The figurative works of 2019 Meridian Museum of Art Bi-State Competition “Best of Show” winner Cynthia Buob will open with a reception Saturday, Sept. 28 at the downtown Meridian art gallery.
Buob will be the featured speaker during the opening reception scheduled from 6- 8 p.m.
In March, Buob earned top honors in the Meridian Museum of Art’s 45th Annual Bi-State Competition in which more than 170 pieces of artwork were submitted. Buob was awarded $1,000 for “Best of Show” as well as the upcoming exhibit.
MMA Executive Director Kate Cherry describes Buob’s show as having different mediums and techniques.
“Each medium is significantly different from each other,” Cherry said. “This exhibition includes works in oil and charcoal. Cindy’s piece that won Best of Show was an exceptional work. In ‘Audrea,’ you seem to feel the emotions that she was feeling. It is a very well executed painting with the use of highlights and shadows to give a great contrast.
Buob said her works are always figurative.
“When I first started taking figure drawing classes, I was sold,” the artist said. “I love painting flesh and in the drawings for the exhibit I was kind of playing with light and the way it hits things. I like to recreate the thought that the image brings out,” she said. “What is the interaction of the people with each other? If I were there, what would I be feeling? In these paintings, I can create the story. It is visual storytelling. She said much of her art is inspired by stories told to her and that she tries to convey the feelings those stories evoke.
An Illinois native, Buob received her bachelor of fine arts degree from Millikin University (Decatur, Illinois) and her master of fine arts degree from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville.
She has also lived in Scotland and Belarus, and since 1997 Buob has called Columbus, Mississippi her home. She is a full-time art instructor at East Mississippi Community College and works from her studio in Columbus.
Her interest in and focus upon the human figure has been life long. While primarily interested in portraiture her work is not limited to this genre. Recently she did a series of large landscape drawings that soon included the figure. She has worked from varied and diverse subjects, including live models, photos she has taken, found photos, and elaborations on individuals’ life histories. Her large-scale drawings provide an outlet for a long-time love of drawing.
“I make art with minimal planning, intuitively changing the work as I go,” Buob said. “Early in my art education, an instructor told me to draw with the paint, and I have always striven to do this. I understand what he meant; he was encouraging me to replicate the immediacy and the transparencies that drawing embodies as well as discover the miracle of the mark-making. The beauty of the brushstroke defines the subject and also shows action at the same time.”
Buob said her interest in both painting and drawing the human figure has been enduring, and the painting of human flesh has always been a particular interest.
“My recent work has sought to marry human stories with the human form. Ultimately, all my human forms and depictions have an accompanying narrative. These narrative paintings and drawings come from stories that were told to me; the final product seeks to visually illustrate the story behind it. The story behind them can only be imagined. I like to recreate the thought that the image brings out. What is the interaction of the people with each other? If I were there, what would I be feeling? In these paintings I can create the story. It is visual storytelling,” she said.
One of Buob’s paintings was among 50 pieces of art selected for inclusion in the 61st Annual Delta Exhibition at the Arkansas Arts Center in Little Rock. More than 1,000 entries were submitted for the juried regional art competition that kicked off with a May 2 reception.
In August, she received a $500 grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission, which awarded $1.3 million in grants in 2019-20 to, among other things, support artists and arts organizations.
“I used the money to buy really nice paint brushes and things I wouldn’t have bought otherwise,” Buob said. “I was able to use that for this show and I am grateful to the Mississippi Arts Commission. That was very generous.”
Boub’s exhibit will run through Nov. 30 at the Meridian Museum of Art, located at 628 25th Ave.