Dunlap, Stewart treat students to Webster County tour

From Press, Staff Reports

Bill Dunlap’s artist-in-residency at Mississippi State University
continues to provide an amazing experience for students.

The artist joined forces with fellow Webster County native and School
of Architecture alumnus Belinda Stewart, FAIA, in February to give a
group of sculpture students a tour of Webster County and to meet
bronze caster Edmond “Pete” Shumpert of Starnes Tabernacle Road.

Students toured the campus of Wood College, which is currently
housing East Webster High School before meeting up with Stewart.

“She was very generous with her time showing us around her office and
firm (in Eupora),” said sculpture student John Allen.
Stewart also showed the group the burnt remains of the Webster County
Courthouse in Walthall, which was a nearly 100-year-old structure.

Dunlap, Stewart and the students next met up with Shumpert, who
taught them the lost-wax casting technique he uses to make his bronze
sculptures, which include a few of the “Bully” statues for MSU.

Students were impressed by the technique and the huge surfboard
sculpture done by Shumpert, but they were also inspired by his
extensive and unique resume. They noted that he used to be a surfer,
worked for Disney, studied sculpture in Italy, was a medical
illustrator and even raises buffalo.

The students said their trip and having Bill Dunlap on campus serving
as an artist-in-residence has been a great experience.
“He’s definitely given us an opportunity that we wouldn’t have had
otherwise,” said Allen.

“And, I mean, who can say that they’ve actually driven around with
the artist?” added fellow sculpture student Sarah Kilpatrick.