The Mosely Gallery
The Mosely Gallery at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore was established in 1986 and is named for the first chairman of the Department of Fine Arts, Jimmie Mosely.
Mosely was born Jan. 17, 1927 in Lakeland, Fla. Immediately following graduation from Washington Park High School, he was drafted into the U.S. Navy and served two years.
Mosely began his college studies at Florida A& M in 1947, but it had no art education program. Consequently, he transferred to Texas State University for Negroes (now Texas Southern University), to complete his degree work, and in the process, became that institution’s first student to graduate with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in art education. A 1974 article in his hometown newspaper reported that Mosely earned a master’s degree from Pennsylvania State University.
In 1951, he joined the Maryland State College faculty as an assistant professor of ceramics. Over the next 23 years, Mosely built his career, developed the college's art education program and laid the foundation for the creation of its art gallery. Mosely also continued honing his craft. His works were exhibited throughout the country including in Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New York and Pennsylvania.
Mosely was a member of the Committee to Improve Art in Negro Colleges at the Department of Fine Arts, Indiana University in Bloomington, and served as president of the National Conference of Artists.
The UMES campus art gallery, named in Mosely’s honor as a tribute following his April 4, 1974 death, stands as an acknowledgment of his life and work. The 1974 Hawk yearbook noted his passing, at age 44, with this tribute:
Artists are poets, speaking to humanity. As an artist, Jimmie Mosely stands out as one of the nation's great creators of masterpieces. His works will stand forever midway between man's fleeting world and the transcendent world of God, enabling us to continually communicate with the cosmos and the powers of nature.
He once remarked, "I am an artist; I have something to say: I hope I have said it well."
The gallery is on the second floor of the Thomas & Briggs Arts and Technology Center. Over the years, it has played host to a broad spectrum of exhibits by established and up-and coming artists in a variety of mediums. Students and faculty alike also are afforded opportunities to show their talents in the space on the building's second floor.
The Mosely Gallery is a teaching resource in the fine arts and enhances the liberal arts experience for the entire university community. It also serves as a catalyst and center for life-long learning, research, cultural recreation and pleasure to the wider public community, locally and regionally.
-- KIMBERLY CONWAY DUMPSON