College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

THE HUFFINGTON POST: Philip R. Jackson—Painting the Spirit of Things

Philip R. Jackson in his studio

Philip R. Jackson in his studio. © COPYRIGHT 2017 PHILIP R. JACKSON.


Read all of the Q&A by John Seed at The Huffington Post online >>

Paintings by Philip R. Jackson, associate professor of art and art history at the University of Mississippi, are included in the 2016 Mississippi Invitational along with art by 17 other contemporary artists working in Mississippi. The exhibition is on view at the Mississippi Museum of Art in Jackson until March 12, 2017.

Tell me about your current exhibition 

The Mississippi Invitational is a biennial exhibition hosted by the Mississippi Museum of Art, in Jackson, Mississippi. This exhibition surveys recent developments by contemporary visual artists living and working across the state.

In addition to exhibiting in the Mississippi Invitational exhibition, one artist is selected for The Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship for which I am the recipient. This fellowship was created by Jane Crater Hiatt and her late husband Wood in response to the need to nurture and invigorate the arts in the state. This grant of $15,000 was awarded specifically to me for a proposed residency in Ireland.

“We’re honored to share Jane Hiatt’s vision and commitment to Mississippi artists through this prestigious fellowship,” said Betsy Bradley, director of the Mississippi Museum of Art. “Because of her generosity, Hiatt fellows have the opportunity to travel the globe, evolve their art practices and bring exciting new ideas and aesthetics back to the state.”

As a Professor of Art, what advice do you give to your painting students? 

I thought it might me more fitting to allow one of my graduate students to answer this question, here is her response:

There will always be someone better, but no one can say they work harder than I do, words Philip Jackson mentions on occasion but lives every day. He is an artist first, yet a professor too, teaching by example and guidance that you must devote yourself fully to your work to succeed. Pretty paintings are not the goal he sets for his students; he urges us to be intense observers, constant lookers, seeking not to paint the object as everyone sees it, but how we would have them see it.

—Brooke Alexander, MFA candidate in the Department of Art and Art History