Curator of Plainview Contemporary Art Museum to Exhibit New Works at WT

Chip Chandler Jan 26, 2023
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Curator of Plainview Contemporary Art Museum to Exhibit New Works at WT

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — A former West Texas A&M University student who founded an art museum in Plainview will be featured in a new exhibition at WT.

Kelly Alison’s “Get Behind the Mule,” featuring mixed-media paintings and video works, will hang Feb. 2 through April 1 in the Dord Fitz Formal Gallery in Mary Moody Northen Hall. An opening reception is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 2.

Alison, a Plainview native who was an artist of note in Houston for more than 30 years, attended WT in 1976. She returned to the Panhandle area in 2017 to care for her parents and founded the Contemporary Art Museum of Plainview, 219 E. Sixth Street.

The museum opened in November 2017 and has produced 12 major exhibitions and nine community projects including four large-scale murals, two involving students in the Juvenile Justice system and one involving WT art students. CAMP’s mission is to connect the Plainview community to a larger cultural dynamic, bringing people and ideas together through contemporary visual art

“Kelly continues to make work and support the arts, and her new body of work is an embodiment of her die-hard work ethic,” said Jon Revett, art program director and Doris Alexander Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts. “It’s great to have her return after all these years to show what she has been up to. She sets a great example for our students because of her lengthy, successful career and her ability to make fresh work that addresses fundamental concepts in art in a fun manner.”

Alison said the exhibition is inspired by “the infinite futility of working hard day after day, another day another dollar.”

“Throughout history our hands have been used as a tool and as a weapon,” Alison said in her artist’s statement. “Only mankind has hands. Many myths, legends and superstitions have been built around the human hand. It is a way for the deaf to communicate, the blind to see and is a symbol of communication, a conduit for power and protection and even a symbol of condemnation. In this show hands … make fun, point fingers and in general try to stay true to what I love doing, telling a serious story in a whimsical way.”

Fitz Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and by appointment Fridays and Saturdays. Email

Fostering an appreciation of the arts is a key component of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021 — has raised more than $115 million.


Top: Plainview artist Kelly Alison's "Stop It," "Fire" and "Struggle" are among the works on view in "Get Behind the Mule," opening Feb. 2 in the Dord Fitz Formal Gallery.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.