Ouachita Baptist University’s Visual Arts Department will host an exhibit April 17-20 of artwork donated by the Allen Tillery family. The exhibit will be displayed in the Hammons Gallery of OBU’s Mabee Fine Arts Center. The Tillery family will be recognized at an opening reception Wednesday, April 18, at 4 p.m. in the gallery.
The exhibit includes 22 representative works from the large collection of art donated to the art department by the Tillery family in 2010.
The extensive collection is valued at more than $250,000 and includes numbered and signed black and white photographs by professional photographers, hundreds of numbered and signed original prints and numbered and signed lithographs. A variety of themes are represented including landscapes, portraits, cityscapes, floral, Western and Native American motifs.
“Thanks to the Tillerys and Senior Development Officer John Cloud, this sizable gift is a great addition to the Visual Art Department’s art collection which includes the Fogle Collection and the Salvador Dali prints,” said Raouf Halaby, professor of English and visual art. “This gift is a tangible expression of the Tillerys’ generosity and an affirmation that the visual arts are an integral part of OBU’s mission as an institution that values the liberal arts.”
J&S Framing of Arkadelphia matted and framed the works, providing a gift-in-kind by donating the majority of the labor costs.
Halaby explained that there are four reasons this donation is significant for Ouachita: “There is no substitute for original artworks; the aesthetic awareness and appreciation for the visual arts will enrich the university community immeasurably. The collection will enhance OBU’s endowment, and, most significantly, at the appropriate time, the sale of multiple copies will help raise scholarship funds for visual arts majors.”
After the exhibit, Halaby plans to display some of the artwork in classrooms and to make some of the works available for the Ouachita community to display in their offices on a for-loan basis. Faculty and staff will be able to check out pieces of artwork, display them in their offices for six months to a year, and then trade them in for different pieces.
“Art appeals to the depth of our inner being and it is to be displayed, viewed and enjoyed. And, having a sense of proprietary ownership will help promote a dialogue about how the visual arts appeal to our nobler sensibilities,” Halaby said.
The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Exhibits are also available during evenings when other School of Fine Arts events are held in Mabee Fine Arts Center. For more information, contact Donnie Copeland at firstname.lastname@example.org or (870) 245-5559.
By Nicci Fillinger