Archive for the ‘ Current Students ’ Category



MICHAELA YARBROUGH, a senior Communication Design student currently interning with RD Thomas Advertising, has received a great profile on her work there.

To read the entire interview, click (here).


LIBBY KAY HICKS Has Solo Exhibition in San Angelo


LIBBY HICKS, a senior in Studio Art with an emphasis in painting and drawing, will have a solo exhibition at the San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts Coop Gallery on October 10th and 11th.

artist photoEntitled Fabrications, the exhibition is an exploration of visual scenes from memories of places and experiences from the past and present. A mental manufacturing recreates a pull between reflection and invention. The works in the exhibition have a symbolic dialogue between “home” and the relationships that inhabit each environment. They also relate to social issues regarding gender roles and the lives of women.  Says Hicks about the work that will be exhibited, “All of the surfaces used in Fabrications are those that you could find in a home. Pillow shams, curtains, bed sheets, table clothes, baby blankets and ribbon, all to assemble visual memoir created with a hesitant intent.”

Hicks grew up in Floydada, TX and graduated from Floydada High School in 2011. This year she is serving as Art Editor for the 2015 Harbinger: TTU Journal of Literature and Art.



Studio Art Seniors Stage BFA Exhibition

“Greed” from the Seven Deadly Sins series (inkjet print) by Christina Orozco of Odessa.

Studio art seniors graduating in 2011 have staged a group exhibition of their final work in the Studio Gallery for the School of Art Open House.  The reception for the exhibition will be held on Friday, March 4th from 5:00-7:00 PM, immediately following the open house.

The exhibition was covered by the Lubbock Avalanche Journal Online today.  Be sure to check out the article and join us for the reception.  The exhibition continues through Thursday, March 11th.

Carl Spartz studies in Florence

Carl Spartz, a senior in drawing and painting from Odessa, TX, spent last spring semester studying in Florence.  Studying abroad can be a great experience; in his words, here’s his experience.

Carl in downtown Bologna.

I spent the Spring 2010 semester on a study abroad program with Studio Art Centers International (SACI) in Florence, Italy. I lived with three other American students from different locations across America. The program lasted four months and there I met some of the most interesting and unforgettable people I ever have. I appreciate very much Lorenzo Pezzatini , my painting professor as well as renowned painter, installation and public performance artist; he is one of my favorite people in this world. I also credit my drawing instructors, Gary Lissa and Tina Fallani, for always instigating creative discussion and helping me develop as an artist. Lastly, Mario Passavanti for the entertaining stories in fresco class.

I feel my conceptual and technical skills in both drawing and painting improved from being in an environment opposite from my own and allowing me to reflect on my own home and history. The school was extremely helpful and encouraging. The city became my home and my roommates family as I traveled to many other countries and explored other cultures.

View of Pitigliano in Tuscany.

Highlights of my travels included: carnival in the coast town of Viareggio, ART FIRST 2010 in Bologna, the Swiss Alps, meeting family in Germany, visiting a brewery in Brussels, the church concert in Prague, riding broken bicycles in the rain around the Duomo, bolitos at the street stand outside the Central Market, swimming in the hot springs of Saturnia, camping in an Etruscan necropolis, the abandoned factory at Orbetello, and the donkey ride in the Cyclades of Greece.

Junction Summer Program Helps Art Educators Achieve Their Dreams

The Junction Summer Program is Texas Tech’s hidden gem which enables full-time professional arts educators to fulfill their dreams of getting Master of Art Education (MAE) degrees at their own pace.  Directed by Future Akins-Tillett, Coordinator of the MAE program and associate professor in visual studies, the summer art community is focused on developing a deeper, more meaningful relationship to the arts through production, critique, discussion and open exchange.  This year two MAE candidates completed their work toward their degrees.  Below are their stories.

Julie Lynn Freedman began her MAE at Texas Tech University in the fall of 2007. As an abstract painter living in Austin, Texas while teaching high school Spanish and art in Texas public schools, Ms. Freedman sought an artistic and intellectual challenge to study art and produce works that incorporated language, symbolism and figuration within her color fields of abstractions.

Freedman’s sojourns in Spain and in Brazil, where she has at times lived and worked, have influenced her life aspirations and her work. The symbolism prevalent in Julie Freedman’s current artwork starts with feminine contours that evoke sensuality and as well as a suggestion of ambiguous space to render a complex, colorful and somewhat rhetorical composition.  Other nascent imagery in her abstract environments includes male shadows, vases and vessels, and architectural structures. Her paintings acknowledge a balance and interdependence between abstraction and imagery.

Freeman paintings, on left " mujer y pez" on the right, "hombre cara roja"

For her MAE thesis exhibition she created a new body of work which is on gallery display at the Junction Center Gallery in Junction, Texas and can be seen until July 30th.  To see more of her artwork, click to link to her personal website.

Seven SoA Students Selected to Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities

Seven students in the School of Art were named to the 2009’s list of Who’s Who Among Students in American Colleges and Universities. These students are Elizabeth Espinoza (senior in Communication Design from Lubbock, Texas); “Elise” (Frances) Hall (senior in Art History from McAllen, Texas); Jeff Hernandez (senior in Communication Design from Snyder, Texas); Gilbert Jones (senior in Art History from Lubbock, Texas); Lynsey Jones (senior in Communication Design from Missouri City, Texas); Kathryn Kiser ( from the Honors College, senior in Art History from Lubbock, Texas); and Samantha Roppolo (senior in Communication Design from Mesquite, Texas).

“It is an honor and I’m glad to be one of the 105 students chosen for the Who’s Who. I also am glad that the College of Visual and Performing Arts has such a large showing. It demonstrates that the SoA in the CVPA places emphasis on academics as well as service. It is just another example of how I’ve been encouraged by faculty and staff at the SoA,” explains Gilbert Jones.

The Who’s Who selection criterion is based on academic achievement, leadership, and service. This exclusive honor is conferred by more than 1,000 colleges/universities throughout the United States. For this honor, Texas Tech officially announced 105 students of which 17 students are from the College of Visual and Performing Arts.

Design Seniors Take 2nd and 3rd in Matador Video Challenge

Students from Assistant Professor Francisco Ortega’s Communication Design ART 4357 (Motion Graphics) class competed in the university-wide Matador Video Challenge promoted by the Office of the Provost, Quality Enhancement Plan XX and two of them are receiving awards for their entries.

Communication Design senior, Roxenya Grevel placed 2nd with her video titled “Diversity” and Iylana Putnam Nassiri, also a senior, placed 3rd with her video titled “Mutual Respect” (click here to read about another of Iylana’s recent success stories.).

Interestingly, Shane Nassiri, husband of Iylana Nassiri, took the 1st place award with a video titled “Excellence Is.” Iylana explains, “Shane is an Electronic Media and Communication major.  Both of us were in classes that required us to enter that contest, so we couldn’t help but compete against each other.”

To see more of the submissions, click on this Facebook page.

Iylana Nassiri’s Magazine Spread Chosen for “Creative Quarterly”


Senior Communication Design student, Iylana Putnam Nassiri recently had a magazine spread selected on a competitive basis and showcased in Creative Quarterly, The Journal of Art & Design, Issue no. 16. Nassiri’s spread was developed in Carla Tedeschi’s (Associate Professor and Program Coordinator of  Communication Design) Publication Design Class last spring.

Creative Quarterly is a national publication that showcases work produced by important artists, photographers and designers. An emphasis is placed on the work of emerging artists and designers as well as practicing professionals in their quarterly competitions.

Nassiri explains, “Our assignment was to find a random article (I don’t even remember where I found this one) and then design a magazine spread for it. The article talks about the Golden Ratio in flowers, shells and beehives, so that’s why I used those images, and then I also took some mathematical diagrams of the golden ratio and used those in my design. The grid on which this design is laid out is also based on the Golden Ratio in rectangles.”

She selected this spread for the competition because “it was my favorite thing. I had worked on it all semester, and actually it may be my favorite thing I have ever designed!”

Chris Voss Exhibits in Chelsea, New York, NY

The artwork of Chris Voss (MFA candidate in painting) can be seen in an upcoming exhibition, Four Degrees of Abstraction, at the Agora Gallery, 530 W. 25th Chelsea, New York, NY 10001. 212-226-415, and The reception will be at the gallery on October 8th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.  The show begins October 2nd and ends October 23rd. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Additionally, Voss now has gallery representation with Agora Gallery. More of his art work may be viewed at

The Stitching of Redemption and Reflection

“The Stitching of Redemption and Reflection” (2009)
mixed media on canvas, 48 x 36 inches.

Iylana Putnam’s Poster is Chosen by the House of Representatives


Not only will Iylana Putnam’s, (senior in Communication Design) art be on display all over Texas, but she wins a scholarship, too! Putnam recently won a poster contest concerning an alcohol awareness campaign sponsored by the Texas Hospitality Association. The poster was selected by the offices of the 150 members of the Texas House of Representatives as the 2009 winner of the $5,000 THA Poster Scholarship Contest for college students.  State Representative Carl Isett will have a resolution passed in her honor by the entire Texas House of Representatives when she can travel to Austin.

Putnam says, “They were calling for poster submissions. The posters had to convey that ‘A standard beer (12oz), mixed drink (1.5oz liquor), and glass of wine (5oz) each contain the same amount of alcohol.’ I tried to make my poster as simple and eye-catching as possible, since it will be distributed all over Texas in different places where alcohol is sold.”

I say cheers to you, Iylana—great job! For more information