The “Wright” Way to Making Art

Joel Wright, owner of JWA Gallery. (Photo by Erin Rogers | TXK Today)

Joel Wright, Owner and Artist at Joel Wright Art Gallery in Texarkana, is known for his eccentric personality, intricate and vibrant artworks, and his dedication to his family and community.

He began painting in his early childhood and hasn’t stopped since. Although he’s had some formal training, Wright has relied predominantly on self-teaching and learning along the way..

(Photo by Erin Rogers | TXK Today)

“Training can make art practice contaminated with forced techniques that confuse the natural path of creative intuition,” Wright noted.

He recalls the experience with formal training with little sentiment.  Wright remembers how the teacher would try to force techniques and styles on the pupils.

Wright said, “art has no absolutes and creativity can’t be taught.”

He doesn’t take kindly to forced structure and authority.  Wright considers himself a freethinker and it is communicated in his art and lifestyle.  He takes pride in making mistakes and learning from them, as well as helping others discover their hidden talents..

“To take responsibility for mistakes and learn from them is the only art training needed,” Wright asserts.

Recently, he has commenced guided art sessions, helping students discover their natural, innate talents. Wright takes pride in helping foster confidence within his students, letting them find their passion and proficiencies.

He’s very methodical, very purposeful in his passion for painting.  Wright needs a connection or inspiration for his work, none of his art is made without some underlying meaning or representation..  

“The last few abstract paintings I have painted were in response to current events. I painted one abstract painting called “After the Eclipse” shortly after the eclipse. I sold it to a collector in Houston after her business flooded from the hurricane that strangely followed the eclipse,” recalled Wright.

His passion is shared throughout the family, his wife, Sarah, makes jewelry and paintings as well.   They met over sixteen years ago when she received her first tattoo.

Joel and Sarah Wright with their bulldog, Bella.
(Photo by Erin Rogers | TXK Today)

“I happened to be the one doing her tattoo. She came with a good friend that she thinks of as a brother. I thought that he might be her boyfriend, but I was confident that was about to change,” he said chuckling at the memory.

He remembers when she used to visit the shop he was working for and ride circles around him with Heelys, the shoes with wheels in the heel.

“She is still riding circles around me in a sense and I love it. “

They still enjoy their time together to this day.  When most couples would drive one another insane working together daily, the Wright family thrives.

People are often shocked to know that we enjoy spending so much time together.”

He did concede that choosing where to eat can be quite a challenge, but overall they work harmoniously together..

Sarah is cowoner of JWA gallery and also owns her own Jewelry business, Spirit Nature. She forms her jewelry with anything she can find from nature.

“I use leaves, acorns, stones and end with a final jewelry piece that is formed in copper,” she explains.

Sarah Wright, co-owner of JWA Gallery.
(Photo by Erin Rogers | TXK Today)

She also uses crystals like quartz, amethyst, citrine, and rose quartz.

Both Joel and Sarah will be selling their artwork at the Holiday Arts Market at the Texarkana Regional Arts and Humanities Center in December.

One of their favorite things about the Arts Market is that they get to be a part of providing gifts for Christmas.

“Makes you feel like one of Santa’s elves,” laughed Wright.

“The arts market itself is such a positive experience of voluntary community involvement that I love to be a part of. The Woman for the Arts really take care of everyone and make each person feel welcome. It makes it such an amazing experience.”

Joel and Sarah both will have art for purchase.  

Sarah is going to have copper rings and bracelets with crystals and stones.  

Joel will have a surrealist painting of a musical instrument, framed traditionally with paint expanding outside of the canvas area onto the frame.

JWA Gallery is located at 125 College Dr, Texarkana, TX 75503 and is open Tuesday through Saturday.

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