New Exhibit to Open at McCarthy Gallery in Holekamp Hall at W&L

Cherry jello with cool whip, berries and a cherry, 8” x 10,” oil on board.

Cherry jello with cool whip, berries and a cherry, 8” x 10,” oil on board.

"Magnificent Jello," paintings by artist and teacher Cleveland Morris, will be on display at the McCarthy Gallery in Holekamp Hall at Washington and Lee University from Feb. 14 to May 30.

The exhibit is sponsored by W&L's Williams School of Commerce, Economics, and Politics and is free and open to the public.

"Magnificent Jello" features oil paintings of America's iconic dessert delight. Utilizing a glowing stained-glass palette and a meticulously finished painting style, Morris has sought to elevate Jello to the status of other revered and more traditional still-life subjects.

"How lucky we were as children to be served this feast for the eyes as well as for the taste buds," Morris reminisced. "It's an unending source of inspiration." He has supplemented this visual dessert buffet with an assortment of cheesecake paintings.

"Magnificent Jello" marks Morris' third show in the McCarthy Gallery of Holekamp Hall at W&L. "I am thrilled to be returning to this most beautiful exhibition space," he said.  "Although works of differing sizes and styles have always been shown to great advantage in this gallery, there's no place I'd rather exhibit my small, realistic still lifes."

Morris has had 21 one-man shows and participated in more than 32 group shows in the last 13 years.  His paintings have won numerous awards and have found their way into major collections.

He has taught drawing at Southern Virginia University and is currently teaching at Stuart Hall School and the Beverley Street Studio School, where he also serves on the Advisory Board.   Additionally, he developed several regional and international tours for Beverley Street Studio School, including two sold-old trips to Sicily in 2011 and 2013, with another Palermo departure scheduled for the spring of 2014.

Prior to redirecting his career to the visual arts, Morris had a long career in the theatre, radio and television.  In recognition of his work as founding artistic director of the Delaware Theatre Company (1978-1998), as well as his other contributions to the arts and humanities in Delaware, he was awarded the Governor's Award for the Arts, the Joseph P. Del Tufo Award for the Humanities, the Christi Award from the Christina Cultural Arts Center, as well as commendations from the mayor of Wilmington, the Wilmington City Council, the Delaware State House of Representatives, the State Senate and then-U.S. Senator Joseph Biden.  In 2012, he was named one of the Fifty Most Influential Delawareans of the Last Fifty Years by "Delaware Today."

Morris is a graduate of Yale University, the University of Manchester and the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. He pursued additional study in fine art at the West of England College of Art and the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts.

The McCarthy Gallery hours are 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

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