Mississippi artist’s work illustrates world with an abstract eye

Published 8:40 am Wednesday, April 3, 2019

The artwork of local artist Richard Dorris III will be on display at the Lincoln County Public Library April 2-29 in a show entitled “Abstract Views.” A reception and gallery talk with the artist will take place April 25 at 5:30 p.m.

A native Mississippian whose family roots go back many generations, Dorris was born in Jackson in the mid 1950s and lived there from age 11 through high school graduation and beyond. He played on the football team for Manhattan High School, a private school in Jackson, and would have proudly described himself as “a jock,” but this didn’t keep him from taking and enjoying an art class in high school.

He didn’t expect to win first prize with the colored pencil drawing he entered in the art class competition, but he enjoyed the recognition and the blue ribbon they gave him.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

More than a decade later, when he was an older-than-usual college student taking courses at Mississippi College in order to go into physical therapy, Dorris chose to reconnect with his creative side. He took courses in art appreciation, sculpture and painting in watercolors.

His classes under renowned Mississippi sculptor Samuel Marshall Gore and watercolorist Wyatt Waters were catalysts for Dorris to plunge into acrylic and watercolor painting, sculpting, creating hanging art structures and making jewelry.

He became a physical therapist in 1993, and he and his family moved a few years later to “a safe, wholesome, rural environment” in Lincoln County near Wesson. He completed several hundred paintings from 2008-2014, once he refocused on art.

Dorris and his wife attend First United Methodist Church in Brookhaven and enjoy a quiet life together, in a community where he feels welcomed as an artist.