SCOOBA — East Mississippi Community College Art instructor Lisa Spinks is the college’s recipient of this year’s Humanities Teacher Award.
“Lisa is dedicated to sharing her passion and knowledge of the arts with her students,” EMCC Vice President for Administration Dr. Paul Miller said. “We are fortunate to have a gifted artist of her caliber on staff. She is well deserving of the award.”
Each year the Mississippi Humanities Council presents the award to humanities faculty at each of the state’s colleges and universities. The recipients will be recognized at the Mississippi Humanity Council’s annual Public Humanities Awards ceremony at the Old Capitol Museum in Jackson next spring.
Faculty at the college vote each year to select the award recipient.
“I am tickled about the award,” Spinks said. “This is the first award my peers have given me, which makes it even more special.”
Spinks resides in Scooba with her son, Jordan, mother, Dr. Audrey Berry, and their dog, Iggy. She has another son, Reed, who is in Texas.
Spinks has taught at EMCC for 10 years. After graduating high school from Mclaurin Attendance Center in Star, Miss., Spinks enrolled at the Mississippi University for Women, where she earned her undergraduate degree in Interior Design. She completed her master’s degree in Visual Arts, with an emphasis in two-dimensional art, at Mississippi College.
Spinks’ original plans included using her degree in interior design as a springboard to open her own business.
“I just thought that would be really cool,” Spinks said with a laugh. “The television show, ‘Designing Women,’ was popular at the time and I wanted to be Julia Sugarbaker and tell everybody off. For some reason, I thought you could do that.”
Although her professors said she had a knack for interior design, Spinks found herself drawn to art and later decided she would like to teach the subject.
Spinks is also an accomplished artist in varying mediums with an eclectic palette that runs the gamut from the abstract to the realistic. In 2015, Spinks garnered first place in the drawing category during the Meridian Museum of Art People’s Choice competition for her work titled, “Sneakers.”
The colored pencil and marker drawing depicts a woman’s feet clad in blue sneakers. The drawing is one of a series of shoes intended to portray the various roles in a woman’s life.
“The series is really a self-portrait,” Spinks said.
The subject will be the topic of a presentation by Spinks titled “Sole to Soul: A Walk Through Self Portraits.”
Each recipient of the Humanities Teacher Award is required to prepare and deliver a public lecture during October, National Arts and Humanities Month, or in November. Spink’s lecture has been scheduled for Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 2:15 p.m. in the student union on the Scooba campus. The event is free and the public is encouraged to attend, as are the college’s students, faculty and staff.
Some of Spinks’ artwork will also be on display at the presentation.
“I encourage everyone to come out and enjoy the afternoon,” Spinks said.