William A. Berry art exhibit to open at Boone County Museum

Thursday, May 15, 2014 | 4:55 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — A new exhibit at the Boone County Historical Society Museums and Galleries will showcase an artist who combined intricate technique and cultural awareness to create meaningful art.

The exhibit, "Align a Line — The Artwork of William A. Berry," opens on Friday and runs through July 6.  A reception will be held at the museum from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on Sunday.

Berry was an art professor at MU and author of the textbook “Drawing the Human Form." His work has appeared in more than 500 exhibitions and has won awards in more than 120 competitive shows. He died in 2010.

Berry is known for being an illustrator, graphic designer, photographer and painter who created clear and precise artwork using "line" — a  formal art element.

Valerie Wedel, curator for William A. Berry's Estate and adjunct professor at Missouri Valley College, will speak at the Sunday reception. Wedel said she has been archiving Berry's work for the past seven years and put together three previous shows of the artist's work.

This exhibit will show art students Berry's rare and unusual techniques and processes to make drawings look "photo-realistic," Wedel said.

Berry has more than 6,000 artworks in sketchbooks, photos and drawings, she said. The exhibit will show 115 of his works, including the original pieces that have been published in magazines.

Wedel also said that Berry represented a wide range of races and cultures in his work. He created art centered on issues like the Civil Rights Movement and the Vietnam War.

"Not only will viewers be able to see his technique, but also his sensitivity to political and social issues that are still important to us today," she said.

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