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.
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 Entries Annual Juried Student Exhibition
Download the submission guidelines here
Online Submission Form for Annual Juried Student Exhibition
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.
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.
Current Exhibition Program
Selection of Japanese Woodcut Prints from the Permanent Collection will be on view 19 January to 16 February, 2023
In conjunction with the exhibition of Japanese Woodblock Prints at Delta State University’s art gallery, Mizuki Umebara, Japan Outreach Initiative (JOI) Coordinator at DSU, will discuss the history and function of Kimonos, a traditional Japanese garment and the national dress of Japan.
February 2, 4:00 pm, Fielding Wright Art Gallery
Regular Gallery Hours
Monday through Thursday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Closed weekends, holidays, and semester breaks.
Sarah Nguyen is a multimedia artist living and working in rural Missouri. Story-telling is central to Nguyen’s art practice. She creates large-scale paintings overlaid with hand-cut fiber panels inspired by folklore and literature. As the artist explains, “Using stories as the source of my artistic inspiration I mean to return the viewer temporarily to a state of childhood, dwelling in the senses, immersed in the images of stories.” The paintings combine abstract and representational forms and evoke the sentiment of rather than illustrate their sources. While the layering of media suggests the transformation of these stories in our memories and the passage of time. Nguyen is less interested in directing her audience toward a particular interpretation of the work than in inspiring the exploration of one’s own memories.
Nguyen received a BFA in Illustration from Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in Painting from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Her work has appeared in numerous solo and group exhibits and publications nationally and internationally. Most recently she had a solo exhibition at George Caleb Bingham Gallery, University of Missouri, Columbia MO; Flora Kirsch Beck Gallery, Alma College, West Superior- Alma, MI; Fitton Center For Creative Arts, Hamilton, OH; and Rosemary Duffy Larson Gallery, Broward College, Davie, Florida. In the last two years, she completed residencies in Athens, Greece, Ontario, Canada, Belgrade, Serbia, and Sofia, Bulgaria.
Sarah Nguyen: Abecedarian For The Dangerous Animals will be on view in the gallery from November 3 to December 8, 2022. The artist will introduce her work via Zoom on November 3 at 4:00 pm.
2022 DSU ANNUAL FACULTY EXHIBITION
Delta State University’s Art Department presents its annual faculty exhibition in the Fielding Wright Art Gallery on campus from September 29 to October 27. 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 show work created by these artists over the past year. The artwork on view reflects the diverse interests of DSU’s art faculty.
Participating artists are Korkut M. Akacik, Jesse Ryan Brown, Ted Fisher, Ky Johnston, Lawson King, Ron Koehler, Michaela Merryday, Cetin Oguz, Nathan Pietrykowski, Kayla Selby, and Robyn Wall.
The department invites the public to an opening reception on Thursday, September 29 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm
YOSHIKO SHIMANO: DAR SALAAM
Delta State University’s Art Gallery opens its 2022-2023 season with an exhibition of prints by Yoshiko Shimano entitled Dar Salaam.
Yoshiko Shimano is a Japanese-born artist who lives and works in Albuquerque, NM. Shimano creates large-scale prints that are informed by the tradition of Japanese woodcut prints but incorporate a variety of different printmaking techniques. Shimano believes that an artist has a responsibility toward society that expands beyond the studio and the gallery. Not only does her work address social and environmental issues but she has also collaborated on various outreach projects and produced prints for the victims of natural disasters with her students at the Department of Art at the University of New Mexico.
Shimano’s print series Dar Salaam, which means “Place of Peace,” was inspired by a trip to the Kedougou Region in the southeast of Senegal in West Africa. The prints focus on the living condition of the inhabitants of the small village Dar Salaam. While the village suffers from a dearth of resources such as food, water, goods, transportation, and education, the villagers have used creativity and empathy to develop a sustainable lifestyle. The series includes images of women who grow vegetables which they sell at a market an hour’s walk away to supplement their families’ income and others who manage to prepare hearty meals for their families with the limited ingredients available. Other prints show the children of Dar Salaam who lack toys, books, and school facilities playing in and learning from the environment.
In Senegal, as in other parts of the world, the socio-economic gap between rural areas and metropolitan centers is enormous and growing. While Shimano’s series addresses social issues in Senegal, she is concerned about similar socio-economic trends in the U.S. Shimano explains that “I introduce the images of the villager’s everyday lives living with hope and strength in Dar Salaam, to express how human beings can be creative and humble, appreciate what they have, and feel fulfilled. The people of Dar Salaam made me think of what real wealth and happiness are. I would like to celebrate Dar Salaam’s strength of life, spirituality, and beauty in my prints.”
Yoshiko Shimano: Dar Salaam will be on view in the gallery from August 25 to September 22, 2022. The artist will introduce her work via Zoom on August 25 at 4:00 pm. Use this link to join Yoshiko Shimano’s Zoom presentation: https://deltastate.zoom.us/j/95047031551. An opening reception at which light refreshments will be served will be held on August 25 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm.
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 exhibitions 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 Justin Bryant. Bryant is a painter and teaches at the University of Arkansas Pulaski Tech. He received his BFA in Studio Art from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and his MFA in Studio Art from Louisiana State University in 2018. He was a 2019 Interchange Artist Fellow for the Mid America Arts Alliance and was awarded a summer residency at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. He has had solo exhibitions at the Thea Art Foundation, Little Rock, AR, Arkansas State University, Beebe, AR, and Michigan State University, Lansing, MI, and participated in numerous group exhibitions. His work was included in the 2019 New American Painting South Issue.
As every year, we will also feature Salon des Refusés in the Holcomb-Norwood Annex which will display a student-curated collection of the artwork that did not make it into the main event.
Please join us in celebrating our students’ success on Thursday, March 10, 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 10 to April 21, 2022.
We would like to express our gratitude to the following for sponsoring student awards:
Dave Alford and Adventure Frames
Maureen and Bucky Brooks
Cleveland State Bank
Travis “Chip” and Janet Cooper
Scott and Cindy Coopwood and Coopwood Communications
Patrick Davis for State Farm
Kayla and Jeremiah Matthews
Carmen and Cetin Oguz
Lisa B. Percy
Planters Bank of Cleveland
Dr. and Mrs. Hugh C. Smith
DSU’s Dean of the College of Arts and Science
President Bill LaForge
Katrina Majkut, Medical Abortion, Thread on aida cloth, 2015
Katrina Majkut is an artist who investigates how social traditions impact civic rights. The ongoing series In Control which she began in 2009 consists of embroidered renditions of products related to women’s reproductive health. The work and her choice of medium are intended to raise questions about who has authority over women’s bodies and choices. According to the artist, “Historically, embroidery prepared women for marriage. Samplers represented domestic skill levels and specific cultural and religious values to potential husbands who sought a woman with the right skills to establish a household – make clothes, darn socks. Cross-stitch was used to advertise and represent womanhood, wifedom and motherhood but bodily functions, autonomy and diverse lifestyles was not part of this textile practice. The ‘domestic craft’ of In Control attempts to counter this by attempting to stitch all products related to women’s health and needs with a fully comprehensive, bipartisan, educational and medically honest approach.”
Katrina Majkut was listed as one of four international artists starting a new chapter in feminist art by Mic Media and highlighted as a must-see artist by Hyperallergic. You can view more of her artwork at katrinamajkut.format.com. Majkut organized an Instagram art takeover for Planned Parenthood, exhibited at Spring Break, A.I.R. Gallery, Victori + Mo Gallery, CUNY College of Staten Island, Babson College, the Mint Museum, and was an artist in residence at MASS MoCA. Majkut published her first non-fiction book in 2018, The Adventures and Discoveries of A Feminist Bride (Black Rose Writing), which aims to make weddings more egalitarian. Her art catalogue is in the library at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, D.C.
In Control will be on view at DSU’s Fielding Wright Art Center from January 13 to February 17. Due to the rising Covid-19 cases, we will forgo an opening reception, however, the artists will discuss their work and take questions via Zoom on Thursday, January 13 at 4:00 pm. Check the art department’s website or email email@example.com for a link. The gallery 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. The gallery is closed on weekends, holidays, and during semester breaks. Masks are required in all DSU facilities.
Delta State University’s Art Department is proud to present an exhibition of recent paintings by an alumnus of its program, Tommy Goodman. Tommy Goodman is a painter and retired architect based in Carrollton, MS. Mr. Goodman graduated from DSU with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1968. He taught art at St. Andrews Episcopal Day School in Jackson for a few years before returning to school to pursue a degree in architecture at Auburn University, Auburn, AL. Mr. Goodman went on to build a successful career in architecture working as architect and design principle with architecture firms in Jackson, MS and Birmingham, AL. His projects earned numerous regional, national, and international awards. After retiring from his architectural practice, Mr. Goodman taught art and architecture as an adjunct professor at Mississippi State University. He still serves as consultant for historic restoration projects, but since 2009 he has dedicated himself fully to his painting practice. He recently published a book surveying his paintings titled Delta Artist Tommy Goodman: Painter/Architect.
Mr. Goodman creates abstract paintings and large-scale landscapes inspired by the Mississippi Delta. He explains that “Growing up in the Mississippi Delta, I have always been intrigued by the haunting horizontal vastness and variety in Delta panoramas, particularly the skies. As I paint from memory and past observations, the completed image is always an abstraction of the original experience.” His landscapes paintings done in acrylic on paper offer sweeping panoramic views of the Delta. The unusual format of these landscapes recalls the work of 19th-century American landscapists such as Jasper F. Cropsey and George Inness but also betray Mr. Goodman’s background as an architect.
An opening reception for Mr. Goodman’s exhibition will be held on Thursday, November 4 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The opening reception is free and open to the public.
Recent Paintings by Tommy Goodman will be on view at DSU’s Fielding Wright Art Center from November 4th to December 2nd.
2021 DSU ANNUAL FACULTY EXHIBITION
Delta State University’s Art Department presents its annual faculty exhibition in the Fielding Wright Art Gallery on campus from September 30 to October 28. DSU’s art faculty are practicing artists, designers, and filmmakers who regularly exhibit in venues across the nation, in fact, three of our faculty members are included in the 2021 Mississippi Museum of Art’s Invitational exhibition. The annual faculty exhibition offers us the opportunity to show work created by these artists over the past year. The artwork on view reflects the diverse interests of DSU’s art faculty.
Participating artists are Korkut M. Akacik, Jesse Ryan Brown, Ted Fisher, Ky Johnston, Michaela Merryday, Cetin Oguz, Nathan Pietrykowski, Kayla Selby, Michael Stanley, and Robyn Wall.
As one would expect, a recurring theme in this year’s faculty exhibition is the pandemic. Ted Fisher, a film director specializing in arts and culture documentaries, produced a short film that reflects on the realities of artmaking amid a pandemic. Cetin Oguz contributed a series of drawings that explore how COVID-19 has redefined our personal and physical spaces with personal interactions mediated through electronic media. The drawings were created during virtual meetings with his students. Their multiple layers mimic the emotional turmoil many of us experienced in the last year.
Although not directly related to the pandemic, the theme of Kayla Selby’s work takes on new relevance under current circumstances. Selby uses unpredictable processes to simulate the complexities and potential awkwardness of human interactions, especially those that are overthought.
Nathan Pietrykowski’s work documents his ramblings about town through photographs, notes, and drawings which he later collages together to construct narratives that examine the psychogeography of place. Pietrykowski eventually developed a zine to allow others to experience their environment in the same manner. The zine contains instructions on what to look at, how to interact with the environment, and how to leave a mark on that place.
Robyn Wall is a printmaker whose work also focuses on her surroundings. Wall is interested in the narratives we construct about neighborhoods based on the structures and remnants we encounter there – pizza boxes that reveal a neighbor’s favorite pizza brand, discarded toys that betray the age of children living there, or abandoned furniture that announces a neighbor’s move.
Jesse Ryan Brown explores the relationship between objects and the passing of time in a different manner. His Nothing, Having Arrived, Will Stay uses appropriated 35mm slides as a meditation on the cyclical nature of time.
Michael Stanley’s large-scale steel and LED sculpture is a commentary on the pressures imposed upon us and our responses to them.
Korkut Akacik works in digital and new media. His work addresses political and social issues. He is trying to engage his viewers through unexpected encounters with seductively beautiful imagery or, alternately, with disturbing images and sounds. Frequently, Akacik projects these images onto crumpled surfaces, the resulting distortion serves as a metaphor for the distortion of facts.
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. The work shown here is based on functional forms which have been altered or stretched, sometimes 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 inform the end result.
Michaela Merryday’s research interests focus on sustainability and the role of culture in promoting sustainability. The jewelry shown here was fashioned from wood waste produced by furniture making and sculpture classes at DSU.
DSU’s Annual Faculty Exhibition will be on view until October 28. A closing reception will be held on Thursday, October 28 from 5:00 to 7:00 pm. The gallery 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. The gallery is closed on weekends, holidays, and during semester breaks. Masks are required in all DSU facilities.
PlantBot Genetics, an artist team comprised of Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki uses art and humor to encourage a dialogue about environmental issues such as the pros and cons of genetically modified food and the decline of pollinators such as moths. PlantBot Genetics impersonates a biotech corporation engaged in the satirically misguided research, development, and marketing of transgenetic products. Their work takes the form of public performances as well as gallery exhibitions. During performances, the scientists clad in white lab coats demonstrate their products to the audience. Their gallery exhibition features drawings of potential transgenetic products, photographic documentation of performances, and the actual product – remote-controlled hybrid robot plants.
At Delta State University, PlantBot Genetics will show examples of their hybrid robot-plants as well as work from their ongoing Moth Project. Moth Project is the artists’ response to the decline of pollinator populations. While the decline of the bee population is well publicized, the effect insecticides have had on the moth population rarely makes the news. Moths play a vital role not only as pollinators but also in providing clues about the health of our environment. Moth Project consists of a solar-powered outdoor installation designed to attract moths and allow visitors to observe and learn more about the variety of moths that exist in their environs. One of the tents designed to attract moths, large-scale photographs of moths native to the Delta, paintings, and a series of videos related to Moth Project are on view in their exhibition.
To facilitate their interactive public installations and reach audiences beyond traditional art spaces, the team adapted an 18-foot trailer into a portable, off-grid exhibition, classroom, and community space called The ArtLab.
PlantBot Genetics was founded in 2009. Highlights of PantBot Genetics’s exhibition record include the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, the Goethe Institute in Egypt, and the Bach Modern in Austria. Wendy DesChene and Jeff Schmuki also have successful solo careers, DesChene as a painter, Jeff Schmuki as a ceramic artist.