SVS Makes Waves at the Lake

Art on the Move Events Feature Alumnae
Mackenna Surdyke-Bennett

The university’s School of Visual Studies’ Art on the Move Outreach Program will feature a photo exhibition at the Lake of the Ozarks by MU alumna and Osage Beach native Mackenna Surdyke-Bennett, who received her BFA from MU with an emphasis in photography.

Jordan Yount
News Source: 
College of Arts & Science

A series of art exhibitions scheduled at the Lake of the Ozarks in November brings together several University of Missouri alumnae who have known each other for years. The university’s School of Visual Studies’ Art on the Move Outreach Program will feature a photo exhibition by MU alumna and Osage Beach native Mackenna Surdyke-Bennett, who received her BFA from MU with an emphasis in photography. Her large-scale silver gelatin photos will first be on display at the L O PROFILE magazine launch party November 6 at Jeffrey’s Prime Rib & Lobster Steakhouse.

“It is so great to be exhibiting in my home town,” Surdyke-Bennett says. “It gives me the chance to show my community and those I grew up around what I did and learned while at the University of Missouri.”

The event is free and open to the public and patrons will have the opportunity to meet the artist.

Community Connections

Magazine publisher Missy Pinkel, BA ’85 art, has known Surdyke-Bennett and her family for years.

“I’ve been here 31 years now, and she danced with my daughter at the local dance studio, and I’ve watched her grow up from a little teenager,” Pinkel says. “She’s just an impressive young lady in all aspects and is so talented creatively—whether it’s on the dance floor or the arts.”

Pinkel credits MU for opening her eyes to the range of possible careers she could pursue after graduation. “That’s one of the greatest benefits to Arts and Science—letting you discover more of what you want to do, and there is always guidance from your professors,” she says. Pinkel says one exciting aspect of the Art on the Move event at the Lake is the artist’s visit with students at her high school in Camdenton, something Surdyke-Bennett says she is looking forward to doing.

“I am so excited to be meeting with the high school art students of Camdenton, and I hope to inspire them to continue their art education and exploration in whatever manner they please,” Surdyke-Bennett says. “I was in their shoes not too long ago and am eager to answer any questions they may have about the work or my experience at the university.” Surdyke-Bennett’s exhibition at Camdenton High School will take up the final two days of the Art on the Move tour of the Lake region; this event will be closed to the public.

image credit_Mackenna Surdyke_AOM @ Osage Beach MO

Developing an Arts Culture

Prior to returning to her high school, Surdyke-Bennett’s exhibition will relocate to the Lake Fine Art Academy & Galleria in Osage Beach, owned by Paula Brown, who earned a bachelor’s degree in art education, two master’s degrees, and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy analysis from Mizzou. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, will run Nov. 13–17, with an artist reception Nov. 16 from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. Brown says she is happy to host the exhibition and would gladly do so for other art students at Mizzou.

“I love new art, and I love to promote artists, so it all works for me,” Brown says. “What’s interesting about this area is there are a lot of artists at the Lake, and so with Mackenna coming in and reaching out to the high school, they’ll look at Mizzou as the place to come. Hopefully we are building a culture—not only at the Lake but throughout Missouri.”

Like Pinkel, Brown has known Surdyke-Bennett for years. In fact, Mackenna is the same age as Brown’s son Zachary, who is completing his MBA in accounting at MU. Brown’s two other children, Jessica, BS’ 12 secondary art education, and Derek, JD ’13, also are Mizzou alumni.

Stealey notes Art on the Move celebrated its first anniversary in October, and she says the outreach program is working the way she and her colleagues had hoped it would.

“Many of our outlying areas have very few opportunities for arts programming but are very interested in the arts, and we at the university are providing opportunities for our entire state to experience contemporary art, whether that be in the form of an exhibition, a workshop, a lecture, films, or some other type of arts-related event,” Stealey says. “We also want our students to have these professional career-building opportunities so they are better prepared once they graduate to go out into their chosen career and be very successful.”

Since fall 2017, Art on the Move has partnered with MU Extension and 11 communities across the state to return MU artists to their home communities or regions to share their art with others.

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