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“Ancient Grave of Terrible Lizards” by Kayla Treadway is on display at the MGCCC Spring Student Art Exhibit at the Harrison County Campus

Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College’s Harrison County Campus will host its annual Spring Student Art Exhibit and Competition on April 1-May 3 in the campus Fine Arts Gallery.

Among the students showcased in the exhibit is Kayla Treadway, who is pursuing a career in animation. She works with pen and ink as well as digital media to create multiple illustrations, characters and stories. Her mixed-media drawing “Ancient Grave of Terrible Lizards” led her down a path of Aztec architecture.

“I looked up multiple sources of the ancient ruins, buried in jungle flora and detailed with specific runes,” she said. “I came up with the story that this Aztec tribe had accidentally woken up ancient reptilian spirits by incorporating their fossils into the stone buildings themselves.”

Uyen My T. Nguyen, originally from Vietnam, has been in the U.S. for almost seven years. “My dream is to become an anime/game characters creator, and visual effect artist,” she said. “I enjoy drawing portraits and animated figures, but now I’m trying to explore more different and creative art skills.”

In March, she won three awards in the 33rd annual Student Art Exhibition and Competition of the Mississippi Community College Art Instructors Association. She won first place in the Drawing category with her pencil piece titled “White and Dark Objects,” a value study project from her Drawing I class.

Bethany Johnson plans to become an art therapist after she pursues a master’s degree. She is predominantly an oil painter, preferring painterly style. “My favorite subject matter is a tie between portraits and florals. Even better when they are together,” she said. “My still life ‘Antebellum’ is an ode to Mississippi life. The bold magnolia in this piece plays tribute to the strong and beautiful women of Mississippi.”

Morgan Dingman said she began attending various art classes at MGCCC to expand her horizons and meet others who had similar mindsets.  Her mixed-media piece Embrace of Organic Energy is a reaction to the pandemic. “A fragile cat is being held up safely by gloved healthy hands,” she said.  “This is a pointed visual towards the distancing and isolation the world has had to part take in and is a portrayal of the literal barrier between contact.”

She said the fragile hairless cat is more prone to injury and illness, representing the vulnerable, immunocompromised members of society. “I wanted this piece to induce a feeling of reflection on our past, present and future, of where we have been, where we are now, and where we are going as an overall people and society,” she said.

The exhibit is free and open to the public. The Harrison County Campus is located at 2226 Switzer Rd, Gulfport. The art gallery is located in the fine arts building, building D. Gallery hours are 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday.  For more information, contact or 228-897-3736.

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“Antebellum” by Bethany Johnson is on display at the MGCCC Spring Student Art Exhibit at the Harrison County Campus

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