Faculty art inspires students

Department Chairperson Hershall Seals made the exhibit possible so students could learn more about their professors. Cody Weems/ The Bells

Department Chairperson Hershall Seals made the exhibit possible so students could learn more about their professors. Cody Weems/ The Bells

Professors of the College of Visual Arts have a chance to show off their talents through the 2015 Faculty Art Exhibition. The exhibit opened Monday in the art gallery of the Baugh Center for the Visual Arts and features works of 10 professors.

The department holds a faculty exhibit every other year, but this year’s exhibit serves a dual purpose as the department is a candidate to receive accreditation from the National Association for Schools of Art and Design.

“We’re having a sight visit team come and they’re interested in seeing both the student art and faculty art, so we’ll have both displayed all over the building,” said Department Chairperson Hershall Seals.

The exhibit is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Sept. 17. A reception will be held Thursday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. and is open to the public.
The exhibit offers a wide variety of media including: painting, drawing, ceramics, sculpting and graphic design.

Seals said this opportunity allows professors to put concepts they’ve taught their students into practice.

“This exhibit displays for the student that their teachers know what they’re talking about, and shows a variety of art practices,” he said. “We have a range of two and three dimensional work in the gallery, and it brings legitimacy to what we preach and practice in the studios and the classrooms.”

The gallery is a way for professors to serve as inspiration for their students outside of a traditional classroom setting.

“The teachers are role models for our students, and this display is a visual way that we can communicate to our students what we’re all about as creative people,” Seals said.

Professor John Hancock has a series of mixed-media pieces on display that combine painting and printmaking. He believes it’s important for art professors to practice what they preach.

“I like to put my money where my mouth is and let them know that I’m not just a teacher, but an artist,” he said. “I make art without purpose or reason, other than I make art, and they should make art too because that’s what an artist does.”

Seals said Hancock’s work allows the viewer to find meaning in what they see.

“They are works of art that are intended to be confrontational,” Seals said. “It’s highly charged with the possibility of interpretation. Anybody can imagine what they want to from his work and it tells a lot about the person that’s imagining what they see.”

The work of Professor Ted Barnes on display include paintings that were inspired by his travels.

“I have made trips to Egypt, Rome, Israel and the Canary Islands, and the immersion of these foreign cultures have provided me interesting content for my work and a rich source of visual vocabulary,” Barnes said.

Barnes said the process has not only been a physical journey, but a spiritual one as well.

“The use of religious themes and spiritual imagery has provided a major source of inspiration for my artwork throughout my career, and travel has been central to this investigation,” he said. “The importance of this activity has increased in recent years as my work has become more focused on my search for truth as it relates to the concept of religious pilgrimage, both real and metaphorical.”

According to Seals, the exhibit represents the standard the department sets for its faculty and its students.

He said, “I’m really proud of the quality of art and the quality of teaching from our UMHB art faculty, which does make us one of the premier places to study art in the southwest.”

Author: Cody Weems

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