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College of Liberal Arts
University of Mississippi

Gallery Features Plein Air Paintings

May 22, 2015

Philip Jackson Lamar Park 2015

Philip Jackson’s Lamar Park 2015

Southside Gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition of landscape paintings by Philip Jackson, associate professor of art and art history, Matt Klos, David Jewell and students from the University of Mississippi. Titled Fresh Paint: Painting the Mississippi Landscape, the exhibition will conclude Philip Jackson’s two-week painting intensive at the university and will be on view through June 14.

The longstanding tradition of painting outdoors, or en plein air, became particularly prevalent in the mid- to late-19th century when painters began rejecting formal academic painting in favor of the immediacy and realism achieved through direct observation. This impulse toward realism coincided with the advent of photography, though the same impulse today seems to be almost an inverse reaction to the quick pace of media consumption that has come to define culture — painting from life is now a means to preserve the steady, meticulous, and discerning gaze.

Cultivating this gaze is an exercise that benefits both aspiring and established artists equally. As Jackson has said, “Learning how to paint perceptually is like the lifeblood of being an artist. Without being able to notice and look carefully, we become generalized in terms of our communication.”

Jackson structured his course to be more collaborative than instructional. Each year he invites a different artist to participate in the workshop and to guide the second week of classes, which allows him the opportunity to take a step back and paint alongside his students rather than in front of them. In so doing, he creates a supportive environment in which everyone works toward the same goals, acknowledging each other’s struggles and accomplishments, and ultimately, witnessing each other’s progress.

This year’s visiting artist is Matt Klos, whose significant experience with perceptual painting endows him with a valuable perspective. In addition to having shown at numerous national and international group and solo exhibitions, his formal credentials include a BFA from Columbus College of Art and Design and an MFA from the University of Maryland. David Jewell will be returning on his second collaboration with the plein air class.

Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10 am to 6 pm.