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Mississippi Museum of Art Announces 2009 Hiatt Fellow
Lee Renninger, Couture: Ring Toss, 2008, porcelain, with silver metallic thread, 60 x 60 x 60. Courtesy of the artist © Lee Renninger.

JACKSON, MS.- The Mississippi Museum of Art announced the 2009 recipient of The Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship. The grant of $15,000 was awarded recently to Gulfport artist Lee Renninger, whose expertly crafted porcelain couture sculptural pieces are included in the Museum’s new exhibition, Mississippi Invitational, which opens to the public Saturday, August 1, and runs through November 29, 2009.

Administered through the Museum, The Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship provides a unique study-and-travel scholarship to support an individual artist in the development and creation of art over the course of two years. Only artists whose work is selected to be included in the Mississippi Invitational exhibition , held every two years at the Museum, are eligible to apply for the grant in the year that their work is chosen. Renninger is one of ten artists chosen by New York-based art critic and curator Peter Plagens for inclusion in this year’s presentation.

The fellowship recipient is determined by a panel of jurors following the selection of the artists whose work is to be exhibited in the Mississippi Invitational. Past fellows include Kevin Turner in 2005 and Norma Sanders Bourdeaux in 2007.

“I am very honored and humbled to receive The Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship for 2009, ” stated Renninger. “More than anything, I think that Jane Hiatt is setting an amazing example of generosity and support for the visual arts in Mississippi . I hope that someday I can do the same.”

When applying for the grant, artists must demonstrate how the award could influence the development and direction of their work. Artists may use the funds for the following objectives: to study with an individual artist or in a studio, workshop, or residency setting; to pursue projects which further artistic development and support the realization of specific creative ideas, to purchase supplies and equipment, to conduct research and to travel.

According to Renninger, she will be use the fellowship to work in Paris, France, “. . . exploring the archetypal threads – pieces from France’s rich past and present day – that speak in a universal and symbolic way to some of the vast challenges our world must come to terms with at this time. France is an iconic nation, rich in history and a leader in cultural innovation – a perfect choice for symbolic interpretation.”

The chosen artist is also required to donate one original work of art from at least five created during the grant period to the Museum’s permanent collection.

“The Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship not only offers incredible opportunities for the individual artist but also for the Museum, ” said Museum Director Betsy Bradley. “We are the fortunate recipients of artwork made by some of our state’s most talented artists.”

“My greatest hope now is to make work that is worthy of this very generous fellowship, ” said Renninger.

Mississippi Museum of Art | Jane Crater Hiatt Artist Fellowship | Lee Renninger | Gulfport | Mississippi |

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