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Mississippi Museum of Art Honors Long-Time Relationship, Welcomes Farcus as Hollingsworth Fellow

Thursday, November 17, 2016

The Mississippi Museum of Art (the Museum) recently appointed its first Hollingsworth Fellow, a full-time position funded by a grant awarded to the Museum by the Jane Oakley Hollingsworth Trust in honor of William R. Hollingsworth, Jr., born in Jackson, Mississippi. Hollingsworth is best known for his French impressionist-inspired oil and watercolor interpretations of Mississippi life and landscapes. Adam Farcus, a Mississippi transplant, accepted the two-year fellowship in early November.

Farcus, a Chicago-based artist and teacher, was born and raised in the rural town of Coal City, Illinois. They received their Master of Fine Arts from the University of Illinois at Chicago, their Bachelor of Fine Arts from Illinois State University, and Associate Degree from Joliet Junior College. They have exhibited their work at numerous venues, including Box 13, Houston, Texas; Vox Populi, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; the American University Museum; and A+D Gallery, Columbia College, Chicago, Illinois. They have lectured on his work at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Performance Studies International 16 conference, among many others. From 2012 through 2015 they were also a co-curator, with Allison Yasukawa, for the Baltimore-based residential art space, Lease Agreement. Some of their works can be seen at www.adamfarcus.com.

During their tenure at the Museum, Farcus will oversee the studio spaces, design and teach regular studio programming for all ages, create gallery and studio programs for homeschooled and unschooled families, and work with Museum staff to ensure smooth operation of the Museum’s daily programs and events.

“The William R. Hollingsworth, Jr. Fellowship position gives me the ability to effect change in the Museum and in our community through art education programs,” said Farcus. “I am most excited about creating classes and facilitating spaces for people of all ages to explore expression, meaning, and
social engagement.”

The Mississippi Museum of Art’s relationship with William R. Hollingsworth, Jr. began in 1911 when members of the Art Study Club met to organize an exhibition of works by Mississippi artists at the request of the State Fair Association. Members decided to inaugurate an annual purchase prize competition
one year later at the suggestion of Jackson artist Marie Hull. The result was the Mississippi Art Association, which became the Mississippi Museum of Art in 1978, after decades of activism by local artists, educators and community leaders. Although Hollingsworth was not yet two years of age, Hull’s suggestion prepared the ground for an intimate relationship between the Hollingsworth family and the Mississippi Museum of Art that has continued for more than 80 years.

William R. Hollingsworth, Jr. died unexpectedly in 1944 at the age of 34. Apart from his immediate family and friends, perhaps no other group was affected so acutely by Hollingsworth’s death than the Mississippi Art Association. Due to Hollingsworth’s commitment to promoting the visual arts in
Mississippi and the impact his loss had on the association, Jane Oakley Hollingsworth decided to bequeath 258 of her late husband’s works to the Mississippi Museum of Art when she passed away on April 20, 1986. Today, the 296-total works by William R. Hollingsworth, Jr. at the Mississippi Museum of Art is the largest collection of his work anywhere. Selections of the work of William R. Hollingsworth, Jr. have been on continuous display at the Mississippi Museum of Art in The Mississippi Story, a permanent exhibition that is free to the public, since 2006.

“The creation of the William R. Hollingsworth, Jr. Fellowship at the Mississippi Museum of Art represents an opportunity to sustain the Hollingsworth legacy of building a robust and relevant community for the visual arts in Mississippi,” said Mississippi Museum of Art Director Betsy Bradley. “We welcome Adam Farcus as our Hollingsworth Fellow with open arms. We look forward to helping Adam grow as an artist, and witnessing the ways in which new talents will benefit the Museum, the Jackson community, and the state as a whole.”