Tom Ross Art Show

Gracie Byrne, News Writer

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A lot of interesting things take place at Copiah Lincoln Community College.  There are various events that occur throughout the school year.  One place that events take place is the Gertrude Mutton Gallery on the Wesson Campus.  The Mutton Gallery is not only used for the writing center, but also for the art gallery as well.

At this time, the art gallery is being used for the Tom Ross Art Show.  Tom Ross is a former instructor at Copiah Lincoln Community College, and he taught from 1975 to 2013.  He graduated from Mississippi College in 1972 as an art major.  Afterward, he attended the University of Georgia in 1974, receiving his M.F.A. in painting and drawing.  He was also a summer professor at Mississippi College in 1975.

I had the opportunity to interview Mrs. Janet Smith about the current art gallery.  Janet Smith is the Head of the Fine Arts Department, and has been working at Copiah Lincoln Community College for over twenty years.  She currently teaches Ceramics I & II, Art Appreciation, and Drawing I & II.

When I asked her about her relationship with Tom Ross, she had this to say: “Tom was my first art teacher.  I had never taken an art class before, not even in high school.  After being his student, I eventually become a colleague of his, then finally a friend”

Ross retired in 2013, and the following year the Mutton Gallery hosted an art show featuring his work.  Now that it is 2017 and we are seeing Mr. Ross’ work once again I asked Mrs. Smith why that is, and she said this: “Because Tom has been painting full time since his retirement, I wanted to feature his new work.  All of the subjects are things that are dear to him, varying from his family, friends, and even places he loves to visit.  I simply wanted people to see everything new he has been working on.”

When I visited the gallery, words could not be formed.  I was in awe.  Each piece had something special about it, and each piece seemed very personal.  They always say art is food for the eyes you know.  I noticed that Mr. Ross also has a unique style to his work.  I asked Mrs. Smith to describe Mr. Ross’ style, and she said this: “Tom likes to use a lot of bold colors, with loose and exaggerated brush strokes.  It’s almost like Impressionism but with a twist.”

Finally, I ended the interview with the question:  “What is the most important thing you have learned from Mr. Ross?”  This inquiry made Mrs. Smith ponder for a moment, and then she said this:  “I can say that the most important thing Tom ever taught me was to embrace my own creative style.  He knew that it was important to have your own individual style, and he helped me not only develop my style, but to understand it as well.”

Ross’ art gallery will be on display from February 6-28, from 8 A.M.-4 P.M, Monday through Friday.





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Tom Ross Art Show