UTPA honors prominent donors with an art gallery
Contact: Amanda Perez, Intern (956) 665-2741
Posted: 03/30/2011
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Charles and Dorothy Clark spent much of their lives supporting the arts in the Rio Grande Valley and at The University of Texas-Pan American. To honor these longtime champions of the arts, UTPA has moved its gallery named after the Clarks to a more central location on campus.

Artist Kirk Clark, pictured left, shows his painting "UTPA's Soul" to President Robert S. Nelsen and College of Arts and Humanities Dean Dahlia Guerra Tuesday, March 29 during a celebration of renaming the UTPA Gallery the Charles and Dorothy Clark Art Gallery, after Clark's parents. Clark also unveiled his art exhibit "Soul Searching" at the gallery.

"My parents cherished art and understood the value of art in society," their son, artist Kirk Clark, said during a reception celebrating the opening of the Charles and Dorothy Clark Art Gallery in the Communication Arts and Sciences Building March 29.

The Charles and Dorothy Clark Art Gallery was formerly located in the Fine Arts building.

The ceremony included the unveiling of Kirk Clark's exhibit "Soul Searching," which will be showcased in the gallery March 29-April 8.

"And the legacy they left me was not just the love for the art, but the love for the artist and the art community, and how important art really is. And I am so honored to have the first show in the Charles and Dorothy Clark Art Gallery," he said. "I feel like my parents are here with us."

Charles and Dorothy Clark have been supportive for the arts at UTPA and have made significant contributions in support of the program. They have gifted some of their art collections to UTPA and 35 other institutions.

"We are very proud of the collections they have given us," said Dr. Dahlia Guerra, dean of the College of Arts and Humanities. "We want to be sure that it's in the forefront and that our students have the opportunity to enjoy the artwork and appreciate it."

Clark said his "Soul Searching" series portrays what he visualizes when he considers what the resonance of what an individual's soul looks like. The common thread in his art lies in the fascination and belief that God created the universe and so he attempts to interpret the harmonic resonance of creation.

As a tribute to the University, Clark presented UTPA's President Robert S. Nelsen with "UTPA's Soul," painted in hues of green and orange that represent the hard work and commitment devoted to the students.

"This is you guys," Nelsen told the audience of faculty, staff and students. "This is UT Pan American. Know that our university is remarkable. Just look at the soul and you can see that UTPA is great."