Art gallery to showcase realism

William “Bill” Beckwith is just one of the artists who will be on exhibit with the opening of Reflecting Realism at The Wright Art Center Gallery on Jan. 19.

The Wright Art Center Gallery at Delta State University will open a new exhibition, Reflecting Realism, on Jan. 19 with a public reception for the artists from 2-4 p.m. Featured artists include sculptor William Beckwith and painters Charles Carraway, Laurin McCracken, Richard Kelso, Margaret Munz-Losch and Jerrod Partridge.
The style of Realism has remained a steady and beloved approach by many artists and patrons despite new movements in the art world at large. This is particularly true in America, which has always favored and valued Realism from the earliest days of the country. In this exhibition six artists present their individuality within the genre — some work naturalistically in painting style and subject matter, while others paint or sculpt naturalistically as the subject matter derives partially from the imagination.
William “Bill” Beckwith, a native of Taylor, Miss., began his career in sculpture by working in the studio of Leon Z. Koury in Greenville in the ’60s. He later received a BFA and MFA in sculpture from the University of Mississippi. After graduating, Beckwith opened Vulcan Studios, Mississippi’s first commercial fine arts foundry. He continues to operate his studio and also teaches sculpture at the University of Mississippi. Small, gestural female figures as allegorical references to youth will be shown in the Wright Gallery.
Terry, Miss. native Charles Carraway, chair of the Jackson State University Art Department, has exhibited his paintings in numerous venues since the early ‘80s and most recently was awarded a Visual Arts Fellowship by the Mississippi Arts Commission in 2013. Carraway’s paintings of interiors have a Vermeer mystery and sense of silence, which implies a person has just stepped away from the scene or is about to enter the space and break its tranquility.
Laurin McCracken is a realist watercolorist whose work is largely influenced by the Dutch and Flemish Still Life painters of the 16th and 17th centuries. From a training standpoint, as an architect and later as a photographer, he brings a natural inclination to detail and refinement to the subjects of his painting. Those subjects tend to be the beautiful objects life offers, such as flowers, crystal and silverware, clouds, toys or anything which attracts his eye and attention. McCracken currently lives in Ft. Worth, Texas where he maintains his art studio.
Richard Kelso, from Cleveland, lives and works in his studio in Jackson, where he has lived since 1987. He attended Delta State University and was a student of Sammy Britt. He earned a MFA in painting from the University of Mississippi and has taught at Millsaps and Meridian Community College. As many artists who practice, he keeps a regular daily schedule of painting in his Fondren studio, which results in a disciplined and extensive body of work. Represented by Fisher Gallery in Jackson, Kelso will show genre scenes and still life paintings.
Margaret Munz-Losch ‘s work reflects a deep fascination with mystery and adventure. Her vivid compositions observe complex, and sometimes uneasy, relationships between the natural world, art and identity which result often in surrealistic dreamscapes which marry the mundane and the fantastical. As an emerging artist, she exhibited her work in Los Angeles. She also became the director of a mural company during her time there before moving to Tennessee. Munz-Losch’s work has appeared in group and solo shows and most recently she was awarded winner of the No Dead Artists competition at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery in New Orleans.
Jerrod Partridge is a fulltime artist and drawing instructor living and working in the Fondren neighborhood of Jackson. He earned his undergraduate degree from Mississippi College and a MFA from the New York Academy of Art. The majority of his work is done in oils on his own handmade paper, a process which forces him to approach the piece with more awareness and care of painting’s materiality. As the father of three young children, his focus has been on domestic scenes of familiarity which are often overlooked, like overflowing closets, dirty dishes or children playing with weapons. Painting is how Partridge finds organization and tranquility in this world. His works are intended to represent and possibly question the domestic American culture as a whole.
Reflecting Realism will be available for viewing from Jan. 19-Feb. 21. The gallery is open Monday-Thursday from 8 a.m.-8:30 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.

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