Archive for April, 2013

KEN LITTLE RECEIVES TEXAS STATE ARTIST HONOR

Ken LittleOn Monday night Ken Little was honored as the 2014 TEXAS STATE VISUAL ARTIST – 3D in a public ceremony sponsored by the Texas Commission on the Arts in Austin.

You can go to the TCA page to read more about Ken and his accomplishments.

Ken, a 1970 alumnus of the studio art program, has been a longtime supporter of School of Art.  In 2007, he teamed up with the Medici Circle School of Art support group to create a new scholarship endowment to benefit Studio Art students.

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.

Joel Kiser In First Iron Pour at Collin College

On Saturday April 20th, Collin College Sculpture faculty and students successfully poured cast iron for the first time in the history of the Collin College Art Department under the direction of Sculpture Professor Luke Sides and Art Labs Coordinator Joel Kiser (2007 BFA in Sculpture from Texas Tech).  This epic feat was made possible by a dedicated group of sculpture students who worked together to safely pour over 800 lbs. of cast iron.

Joel Kiser feeding the cupola.

Joel Kiser feeding the cupola.

In the weeks leading up to the iron pour, sculpture students diligently collected scrap bathtubs and assisted in the welding of sand pits, while at the same time working on their own molds to be cast. All of the iron poured was actually collected by hand breaking cast iron bathtubs and sinks into small potato chip size pieces to be collected and poured into a homemade cupola furnace, constructed by Kiser.

JOELCommented Kiser, “I have never seen such excitement and dedication from our sculpture students. Usually, we teach techniques and processes that follow the students into their four-year art-making futures. Today, however, we were able to give them a unique life experience, in terms of teamwork and camaraderie, that they can carry with them for the rest of their lives. For me, that is what teaching is all about.”

Guns and Gods: an Interview with Ryder Richards

Ryder Richards (left) with Nicholas Pierce at Roswell Museum of Art.

Ryder Richards (left) with Nicholas Pierce at Roswell Museum of Art.

Through April 17th, Roswell Museum and Art Center will be showing new works by Ryder Richards in an exhibition titled Conflicted. Ryder, who received his BFA in painting and drawing from Texas Tech in 2001, is currently a fellow at the RAiR program in Roswell, NM. Drawing equal inspiration from his upbringing and his travels through Europe, where he studied classical architecture and Renaissance sculpture, the work that Ryder has thus far produced at RAiR—the work on display in Conflicted—infuses Greek myths with Western ideologies. Guns and gods appear alongside one another.

I met Ryder for the first time over spring break. Inside the starkly white and spacious walls of his RAiR apartment, we talked till long after sundown. Our conversation ranged from McCarthy to collaboration. This week we revisited similar topics over email.

Collusion, 2012 wood, acrylic 72" x 60" x 60"

Collusion, 2012
wood, acrylic
72″ x 60″ x 60″

 

1. You draw with gunpowder; create with a tool that is typically used to destroy. In your mind where do violence and creation meet?

They meet in the act, the action of creation, just as they do in the act of destruction. The important thing is that creation and destruction are transformations, which is an action of violence against the nature of the status quo or the object. For instance, a piece of paper is pure until we decide to create and ruin it by drawing on it: we have just imposed our will onto the paper, defiling it. This is a form of violence no matter how beautiful or well-intentioned the result.