Over the life of an artist, there are often changes. Many evolve or take up different art forms to express themselves. This is true for legendary Miami singer Betty Wright, who can now add painting to her résumé.
“Due to the death of my mother, I was in solitude, mindedness,” Wright said of her initial motivation for beginning to express herself through painting. “I would just sit on the balcony and paint. So a lot of those earlier paintings … those were the first displays that I was allowed to exhibit alone.”
Wright’s paintings are now on display at the KROMA Art Gallery, 3670 Grand Ave. in Coconut Grove.
KROMA CEO JS Rashid said he welcomed Wright’s art in his gallery for very specific reasons.
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“Well, it is pure talent and art manifests itself visually, musically and in other mediums and forms,” Rashid said. “Being an artist through her being and soul, she is expressing that in a different format with her paintings.
Wright, who has been a resident artist of the gallery since 2013, was one of the original artists to have their work displayed in the gallery. KROMA now has 10 resident artists.
“It has really been a joy,” Wright said. “I am finding my way. I feel like it is a journey, I don’t feel like I have arrived. My art [has become collectables to many people]. DJ Khaled has a couple of pieces … and I am moving right along.”
Although Wright gained fame as an R&B vocal artist with hits such as “Clean Up Woman” and “Tonight is the Night,” Rashid said he’s happy to give her a shot at proving herself in the visual arts.
“We were happy to have the opportunity to facilitate her expanding to her patrons, our patrons and other patrons [to show] a different dimension of Betty Wright,” he said. “And, so, this is another stage for her, a stage more suited to [provide] more artistic expression for Betty.”
Wright, also a Grammy-winning composer, has been a professional entertainer for about five decades. She said that with painting, at times, she is too close to her work to realize her own genius.
“You know, I [paint] and sometimes I am like, ‘It’s [just] OK’,” Wright said. “But then somebody else will come in, oohing and aahing.”
When she paints, she does not stick to one particular muse. She will stroke her paint brush across many types of canvases.
“I have been doing it acrylic on canvas, acrylic on wood,” Wright said. “And as of late I have been doing acrylic on glass and also doing graffiti spray painting. Even tile and crayon on canvas.”
Wright, 63, said that painting has offered her a new legacy and motivation to keep creating and inspiring the next generation.
“I do what I do because it makes me happy and it makes other people happy,” she said.
If you go
▪ What: Betty Wright art on display
▪ Where: KROMA Art Space & Studios, 3670 Grand Ave., Coconut Grove
▪ When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays
▪ More information: Call 305-446-5150 or email firstname.lastname@example.org