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Mississippi State displays talent of West Point artist

August 8, 2014

BY JOSH PRESLEY
news@dailytimesleader.com

Artist Critz Campbell, of West Point, will present his work in an exhibit called “Facing South” from Aug. 15-Sept. 6 at the Cullis Wade Depot Art Gallery on the Mississippi State University campus in Starkville.
Campbell, an associate professor and sculpture coordinator with the department of art for MSU. recently took a sabbatical from the school and completed two residencies. He first spent four months at the Penland School of Crafts in Bakersville, N.C., and three months at the Crab Tree Farm Foundation in Lake Bluff, Ill.
“While on sabbatical I produced a new body of work where I employed marquetry techniques,” Campbell said. “It’s essentially wood inlay and creating images with wood.”
Campbell grew up in West Point before moving away for nearly 20 years. He spent time at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the Arco Centro de Communicao Visual in Lisbon, Portugal, and Parnham College in London, England, before moving back to West Point in 2004.
“My motivation for moving home was the feeling that if I’m going to make good work, it’s going to be informed by Mississippi,” he said. “The pieces in this exhibition explore the ideas of southern gothic landscapes, literature and life experiences.”
He said teaching wasn’t on his radar when he returned to West Point, but an opportunity to teach in the art department at MSU presented itself, and he’s been there for nine years and reached tenure.
Campbell’s mother is West Point native Louise Campbell, the namesake of the new Louise Campbell Center for the Arts. She said when faculty members are offered tenure at MSU, they get a chance to take a sabbatical from the university and pursue their research for a semester. She said they must have a showing of their work when they return to the school.

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