The University of Southern Mississippi’s Cook Library Art Gallery, in collaboration with Southern Miss International Programs, will exhibit The 9/11 Series by New York artist Terence Netter, beginning with an opening reception Thursday, Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. Admission is free and Netter is scheduled to attend the event.
The six large, compelling paintings were commissioned to commemorate the first anniversary of the terrorist attack, coinciding with the inauguration of the first semester of the Southern Miss Abbey Program in Pontlevoy, located in central France. They became the focal point of a memorable ceremony in the 1,000 year-old abbey.
The paintings’ owner, Southern Miss history professor and coordinator of The Abbey Program Dr. Doug Mackaman, has organized a tour of the works in the United States. The show will run until Nov. 6, when it will leave for the Katrina Research Center at Southern Miss Gulf Coast in Long Beach for another month in Mississippi.
“Terence Netter has been a very dear friend to Southern Miss and our Abbey Program students since we began in Pontlevoy a decade ago with the 2002 group,” Mackaman said. “Our earliest days in France with our pioneering group saw the first anniversary of the 9-11 attack. His fantastic series of monumental paintings helped us to manage the ravaged feelings we all had about the horrors of that attack a year away from it.”
The Abbey Program offers freshman and sophomore classes to about 45 highly-motivated students each spring in France. More than 520 students have made The Abbey their first experience in learning, living and traveling abroad. While away, these students experience classrooms that include great castles, the streets of Paris and the sacred sands of the science Omaha Beach.
“This program and is a signature example of the university’s longstanding excellence in global education,” Mackaman said.
Taught by more than 45 professors over the last decade, the students of The Abbey have gone to remarkable academic success as Southern Miss upperclassmen and then at some of the nation’s top graduate programs. More information about the program can be found online at www.theabbeyprogram.org
Netter was dean of the College of Fine Arts of the University of Jacksonville when the 9/11 attack took place. He expressed that he was “overcome by fear and sorrow” during the spring of 2002 when he worked out the commission for the Abbey Program. The 9/11 Series is a major performance in that typical New York style, paying homage to his hometown. For its tour of the U. S. in 2011, a booklet was created with photos and an explanatory text, written by Netter’s friend, Southern Miss art historian and Abbey professor Jan Siesling, who also serves as coordinator for the Cook Library Art Gallery
He has been a successful painter since his first New York solo show in 1965, and his style of painting is that of an Abstract Expressionist. An academic personality of long standing, he was a museum director in several universities, and helped establish the Art Gallery of New York University at Stony Brook, of which he was the first director. Netter was responsible, as a close friend of Lee Krasner, Jackson Pollock’s widow, for the founding of the latter’s museum in Long Island. Since 1990, he lives part of the year in central France.
The Cook Library Art Gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. and Monday 1-4 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call Cook Library at 601.266.4241. To learn more about Netter, online visit http://www.terencenetter.com/