"I promise I'm not making any of this up" is Steve Cook's catch phrase. This semester, I've had the honor of finally having Mr. Cook for a class, Drawing III, and I have already heard that sentence uttered dozens of times. That's because Mr. Cook, a professor in the Art Department, is full of wildly interesting and unbelievable stories that fascinate his students. An instructor in printmaking, drawing, aesthetics, and painting here at MC, Mr. Cook has led an adventurous life, impacting many.
Mr. Cook has been tied to MC since 1967 when his mother became the house mother of Jennings Hall, which was a girls' residence hall. He went on to receive his undergraduate degree from MC and his MFA from Ole Miss. Finally, he studied printmaking at the Royal College of Art in London, England. However, before his formal education, Mr. Cook studied under Mississippi artist, Marie Hull.
After his time with Hull, Mr. Cook began to truly pursue a career in the arts, and after returning from London, he opened a studio in Olde Towne Clinton. However, the studio was not enough to support him, and Mr. Cook applied for and was offered a teaching position at Mississippi College.
Mr. Cook's passion for teaching is extremely evident in his classes. Mr. Cook wants to teach his students to be true artists and "rational, educated people."
His Achievements and Activities
In addition to teaching classes here at MC, Mr. Cook is involved with the Publications Council and is the Art Supervisor for The Arrowhead, which is MC's arts publication. Also, he has been named Mississippi College's Distinguished Professor of the Year and is listed in Who's Who in American Art.
In addition to being a wonderful artist, Mr. Cook collects antique cameras and plays over a dozen instruments, including the bagpipes. He is one of about thirty bagpipers in Mississippi, and he considers it to be a ministry. Mr. Cook says that he "didn't know how much they [the bagpipes] meant to people."
A man of many talents, Mr. Cook inspires his students. He teaches them about Christ, passion, and creativity, and despite his many accolades, he doesn't focus on himself. Mississippi College is extremely lucky to have a professor as profound as Steve Cook.