For more than 30 years, sculptor Willie Ray Parish was a mainstay of the El Paso, Juárez and Las Cruces arts community. His works are featured in numerous public and private collections including the El Paso Museum of Art, the Mississippi Museum of Art, Washington D.C.’s Newseum, the Albuquerque Museum of Art, and Earthship Biotecture in Taos.
A Mississippi native, Willie Ray Parish attended the University of Mississippi on a football scholarship, graduating in 1970 with a BFA in sculpture. He earned an MFA at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles in 1978, returning to Mississippi to direct the Education Department and the New South Film Center at the Mississippi Museum of Art.
Besides being a noted sculptor and curating and jurying many community exhibits, he received the status of Professor Emeritus after teaching at the University of Texas at El Paso from 1984 to 2013, running the school’s sculpture program and twice serving as Art Department chairman. In 1997, he and his wife, artist Becky Hendrick, co-founded the Border Arts Residency, which is now a program of the El Paso Community Foundation.