Robert Overton Wright
Robert “Bob” Overton Wright, University of Kansas Professor Emeritus, age 82, passed away peacefully January 21, 2016 in Lawrence, Kansas. He was born in Honey Grove, Texas on August 16, 1933 to the late John Overton Wright and Gladys Etiolle (Hanes) Wright. Bob received his BFA in art at St. Mary’s College, San Francisco, CA and his MFA in Art at the University of Texas, Austin, Texas. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War. Bob retired from the University of Kansas after 38 years of teaching art. His hobbies included Photography, Drawing, Painting, Sculpture, Zen drumming, Cooking, Baking and Riding motorcycles.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents. Survivors include two daughters, Elizabeth Wright, Oregon, and Lauren Wright, Kansas, one son, Damian (Manuela) Wright, Texas, and two grandsons, Alex and Diego Wright, Texas.
Memorial services will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, March 12, 2016 at Warren-McElwain Mortuary in Lawrence.
In lieu of flowers please donate to Parkinson research.
To Lauren: I am sorry for the loss of your father. I enjoyed being his nurse and sharing his love for Art and music. You were so good to him after his illness set in, doing the many duties of a child having to take care of their parent(s) as they took care of us. I send you my love.
I just now found out that Bob died. I am forever grateful to Bob, both as a professor and friend. He influenced my thinking about art greatly. My condolences to his family. Thanks for everything, Bob.
As a Life Drawing student of his, I owe a great debt to Bob on many fronts. A great work ethic while maintaining playfulness, passion for all of the arts, and my love for jazz to this day are just a few things I carry with me from just a handful of classes taken with him. I’ll continue to remember him with great fondness.
Mr Robert Wright always will be the biggest influence in my life concerning my artistic career. I owe everything to him in my developmental stage as a artist because he taught me an attitude about creating art. For instance, he said do not have a preconceived notion of how you want your work to turn out, be open to all possibilities. He also said in order to have an open mind while creating art you have to have an open mind in every day life. This was a big philosophical idea that was put in front of me and I have tried with all my might to embrace his words of immense wisdom. Mr Wright could draw the most Da Vinci-like heads and faces and paint the largest abstract painting I have ever seen in person at that time in the mid 80’s. I asked him what his favorite color was and he very simply said “mud”. Mr. Wright was happy to invite students to his house once in a while for beer and popcorn. His house was an old theatre of some type where he constructed a hoist to raise his large canvases up and down, very impressive I thought like an visionary innovator. There was always jazz music playing in his class as he insisted on instrumental jazz because of its improvisation qualities to work in unison with the mind, kind of a music therapy environment was created in his class room setting. Finally Mr Wright called one of my paintings “refreshing” which has held its title to this day. His influence on me was as great as it was refreshing and he will never be forgotten.
Bob was my friend and fellow lover of art
I could tell him anything as and he could do the same with me
Bob was a great man a great artist and a recontour. He lived life to the fullest
He should and could have been famous but he refused to market himself and his art
A dear friend whom i will miss forevet