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Twins Excel as Mississippi College Art Students

MC art majors Emilie and Daniel Alonso of Birmingham, Alabama.
MC art majors Emilie and Daniel Alonso of Birmingham, Alabama.

Alabama twins bring twice as much to the table as talented Mississippi College art students.

Daniel Alonso cherishes the time working with a team of award-winning art professors as he pursues his bachelor’s degree in the university’s graphic design program. “They really care about the students more than passing their class. It’s on a personal level.”

As Alonso hones his craft in the Aven Fine Arts Building this spring, the 22-year-old is elated to pursue his BFA with his twin sister near the Clinton campus. "I like having my sister here at school because it's allowed us to stay close but still have our own lives. I enjoy getting to watch her grow and mature on a day-by-day level.”

After receiving his BFA degree later this year, Daniel plans to return home to Birmingham. He dreams of opening a retail shop selling prints, homemade paper, and graphic design work. Also on his agenda will be graduate school at the Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia. Daniel began his career journey dabbling in creative art as a three-year-old. By the 8th grade, he discovered concept artists exist, and Alonso has stayed on that course ever since.

Emilie Alonso likes having her brother within walking distance, too. She plans to go into illustration work upon her graduation in 2021. The MC senior will receive a BFA in studio art: painting.

Her skills as an artist are already seeing results. She recently finished illustrating her first children’s book through United House Publishing. Her sister, Maria, an MC graduate who lives in South Carolina, will work with her on ideas for future books. “She is a very gifted writer.”

Emilie and her fiancé (MC senior studio art major Isaac Sanders of Brandon) plan to be involved in a ministry. It will showcase their skills in art and music. “I will be painting and hopefully teaching art to kids out of my home. He will hopefully be working as a worship pastor and teaching music on the side.”

She paints a rosy picture of her Mississippi College experience both academically and spiritually. “I love that I can be challenged by my professors to glorify God in all that I do through school.”

As for her brother, Daniel, it’s a case of twin siblings from the South being pretty close. “Daniel coming to MC was such a big answer to prayers for me.” The two Alabama residents started as graphic design majors, but her plans changed a bit to pursue painting.

“We both have different places on campus and different friends, but the arts has kept us close. It has been such a blessing being able to continue having shared experiences,” Emilie said. “He is such an amazing artist and brother.”

Her paintings and illustrations reflect her deep faith. "I always longed to show people the magic, wonder, and beauty of God's creation. Children's books are such a magnificent tool for telling the stories of God's character in magical, simplified ways. They speak to every generation, and I was so in love with that idea.”

MC Art Department Chair Randy Miley is delighted to see the Alabama residents thrive on the Clinton campus. Emilie was selected the 2020 art major of the year at the Baptist-affiliated university. Daniel’s drawings and illustrations are simply beautiful, he noted.

Their sister, Maria, is an MC art alumna with incredible skills, too. “This is another art major family that has made a great impact on the Department,” Miley said. “I am so proud of them.”

The feeling is mutual between the Alonso and Miley families. “I absolutely love Dr. Miley and Mrs. (Vicky) Miley,” Emilie said. “Dr. Miley has been such an encourager and mentor for Daniel and I together. He is a dear friend to my family.”