Welcome to the Wright Center Art Gallery

In 1969, the former Roberts Library was renovated and became the Fielding L. Wright Art Center and old reading room of the library was turned into a spacious gallery. Today the gallery forms the core of Delta State University’s art department and provides art programming for the larger community. The gallery recently received a much-needed update funded through a Mississippi Arts Commission grant and the generous support of local art patrons.

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 exhibitions of 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. We are currently accepting proposals for the 2023-2024 academic year and beyond.

Call for Exhibition Proposals
Wright Center Gallery Floorplan

Call for Entries Annual Juried Student Exhibition

Download the submission guidelines here
Online Submission Form for Annual Juried Student Exhibition

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.

To receive information about upcoming events, join our mailing list.

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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.

 

Sponsored by

Current Exhibition Program

2024 Senior Thesis Exhibition

Please join us to celebrate our graduating seniors:

Kayla Allred

Abigail Carter

Joshua Hamilton

Mars Kirby

Azlynn Strate

Makyrin Triplett

Emily Manning

Alice Ann Mullins

The Senior Thesis Exhibition will remain on view until Thursday, June 20.

Summer Gallery Hours
Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Closed weekends, holidays, and during semester breaks.

2024 Annual Juried Student Exhibition

DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY ART DEPARTMENT’S 2024 ANNUAL JURIED STUDENT EXHIBITION

DSU’s Art Department will host its Annual Juried Student Exhibition on Thursday, March 7 to April 18. This highly anticipated event allows the art department to highlight the work our students have produced over the past year. The exhibition also allows students to gain professional experience by preparing work for exhibitions and submitting it to a jury process. Students submitting work are also eligible to win monetary awards in various categories. The awards are made possible through the generous support of art patrons from the Cleveland community.

This year’s opening reception also marks the completion of an extensive renovation of the Fielding Wright Art Center funded by a grant from the Mississippi Arts Commission.

This year’s juror is Susan Maakestad. Maakestad is a Professor Emeritus of the Memphis College of Art where she taught from 1997-2020. She now works as an independent artist in the Memphis area. Her work is in public collections including the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art and the City of Memphis. She recently completed a large glass installation for the Memphis International Airport.

As every year, the Annual Juried Student Exhibition will also feature a Salon des Refusés in the Holcomb-Norwood Annex which will display a selection of artwork that did not make it into the main event. The Salon des Refusés is inspired by a similar salon held in 1863 which featured work rejected by the academic selection committee. Yet, some of these artists would go on to change the history of art.

We want to express our gratitude to the Mississippi Arts Commission for awarding us a grant to renovate our gallery as well as to the following sponsors for supporting our students and the department through the donation of awards: Dave Alford and Adventure Frames, Maureen and Bucky Brooks, Cleveland State Bank, Betty Anne and Travis Cooper, Catherine and Ron Koehler, Bill Lester, Carmen and Cetin Oguz, Lisa Percy, Planter’s Bank & Trust, Carol Tatum, as well as Dr. Ellen Green, DSU’s Dean of the College of Arts and Science, President Dr. Ennis, and the President’s Cabinet.

Please join us in celebrating our students’ success on Thursday, March 7, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Awards will be presented at 6:00 p.m. The Annual Juried Student Exhibition will remain on view from March 7 to April 18.

Experiencing Veterans & Artists Collaboration

 DELTA STATE UNIVERSITY’S FIELDING WRIGHT ART GALLERY PRESENTS EVAC – EXPERIENCING VETERANS & ARTISTS COLLABORATION

Experiencing Veterans and Artists Collaborations is an art project that has brought together veterans and artists who created visuals to illustrate the veterans’ struggles with posttraumatic stress disorder and other mental health struggles caused by their combat experiences. According to the project organizers “mental health providers are losing the battle with helping veterans in part because veterans feel iso­lated and don’t want to ask for help. Veterans commit suicide at a rate of 20 per day. Deployed veterans who served from 2001-2007 had 41% higher suicide rate than the general population. Studies show veterans who share their stories may help with PTSD recovery.” At the same time, the project seeks to create a bridge between military and civilian life to promote a better understanding of the long-term effects of exposure to combat.

For this project, the organizers interviewed veterans from all branches of the military and with a service history that dates from WWII to more recent conflicts such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan. The organizers then matched the veterans with artists who created a limited edition of prints that interpret the veterans’ experiences. The prints will be displayed side-by-side with excerpts from the interviews which will provide a context for the images and insight into the veteran’s experiences.

By providing a glimpse into veterans’ personal experiences, EVAC creates an environment for viewers that invites understanding and engagement. According to the organizers, “Art offers a unique opportunity to foster em­pathy, as it uses the senses to suggest feelings, stretches the imagination and invites understanding. Empathy is critical to fostering a so­ciety that places value on human dignity for all.”

EVAC – Experiencing Veterans & Artists Collaboration will be on view in the gallery from January 18 to February 15, 2024. An opening reception at which light refreshments will be served will be held on January 18 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.

William Ruller: All That Is Solid Melts into Air

 

WILLIAM RULLER: ALL THAT IS SOLID MELTS INTO AIR

Delta State University’s Art Department invites the public to the opening of its new exhibition William Ruller: All That is Solid Melts into Air. Ruller who was born in Gloversville, NY explains that “the abandoned mills and tanneries of my youth and the dilapidated areas of metropolitan and rural sites, with its rust grey tones inform the visual and aesthetic language present in my work. These residual sites serve as the foundation for the work, which allows for a reinterpretation of the space into abstracted images.”

Ruller received a B.A. in painting and ceramics from the State University of New York at Plattsburgh in 2007. Following his undergraduate degree, Ruller moved to Oregon where he worked as a production potter and ceramics instructor. In 2014 he received is MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Ruller has been exhibited throughout Europe and the United States in numerous group and solo exhibitions. His paintings have been featured in Friend of the Artist, Whitewall Magazine, New American Paintings, and Studio Visit Magazine Issues. His work is in private and public collections such as Hyatt Hotel Corporation, Savannah College of Art and Design, and Museo Riso.

William Ruller: All that is Solid Melts into Air will be on view in the gallery from November 2 to December 7. A reception at which light refreshments will be served will be held on November 2 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm to mark the opening of the exhibition. A presentation by the artist via Zoom is scheduled for 4:00 pm that day. The public may join the presentation via Zoom or view it in the gallery surrounded by his work.

2023 Annual Faculty Exhibition

DSU’s art faculty are practicing artists, designers, and filmmakers who regularly exhibit in venues across the nation. The annual faculty exhibition offers us the opportunity to showcase new work created by these artists.

Several faculty members are exploring aspects of the human condition. Cetin Oguz’s abstract paintings are allegories of the human condition with line, color, and texture carrying the meaning. While the work is informed by his own history, beliefs, and observations, Oguz strives to create images that have a timeless appeal. Korkut Akacik’s work is similarly informed by personal experiences, in this case, memories and yearnings, which he translates into sensory multi-media installations that invite viewers to probe their own memories and yearnings. Jesse Brown’s photographic work examines the social construction of masculinity. The artist argues that in a society that extols stoicism as a masculine virtue, males find themselves navigating a labyrinth of unspoken rules valuing toughness, self-reliance, and authoritative control. These hegemonic systems frequently lead to the adoption of dissociative strategies in order to preserve a calm exterior and maintain a sense of power. Lawson King is also interested in the issue of control, but he investigates the internal conflict between the need to stay in control and the liberating potential of letting go of control. Lawson represents these ideas in sculpture, paintings, and collages.

Nathan Pietrykowski, Robyn Wall, and Ted Fisher are interested in the associations that places carry. Pietrykowski likes to take walks around town, the observations from these walks form the basis for his prints, artist books, and installations which amount to a psychogeography of place. The focus of Robyn Wall’s work is the home whether the physical structures of homes which she recreates in paper constructions or the narratives she constructs about her neighbors in prints. These narratives are pieced together from the objects left outside their homes. Ted Fisher’s documentary film I Want to Be at the Meeting: Sacred and Secular in the Mississippi Delta highlights the unique relationship of Gospel and Blues music in the culture of the Delta. The documentary was created in collaboration with DSU students and co-produced with Don Allan Mitchell from DSU’s Department of Language and Literature.

The work of Ky Johnston, Ron Koehler, and Michaela Merryday is rooted in craft. Ky Johnston creates pottery that shows respect for his materials, for the people and pieces that have taught him, and for the people who might come to own the objects he makes. Recently, Johnston began to decorate his pottery with imagery that he had previously used only in paintings and prints. Ron Koehler has created a series of complex multi-axis wood-turned vessels for this exhibition. These unique vessels have a natural, flowing quality comprised of intricate curves and shapes that would be impossible to achieve with traditional woodturning. Michaela Merryday, on the other hand, creates wood furniture that promotes harmonious cohabitation with cats.

The Annual Faculty Exhibition will be on view in the gallery from September 28 to October 26. An opening reception at which light refreshments will be served will be held on September 28 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. 

Jennifer Seo: Paperworks

 JENNIFER SEO: PAPERWORKS

Delta State University’s Art Gallery opens its 2023-2024 season with an exhibition of delicate paper sculptures by Jennifer Seo

Jennifer Seo painstakingly recreates everyday objects such as teacups, bowls, tables, flatware, eyeglasses, cross necklaces, and embroidered handkerchiefs she discovers in old family photographs as ghostly paper constructions. The artist says that she remakes these “objects to better understand what we find important about them and why.” According to the artist, “objects go from being simply a thing we interact with as utility to a thing that embodies a philosophy and culture.” For Seo who is of Korean descent and was born in Florida, the process of fashioning these paper sculptures is a way of connecting with her distant family and imagining their day-to-day lives. The fragile and abstract nature of these paper sculptures becomes a metaphor for her thought process, for the difference between her projections and actuality, between observation and perception.

Seo was born in Florida and grew up in Los Angeles. She received a BFA degree from Baylor University, then worked as assistant for the sculptor Karl Umlauf before earning an MFA degree from the University of Texas San Antonia. She currently is an Assistant Professor of Painting and Drawing at Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA. Her work has been featured in group and solo exhibition in the United States and South Korea.

Jennifer Seo: Paperworks will be on view in the gallery from August 24 to September 21, 2023. An opening reception at which light refreshments will be served will be held on August 24 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.