Cherry exhibit coming to MUW

East Mississippi Community College art instructor Terry Cherry, at center, gives pointers to students Brejenn Allen, at left, Sean Gregory and Micah McDonald.
Staff Writer

Eclectic works spanning 20-plus years by East Mississippi Community College art instructor Terry Cherry will be on exhibit through March at two Mississippi institutions of higher education.

The current exhibit at Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College, "Seasons,” includes 76 paintings by Cherry in various mediums, including water colors, acrylics, oil, and mix media.

“My styles have ranged all the way from representational to abstractions, impressionistic and nonobjective,” Cherry said. “The exhibit includes recent paintings and others dating back more than 20 years ago.”

Many of the same paintings, along with new ones Cherry is working on now, will be on display from March 7 to April 4 in the Mississippi University for Women Galleries in an exhibit titled “The Art of Terry Cherry.”

A reception is planned from 4:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. March 23, to coincide with the university’s homecoming activities.

“Featuring Terry’s work at this time is an honor, and it will be a treat for our returning alums who were also trained by him,” said MUW professor and Gallery Director Beverly Joyce. “We have a number of students come from EMCC and enroll at The W to finish their baccalaureate degree, and it is clear that they have valued and respected his foundational training. We also value and respect his training of these students and have been very pleased with the students from EMCC.”

Cherry’s numerous awards include the Mississippi Watercolor Society’s Grand National Mary Jane Whittington Award (1989); the Mississippi Museum Purchase Award (1992); and the John Gaddis Award (1993). His artwork has been exhibited in venues that include the Terrance Gallery in New York, the Southern Watercolor Society Annual Juried Competition and the Texas Watercolor Society.

A native of Texas, Cherry now considers Mississippi home, moving at the age of 19 to his father’s hometown of Porterville in Kemper County, where Cherry resides today. At his father’s urging, Cherry enrolled at EMCC in 1970.

He considered studying psychology and religion but was more interested in becoming a musician. He dropped out of college for a couple of years, entered the logging business and later reenrolled at EMCC.

Cherry said he took an art class and never looked back.

"After graduating from EMCC, I enrolled at Mississippi State University," Cherry said. " And a year later married Kate, who is the executive director of the Meridian Museum of Art."
In May, the couple will celebrate their 44th wedding anniversary.

Cherry earned a bachelor’s degree in commercial art at MSU and his master’s degree at Mississippi College. Last year, he was presented with Mississippi College’s Distinguished Art Alumnus Award.

Cherry said he first began teaching at EMCC in 1975. He left the college in 1984 to tour and exhibit his artwork at festivals, art shows and competitions across the country. After a decade on the road, Terry turned again to teaching on a part-time basis and became a full-time instructor two years later at EMCC. He has worked at the college ever since.

“I have been teaching at EMCC all together for 32 years,” Cherry said. “I can’t think of anything I would rather do but teach and I can’t think of any other subject I would want to teach but art.”