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College of Liberal Arts

University of Mississippi

UM Alum Donates Sculpture to Forest, Miss. Library

from Scott County Times

FOREST — Willie Ray Parish will return to his hometown this week where he will visit with old friends and other area residents and make a donation of his work.

A reception is planned from 4 until 5 p.m. on Thursday, December 16, at the Forest Public Library when Parish, son of Mimi and Raymond Parish, will present his donation of a sculpture to the library. The reception is sponsored by the City of Forest and Forest Community Arts, Inc.

Born in Tupelo Parish grew up in Forest where he excelled in sports and attended the University of Mississippi on a football scholarship. In 1970 he graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Bachelor’s Degree of Fine Arts in sculpture. After working for the Mississippi Art Association for a number of years, he earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.

Parish returned to Mississippi where he has served as Director of Education for the Mississippi Museum of Art. In 1981 he joined the art faculty at Ball State University in Indiana. He moved to the University of Texas at El Paso in 1984 where he currently holds the position of Professor of Sculpture. Ray has works in public and private collections from New York City to Los Angeles.

He is founder and director of the Border Art Residency and, with his wife, artist and Mississippi native Becky Hendrick, hosts the program on their property in La Union, New Mexico. The couple divides their time between the El Paso area and Puerto Peñasco, Mexico.

Some of his exhibitions include Dumbo and Beyond, Davis Gallery, Austin, Texas; War Stories, Newseum, Arlington, Va.; Houston Sculpture; International Sculpture Conference, Barbara Davis Gallery, Houston, Texas.