MCC Student Annual Exhibition and Competition opens April 16

Juror Gail Morton takes a closer look at Meridian Community College art students’ works in evaluating the Student Annual Exhibition and Competition. The show opens on the MCC campus April 16.

Sixty of Meridian Community College fine arts students' works will be spotlighted in the final show of the Casteel Art Gallery 2023-24 season, the Student Annual Exhibition and Competition. 

The show opens Tuesday, April 16, at 4 p.m. in the gallery that is located in the Davidson Fine Arts Center in Ivy-Scaggs Hall. The announcement of the winners will begin at 4:30 p.m. 

"This show is great. There's a wide variety of media," said Gail Morton, juror for the show, as she was judging the works. Morton, an instructor at Blue Mountain Christian University, is an award-winning Mississippi Arts Commission artist with a bachelor's degree in fine arts from the University of Mississippi and a master's in secondary art education from Delta State University. She was named the Alex and Jean Loeb Award winner at the Mississippi Art Colony's Fall 2023 show for her drawing, "The Counselor."  

Morton said, "I'm most impressed by the use of elements and principles of art in the MCC students' work. I can tell that the students really thought about the assignment." She noted she wasn't only evaluating the artist's technical skills, "I'm looking for the authentic voice of the student." 

Each show she reviews – and she's judged ones that include different age groups from kindergarten to college to professional art – is different. Still, she finds the task rewarding. 

There are four categories in this year's competition: drawing, painting, design, and graphic design, said Terrell Taylor, MCC art instructor and gallery director. Winners in first, second, third, and honorable mentions in each category will receive cash prizes which are funded by the MCC Foundation. The John Michael Rushing Best of Show Award, a purchase award, comes with a $200 cash award. 

The show will be on display through May 7. 

The Homer Casteel Gallery is open Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, visit