Archive for May, 2009

Mary Beth Koeth is Across the Pond at UK Hallmark

picture-1Mary Beth Koeth, BFA Communication Design 2005, has been with Hallmark since graduating from Tech.  “It’s truly a dream place for creatives to work…so many creative resources available and so much talent under one roof!” Koeth explains.

She spent two and a half years designing greeting cards at headquarters in Kansas City before making the big jump to the U.K. where she is working as a design manager. “I’ve been in England for a little over a year now…and I still have trouble understanding the crazy, northern accent.”

“In my spare time I enjoy traveling Europe and observing European men in tight jeans,” Koeth adds ” All and all, I’m just a greeting card designer who’s moved to the UK.” Sounds like the beginning of a song to me. Check out her blog at 

SoA Alum-Where are they now? Featuring: Curtis and Cindy Ripley

Goodbye 2008 Oil on Canvas 48x60

Goodbye 2008 Oil on Canvas 48x60

Curtis Ripley, BFA 1971, (MFA University of Wisconsin) and his wife Cindy Turner Ripley, BA (MFA in painting at Virginia Commonwealth University)are both TTU grads now living in Los Angeles, California. Curtis lived in Lubbock as a boy, but hasn’t been back in a while.

Curtis,a lecturer and professor for many years becoming tenured at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), decided to become a full-time artist in 1985 moving to California where he and Cindy have lived ever since. The couple has two grown children.

Cindy received an MFA at VCU and has a pottery business at Venice Beach- while Curtis has a studio in his house and his website is

He has shown his artwork recently at the 2007-8 Art in Embassies Exhibition, United States Embassy, Pretoria, South Africa; 2006 Abstract Notions, Berman Turner Projects, Santa Monica; and in 2004 25th Anniversary Exhibition, Modernism, San Francisco. currently, he has had several Selected One Person Exhibitions. These include 2008 Modernism, San Francisco, Another Life, paintings and works on paper; and Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, NYC, Another World, paintings & works on paper. He has many pieces in private collections and works are found in many selected articles, reviews, and catalogs.

Traveling in Texas? Jeff Wheeler Has Art for You in Lubbock, Dallas, and Houston!

Somewhere Near Happy Texas  



Somewhere Near Happy Texas


Adjunct Instructor Jeff Wheeler MFA has been on the road hanging shows in three Texas towns. He invites “y’all come” if you are there or traveling there!  

One is in Lubbock at The Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts His exhibit FRANKLIN ACKERLEY: NEW WORK AND SELECTIONS FROM HIS COLLECTION,will hang from May 8th-June 6th. The closing celebration is Friday, June 5th, 6-9 pm with an after party featuring music by LOS SOBs at the Tornado Gallery (BYOB)

In Dallas, at Mighty Fine Arts, the exhibit is JEFF WHEELER: ACTUAL SCENES:GENUINE CHARACTERS from May 9th- June 14th with the closing celebration on Saturday, June 13th 6-whenever featuring live music by LOS SOBs. For more information see

The third venue is in Houston at the Rudolph Projects/Artscan Gallery, for the exhibit JEFF WHEELER and RYAN GEIGER: NEW WORK, May 16th – June with the closing celebration on Saturday, June 27th, 6-whenever featuring live music by LOS SOBs. For more information see








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!