As Texas Christian University celebrates the sesquicentennial of its founding, the School of Art is mounting a group exhibition of 150 artists celebrating the talent and range of artists whose work has contributed to the creative life of TCU students and faculty, as well as Texas art and beyond.
“One major underlying idea was to include a diversity of practice,” said Dr. Parsons. Consequently, drawings, paintings, prints, sculptures, photographs, fiber art, new media, ceramics, and installations comprise the show. Also included are key pieces from the TCU permanent art collection of more than 1,500 objects valued at over $3 million.
“I wanted to let our students know that this work is available to them for study and inspiration,” Dr. Parsons said. “I included several Andy Warhol pieces as a way to illustrate the depth of our permanent collection.” Following Warhol’s death in 1987, the Andy Warhol Foundation for Visual Arts was founded, and on their 20th anniversary, the foundation gifted his work to various American museums, including TCU. The museum received an initial gift of 160 Polaroid and black-and-white photographs in 2007-2008 and seven screen prints in 2013.
Another notable faculty member was Harry Geffert, who spearheaded the sculpture department from 1962 to 1989. He passed away in 2017, and a key piece donated by his wife, Linda, is being shown for the first time. Another debut piece is by Ron Watson, who directed the art school for 30 years and retired in 2012.
Current faculty members are an important part of the show as well. Dick Lane is the director of the department and teaches photography alongside Kalee Appleton; Nick Bontrager teaches new media; Adam Fung teaches painting, Dan Jian teaches painting and drawing, Rachel Livedalen teaches printmaking, Mary Nangag teaches art education, Chris Powell teaches ceramics, and Cam Schoepp teaches sculpture. Alumni faculty included in the show are David E. Conn and Linda Guy (printmakers), Susan Harrington and Jim Woodson (painters), and Luther Smith (photographer).
The exhibition also showcases current MFA candidates and BFA students in their final semester before graduating. Among the many notable TCU graduates in the exhibition are Patrick Kelly, director and curator of the Old Jail Art Center in Albany, Texas; Candace Hicks, who holds an MFA in printmaking and teaches at Stephen F. Austin State University; and Ryan Goolsby, who has an MFA in sculpture and works in the Southern Methodist University Division of Art as a technical manager.
TCU graduate Ann Stautberg recently exhibited large photographs of palm fronds silhouetted against dramatic skies at Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas and Andrew Durham Gallery in Houston. Houston painter Terry Suprean has been showing statewide since earning his MFA in 2005, and artist Christopher Blay served as news editor for Glasstire for three years before becoming chief curator at the Houston Museum of African American Culture.
“I hope this is an inspiring, vibrant contribution to the TCU School of Art,” Dr. Parsons said. “I wanted to highlight our alumni and graduates who are out in the world working and making art, but most of all, I wanted the exhibition to be fun and exciting.”