Ironically, artist Marsha Wright-Reeves was unable to take art classes until high school because her mother wanted her to be in the school band. But playing the flute didn’t exercise her creative muscles and she insisted on taking art in her freshman year at Burkburnett High School. And it was Barbra Bean that opened her eyes and propelled her to seek art as a career. Painting the faces on magazines, which she did when she was small, didn’t prepare her for the joys that she found in art class. The next year, she took another art class taught by Lavern Easter that was more advanced and Marsha was hooked.
Life got in the way of college, and she didn’t attend Midwestern State University until she was 27. “I focused on an art major from 1988 until 1992, specializing in painting. During that time, I was taught by Elizabeth Yarosz- Ash, and I learned so much from her,” Marsha said. “And I loved being around other artists.” After Marsha got out of school, she went through a period in her life when she was raising children, but still found time to sell her pastel portraits of the children and pets of “soccer moms”. She even taught art twice a week at Hardin Elementary School in Burkburnett.
Marsha and her family moved to Wichita Falls in 2006, and she joined the Wichita Falls Art Association in 2007. Within a couple months, she became vice president of the association, and in 2008 she became president. “I was really excited to be around other artists again,” she said, “Seeing other people’s art and being in shows again, inspired my creativity that had been dormant for years.”
The WFAA had been around since the 40’s, but was still a bit “old school”, so Marsha implemented some changes. Under her lead, the association developed a webpage and obtained an email address. “I saw a need and I wanted to awaken the association the same way my art and creativity had been awakened in me,” she explained. But Marsha didn’t stop there. With the help of her Vice President, she managed to open a gallery where the members could show their art all of the time, and not just a couple of times a year, which had been the norm. Marsha still shows her art downtown at the Wichita Falls Art Association Gallery in the historic Holt Hotel.She also sells her art from her Facebook page, ‘Marsha Wright-Reeves is Virtually Red’. She is also expanding her art to the Dallas, Fort Worth area.
Marsha paints portraits and is known for her Art Deco style paintings. She paints with watercolor, acrylic, and oil paints, and does sculptures and stained glass, too. “I also restore antique frames, which is an art form in its self.” Marsha added.
Currently she is painting flowers, and they are exquisite. One of Marsha’s neighbors has a beautiful garden full of extraordinary flowers that have become the subjects of many of her paintings. “All the colors and different blooms are very inspiring, and that is exactly what I needed to paint for a while. I was at a stagnant place in my art journey,” Marsha shared.
Marsha teaches private lessons to children from the ages of 10 to 18. Marsha added, “That is something I truly love to do. It is wonderful to bring art to the next generation”.
– Cindy Kahler Thomas