CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — An award-winning filmmaker is set to present a new art exhibit at West Texas A&M University beginning at 5 p.m. on Oct. 6 in the Dord Fitz gallery in Mary Moody Northen Hall, according to officials with WT.
Officials detailed that Michael Merriman is a 2016 WT Distinguished Alumni Award recipient who will showcase “Lost Moments,” an exhibit of new paintings which were inspired by his long career as a filmmaker and music video director.
Officials noted that the show will open on Oct. 6 in the gallery and will continue to be on view through Oct. 28.
“I started as a painter in the ’70s and thought I’d like to go back to it,” Merriman said. “I had attended a few of The Arts at WT subscription series events and was blown away by the quality of the work coming out of the University’s art department, so I decided to apply for graduate school.”
Merriman’s career blew up in Nashville as he was the creative mind behind the video of Michael Martin Murphey’s “Long Line of Love.”
Merriman, according to officials, has directed multiple documentaries for PBS and more than 220 music videos including Brooks & Dunn’s “Only in America” which won the 2002 Academy of Country Music award for Music Video of the Year.
After these accomplishments, Merriman decided to pursue a master’s in fine arts through the WT Graduate School, with this new exhibition established as the pinnacle of his studies as he will graduate in December.
“I don’t need this degree, quite frankly. I’ve had a career,” said Merriman, who’ll turn 69 in late October. “But I’ve learned so much, all the stuff I’ve needed to learn to be a painter again and have a new career.”
“I came up with the idea of using a single frame from several of my film projects as the source material and rendering them on canvas abstractly,” Merriman said. “Motion pictures made on film usually include 24 frames per second, so in a four-minute music video, there are a lot of frames in there. I had to go back and find scenes I remembered and was proud of.”
Jon Revett, art program director and Doris Alexander Distinguished Professor of Fine Arts stated, “Michael is an Amarillo legend, and we were lucky to have him come back to WT to study painting. It has been quite a joy to work with him, and his investigation has led him to some interesting places.”
Officials noted that gallery hours are from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday through Thursday and by appointment Friday and Saturdays.