Sense of Place
mixed media works by Virginia Rougon Chavis and photographs by Brooke White
Artists’ Reception, Thursday, December 12, 5 – 8 PM
Virginia’s work in Sense of Place began in June 2019 during an art residency at La Maison Verté, in Marnay-sur-Seine, a small village an hour southeast of Paris. Artists were requested to create work about the adjoining botanical garden, La Jardin Botanique. Virginia recorded the beauty experienced in the garden, the changes witnessed over six weeks spent in Europe and continued this body of work upon her return. The artwork in the series gives a subtle nod toward recording the seasons in a time of climate change. Evidence of a heatwave in Lyon and finding balance in human consumption are more obvious. Other influences include recognizing and recording the beauty of our flora and fauna, as well as art nouveau typography and French titles for the works.
Working with contemporary and historical technology, Virginia’s approachable works on paper push the limits between fine art and graphic design by combining text with metaphorical imagery. Some of her works blur the line between fine art and commercial posters. She often gathers inspiration from life experiences and portrays those ideas through the use of sarcasm and play on words. Symbols such as insects, nature and machines can be found to represent relatable individuals, emotions or events. The work generally combines digital and traditional printmaking processes, and often mixed media.
Virginia is a designer, artist, educator and lover of all things printed. Originally from the Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she has been part of the Department of Art & Art History faculty at The University of Mississippi for eighteen years. At UM, she has taught graphic design, letterpress printing and the creative process. She has been recognized for her leadership at The University of Mississippi as an SEC-ALDP Fellow, and presents her work regularly across the country and abroad.
White embraces a cross-disciplinary approach to image making that combines traditional analog techniques alongside digital strategies. In her most recent work, exhibited in Sense of Place, she includes a broad range of photographic approaches including digital capture and output, photo-encaustic on paper and historical processes such as wet plate collodion. These images, although varied in their technique and visual effect, have been integral to her investigations surrounding memory, place and the landscape, and the role they play in establishing identity.
White has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including shows at the Hammer Museum, the Mississippi Museum of Art and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. She was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in India and is a 2019 recipient of the Mississippi Arts Council Individual Artist Grant. Her work has been published in Aint Bad Magazine and the Oxford American and is included in the Do Good Fund collection.
Brooke is both a practicing artist and educator specializing in photography and video art. Originally from New England, she moved to Oxford in 2005 to begin the Imaging Arts program at the University of Mississippi where she teaches film and digital photography courses