College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Food is Art: Square Pizza Art Competition

Square Pizza and UM Art 101 classes have found a way to incorporate intellectually stimulating art and great food together here in Oxford.

Students from the beginning two-dimensional design classes, under the instruction of Robert Malone, competed in an art competition to have their pictures displayed in the front windows of Square Pizza on the Square.


Malone said he knew this specific assignment would bring out competition and get his students’ artistic minds flowing.

“I personally knew the owner of Square Pizza and thought it would be fun and interesting for my students,” Malone said.

There were two winners. Each exhibit can be seen on one of the restaurant’s front windows

The first winner, David Holt, a freshman, says he owes his artistic skills to his grandmother, who is also an artist.

“Art is a form of expression that comes easy to me,” Holt said. “I’ve done it my whole life. My grandmother always pushed me.”

The second winner, Joseph Katool, a sophomore art major, said, “I’ve always had a strong foundation with art. I was naturally drawn to it. I use art to mimic the creative expression with any design I do.”

His image displays the feeling, mood and entire ambiance of the Square with different unique images of pizza, jazz bands and other figures that represents Oxford and the Square.

However, David Holt’s display was much more personal, bold and even controversial.

Although the mascot situation has certainly been settled, many still cling to Colonel Rebel.

Holt’s display features Colonel holding an appetizing pizza as he pushes the new mascot, the black bear, out of the scene with his cane.

“The display was personal to me, I guess,” Holt said. “I usually do artwork based on how I am feeling at the time.”

Although the two had very different displays, both could certainly agree on one thing – the quality of their instructor.

“Mr. Malone pushes my boundaries,” Holt said. “No matter if my work is great or not, he always sees improvement.”

“He really cares about his field of study and is very passionate,” Katool said.

Both students, gifted with art and design skills, do not plan to dive directly into this field in the future.

Katool plans to go into web programming.

“I want to use my art and design skills to help me with creative visions in this industry,” Katool said.

David Holt is considering pre-dentistry. He says he can still use his creative design skills, just in a different form – by helping others.

Tate Moore, the owner of Square Pizza, had the pleasure of judging the designs.

“I really left the displays to the students to do whatever they wanted,” Moore said.

Moore carefully chose and reviewed over 35 images and narrowed it down to two images of what he thought were different that still created a “buzz.”

“All the displays were really good,” Moore said. “I look forward to playing a part with this project every semester.”