Alysia Burton Steele was invited to Mississippi School of the Arts as a 3-day artist-in-residence (Guest Artist Residency Program). During her stay, Steele interacted with students in the Literary department, Visual Arts photography class, and school-wide Diversity Club.

Alysia is author of the book “Delta Jewels: In Search of My Grandmother’s Wisdom,” which is a collection of formal portraits and oral histories from elder African American church women, including civil rights activist Mrs. Myrlie Evers. The book was endorsed by Gloria Steinem and Roy Blount, Jr., to name a few, and highlights life during the Jim Crow era in Mississippi. In 2016, Mississippi Humanities Council named Steele the 2016 “Preserver of Mississippi Culture” award winner.

Steele worked as an award-winning photojournalist and picture editor at newspapers for over 12 years, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and The Dallas Morning News, where she was part of the photo team that won the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News for their Hurricane Katrina coverage. She served as one of the picture editors. Steele earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, her master’s in photography from Ohio University and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Mississippi’s Arch Dalrymple III Department of History.

She is currently working on her second book about the role of cotton in Mississippi with her husband Bobby D. Steele, Jr. She lives in Oxford, Mississippi.

Grab a cup of coffee and join Clinnesha Sibley and Alysia Steele, as both accomplished authors converse together in this Creative Expression audio podcast episode. The pair discuss tips for high school artists, college preparation, and end with Delta Jewels, highlighting the importance of capturing oral histories. Hear how both artists gear up and unwind in each their own way.

Clinnesha Sibley (Host), Alysia Burton Steele (Guest), Music composition by Thomas Hart ’18.