Art and Art History
Title: Associate Professor & Department Chair
Department: Art and Art History
Building: ARC 135
- B.F.A., Kansas City Art Institute
- M.F.A., Louisiana State University
- Area: Ceramics, Design, Introduction to Art
Merrie Wright received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and a MFA from Louisiana State University. She currently lives in east Texas and is Associate Professor and Department Chair of Art & Art History at the University of Texas at Tyler. Wright exhibits her work nationally; recent exhibitions include: Craft Texas 2016 at the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, Objectify at Belger Crane Yard Studios, and Tiny Mountains, Cliffs, and Switchbacks: Small Sculpture by Merrie Wright at the Tyler Museum of Art. She presented the lecture ‘Clouds: Capturing Ephemeral Imagery in Enduring Materials’ at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts 2014 conference. Wright was awarded a six week International Residency through a partnership with NCECA and The Banff Centre in 2014 and a short-term residency at Red Lodge Clay Center, during the winter of 2016-2017.
Summary of Current Research
Continuous threads of investigation found in the ceramic sculpture of Merrie Wright include: the importance of time and place; the ability of the form/surface relationship to transform perceptions of time, space, or reality; and how patterns used for centuries across cultures speak to numerous hidden, ambiguous and enigmatic connections to the universe. Her process is labor-intensive, slow and meticulous. In an era of industrial processes and cutting edge technology she strives to push the material as well as her tool, the hand, to its limit.
New works-in-progress are highly abstracted landscapes made from porcelain clay. Though small in scale, these intimate forms evoke sublime qualities found in the landscape. The impact of man on the landscape is seen in the continued use of colorful patterns and highly structured surface designs, which no longer wrap entire forms, but are instead placed only in carefully selected areas. Focused areas of imposed structure and order counter areas of raw, untouched landscape, addressing the balance of the man/nature relationship.