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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

Norma S. Bourdeaux Art & Art History Endowment

Norma Bourdeaux

Norma Bourdeaux

OCTOBER 27, 2020

Alumna Norma Bourdeaux of Oxford is providing support for the greatest needs of the University of Mississippi Department of Art & Art History.

“I was fortunate to return to school in my 70s to pursue a Masters of Fine Arts,” Bourdeaux said.

“Surrounded by excellent instructors and serious fellow students, both graduate and undergraduate, I was challenged to strive for excellence every day. I soon realized, however, that the art department was underfunded and often under-appreciated.

“This fund will help the department provide unique learning opportunities, such as special lecturers or field trips, and will help ease financial stresses just a little bit. My hope is that more people will be inspired to set up their own funds or to add to this one!”

Nancy Wicker, interim chair and professor of art & art history, said, “I am thrilled by Norma Bourdeaux’s gift. Since she was a student here and experienced day-to-day life in our department, she’s well aware of our needs.

“In particular, since Oxford is a small town far from the mega-art centers of New York City and LA, it’s important for us to bring external artists to visit our department as well as take our students on field trips to Memphis, Birmingham, New Orleans, Chicago, and beyond to learn about what is going on in the wide world of art. I am heartened that she trusts us to make good decisions about how to best use these funds, which I am looking forward to using for such activities as soon as Covid-19 eases up.”

Bourdeaux attended Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri where she studied dress design. She received her undergraduate degree in commercial art from the University of Alabama. Bourdeaux moved to Oxford in 2001 to pursue a Masters of Fine Art in painting and become a working artist.

Before returning to academia, Bourdeaux raised four children, became a successful businesswoman, and served two terms in the state legislature. She has been painting, drawing, and expressing herself creatively her entire life.

“Having been interested in art for many years, I find the more I paint, the more it fascinates me and the more I want to learn. My focus has been landscapes. They captivate me, those I see at home, see on my travels, or imagine. I predominately work in oil on wooden panels or canvases.”

MAKE A GIFT: William Fisher, wjfisher@olemiss.edu, 662.915.2293