and what was depicted in the paintings he left behind with them.
 
“There’s 20 paintings, but four of them are painted front and back,” said Pyle. “They are watercolors of scenes you would find in Finland … he said that most people think that Finland is just ice, but in these paintings, you can see the changes in the time of the year and season.”
 
As time passed, the Pyles and Visuri kept in contact, but with less and less frequency. When Jack Pyle died in 2004, Visuri called Mary to express his sympathies. It was the last time the two friends would speak before Visuri’s death in January 2013.
 
About a year after Visuri’s death, a dream about Visuri and the paintings jolted Pyle awake. She Googled her friend’s name and discovered his obituary.
 
“I decided right then that I had to do something about the paintings,” said Pyle. “I have been on a mission since then to make sure they are exhibited in a way that properly honors Osmo.”
 
The search for a place to exhibit the paintings eventually led Pyle to Monica Marlowe, Carey’s chief advancement officer, and then to Tracy Williams, the director of Carey’s art program at the Tradition campus.
 
Williams said Visuri has many similarities to Walter Anderson, the famed painter from Ocean Springs.
 
“There’s so many parallels with Walter Anderson,” she said. “They were both watercolor painters, intensely inspired by nature, entranced with the natural world … they’re like similar spirits, those two.”
 
Pyle said finding the right place to exhibit Visuri’s work was like putting together a puzzle.
 
“It all fell together at the right time and I think Carey is the right place to exhibit these works,” she said. “I think it has the right connection with him – his religious aspect, as he was quite a religious man – and also because he was affiliated with a university.”
 
She is excited to finally tell the story of her friend to the public.
 
“I feel blessed to have been in the company of this individual … to have gotten to know him and to be able to carry on now with his art,” said Pyle. “I am excited for other people to know about him and what an interesting and talented individual he was.”
 
The opening reception for the exhibit is Feb. 25 from 5 until 7:30 p.m. in the lobby of A Building at the Tradition campus. In addition to the unveiling of the art, a presentation about Visuri is also planned. Keijo Karjalainen, a cultural counselor from the Embassy of Finland in Washington, D.C., will attend the reception as a representative of Visuri’s native land.
 
The exhibit will be closed for spring break from March 14-18.
 
For more information on the exhibit or for directions to the campus, call (228) 702-1775 or email Williams at twilliams@wmcarey.edu.