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Released August 14, 2002
MUW professor gives YMCA an artistic touch
COLUMBUS, Miss. -- Between vacationing with family and preparing for the beginning of the fall semester, Robert Gibson, an art professor at Mississippi University for Women, also has shared his talent with the community this summer.
He was approached by good friend Charlie Box of the Columbus YMCA to do several paintings for the recreational center of the Y, and Gibson jumped at the chance to contribute to the community in this way.
“Charlie and I talked about me doing a project like this for the Y,” Gibson said. “The walls were bare in this room, and he really wanted something to make it more interesting.”
After working throughout the summer on the project, Gibson has completed a half-dozen or so “almost 3-dimensional” acrylic paintings of pool and ping pong equipment to accentuate the activities that take place in the recreational center where they are displayed.
“Our goal was to brighten up some areas,” Box said. “I had seen his work before when he helped us with some drama sets, so we contracted with him on this project, and he has done an excellent job.”
In addition to the paintings he did for the recreational center, Gibson is working on the concept for a mural for the central corridor leading to the restrooms and weight room at the Y. This painting will feature imagery of the Christian ideas reflected in the values of the Y, which is to promote a healthy spirit, mind and body.
“I want the mural, which will actually be painted on a board and then hung on the wall, to represent Christianity, sportsmanship and family,” Gibson said. “It will include the principals associated with the Y, like courage.”
Gibson has done many other projects in the community in recent years, such as painting a large wall mural commissioned by a local family, serving as art director for the 2001 Lee Park Project and directing the student-based design of the 1998 Market Street Festival poster.
In addition to acrylic painting, Gibson enjoys many other art disciplines such as drawing, painting with watercolors, jewelry making, furniture making and glass blowing.
He also has lots of experience as a freelance illustrator/graphic designer. One of his most interesting contracts was to create and develop the masthead for Bush Brothers Bean Corporation’s award-winning newsletter, “Beanstalk,” and the corporate mascot, “Bean Man.”
Gibson has taught at The W since 1989. He received his bachelor’s degree from Carson-Newman College (Tenn.) and his master’s degree in fine art from the University of Tennessee. He and his wife, Stephanie, have two sons, Dustin and Salem.
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