Mississippi Arts Commission Awards Grant to Visual Art Professor

November 30, 2023 (Jackson, Miss.) - The Mississippi Arts Commission’s (MAC) Artist Fellowship awarded Jacob Rowan, assistant professor of art in Belhaven University's Art and Design Department, a grant in the area of visual art.

According to Rowan, the grant has allowed him to incorporate more technology into his art process. “This makes me better equipped to serve students entering a workforce where the lines between creativity, technology, science, and design are increasingly blurry.

Rowan began working at Belhaven in 2020, around the same time the Art and Design Department created the digital fabrication lab and Maker Campus. One small machine that was part of those early purchases was a drawing machine.

“That little machine really changed the way I approached making art,” observed Rowan. “It allowed me to create drawings that the machine could then replicate. Most of the work I submitted to receive that grant was at least partially done with that machine. Rowan used the grant to purchase a larger, more precise, and faster drawing machine. He also used the grant to buy art supplies.

Rowan teaches drawing, art history, aesthetics, and art theory. He received his B.A. in Art from Belhaven University and his M.F.A. in Studio Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Previously, Rowan taught at Hinds Community College.

In 2013, he spent six months in Japan as an artist-in-residence with Community Arts Tokyo. He has also worked in various capacities as an art editor, curator, and community organizer. His work has been exhibited in multiple solo and group shows throughout Mississippi, Maryland, and Japan.

MAC’s Artist Fellowship program is supported in part by funding from MAC and the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. MAC’s annual grant funds come from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Mississippi State Legislature. Awards were made in 104 Mississippi House of Representatives districts and 60 state Senate districts.