Well-known artist to unveil refuge-inspired creation

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> STARKVILLE, Miss.–Kathryn Hunter, a former Mississippi State artist-in-residence, is a special guest this weekend at the Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge’s Wildlife Outdoor Learning Festival.
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> At 9 a.m. Saturday [Sept. 27], the Decatur, Alabama-based printmaker unveils an original art piece completed during her 2013 stay at the refuge’s Ibis House on the west shore of Bluff Lake.
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> Held in conjunction of the 111th anniversary commemoration of the National Wildlife Refuge System, the free 9 a.m.-2 p.m. festival offers a fun, family-friendly atmosphere for all ages to celebrate wildlife and its impact on society.
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> After being formally donated to the Friends of Noxubee Refuge volunteer organization, Hunter’s artwork primarily will be displayed in the auditorium of the refuge headquarters, said NWR project leader Steve Reagan.
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> While conducting solo and staff-guided explorations of the more than 48,000-acre site located 12 miles south of the university campus, Hunter fulfilled a long-time interest to interpret how humans interact with wildlife and nature.
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> “During her two-week stay, Kathryn was able to enjoy and be influenced by the refuge’s history of managing for wildlife, particularly the restoration of native wildlife including the red-cockaded woodpecker, alligators, deer and beaver,” Reagan explained.
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> “With time and additional donations of art from future artist-in-residence participants, plans are to host a showing of these various artworks at Mississippi State,” he added.
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> In addition to highlighting positive ways wildlife and nature influence art, festival activities will include canoeing and kayaking, crafts, discovery booths and demonstrations by Choctaw Wildlife Officers and the Wildlife Canine Unit, among others. Free refreshments also will be provided.
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> Hunter operates the Baton Rouge, Louisiana-based Blackbird Letterpress, a custom design and letterpress printing business. She is a printmaking graduate of Montana State University who also holds a master of fine arts degree in the subject from Louisiana State University.
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> Currently represented by LeMieux Galleries in New Orleans, she is a member of the Baton Rouge Gallery of Contemporary Art. Her work is featured in permanent and special art collections in Louisiana and Pennsylvania, among others.
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> The Sam D. Hamilton Noxubee National Wildlife Refuge artist-in-residence program is a collaborative effort of MSU’s art department, the refuge and its Friends organization, along with the Starkville Area Arts Council and United States Fish and Wildlife Services.
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> New Orleans artist and critic Marian McLellan, the program’s latest artist-in-residence, recently completed a month-long stay at the refuge. Other AIR participants have included painter and Webster County native William “Bill” Dunlap; Pennsylvania ceramicist Lilly Zuckerman; and mural artist and illustrator Michael Roy of Jackson County.
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> Established in 1940, the federal land reserve spanning Oktibbeha, Noxubee and Winston counties represents one of more than 560 national wildlife refuges recognized by the National Wildlife Refuge System, which itself was established in 1903 by executive order of President Theodore Roosevelt.
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> In addition to serving as a feeding and resting area for migratory bird and resident wildlife, including white-tailed deer, alligators and beaver, Hamilton Noxubee is home to wetlands, cypress groves, prairie grasslands and forest, among other features. For more information, see www.fws.gov/noxubee/.
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> For additional event details, contact NWR project leader Steve Reagan at steve_reagan@fws.gov, or MSU gallery and outreach programs coordinator Lori Neuenfeldt at lneuenfeldt@caad.msstate.edu.
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> More about MSU’s art department and College of Architecture, Art and Design is available at www.caad.msstate.edu, www.facebook.com/caadatmsu, and www.twitter.com/caadatmsu.
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> Follow MSU online at www.msstate.edu, www.facebook.com/msstate, www.instagram.com/msstate, and www.twitter.com/msstate.
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