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Artist to paint outdoor sculpture Friday at University Museum

By Kirsten McGill

University of Mississippi

Artist Mia Kaplan will return to Oxford this weekend to paint her outdoor sculpture that was installed last fall on the front lawn of the University of Mississippi Museum.

The artist plans to paint from 8 a.m. to noon Friday and then cover the piece with a glossy coat on Saturday morning. This will be an outdoor event for all ages in the community to drop by and experience the sculpture’s transformation.

The sculpture, “Swamp Flower,” was inspired by the resilience and mystery of water lilies that grow near Kaplan’s home, she said.

“I’m inspired by how something that appears so delicate can be so strong, and how many things that seem strong are in fact delicate in the grand scheme of things,” Kaplan said.

Rebecca Phillips, the museum’s membership, events and communications coordinator, said she hopes a crowd will come watch the process.

“The raw metal flower will now become bright-colored and will give the museum lawn a vibrant feel and look,” Phillips said.

Kaplan said she is eager to be back in Oxford to take on this new project and to be able to discuss the completed art with friends.

“I get chills being on the campus of U of M and was thoroughly inspired by the landscape surrounding William Faulkner’s home, the sloping trails and canopies of trees,” Kaplan said. “It’s a wild place.”

As a Southern artist who works primarily in organic forms, Kaplan said nature is what makes the most sense to her. She is interested in recording things from the perspective of a naturalist.

“Nature is something that many people relate to as a metaphor for humanity,” Kaplan said.