(Jackson, Miss.)—Governor Haley Barbour announced the appointments of Barbara Brunini, of Madison; Gail S. Daigneault, of Grenada; Nell Middleton, of Winona; and Robert St. John, of Hattiesburg, to the Mississippi Arts Commission. The Mississippi Arts Commission is designed to stimulate and encourage the study and presentation of the performing, visual, and literary arts and public interest and participation.
“These appointees all share a love for Mississippi arts and culture,” said Governor Barbour. “I feel confident they will serve the people of Mississippi well.”
Barbara Brunini has served as an English instructor at both Hinds Community College and the University of Mississippi School of Nursing. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and her Master’s degree at Mississippi College. Brunini served as a member of the Arts Alliance Board from 1997 to 2002, as the Chairman for the Mississippi Heart Association “Art for Heart” program in 1993, and is currently a board member for the United Way. She has received several community service awards, including the March of Dimes “Women of Achievement” and the Red Cross J. Tate Thigpen Leadership award.
Gail Daigneault works as a freelance artist for The Southern Brush, LLC, and as the public relations director for Grenada Schools. She has previously worked as art and math teacher in various Mississippi schools and as a layout artist for Standard Office Supply. Daigneault received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Fine Arts and Art Education from the University of Southern Mississippi. Her work has been published in various publications, including the Craft and Art Market Magazine, the Gifted Children Monthly, Mississippi Magazine, and the Mississippi Department of Education’s Calendar.
Nell Middleton attended Mississippi College and graduated from the Gilfoy School of Nursing. She is a registered nurse, and has worked as a Hospital Auxiliary Officer and fund-raiser for equipment needs. Middleton is a member of the Winona Junior Auxiliary, the Better American Club, and the Woman’s Club. She has served as Counselor for the Mac Dowell Music Club of Jackson and as President of the North Central Medical Auxiliary and Alliance. Middleton has fund raised for the American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and the Red Cross. Currently, Middleton serves as on the Alumni Board of Directors as Chairman of the Nominating Committee at Mississippi College. In May of 2002, she received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the Mississippi State Medical Association Alliance.
Robert St. John is a restaurateur, chef, and food writer. He has been in the restaurant business for twenty-three years and has served as Executive Chef and owner of Purple Parrot Company, Inc., for the past 17 years. Since 1997, St. John has worked as owner and president of New South Restaurant Group, LLC. St. John, the 1996 recipient of “Mississippi Restaurateur of the Year,” is the author of A Southern Palate, Deep South Staples or How to Survive in a Southern Kitchen, and Nobody’s Poet. In addition to a monthly televised food show on the local NBC affiliate, St. John has been a guest on Turner South’s “Home Plate” and has been featured on the network’s website.
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