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Current Exhibition:

The Great Mystery Show

The Great Mystery Show

Oct 7, 2017–Sep 2, 2018

From psychics to physicists, The Great Mystery Show artfully peels away the veil of the unknown, playfully exploring mystery as that one secret power behind great art, science, and pursuit of the sacred.

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Stanley Wright, detail: First Dance, 1999, electrical wire, Gift of the artist

Stanley Wright

(1945– )

Stanley Wright is a native of rural West Virginia. During his boyhood and youth, he fought to overcome a learning disorder marked by an impaired ability to recognize and comprehend written words. "Dyslexia—that's the ruling factor of my life. Growing up in the 1960's, you were just considered stupid." Wright entered the Air Force in 1962. While in the service, he graduated and found the ability to "see" words and began to read. Today, his appetite for written material is insatiable.

After he left the Air Force, Wright worked in Spencer, West Virginia, as a house-builder and cabinet-maker. Without formal training in art, he devised his own brand of free-form wooden sculpture to satisfy an intense urge to create. Wright considers art as a way of expressing deep emotions. "It's hard to communicate with words, that's why I do art with my hands..."

As his premier work in the medium of wire, First Dance represents Stanley Wright's awakening to the world of music and dance. The genesis for this self–portrait in wound metal came suddenly one night in July of 1999. "I was sitting in a chair, and heard music for the first time. It's hard to understand that a person could be 54 years old and never have danced and 'heard' music. I analyzed music, but I couldn't feel it in my body. I had to try to show how I felt at that moment. I felt a lifting of armor. We go through life and cover ourselves as a facade. At that moment, I started dancing, and the armor melted away." Exactly one year after that joyous awakening, First Dance was completed. Stanley Wright has continued to create wire sculpture, and he's still dancing. "It's simply an art that comes from the soul, inside; what you feel, and need, to explain."