Skip to main content

National Art Education Association Honors MC Freshmen

MC art education students Brittany Bradley and Ashley Thurman
MC art education students Brittany Bradley and Ashley Thurman

Two Mississippi College freshmen are being showcased by leaders of the National Art Education Association.

This fall, MC students Ashley Thurman and Brittany Bradley were recipients of the professional organization’s Rising Star awards. Ashley was a student at Power APAC and Forest Hill High in Jackson before enrolling at MC in late August.

Teacher Renna Moore of the Power APAC Visual Arts program recommended Ashley for this award. “Ashley is a wonderful scholar with a focused drive, creative outlook, and a very strong work ethic.” She’s naturally talented as an art student, but continues to work to improve her craft, Moore added.

In a statement to the National Art Education Association, Ashley says her love for the field blossomed in high school and continues to grow. “With first-hand knowledge on how a great teacher can affect your life, I decided to pursue a career in art education.”

Ashley Thurman hopes she can “have an impact on the lives of students for the better.”

What does she use for inspiration? “I want to be able to capture the beauty I see in everyday life and project that into the world.”

Her MC roommate and friend Brittany Bradley is just as passionate about her field of study: art education.

Last year, Brittany was a Forest Hill High senior in Jackson. A member of the Mississippi Museum of Art’s Teen Board in Jackson, she’s been recognized through multiple exhibitions and awards. Renna Moore was her teacher since her freshman year of high school.

Brittany, Moore said, is “an intelligent, dependable, and capable worker with strong leadership qualities.” Bradley “shares her love of art in the community as well as the classroom.” She’s worked with children through art programs at museums in the capital city.

Art, Brittany said, can be found in every subject – from history and literature to math and science. “Art is not just a hobby – it is a passion. It gives the artist something to live for.”

As an art educator in the future, Bradley eagerly anticipates her work in the profession, the opportunity to help one child at a time.

“We are so fortunate to have these two art education majors at Mississippi College,” says professor Stephanie Busbea, the department’s assistant chair.

Having two “Rising Stars” at one institution is something worth trumpeting, MC art leaders say.

Brittany Bradley enjoys professor Randy Jolly’s basic design class, among others. “I have a better understanding of color mixing and how a painting balances with color.” She plans to teach art and work part-time in the military. She came to MC through ROTC and expects to become an officer during the spring semester.

Ashley Thurman plans to teach Advanced Placement high school art and hopes to earn a master’s degree in the field. “The main thing I love about art is that it allows you to express yourself in ways that words can’t. It is a great coping mechanism. Art is a lifestyle for me.”

Ashley and Brittany got to know each other by attending the same high school. Both students had the same art teacher, Renna Moore, a 2004 Mississippi College graduate. They love being roommates on the Clinton campus.

Founded in 1947, the National Art Education Association is the leading professional membership group for visual arts educators. Members range from elementary school teachers through college professors as well as students seeking to become art educators. There are members in all 50 states and 25 other nations. There are more than 54,000 students in the group’s National Art Honor Society.

Based in Reston, Virginia, NAEA members promote mentoring, networking, and attend art education conferences across the USA.