Artwork by Southern Miss Art Professor on Exhibit in Cook Library
Drawings by James Meade, professor of drawing & painting and foundations at The University of Southern Mississippi, are currently on display in the Cook Library Art Gallery. Pieces from the exhibit The Fire and the Flood, previously shown at the Lauren Rogers Museum in Laurel, will be on display through July.
Meade produces images with rich, velvety surfaces on textured paper. First, he covers the surface with powdered graphite, charcoal or Conté, and then he allows his subconscious to guide his hand as he selectively removes the medium using an eraser and a blending instrument. Meade’s method and subject matter reveal the light in the darkness in his work. Images in the exhibit include bonfires, ships sailing on treacherous waves and bright lights in night skies, which represent Meade’s responses to memories from his childhood. Yearly trips to Italy, hurricane Katrina, the Hattiesburg tornado and the current migration crisis are also represented in the exhibit.
As a child in western Virginia, Meade began showing artistic tendencies, but it wasn’t until an art history course at Eastern Tennessee State University that his interest in art finally took shape. He received his bachelors and a master’s degree from ETSU. While in graduate school, he began teaching drawing courses to freshman.
Following his time at ETSU, Meade went to the University of Georgia, where he received a master of fine arts degree in drawing. After his graduation from Georgia in 1971, he began teaching at Southern Miss. Meade’s teaching career spans 51 years, with 45 of those being at Southern Miss. He still teaches freshman drawing courses at Southern Miss, as well as freshman two-dimensional, figure drawing, beginning painting and advanced painting.
During his career as a professional artist, he has had more than 115 exhibitions in the United States and abroad. His work is included in collections in the United States, Korea, Holland, Italy and Japan.