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UT Tyler to Present Inaugural Art Lecture Series

First lecture features 38th Annual International Exhibition juror Willie Cole

TYLER (February 27, 2023) – The University of Texas at Tyler has announced that renowned New Jersey-based artist Willie Cole is the inaugural guest speaker for the UT Tyler Department of Art and Art History Inaugural Art Lecture Series. Cole serves as curator/juror for UT Tyler’s 38th Annual International Exhibition, which is currently on display in the UT Tyler Meadows Gallery.
“Introducing the artwork and experience of an internationally renowned artist such as Willie Cole, through his service as a juror for the exhibition and this lecture, is an incredible opportunity for our students, the UT Tyler campus and greater East Texas community,” said Merrie Wright, UT Tyler professor and department chair. “The Department of Art and Art History is thrilled to have him serve as the inaugural speaker for the Art Lecture Series.”
The lecture will be 3:30 p.m. Friday, March 3, in the UT Tyler Ornelas Activity Center, located at 3402 Old Omen Road in Tyler.
Cole is best known for turning everyday objects into sculpture and installations. He is the recipient of many awards, including the 2006 David C. Driskell Prize – the first national award to honor and celebrate contributions to the field of African American art and art history, established by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Georgia. With an extensive career of solo and group exhibitions, his work can be found in numerous museum collections as well as in public and private collections around the world.
He will also present a gallery talk at the exhibition’s closing reception at 6 p.m. Thursday, March 2, at the gallery, located in the UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center. Cole chose 35 pieces for this exhibition out of 500 entries from national and international artists, Wright added.
“At the close of the exhibition, the Department of Art and Art History will choose several works to purchase to add to their permanent collection, which will be used for educational purposes and for display around the UT Tyler campus,” said UT Tyler gallery and media coordinator Michelle Taff.
UT Tyler Meadows Gallery hours are 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and by special appointment. For more information, contact Taff at or 903.566.7237.
With a mission to improve educational and health care outcomes for East Texas and beyond, UT Tyler offers more than 80 undergraduate and graduate programs to 10,000 students. UT Tyler recently merged with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Tyler (now known as UT Tyler Health Science Center). Through its alignment with UT Tyler Health Science Center (HSC) and UT Health East Texas, UT Tyler has unified these entities to serve Texas with quality education,
cutting-edge research and excellent patient care. Classified by Carnegie as a doctoral research institution and by U.S. News & World Report as a national university, UT Tyler has campuses in Tyler, Longview, Palestine and Houston.

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