Monday, October 27, 2008

Teachers, history, and inspiration

I came from east Tennessee in 1969 to go back to school at a small collage northwest of Nashville, Tennessee some 50 miles. Fort Campbell was barely there and the town of Clarksville was a small farm town with a movie house. It was perfect for me, because I knew nobody and I would be less likely to party hardy.

Olen Bryant (pictured) was my sculpture teacher, mentor, and friend at Austin Peay. His influence framed my thoughts and ideals in art. My exposure to the arts was incredible, Lewis Burton formed my foundation, Roger Evans pushed me to create images on canvas, Philancy Holder and Tom Brumbau (Verderbilt University) helped me to understand the reasons for art. Austin Peay State University had just received its university status the year I enrolled, but I felt that I could not have gotten a better foundation. Thanks to all of you at the Peay for the gifts you gave everyday.

Cynthia Bringle, she sat me down and showed by example what constructive criticism could do. She taught me in a couple of weeks what I had not known in several years of work. She showed me what I was lacking in skill and how to do it much better. It's hard not to throw a pot and not see the influence she is for me.

The reason for the above is two fold, I'm sentimental today, and I wanted other folks to see the work and persons that directed me into clay and painting. I hope you will enjoy the imagery that I enjoy and draw inspiration. More photos: in Flickr.


Judy Shreve said...

Ron - Really enjoyed looking at your work & influences. It's good to be grateful & look back every now & then.

Michael Kline said...

Ron, it's interesting to reminisce with you through your blog about Clarksville and APSU. I was just 8 years old when you came to my hometown to go to APSU in 1969. It was a sleepy little farm/military town then. Not any more. And here we are, in Bakersville, NC all these years later. HA

I remember hearing about Olen Bryant back then, but never met him. As a matter of fact, I was being groomed for a career in engineering so I didn't even take art classes in high school. But I did have a couple of friends who took them from Tom Rice. Did you ever know Tom? He may have been there much later and you may have moved on by then.

At any rate, I agree with Ron about these reflections. I do it all the time. Those teachers we've had over the years are constantly popping into my head as I work.

It's a good thing. It's continuity.