By Julie Wenger Watson
Ricco Wright, founder of the nonprofit Black Wall Street Arts, will be among five Tulsans honored this Saturday at Living Arts of Tulsa’s annual fundraising gala, Champagne & Chocolate. The contemporary arts organization, located in Tulsa’s Arts District, has been at the cutting edge of visual and performing arts in the city for half a century.
In celebration of its 50th anniversary, Living Arts will recognize Tulsans who have made important contributions to the arts and culture of the city.
Wright, a graduate of Langston University, earned a PhD in mathematics from New York’s Columbia University. A writer, poet and educator, Wright established Black Wall Street Arts as an umbrella arts organization that seeks to bring Tulsans of all races together through visual and performing arts. The recently opened Black Wall Street Gallery in the historic Greenwood District is part of that mission.
The gallery currently features “The Conciliation Series,” a rotating exhibit pairing the works of a black and a white artist each month. January’s offering showcases the art of painter Elizabeth Henley, a founding member of the Black Moon Collective, a group working to create more opportunities for black artists in Tulsa, and photographer Nicole Donis.
“I think art is a gateway to healing,” says Wright. “It’s not abrasive. It evokes emotion. It’s transcending.”
In addition to Wright, Saturday’s event will honor Ma Cong, resident choreographer for Tulsa Ballet; Mary Ann Doran of Brookside’s Doran Gallery; Jean Ann Fausser, a fiber artist and arts community volunteer; and Abby Kurin, director of the Tulsa Office of Film Music, Arts and Culture.
For more information on Living Arts, visit www.livingarts.org. For more information on Black Wall Street Arts, go to www.bwsarts.org.