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For the Daily News
As part of the cultural and educational events for this fallâ€™s common freshman reading program at Mississippi State, 43 contemporary ceramic artists are contributing their representations of cups to a Sept. 7-Oct. 28 exhibition on the Starkville campus.
The national invitational exhibition coincides with other events surrounding the Maroon Edition
freshman book, â€śThree Cups of Tea,â€ť which chronicles author Greg Mortensonâ€™s journey to build schools for children in Pakistan and Afghanistan. Mortenson will speak on the MSU campus Sept. 23.
Organized by the MSU Department of Art, the exhibition in McComas Gallery is open to the public Tuesday-Friday 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
An opening reception will be Thursday, September 16 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at the McComas Art Gallery at Mississippi State University. The event is open and free to public
The inspiration for the â€śThree Cups of Teaâ€ť national invitational comes from Mortensonâ€™s description of Pakistani hospitality in his best-selling book. In it, he describes the first cup of tea for a stranger; the second, for a friend; and, with the third, when someone becomes a member of the family.
Among artists contributing to a metaphorical illustration of the community described by â€śThree Cups of Teaâ€ť are Peter Beasecker, Jack Troy, Robert Long, Alisa Holen, Hyn Kyun Yoon, Yoko Sekino-Bove, Mel Griffin, Jeff Campana, Julia Galloway, Chris Staley, and John Williams.
Their work will include both functional and non-functional interpretations of the cup, with the works offered for sale to the public. A portion of proceeds will be donated to support one of the MSU Maroon Edition outreach activities, the Lamia Afghan Foundation which provides school supplies to children in Afghanistan.
To highlight the creative and technical aspects of the work, artist Peter Beasecker, a faculty member at the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University, will provide a September 24 lecture about his work, travels and knowledge of the cup. Beaseckerâ€™s works are held in major collections, including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution. His lecture time is at 2 p.m. in the Giles Hall auditorium MSU campus on September 24.
He has been a visiting artist and workshop leader at more than 50 institutions, including the Anderson Ranch, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, and the Penland School of Crafts.
For more information about the Three Cups of Tea National Invitational, telephone the art department at 325-2970 or Robert Ring Exhibition Coordinator 662-523-2013.