Instructor’s art attracts collectors


Brandon Donner

Ray-Mel Cornelius, Dallas College Brookhaven Campus visual communications instructor, talks to gallery attendees during the opening night of his solo exhibition Sept. 11 at Ro2 Art Gallery.

Brandon Donner, Photo Editor

The streets outside of Ro2 Art are quiet before the opening of “Atmosphere,” the latest exhibit from Brookhaven visual communications professor Ray-Mel Cornelius. The quiet would come to a halt as cars lined the street and guests began filing into the building.

The exhibit which houses 29 of Cornelius’ latest pieces, is set to run through Oct. 9. The artwork in Cornelius’ exhibit was done on canvas, using acrylic paint, and they feature scenes from nature such as sky views, clouds, comets, fireflies and the moon.

Attendees included friends and admirers of Cornelius’ work. “I like the new small pieces, the ones with the flying machine insects. It’s something a little different,” Sandy Emmons, an attendee, said.

According to the Ro2 Art website the color palette featured in the exhibit is supposed to reflect optimism: “Cornelius begins with a field of purple with each work, and then brings light to build up the visual elements in his compositions. This creates a vibrating effect when paired against reds and oranges, and a deep richness of cool hues” Cornelius’ work is placed methodically throughout the gallery and his work pops off the clean white walls.

Many of Cornelius’ pieces sold within the first hour of the opening. By the end of the night, most paintings were sold. Cornelius continues to encourage students to follow their artistic dreams. “It is possible to make a living as an artist,” he said.

Cornelius spent time with attendees at the event, answering questions and speaking about the process behind some of the pieces. “The opening went very well, and it was great to see everyone. I always appreciate the generosity and support,” Cornelius said.

Jordan Roth, gallery operator, said Ro2 Art continues to host Cornelius’ work because the mood is always cheerful and bright, and Cornelius is easy to work with. According to Roth, Cornelius explores every possibility for a concept, creating a cohesive and crowd-pleasing exhibition as well as creating work that is approachable to new and seasoned collectors.

Roth said: “I love Ray-Mel’s instantly recognizable style. It is like realism with vivid colors and rounded corners, the way the world ought to be.” Roth said he loves Cornelius’ technique and approach to light. And while the themes may be specific, Roth said they are also universal. “He paints an idealized world I’d like to be a part of,” Roth said.

Cornelius’ remaining art pieces will be available to view and purchase at Ro2 Art through the show’s conclusion. For more information, visit

Photo of Ray-Mel Cornelius artwork
Cornelius’ artwork is displayed at Ro2 Art Gallery.