By Courtney Cole/ Delta Staff Writer

The Morris Gallery will host special virtual guest artist James Patrick Reid, who will explain how and what art truly is.  

Reid will present via zoom from 10:15 to 11:15 a.m. on Wednesday, March 24. His artwork will also be on display in the gallery, located in the tech center.

Artist James Patrick Reid poses with one of his paintings. He will speak via Zoom to faculty and students at 10:15 on Wednesday. Photo via Facebook.

Reid has been painting and drawing since his earliest days. The ideas of the paintings and drawings usually come from his imagination, which means he does not have a visual in front of him.

The scenes tend to be people or things that he has dreamt about for many years. He said in his eyes, this means that the themes are developing a meaning. His job is to dig deeper to find that meaning and show it through his art.

Reid said he likes to paint people and nature, usually things that tend to have movement but also emotion. When it comes to nature, he tends to base them off of the mood of the environment but for humans he tends to seek the dynamic and the presence of the subject. 

The goal of his presentation is to lead a deeper experience into art but also to renew the appreciation of people but also the things that shine within their lives. 

“Art, like philosophy, begins with wonder,” Reid said. “When you think about it, nothing is as surprising as that things exist. Art magnifies existence; like love, it makes us feel the wonder of being alive. Far from being a dispensable luxury, it is a most important thing, and makes everything else worthwhile. I’m grateful for the opportunity to show my paintings in the Morris Gallery, and to talk to you all this Wednesday.”

Sara Fletcher, Assistant Professor of Studio Arts at Missouri Valley College, chose to have the talk to help bring a meaningful vision for someone to personally unlock within the MVC community.

Fletcher chose Reid because of his art. She said it tends to give so much life and connects with a variety of people. In addition, he has his own Youtube channel where he makes videos that explain certain parts of why art is a certain way. 

Another reason why Reid was such a good artist to do this artistic talk was because he is working in New York and wants to connect art majors to a wider community of other artists when it comes to networking. Fletcher said art is very important, especially during a pandemic, since it tends to connect people with a sense of beauty even though the world seems so chaotic. 

The reason they chose to do a in-person art gallery within the Morris Gallery was for people to get a breath of fresh air and to view the wonderful art during a busy day. 

Reid will have seven original paintings within the gallery, five of them will be landscapes. Two which he created in Central Park, two which are biblical scenes and one from his imagination. 

Fletcher encourages people who do not think that art and sports would be a good mix, both with daily discipline as well as both leading into a final performance, to stop by the gallery. 

“I invite you, if you haven’t before, to take just one step or glance inside the gallery while this show is up,” Fletcher said. “You will find lots of action in these paintings. And believe it or not, you can actually ‘watch’ a painting – by standing in front of it for a full minute (most people look, on average for 10 seconds), things can start to unfold and suggest movement. That breathing quality, which is in the best works of art, is the reason art can be so replenishing, relaxing and exciting.”