Five students and alumni from Dr. Billie Follensbee’s Basic Conservation of Art and Artifacts class (ART/MST 488) were accepted to present on their research at the Missouri Archaeology Society Annual Meeting. This year, students presented as part of the poster session, Art and Artifacts: Research and Conservation of Art and Artifacts April 14–16 in Camdenton, Missouri.
This was not the first time Dr. Follensbee’s students have presented at the conference—two groups of students also participated at last year’s conference in Branson. Dr. Follensbee encourages her advanced undergraduate students to propose posters and presentations for the conference, as this helps them to develop their research beyond the classroom, for a professional and public audience. “I tell the students about what a great opportunity this is—that this is a great way to take their research to the next level, both in developing and disseminating their research; how this is great experience in attending and participating in conferences; and I tell them what a serious advantage it is to have a conference presentation on a resume when they apply for jobs or for graduate school,” Dr. Follensbee explains.
If only one or two students express interest in participating, Dr. Follensbee guides them each individually through the development, submission, and presentation process of their projects. But, if three or more students are interested, as was the case with this year’s presenters, Dr. Follensbee organizes and chairs a poster symposium for the group. Both the symposium proposal and individual poster topics are submitted for review and must be accepted by conference organizers in order for the students to present.
This poster session featured research and conservation by five students from the fall 2021 and fall 2022 semesters. “This year’s students took on some very challenging projects, and they did some especially impressive research and conservation,” Dr. Follensbee adds. “For example, two projects involved the preservation of crumbling powdery matte pigment, while three projects involved reconstruction and restoration.”
This year’s session included the following poster presentations:
- Earlene Elliott-Lee, “Conservation of an Isiji Initiation Mask”
- Christina Elkinton, “Conservation of Three Hand-Carved Kisii Soapstone Objects”
- Naysa Adams, “Conservation of a Kina Shell Moka Breastplate”
- Jessica Winslow, “Conservation of Round Longleaf Pine Needle and Raffia Lidded Basket”
- Jenna Fallert, “Conservation of Two Kamba Carved Wooden Elephants”
Participating in conferences such as the Missouri Archaeological Society Annual Meeting has always proven to be a rewarding experience for students. Not only is it an excellent opportunity for developing professional research presentations, but it also allows art history and museum studies students to share their work and to interact with professionals in their fields and other closely related fields of study. “Through participating in conferences, the students expose themselves to new and other types of scholarship,” Dr. Follensbee adds. “They are contributing to their fields, and they are also actively networking for their futures.”
For more information about MST 488 and how to register for the class, contact Dr. Follensbee at BillieFollensbee@missouristate.edu.
Taylor Ladd is a graduate assistant for the Department of Art + Design. She is working towards her master’s degree in writing at Missouri State University with professional interests in writing about art, culture, and food.