College of Fine Arts and Design

UCO Celebrates Renovated Melton Gallery With Exhibit of New Works and Pieces of Permanent Collection

Oct 11, 2012

The University of Central Oklahoma will celebrate the reopening of its Melton Gallery after two years of remodeling and reconstruction with a free, open-to-the-public reception from 4-7 p.m. Oct. 25 with an exhibition from award winning artists David Phelps and Kevin Tero.          

The reception will feature a Baroque historical instrument performance by the UCO string faculty at 4 p.m. and a performance from well-known guitarist Edgar Cruz at 4:30 p.m.  Light hors d’oeuvers and champagne will be served.          

Phelps, the first professor to teach sculpting at UCO, is internationally collected and the winner of multiple “Best of Show” and “People’s Choice” awards nationwide.  He will be showcasing 12 of his bronze sculptures.           

Tero, who was an instrumental architect in the remodeling of the Melton Gallery, will have on display 15 of his paintings, which have earned him the Oklahoma City Paseo Art Association’s “Best in 2D Art” recognition in 2010.          

The gallery will also dedicate a wall to showcasing the Melton Legacy Collection, a historically significant collection spanning 500 years of European and American oil paintings and drawings. The Melton Art Reference Library donated the collection to the university in 2002 and is valued at more than $4 million.

Various pieces of the collection will be rotated on the south wall of the gallery every few months.  The first rotation includes “Venice at Sunset,” a painting by world famous 19th century artist Thomas Moran.          

“We are so honored to have a gallery worthy of such an exhibition and such a collection,” said Zina Gelona, director of Galleries and Collections at UCO.          

In the two years of remodeling and reconstruction, the gallery was given a complete facelift, with raised ceilings that anchor eco-friendly track lighting, ash hardwood flooring, and floating walls that allow a small space of shadow between where the wall ends and the floor begins.

“The renovation opens the space in new ways to our students and the surrounding community. Now, the public can enjoy an experience with art that embodies cultural history and represents the significance art plays in society, while our students can use the gallery as a classroom to advance their development as an artist, a future museum curator, or by simply gaining new perspectives through viewing the works on display, “ said John Clinton, Ph.D., the dean of the College of Fine Arts and Design.          

The Melton Gallery will continue to use its remodeled space as a way for professionals, faculty, students and the community to collaborate through various mediums like art and music.

For further information about the Melton Gallery opening, contact Gelona at 405-974-2432.

For a complete schedule of UCO College of Fine Arts and Design events and performances, visit