Wright Center Art Gallery

Welcome to the Wright Center Art Gallery

In 1969, the former Roberts Library was renovated and became the Fielding L. Wright Art Center with a spacious gallery created out of the old reading room of the library. The Art Center and the Gallery were dedicated to former Mississippi Governor Wright, known in the 1940’s as a “Friend of Education.” Today the Gallery forms the core of Delta State University’s art department and is used daily by students and visitors.

Mission

Wright Art Center Gallery’s goal is to support the educational mission of the university, enrich the aesthetic environment of the community, and serve as a cultural resource for the Mississippi Delta. With a focus on curating innovative and thought-provoking contemporary art, the gallery seeks to promote the understanding of and extend the audience for contemporary art.

Call for Exhibition Proposals

The Wright Art Center at Delta State University is pleased to accept exhibition proposals from individual artists, collaborative groups and curators. Works in any media by artists at any stage in their career will be considered, with preference given to emerging and mid-career artists whose work presents a novel and thought-provoking approach to making and thinking about art. Proposals will be evaluated on artistic merit, conceptual integrity, and accordance with our mission.

Call for Exhibition Proposals
Wright Center Gallery Floorplan

Call for Entries Annual Juried Student Exhibition

Submission Guidelines

Contact

For more information or to schedule a group tour of the gallery please call 662.846.4720.

For updates and announcements please follow the Delta State Art Department on Facebook.

Hours

Monday – Thursday: 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday: 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed weekends, holidays, and during semester breaks.

2016-17 Exhibition Program Information


Julia Morrisroe, I’m Sorry You Were Saying

Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center opens its 2016-2017 season on Thursday, August 25th with an exhibition of Julia Morrisroe’s I’m Sorry You Were Saying.

Julia Morrisroe is an artist and Associate Professor in painting and drawing at the University of Florida. Morrisroe’s work explores the question of what it means to paint today in an age in which digital technology has led to the proliferation and instant availability of images. Morrisroe is interested in how the flood of images streaming in front of our eyes have affected the way we perceive these images. As Morrisroe explains, “Images can be replicated, expanded, enhanced or associated with other images (relevant or not) instantaneously. The simultaneity of image and experience has led to images becoming hyper-contextualized. The image can no longer exist as a single painting but belongs to a network.” Morrisroe creates series of abstract paintings that invite the viewer to explore this hyper-contextualized condition. In her paintings patterns that are repeated, inverted, rescaled, disrupted, or reappear in different media. The artist’s intention is to “subvert the viewers’ desire to look at one painting, compelling a rambling, hyper-linked experience of viewing.”

Morrisroe holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Northern Illinois University and a Master of Fine Arts from University of Washington. She has exhibited internationally, most recently her work was shown at Americas 2016: Paperworks Juried Exhibition, Minot State University, ND; Claypool Young Gallery, Morehead State University, KY; the Affordable Art Fair, Brooklyn, NY; OBRAS Foundation, Netherlands; National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan. She has received numerous awards, grants and fellowships grants for her work and last year spent time at Anadolu University, Turkey, as Mevlana Faculty Exchange Scholar.

I’m Sorry You Were Saying? will run from August 25th to September 22th, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, August 25. 5:00-7:00 pm. The artist will present a public lecture on Thursday, September 22 at 4:00 pm. Gallery Hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on weekends, holidays, and during semester breaks.

DSU Annual Faculty Exhibition 2016

facultyexhDSU ANNUAL FACULTY EXHIBITION

Delta State University’s Art Department invites the public to a reception celebrating the opening of its annual faculty exhibition on Thursday, September 29, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. DSU’s art faculty are practicing artists, designers, and filmmakers who regularly exhibit in venues across the nation. The annual faculty exhibition, held at the Fielding Wright Art Center, offers the campus and the community an opportunity to view new work created by these artists.

Participating artists are Amy Cannestra, Will Jacks, Ky Johnston, Ron Koehler, Michaela Merryday, Jon Mark Nail, Cetin Oguz, Kim Rushing, Mollie Rushing, Michael Stanley, and Natalie Tyree.

Ron Koehler, Chair of the Art Department, creates figurative stories that play with perception and reveal his wonderful sense of humor as in his sculpture Mr. Brickman Loves His Friends. Mr. Brickman is a brick column sculpture surrounded by his brick friends and birds entirely made of wood. Koehler who is known for his endlessly inventive interpretations of brushes has a fascination with tools as well as with how things are made. He recently started to investigate the ordinary hammer which resulted in a set called Ten Hammers.  These objects are created from wood and the heads of the hammers are painted with a graphite patina that gives them a metallic-look.

Amy Cannestra’s work, shifting between video, sculpture, performance, and digital arts, probes and breaks down the body. Humanizing object and objectifying human by bringing the things we hide to the forefront, putting the uncomfortable out in the open. Her work uses horror, sex, and humor to question our culture’s obsession with body and perfection.

Ky Johnston’s new work presents a reflection on his roots in pottery and a continued attempt to blend influences from various sources into functional pottery. In this work he is exploring functional forms, mostly from the wheel, sometimes altered or stretched, often cut or faceted. The glazes use common materials including various clays, wood ash, and some raw pigments and are fired with gas. His goal is to allow the materials, processes, and long history of the craft to play a big role in the end result.

Michaela Merryday has explored furniture design and the possibility of combining wood furniture and felt in the past year. The work presented here combine her interest in minimalist design and multi-functional furniture.

Jon Mark Nail is a film maker, whose work explores Mississippi, its culture and its mythos. He is fascinated by what he calls Mississippi’s idiosyncrasies. Nail sees Mississippi as “a land steeped in contradiction: a land that is at once lush and barren, a society known for its gentility as well as its savagery, a prideful people and a shamed people.” His work explores the themes of hope and despair, great promise and dreadful demise, love and death, honor and collapse.

Cetin Oguz is an abstract painter who is interested in the process of painting. According to the artist, he is preoccupied with “the process which occurs naturally and defines the space and the process which suspends the intellect within the void of its activity. The natural markings, scratches, layers, and lines are kept and reworked in the present as though to reveal more of the past. ”

Kim Rushing, who just published a book of a series photographs he had taken at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman, MS, twenty years ago, has been thinking a lot about how his approach to image making has changed over the years. For this exhibition he selected a series of photographs from various periods of his career that he still finds exciting.

Mollie Rushing is a textile artist whose quilts use pattern and color to create the illusion of texture and space.

Michael Stanley’s sculptural work in this exhibition is a continuation of his interests in media, process, form, and function.  There are examples of rigid materials and soft materials, examples of slow processes and fast processes, examples of familiar and unfamiliar form, and examples of varying degrees of function.  The freedom to move between media, process, form, and function is a key aspect of his creative process and nurtures his compulsion to create.

The bulk of Natalie Tyree’s work is typically generated from images captured and manipulated digitally. The work included here takes a step back from the computer as the dominant tool. Combining watercolors, doodles, and collage based media that marry the notion of natural organic elements with the idea of the machine as tool.

DSU’s Annual Faculty Exhibition will be on view until October 27. The gallery is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m.– 4:30 p.m. For more information, please contact the Art Department at 662-846-4720.

Resa Blatman, Gaia Series

Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery presents an exhibition of Resa Blatman’s Gaia Series, a multi-media installation that addresses the causes and effects of climate change.

blatman

Resa Blatman’s exuberant, multi-layered paintings have always been inspired by nature, but in recent years her attention has turned to the alarming signs of climate change – global warming, shrinking arctic icecaps, rising water levels, extreme weather conditions, extinction of animal species, migration of species, and growing scarcity of natural resources. The title of Blatman’s series derives from the Gaia hypothesis developed by James Lovelock and Lynn Margulis which provides a model for understanding the threats caused by environmental pollution, industrial exploitation of natural resources, and the growing world population. The theory sees our planet as a complex, synergistic, self-regulating system that helps to sustain conditions for life on Earth. It likens the living system of Earth to the workings of any individual organism that regulates body temperature, blood salinity, etc. The question then is how current developments such as rising global temperatures, ocean salinity, and greenhouse gases affect this system and the habitability of the planet.

Blatman recently completed a residency in the Arctic where she could observe the effects of climate change firsthand. Many of the works in this exhibition derive directly from this experience. Resa Blatman is not a scientist, but speaks from the perspective of a concerned citizen of the Earth. She hopes that her work inspires discussion and raises awareness of the issues while also providing her audience with an engaging visual experience.

Blatman is an independent artist from Somerville, MA. She earned a MFA from Boston University and a BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design. She has had one person exhibitions at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, Georgia; Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA; Hartnett Gallery at the University of Rochester, Rochester, NY; and other places. She has been included in numerous group exhibitions, most recently at the Spartanburg Art Museum in Spartanburg, SC . Her work is in public and private collections across the United States, Europe and South Africa.

An opening reception for Resa Blatman’s Gaia Series will be held Thursday, November 3, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The artist will discuss the work in the gallery before the opening reception at 4:00 pm. The exhibition will run until December 8. Gallery Hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on weekends, holidays, and during semester breaks.

Rick Herzog, Roots

Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center opens the New Year on Thursday, January 12 with an Exhibition of Rick Herzog’s installation Roots.

SONY DSC

Richard Herzog is a sculptor and installation artist creating works inspired by nature that mimicking organic patterns and repetitions but are composed of man-made materials to highlight man’s disconnection from the natural environment.

Herzog received his BFA in three-dimensional design from Bowling Green State University, Ohio and his MFA in sculpture from the University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. He has taught sculpture at the New College of Florida, the Herron School of Art and Design, the University of Tulsa, Eastern Oregon University, and Universidad de Caldas, Colombia, South America.

His work has been exhibited throughout the US and internationally in almost 100 group and solo exhibitions, including most recently in the Spartanburg Art Museum, Spartanburg, SC; Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, Florida; The Observatory, Brooklyn, New York; United States Botanic Garden, Washington, D.C.; Indianapolis Art Center, Indianapolis.

His exhibitions have been reviewed in Sculpture Magazine which called his work “electrified” and The Chicago Sun Times which described him as “representing the grit and grace of the contemporary South.”

Rick Herzog’s Roots will run from January 12-February 23, 2017. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, January 12, 5:00-7:00 pm. The artist will present a public lecture in the gallery before the opening reception at 4:00 pm. Gallery Hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on weekends, holidays, and during semester breaks.

2017 Annual Juried Student Exhibition

Student Show The Annual Juried Student Exhibition allows the department to highlight the work our students have produced in the past year and affords students an opportunity to gain professional experience by preparing work for exhibition and submitting it to a jury process. Students submitting work are also eligible to win monetary awards in a variety of categories. The awards are made possible through the generous support of art patrons from the Cleveland community.

This year’s juror is Joshua Vincent, a DSU alumnus, who teaches at the Mississippi Delta Community College.

Professor Vincent commended the quality of work submitted. The work he selected from the numerous submissions reflects the diversity of our students’ aesthetics and interests.

Please join us in celebrating our students’ success on Thursday, March 9, from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. Awards will be presented at 6:00 pm. The Annual Juried Student Exhibition will remain on view from March 9 to April 20, 2017. The gallery is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and on Friday from 8 a.m. –4:30 p.m. For more information, please contact the Art Department at 662-846-4720.

Previous Exhibitions


2015-2016 Exhibition Calendar

Shara Rowley Plough, Pastoral Tableau

11-plough-install-700x500Delta State University’s Fielding Wright Art Center opens its 2015-2016 season on Thursday, August 20th with an exhibition of Shara Rowley Plough’s Pastoral Tableau.

Shara Rowley Plough is an installation and mixed media artist who has worked in Cleveland, Mississippi, the last couple of years.  Plough’s work investigates social inequalities and consumer culture often utilizing the materials of consumer culture itself. Pastoral Tableau is a commentary on the pressures to consume. Advertisements hold up impossible promises on how purchasing a vast array of products will change our lives, make us more alluring, more fulfilled or more successful and our social status is measured not by our accomplishments, but by our ability to consume. The chase for the latest must-have consumer items is here represented by a life-size hunting scene consisting of a horse, a pack of hunting dogs, a slain fox and a fluffel of rabbits.

Horses and fox hunts are associated with the leisure activities of the affluent and, thus, for Plough become the ultimate symbol of success and aspirations. On the other hand, the cruelty of the hunt also stand for the cannibalistic nature of consumption.

The entire scene was painstakingly crochet from horsehair. Plough explains that the material used is an important aspect of her message, she was interested in the contrast between an unattractive waste material – horse hair – and the beauty of the horse which comes to symbolize the different aspects of consumption.

Plough earned an MFA from the University of Arizona. Her work has been included in the Arizona Biennial, the Shore Institute of the Contemporary Arts Invitational, the Meridian Museum Bi-State Art Competition, the E. E. Bass Cultural Arts Center, and has shown at the Art Museum at the University of Memphis. Pastoral Tableau was created with the support of a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

Pastoral Tableau will run from August 20th to September 24th , 2015. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, August 20. 5:00-7:00 pm. Gallery Hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Gallery is closed on weekends, holidays, and during semester breaks.

Robert E. Gerhardt, Muslim/American, American Muslim

gerhardt_09-150x150Robert E. Gerhardt, Muslim/American, American Muslim

Robert Gerhardt came to photography via sociology and anthropology, he became hooked on photography when he took a photography class to learn how to document his research projects. His interest in studying social behavior and human nature is apparent in his photographic work – his series The Straphangers presents the diversity of New York as gleaned from its subways, Life on the Border: The Karen People of Burma documents the struggle of the Karen people confined to refugee camps at the border between Burma and Thailand, and his most recent series Mic Check focuses on the #BlackLivesMatter movement and public protests.

Gerhardt became interested in learning more about and document Muslim cultures in the United States “in 2010 after reading about a controversy over converting an unused convent on Staten Island in New York into a mosque and community center. Many local residents vehemently protested the intended repurposing at various community board meetings, including the shouting-down of a US Army officer who simply asked if people would be willing to be good neighbors with the mosque.“ Gerhardt contacted the Muslim American Society who was behind the community center and was invited to visit the society’s Brooklyn chapter and photograph there. He spent several days a week at the center over the next year and through the center came to know the members of the community, was invited to schools and homes where he learned about the everyday encounters with prejudice Muslims face in post 9/11 era. He went on to photograph not only the Brooklyn community, but Muslim communities in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Gerhardt hopes that the portrait he has created of the American Muslim communities will inspire his audience to learn more about the diverse Muslim cultures represented in this country and open a dialogue examining common misconceptions. Gerhardt’s project has been shown at St. John’s University, Manhattan Campus, New York, NY; Schuster Art Gallery, Gannon University, Erie, PA; Schuster Art Gallery, Gannon University, Erie, PA; Annex Gallery, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, Indiana, PA; Sidney Larson Gallery, Columbia College, Columbia, MO; and will move on to the John B. Davis Gallery, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID after its presentation at DSU.

In the spirit of Gerhardt’s project, the DSU Art Department and QEP (DSU’s Quality Enhancement Program) have partnered to present a series of events that will provide a forum for dialogue. The series begins with a public presentation by Dr. Ahm Reza, Assistant Professor in Biological and Physical Sciences at DSU, on the experiences of a Muslim immigrant to the US on November 12. On November 19, Emad Al-Turk and Okolo Rashid, founders of the International Museum of Muslim Cultures in Jackson, MS, will speak about the history and mission of the institution they founded. On December 3, a public screening of the film Arranged, which centers on the unlikely friendship between an Orthodox Jewish and Muslim teacher in New York. All presentations will be held at the Fielding Wright Art Center, begin at 5:00, and are free and open to the public.

Muslim/American, American/Muslim will be on view at DSU’s Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery from November 5 to December 11. The artist will introduce the exhibit and speak about his work on Thursday, November 5 at 4:00 pm at the Fielding Wright Art Center Gallery on the DSU campus. A public reception and an opportunity to meet the artist will follow from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. All events are free and open to the public.

The Fielding Wright Art Center is open Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. It is closed weekends, holidays, and during semester breaks. For further information contact 662.846.4720. For updates and announcements of upcoming events follow Delta State Art Department on Facebook or join our email list.

Candace Hicks, Napoleon's Wallpaper

framed-sky-300x199Candace Hicks: Napoleon’s Wallpaper

Candace Hicks is a printmaker and book artist based in Nacogdoches, TX. The exhibition Napoleon’s Wallpaper treats the gallery as a puzzle box to be solved by the viewer. A combination of prints that reveal secret messages when viewed through special colored glasses, kinetic sculptures that reveal clues, puzzles that can be manipulated physically to reveal hidden compartments, and wall texts that guide the viewer from one station to the next, the exhibition operates like a game. The artist is using her background as a book artist to produce an exhibition of objects that look like art, but are actually part of an interrelated narrative puzzle. Books take for granted that viewer participation is necessary to complete the work, and Napoleon’s Wallpaper combines a storybook, interactive puzzle, and art exhibit into a room-sized installation. The viewer experiences the immersive quality of reading a mystery novel and solving the clues.

The title, Napoleon’s Wallpaper, refers to an anecdote regarding the cause of Napoleon’s death. He supposedly died from exposure to arsenic in the dyes used to print his wallpaper. Hicks once read three accounts of this story in the same week, and felt like she was receiving a secret, albeit meaningless message from the universe. Napoleon’s Wallpaper is like a room-sized book. It tells a story, but it also presents a puzzle game that has to be solved by the visitor/reader. It includes many moving parts that invite interaction. It resurrects forms of spectacle from the past: optical illusions and early animation devices. These forms are employed holistically to present a cohesive story that can only be solved with viewer participation.

Hicks is an Assistant Professor Stephen F. Austin State University in Texas. Napoleon’s Wallpaper has recently been installed in Houston, TX. Hicks’ work has been shown in Rochester, N.Y.; Ashville, N.C.; Decatur, GA; Denver Colorado; New York, N.Y.; Moscow, Soviet Union; Vilnius, Lithuania; Budapest, Hungary; among other places.

Napoleon’s Wallpaper will run from January 14th to February 26th, 2016. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, January 14 from 5:00-7:00 pm. Gallery Hours are Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.