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Mississippi College

Four Generations of Artists Showcase Works at Mississippi College

January 8, 2014

Carrie Lynn Reeves is part of an accomplished family of Mississippi artists with deep roots in Clinton.

An award-winning Mississippi College art professor, Reeves will join family members showcasing their works at the Samuel Marshall Gore Art Galleries on the Clinton campus this winter.

“Mississippi Roots: Four Generations of Artists” will cover nearly a century of splendid art pieces, a virtual family tree dating back to 1916. The exhibit includes the works of two children, Logan and Corban Shead, both young artists blossoming in the new year. The exhibit runs from January 9 through February 21.

“Not only is this a strong family art celebration, it is a celebration of our roots in Mississippi,” says Reeves, who earned three art degrees from Mississippi College.

Her family ties to all things blue and gold on the Clinton campus are quite extensive. “My grandmother studied under Mississippi artist Marie Hull, and various ones of us graduated from Mississippi College, having roots right here in Clinton,” Reeves said. “Some of us studied under Dr. Sam Gore as well,” she said. Gore is the internationally celebrated sculptor from Clinton and former MC Art Department chairman still going strong at age 87.

The 96-piece art show begins with Carrie’s grandmother, the late Genevieve Stuart Lassetter. The exhibit spotlights several pieces that Clintonians would recognize, such as landscapes of Mississippi College and Wilson Lake as well as depictions of Mississippi floral displays.

Carrie’s father, Stuart Lassetter, is part of the second generation of artists. Growing up in Clinton, Stuart married MC alumna Nancy McGraw in 1965. The couple moved away from Clinton in 1966 and for three decades served as international missionaries with the United Pentecostal Church. The Lassetters retired and returned to their hometown of Clinton in 2010. Stuart Lassetter, who also studied under Dr. Gore at MC, enjoys metal sculpture the most.

A total of 11 artists are featured at the Gore Galleries exhibit. Family members are traveling from Texas, Georgia, Michigan and the Magnolia State to attend the Mississippi Roots opening reception on Saturday January 11 from 2-4 p.m. The public is invited.

Reeves, who’s worked at the MC Art Department since 2010 after three years as programs coordinator at MC’s International Center, reflects a family with a passion for art. Last year, Carrie won kudos for her magnificent fountain sculpture at Madison-Ridgeland Academy that memorializes an MRA teacher.

Carrie speaks with pride about her family’s achievements in the art world and their nearly 100 art pieces at the new exhibit at the Christian university.

“This show celebrates the art genes of our family tree, the roots we have in Mississippi and visual art itself which can always stand alone in its splendor,” says Reeves, a 2000 Mississippi College graduate who earned her master of fine arts from MC in 2005.

Her artwork has been exhibited over the years in Laurel, Vicksburg, Meridian, Jackson, Brandon, and other cities in Mississippi. Carrie Reeves, who speaks fluent Spanish, served a key role with a team of MC professors making art excursions to Costa Rica in recent years.

The new show shouldn’t be missed, says Gore Galleries Director Randy Jolly.

“This exhibit celebrates not only the talents of one family, but also touches on where we as a culture place value and the strong influence of the visual arts has had on the South and the human needs to create,” Jolly said.

“There is work that will appeal to everyone’s preferences,” he said. Art patrons can utilize a table to work on their own creations at the exhibit.

The show on the Clinton campus covers a variety of media and styles, from still-life and figurative work to abstraction.

MC art professor Benjamin Ivey notes that family members are often the first influences on career choices, and that’s especially true with artists.

“To see these artworks and influences come together in one show is a powerful testimony to each family,” Ivey says. “I hope this show will inspire people to learn from the wiser generations, and share their talents with the next generation.”

Hours at the Gore Galleries are 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Tuesday evenings. For additional information, contact Randy Jolly at 601.925.3880 or rjolly@mc.edu.