Archive for the ‘ Reminiscences ’ Category

The Gift of Time

Old trooper, I see your child’s red crayon pass,
bleeding deletions on the galleys you hold
under your throbbing magnifying glass,
that worn arena, where the whirling sand
and broken-hearted lions lick your hand
refined by bile as yellow as a lump of gold.

                                    –Robert Lowell, from “For George Santayana”


Day 1

At the suggestion of a local farmer, and after some deliberation, we took a back road and then no road at all, climbing over a cratered field of scrub into RAiR’s backyard. One of the residents came out fuming. “Turn around! Turn around!” He gestured toward a driveway that had been all but invisible beforehand. Rattled, Joe and I swung back—inched back, I should say—to the proper entrance. “A grand first impression,” Joe sighed.

We met Ryder Richards in front of his apartment and studio, a dun-colored affair with a slant silver roof that glared. All the other apartments looked much the same, excepting the compound’s meetinghouse whose single spire, in small silver letters, declared RAiR’s motto: The Gift of Time. Ryder showed us into the guest apartment where we would be staying. “There are towels in the bathroom,” he said. “You guys freshen up, then come over to my place for a drink.”

Joe showered first. We had been shed-camping in Madrid the past three days and were sooty for all the fires we had huddled over; too, the coal that blotched the surrounding hills—which we one day hiked—and hung in the air as dust, residual from the town’s old mines. Everything in Madrid seemed dirty, black. At RAiR it was the opposite: the walls were starkly white, the furniture austere. Even the sky was spotless.

Nancy Naumann Memorial Art Scholarship Endowment Announced

On February 15th, during this year’s Betty Clawson Wright Performance hosted by Ms. Karen Savage and the School of Music, The Ohio State University concert pianist, Steven Glaser announced that he was creating a scholarship endowment in Art in memory of Nancy Naumann (1951-2002), who was his partner late in her life.  Since then family members and friends of Nancy Naumann have joined with additional contributions to the endowment fund which will support scholarships for beginning fall 2012.  See link below to make an online contribution.

Nancy Naumann, had taken up ceramics before her death in 2002.

ART alumni remember Nancy as Nancy Naumann Merchant who was married to Rob Merchant while she worked on her BFA in printmaking, which she received in the late 1970s.  Years later, after Rob’s death of cancer, Nancy returned to Lubbock to complete an MFA in drawing and printmaking in 1989 studying with both Terry Morrow and Lynwood Kreneck.  Kreneck, who remembers Nancy as an “extremely talented printmaker,” recalled that when he was included in a national survey booklet  titled In Their Own Image: Printmakers and Their Students from 19 Colleges and Universities, that he had chosen one of Nancy’s lithographs (and one by Future Akins) to represent the Texas Tech program.

"Chronology" circa 1989, a litho-screenprint selected by Lynwood Kreneck for publication (reproduced in b/w).

Nancy and Steven Glaser started dating in the early 1990s when Glaser was on the Tech School of Music faculty.  When he moved to Ohio to serve on the faculty of The Ohio State University, Nancy went with him.  They lived together many years, but were never married. Says Glaser about Nancy, “she was the most genuine, honest, and unselfish person I’ve ever met. To have known Nancy was a gift and a privilege.”

Sonia Avila Leads Southwest Airlines Design Team
(5th in a series on Communication Design Alumni)

Sonia Avila (front left) and her Southwest Graphic Design team

Sonia Avila (front left) and her Southwest Graphic Design team (from left to right) John Jones, Quyen Dong, and Trent Duran.

“I’ll never forget how I got into design, “explains Southwest Airlines Graphic Design Team Manager Sonia Avilla (2003 BFA Communication Design) Southwest Airlines Graphic Design team manager. I read an article about design and came to talk to Carla Tedeschi in her then “cave “ office wedged in between restrooms in the architecture building. That was all it took.”

Avilla returned to Lubbock recently to assist Tedeschi, associate professor in Communication Design and the program’s coordinator, by critiquing some student projects and later giving tips to all Communication Design classes on how to land a job in the graphic design field.

She remembered about her SoA days.  “I lived at home and had a job, so going to college wasn’t terribly costly for me, “she flashes a smile. “I was a cartographer- several of us in my family were. I drew maps at first by hand and then later digitally.”

“Critiquing projects this morning reminded me of the old days here — some miserable; some great. I remember the camaraderie though – going out at all hours to eat and talk— struggling to learn in the college atmosphere. I miss some of those moments . . . and some are not design-related!”

That afternoon, Avilla presented “Yummy Work” starting with a simple, large sandwich going on to the meat, hold the mayo, don’t forget the pickle and more. Using the making of a sandwich as analogous to building a successful career, she explained decisions she had made in her own career, relating some triumphs and pitfalls while offering suggestions like 1) research companies – find out their customers and what they really do 2) network—no getting away from design people – look for them 3) tie everything together in your portfolio – letters, cards, leave behinds and 4) look professional – dress and smell appropriately for an interview – no gum!

Professor Terry Morrow Begins His 41st Year

Terry Morrow with alumna, Cakky Brawley, during 40th Anniversary Studio Alumni Invational Exhibition

Terry Morrow with alumna, Cakky Brawley, during 40th Anniversary Studio Alumni Invitational Exhibition

Professor Terry Morrow begins his 41st year this semester as art professor at Texas Tech. It is a momentous time and an accomplishment that current students, faculty, and alumni applaud. He spent eight of those years additionally as Assistant Art Department Chairman, Art Department Chairman or Director when the school was called the  Art Department, and two-times as Interim Director at the SoA.  Morrow has always been ready to come forward as needed, which showcases his outstanding service and regard for students and the faculty. He is a perennial favorite professor with students and sought after as a colleague. He began our interview by telling me:

I guess I will continue to teach as long as I have health, still enjoy it, and feel like I have something left to contribute to the students. I used to get sons and daughters of former students when I did SMAP (Saturday Morning Art Program for high school students who are serious about art) but it’s grandchildren of graduates, now. I still enjoy it and as teachers, we owe it to be mentors – always.

In a recent interview with Scott Dadich, BFA Communications Design, 1999, the Creative Director of Wired magazine, he agreed that Morrow was a mentor. He said, “Terry Morrow was a great mentor and I started out in his SMAP program and was there every Saturday all through high school to learn. Later, when I went to Tech, Professor Morrow would look in on me to check how my classes were going. In his classes, I learned so much about drawing.”

Many students agree with Dadich and really treasure the times they spent in your classes. What made you decide to go into your field?

As a child growing up in Austin, I liked drawing and got to experience a program like our SMAP. It made the difference. Yes, it did inspire me to start SMAP here over 30 years ago.

In what ways has your art influenced you?

Art has been a part of me that always grows. It nurtures me. Being able to observe one’s world, aesthetic things— shapes, form, light— it’s a way of getting at who I am.  I chose Printmaking because of its relationship to drawing-latitude of the processes -painting and design together.

What changes have you noticed in teaching?

When I began here in 1968, I would say that only half the faculty was engaged in teaching. Now we have a good and caring faculty – no more unconscious state of routine “zombified” teaching.

How has your teaching changed?

Standards called for in NASAD  (National Association of Schools of Art and Design) helped me set a standard—not to go to automatic pilot. I combine some philosophy when I teach figure drawing, because in the beginning some students have a fear of drawing the human figure.  In this class, we watch old movies and observe great body movements. I know that it is connecting when in class, a student, Paloma Lidzy, sophomore, said, ‘ Professor Morrow, look at what you have done. I walk around campus, studying people now all the time and think, my – her calves are very pronounced!’

His next class that night was studying photography and the body, he explained to me. The class was going to study Paul Simon’s song “Kodachrome.” I’m humming it  to myself “Momma, don’t take our kodachrome— or Terry Morrow— away.”

Remembering a Mentor by Alan Colvin

Alan Colvin on Frank Cheatham a speech read at the Dallas Society of Visual Communications honoring Cheatham

The first time I saw Frank, he was introducing his mentor and friend, Louis Danziger, to a group of students in a lecture room at Texas Tech University. Frank was gracious and softspoken in his introduction, and clearly had the respect of this legendary designer. It was a couple of years later when Mr. Danziger returned to conduct a work session with our Design Communications class when we heard him tell stories of Frank’s skills as one of the finest students that Art Center ever had.

Frank Cheatham grew up on a South Texas ranch, but moved to Los Angeles to attend Art Center in the late fifties. In LA he met his wife, Jane, a student at Chouinard School of Art (a talented illustrator, artist and teacher in her own right). Frank and Jane made a great team. They were both great teachers, and generously offered opinions, advice and stories, as their home was almost always open to students outside of class.

One story Jane told was about how, in their school days, Frank had these beautiful western shirts from Texas that he would sell to an LA clothing store to get cash so he could buy supplies for art school. That story says a lot about what you should know about Frank-that he was passionate about making art and not interested in wrapping himself in superficial veneer. Frank was transparent-sincere and honest.

Frank had a great deal of success in Los Angeles in the sixties as a designer at the packaging and identity firm of Porter and Goodman. His brilliance was recongnized there and the firm soon changed its name to Porter, Goodman and Cheatham. During the LA years, Frank produced a lot of great work for big, visible brands. The work was strategically smart, highly creative and award winning-a balance not easily achieved in this business.

Alan Colvin, Partner in Cue, Brand Design Company (4th in Series on Communication Design Alumni)

“He made design a profession and a creative pursuit,” explains Alan Colvin, BFA in Design alancolvin-smallerCommunication 1982, while discussing his most influential professor and mentor, Frank Cheatham (SoA Professor of Art, Emeritus, 1973-1998 – now deceased).

Colvin is a partner in the prestigious Cue, a Brand Design Company based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Reminiscing about his days at Tech and how that time and those educators have impacted his business today brings up an outstanding pair of professors, Jane Cheatham, Associate Professor of Art, Emeritus, 1973-1998 – now deceased, and Professor Cheatham.

Colvin remembers a time when he had come to a crossroads in his college career. He had chosen to study architecture but he felt drawn to some design classes he had taken in his architectural degree plan. He talked to Mrs. Cheatham who had taught the design class and some of his other professors about his dilemma. She suggested Colvin talk to her husband, Frank- which he did.

Professor Cheatham suggested the young student attend a lecture by Louis Danziger, a renowned graphic designer of a half-century, and then, attend one of Cheatham’s classes. Colvin’s decision was made in favor of design communication, and Frank Cheatham became his first teacher and mentor.

“He was really a smart guy. What he was able to do was communicate. He just seemed to know how people would respond to imagery and design…He was charming, sometimes intimidating, but he was an effective teacher and able to gain your trust,” remembers Colvin. “It wasn’t uncommon for Cheatham to open his home to students to discuss their work. He had the personal power to motivate people.”

As a child growing up in Oklahoma and then, Dallas, Colvin was drawn to vintage signs, packaging and typography, and watching how his grandfather, a carpenter, and his mother, a seamstress, crafted things.

DJ Stout, Partner in International Design Firm, Pentagram (3rd in a series on Communication Design Alumni)

DJ StoutThe pitch is hurled, as the batter draws his bat back, ready to send the ball into the stands. The crowd roars-a big crowd of true baseball fans. This Alpine, Texas, scene could be taking place today at the Kokernot Baseball field (named for famed owner of the 06 Ranch, Herbert Kokernot who built it sparing no expense in 1947). Now the Big Bend Cowboys add a homerun to their scoreboard!

Or it could be a scene from DJ Stout’s, BFA Design Communication 1981, latest project, a visual history of the 1940’s semi-pro baseball team, the Alpine Cowboys. Alpine is Stout’s birthplace and he has another connection to this project. His father, a left-handed pitcher, played on the Alpine Cowboys back in 1952-54 before joining the marines. Mr. Doyle  Stout, now living in the Philippines, has been assisting his son by emailing and contacting teammates. “The University of Texas Press is going to publish it. I have a year – it will be out in the fall of 2010,” explains Stout.

As a child growing up, Stout’s family was a typical military one-on the move. He began publishing a cartoon newspaper delivering it from house to house to help overcome that “new kid” syndrome. “My dad even bought me an older printing machine – a mimeograph – the ones with the purple print and the good smell,” he jokes.

Through the years, he expanded his “Weekly Laf” by creating a staff – someone to do news; a fashion reporter and a sports reporter.  Moves took him to the Virginia area where he attended James Madison University for two years in graphic art. A move back to Texas, found him at Texas Tech because “I had heard that it had a good graphic design program.”

Scott Dadich, Creative Director of Wired Magazine (Communication Design Alumni Series)

Scott DadichScott Dadich, BFA, Communications Design,1999,  is Creative Director of Wired Magazine. He credits SMAP (Saturday Morning Art Program), bagels, and a lack of enthusiasm for Mechanical Engineering at UT for bringing him to TTU’s SoA and helping to propel his career.

Dadich’s truly meteoric assent into the publishing world is full of recognition and dazzling successes. First, at Texas Monthly where the magazine accrued 14 National Magazine Awards including the award for General Excellence in 2003 under his creative eye.

Now at Wired, he continues with his winning ways. In 2007, the magazine won the prestigious National Magazine Award for General Excellence and followed in 2008, by winning the National Magazine Award for Design, the magazine industry’s highest design honor. Also, in 2008, he was awarded SPD (Society of Publication Designers) Magazine of the Year and elected President of SPD. Of these awards, Dadich modestly said, “It has been a good couple of years.”

A Lubbock native, Dadich attended All Saints Episcopal School and graduated from Lubbock High School. “Terry Morrow was a great mentor and I started out in his SMAP program and was there every Saturday all through high school to learn.”

“Later, when I went to Tech, Professor Morrow would look in on me to check how my classes were going. In his classes, I learned so much about drawing.”

Dadich mentions John Raspberry as a great instructor along with the Professors Frank and Jane Cheatham, both now deceased. “The first year I was in her (Jane Cheatham’s) typeography class, all lettering had to be done by hand because there was no computer lab until the next year. That next year, we began learning Illustrator and Photo Shop.”

“I draw everyday,” admits Scott Dadich, “I lean on my drawing skills and knowledge of typeography constantly in my work.”

Texas Monthly's Art Editor, T.J. Tucker (First in a Series on Communication Design Alumni)

spd-portrait“I have great memories of Tech and Lubbock,” says T. J. Tucker, BFA, 2001, Austin, Texas. The Art Director for Texas Monthly, a legendary Texas magazine publication, explained to me that he had grown up in West Texas, attending Tech football games, and had always looked forward to coming to Tech-it was a shining beacon for him.
As a freshman, he elected to take a year of all art classes, which he described as a “neat break.” At the time he took Design I and II classes, the courses were only painting classes. He found, however, that a background of art fundamentals (painting and drawing) translates nicely to digital. “It is important for a graphic artist to be able to draw,” comments Tucker.
“I love Lubbock,” he says unabashed. He enjoyed the latter part of his degree here at Lubbock and the SoA so much- especially the instructors. “Dirk Fowler is one reason I’m here (Texas Monthly) right now. John Raspberry, Dirk, Carla (Tedeschi) are so good because actually they have real world experience . . . they give you a balance between ‘won’t fly in the real world’ versus your dreams and aspirations.”
Artie Limmer, BFA 1987, photographer and Associate Director of Communications and Marketing was a big influence on Tucker’s work and another person he credits as a reason for being where he is today. He worked for Limmer who allowed him to make mistakes and then, determine how to correct them. “I always tell people to work with the best people in their field and I have gotten to!”
Learning from the best people in your field is a recommendation Tucker makes to communication design students. “As an assistant, learn as much as you can from the person over you, study it, and add to that. ‘Frankenstein’ that into your own thing,” Tucker recommends.
He advises students to also do what he got to do-get “plugged in” as soon as they can. He received an internship early on and found out that this was definitely the field he wanted. He further advises to build your portfolio, get yourself out there and immerse yourself into the profession. “I worked hard early on to set this stuff in place – you shouldn’t wait until your senior year to start thinking about a job . . . or worse realize this might not be what you want.”
The Texas Monthly Art Director’s chair, in which Tucker sits is jokingly referred to as one where only Tech graduates may sit. Before Tucker sat there, Scott Dadich, BFA -Communication Design and Photography 1999, directed art at Texas Monthly for six years and before him, DJ Stout, BFA-Communication Design and Illustration, 1986, sat for 12 years-even current Associate Art Director, Caleb Bennett graduated from TTU with a BFA in 2005. (I say that Communication Design and Photography at Tech’s SoA must produce amazingly talented and successful artists.)
When Tucker, a sixth generation Texan, needs to get away from his “Art Director” chair, he goes back home to his family ranch in Baird to get away from the fast pace and enjoy the still and beauty of West Texas. It’s no wonder that he can be inspired by antiquities there-interesting old prints and the like. I think he could be a West Texas Renaissance man. Guns up!

Texas Biennial 2009 Opens; School of Art Well Represented

Opening Weekend of the Texas Biennial 2009 is March 6th – 8th at multiple venues in Austin, Texas. TTU School of Art will be well represented with both Faculty and Alumin have done well getting selected into the various exhibitions.

After receiving a studio visit last fall, William Cannings, associate professor of sculpture, received notice from Michael Duncan, Corresponding Editor for Art in America and juror of the group and solo exhibitions of the Biennial, informing him that he had been selected as the solo artist to represent West Texas. William is known for his brightly colored, inflated/exploded steel and aluminum sculptures which have been widely exhibited in Texas, Florida and Europe. Will’s Biennial exhibition will be at Okay Mountain Gallery.  The opening for this solo exhibition is scheduled from noon – 5:00 PM on Saturday, March 7th, with an After Party from 7:00 – 10:00 PM at Okay Mountain.

Christie Blizard, assistant professor of painting and Lubbock based alumna, Anne Longo (2006 MFA Painting & Drawing), were also finalists for the West Texas solo exhibition and received studio visits from Duncan in early September. Their work will be exhibited in the group exhibitions during the Biennial.

Tom Matthews (MFA 2007 Sculpture) now living and teaching in South Texas, also had a studio visit by Duncan, as one of the finalists for the solo exhibition representing South Texas.  Not selected for the solo exhibition, Tom will have two artworks in one of the group exhibitions.

Alumni, Susan Cheal, (associate professor at UNT – Denton), and Susan Budge (1982 BFA Ceramics now head of Ceramics and Art Metals at San Antonio College) were selected to be in the group exhibitions.

The group exhibitions will be presented at the Mexican American Cultural Center and at Women and their Work.  Receptions for the group shows will be on Friday, March 6th from 6:00 – 8:00 PM.