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A place to remember and to share articles, videos, and information about art and culture. My primary audience is students of the arts, with the purpose of expanding the discussion and encouraging research.

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Entries in Amarillo College (9)


AC Students at Library

There is a great exhibition of photographs by AC students currently on display at the Downtown Branch, of the Amarillo Public Library. The show was juried by the photographer and historian, Cindy Wallace, and there will be a reception this Thursday from 6:30-7:30. This is a great sampling of what our students are doing in the program, and I can not wait until the party!

Downtown Branch, of the Amarillo Public Library, 413 E 4th, 806-378-3054.

Image credit: Amy Yearwood


Side by Side Exhibition

The "Side by Side" exhibition at the Amarillo Museum of Art closes this Sunday, walking through yesterday; I reflected back on the project. The title, "Side by Side," can be read literally; it is two photographic artists, Christopher Pekoc in the south gallery and Romy Owens in the north gallery. The exhibition is a comparison and contrast of a similar technique - sewing on photographs. The stitches are also side by side, weaving in and out of the paper, and making individual images become one (forever side by side). Both artists have created their own meta-language to tell their story, but this is where the similarities end, and differences begin.

Romy Owens work is subtle and elegant, hand sewn photographs with a stitch that is perfect as a machine. Creating color fields that modulate like a Rothko painting, the images are abstract landscapes sewn together from photographs taken while visiting Amarillo. Owens' installation even mimics Palo Duro Canyon; in the center of the gallery is a large-scale piece that cuts the room in half, much like the canyon divides our landscape. Another aspect of this piece is getting the opportunity to see the front and back of one of her images. This is a rare and wonderful treat because every time she ties a knot, she records the date, time, and what she is doing on the back of the prints. At first, these were just notations to help her keep track of the hours spent on an image, but for the viewer it is like reading someone's diary, and the images become a story of her life.

In contrast to Owens' quiet radiating images, the other side of the museum is the filled with the work of Christopher Pekoc. His large-scale figurative images are visually stunning and at the same time dark and disturbing. His photographs are printed in black and white on transparency, which allows him to place other materials behind the images. He starts by deliberately distressing the materials with hammers and torches and punches, and then uses the stitch of a sewing machine to sew it all together. In the essay, "The Beauty of Damage," art historian, Henry Adams described his studio as "... Dr Frankenstein's laboratory, where corpses are sewn together into strange half-human creatures. This is Pekoc's alchemical laboratory, where bits and pieces of scattered things are fused together into works of art." The sewn photographs are of birds and snakes, hearts and hands, faces and bodies, the palette is filled with gold and red and black, and Pekoc looks for a gesture or emotion in the photograph that resonates. The resulting images are powerful and provocative, and written in a symbolic and highly personal language.

The museum received an NEA grant for the project, which included an outreach to the Visual Arts students at Amarillo College. Students researched artists that sew on photographs, and learned a variety of techniques. One afternoon the students led a Skype interview with both of the artists, they asked some great questions, and the responses were inspiring. In the weeks afterwards, I was fascinated by the students' thoughts and comments about these interviews, they learned a lot about creating art from this experience. AC students also created images that included stitching on photographs, and submitted them to a competition that was judged by Christopher Pekoc and Romy Owens. This work is also on display on the third floor of the museum. While the students were stressed out creating their projects and meeting their deadline, the night of the opening reception they were all smiles - all night. Rightly so, it was a big night for them. Owens and Pekoc both came to the reception and spoke about their work, announced the awards, and afterwards  talked with the students, and of course everyone got pictures.

This was such an amazing project and I am grateful to the museum for giving me the opportunity to help with the planning and research, proud of the AC students for accepting the challenge, and thankful to both artists for sharing their artwork and mentoring the next generation.

This is a must see show, and the last day is this Sunday, Aug. 17. Admission is free.

Media available on line:


Photo Credit: Romy Owens, "Everything is funny, as long as it's happening to somebody else" (detail)





Worldwide Pinhole Day Event

This Sunday, April 27, is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day! We are having a pinhole workshop at AC from 1-6. Come join us in some lo-tech fun. '-)

Amarillo College, Washington Campus, Parcells Hall, 3rd floor.

Free, Open to the public, we provide all the materials. Plan on staying at least 2-3 hours, to build, expose, and develop images.


The Ranger Publishes Article about Expressive Class

The AC Ranger just published a great article about my Expressive class. I think Kendall Kuehler did a wonderful job of capturing the vibe in the class this semester. They are just an awesome group of students and I feel fortunate to be their teacher.

This quote describes the class: The music rocking and the students rolling in the lab creates a mood as they prep their tech books and get ready for critiquing. The students are alive as they let their work communicate to the viewers for them.

Thanks Kendall, you really managed to capture the essence of this class. Keep up the good work.


Rick Allsup speaks about homeless in Amarillo

I'm so excited to bring Rick Allsup to campus for a brown bag luncheon (bring your own). He will speak on Tuesday, March 6th, at noon in the CUB Oak Room about his project on display in the Southern Light Gallery. The exhibition entitled, Perceptions, is a series of closeup portraits of homeless people in Amarillo. Each photograph has an accompanying story of how they became homeless. Rick will speak about what led him to make these photographs, stories of the homeless people he has encountered, and expand on this compelling project.

This should be a fantastic talk ;-)


Camera Clubhouse News

I am the coordinator of a project with Amarillo College photography, students and 4th and 5th grade students at San Jacinto Elementary School. We call the project the Camera Clubhouse, and provide the kids with cameras that they can take off campus throughout the school year. AC students meet with them every other week to teach the kids something new about photography. This is our third year to work with the kids, and it is such a blast. We have received quite a bit of attention recently, which culminated in a couple of big events this weekend.

On Friday night KACV aired the segment about the Camera Clubhouse, and on Saturday, Jacob Breeden's Gallery, Process Art House, hosted an exhibition and fundraiser for the project. Both were a huge success.

My heartfelt thanks to KACV for the artZone segment, Process Art House for their support, everyone who attended the exhibition and donated to the project, and especially the AC and San Jacinto students who make this happen. What a great weekend.


AC Students Make Teacher Proud!

For the past year, I have helped the AC Student Government Association and the Amarillo Museum of Art make the exhibition, Aftermath, by Joel Meyerowitz, a reality. It was funded entirely by the students of Amarillo College, and the reception on Wednesday was amazing. They are all so proud of this exhibition, and they should be, they own it. Congratulations to all of you, what an accomplishment.

The reception was for Jonathan Safran Foer, author of the Common Reader for 2011-12 school year. He was on campus all day, and gave a lecture that evening. Videos of the lecture and Q&A can be found here, here, and here. He was a great speaker.

What an exciting and busy day.

Camera Clubhouse

For the past 2 years a group of AC photo students have volunteered to teach photography to the kids at San Jacinto Elementary School. This outreach effort is a part of Amarillo College's decision to adopt the entire school as a part of the "No Excuses University" program that Principal Curry put into place. The kids are in the 4th and 5th grade, and through the generous support of Pam Lary Photography, we were able to provide the children with cameras that they could take off campus and document their daily lives. It is such a pleasure to be a part of this program, AC students and SJ students have bonded with each other, and everyone is learning about photography and life.

Today the kiddos are taking a field trip to Amarillo College to visit the photo lab and edit images for their exhibition in Southern Light Gallery. I'm so excited!

The kids have their own website where you can see their images and follow our progress. We hope to do this program again next. year.


No Excuses University

Last year when Dr. Matney found out about San Jacinto Elementary School and the No Excuses University program there, he decided that Amarillo College should adopt the entire school instead of just a classroom. Since then many students and teachers have become involved with the project. Here is what the Amarillo Globe had to say about the project that I worked on-

An art professor photographed students dressed in the uniform of their career aspirations and paired the pictures with the children's essays, creating an art exhibit for them and their parents at AC. The young students weren't shy about their ambitions, Matney said. One boy was dressed in a suit appropriate for the president of the United States.

It was a really fun project and I am working on a new concept for this year....