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Celebrating 100 years with MSU Texas: Wichita Falls Museum of Art

Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 9:15 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (KAUZ) - News Channel 6 is celebrating a century with Midwestern State University, and we’re continuing our tribute to the university’s past, present and future with the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas.

The museum opened up in 1967 and merged with MSU Texas in 2005. It was a move that benefited both parties, but also gave the museum financial security.

“The museum has always had an outstanding American art collection,” Danny Bills, curator of collections and exhibitions, said. “Now with the merger, what we’re able to do is have financial resources and support that will help that collection be seen by more people.”

The goal is to make the museum a place where all visitors have a chance to see themselves represented.

“Sometimes people feel like it’s not for them or it’s this other thing but we’ve really made it accessible,” Bills said.

Visual Voice is one of their exhibits currently up that allows people leave their own voice on the walls of the museum.

“We typically have a lot of student and faculty input into exhibits, whether it’s just a program or a class tour,” Bills said. “One of our current exhibits now has comments by over 40 nursing students in it.”

It opened in time for Black History Month, celebrating the depth that Black artists give to the collection, including a piece called American Dad. The museum is also celebrating Women’s History Month with photographs following the workday of 14 women senators on Capitol Hill in the early 2000s.

“They’re sort of a behind the scenes, but you get the day-to-day, how they’re doing business kind of thing,” Bills said.

And all of this is on display for even the youngest in the community.

“We’ve been a resource for people who do homeschools to come and do their art requirements,” Bills said. “I’ve even had boy scouts, cub scouts, girl scouts come in here.”

And this is something they hope to expand upon in the future.

“We’re currently working on an exhibit where we’re going to partner up with students from Café Con Leche, and they get to see the art world and in some cases students haven’t been to a museum before, but they’re getting that experience plus a behind the scenes opportunity,” Bills said.

“I think the future is the strength of this relationship between MSU and this museum,” Bills said. “When we get a school tour, students come in with their families and they see this organization, facility, museum, and they realize what a resource it is. We also help with that cultural connection so we can create programming that brings all of those people together.”

The museum is always looking to the future and to expand its reach in our community.

Another way they’re doing that is through an upgraded air conditioning system and lots of renovations, including the addition of new visual and audio media in all four galleries.

The media will help with the selection of exhibits they bring in, and going forward, open them up to new and interesting ways that artists are using their work versus just being limited, they say, to having something hanging on the wall or placed on a pedestal.

All MSU Texas centennial celebration stories can be found by clicking here.

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