REPORT ON THE ODESSA-MIDLAND CONFERENCE

 Carol Flueckiger - Paul Hanna Lecturer

Carol Flueckiger - Paul Hanna Lecturer

The TASA Annual Conference in Odessa-Midland was a wonderful experience! Some of the highlights were an iron pour at UT Permian Basin, an amazing exhibit of the Joe Diaz Collection at the Ellen Noel Museum, and a delightful lecture by Paul Hanna Lecturer Carol Flueckiger from Texas Tech University, plus much more.

Many conferences attendees were very impressed by the pre-conference dinner and tour on Thursday evening of the American Heritage Airpower Museum. On Friday morning the conference began with art history lectures at UTPB. John Calabrese from Texas Woman's University gave a lecture on "A Pedagogy for 2-Part Art History Studies Abroad Courses," Darenda DeLoach from the University of Texas in the Permian Basin spoke on "Deconstructing the Pin-up Girl," Scott Robinson from North Central Texas College discussed "The Flatland Factor: A Visual History of the Llano Estacado, 1890-1990," and Kyle McQuilkin from Texas Tech University gave a presentation on "An Experiential Investigation into the Art and culture of the Lowrider Bicycles." The 2007 Paul Hanna Lecturer Carol Flueckiger from Texas Tech University spoke about development and inspiration in her work in her presentation, "Chances of Rain, Solitude of Self, and Postcards from the Laundry Room." Then lunch was provided at UTPB in the J. Conrad Dunagan Library Foyer in the midst of the TASA One cube Foot Exhibit reception.

 Iron pour at UTPB for the TASA 2007 Conference in Odessa. -Photo by Karmien Bowman

Iron pour at UTPB for the TASA 2007 Conference in Odessa. -Photo by Karmien Bowman

After lunch on Friday, TASA held a panel discussion on "Rethinking Transfer Art Curriculum Part 2" with Cathie Tyler from Paris Junior College serving as chair of the panel. Other panel members were Linda Fawcett from Hardin Simmons University and President of TASA, Karmien Bowman from Tarrant County College, Eduardo Aguilar From Tarrant County College, Brian Row from Texas State University, and Carol Flueckiger from Texas Tech University.

On Friday afternoon there were a variety of workshops at UTPB and Odessa College. Steve Goff gave a workshop on Platinum Prints at Odessa College, and at UTPB Visual Arts Building there was a clay workshop by Barbara Frey, and an iron pour led by Dan Askew of UTPB and Kurt Dyrhaug from Lamar University.

Later Friday afternoon buses departed for Odessa College's Wi-Fi Java for a presentation of "What We Do, Graduate Schools and Undergraduate Programs." Presenters included Stephen F. Austin SU, UT Arlington, Texas Woman's University, UT El Paso, Texas A&M Corpus Christi, and UT of the Permian Basin. In the evening TASA members enjoyed a reception and dinner at the MCM Elegante Hotel while listening to the keynote speaker Nathan Orosco speak about his work. Many conference members stayed after the keynote presentation to participate in various round table discussions.

Saturday morning buses departed for Odessa College and the group enjoyed coffee and pastries and beautiful encaustic paintings by Patty Rooney in her show "Woman in a Moment" at the Wi-Fi Java. More exciting shows at Odessa college included the "TSU Faculty: Brian Row, Neal Wilson, and Eric Weller: Parallel Views" in the LRC/Options Gallery and the North Foyer of Sedate Hall, and a student drawing and photo exhibition in Sedate Hall. TASA attendees freely explored the excellent art facilities in Sedate Hall.


Exhibitions

TASA members were treated to two art exhibitions at Odessa College.  Patty Rooney’s show titled “Woman in a Moment” displayed large scale portraits of women at the Wi-Fi Java coffee shop.  The rich color and texture of each encaustic painting zoomed in to the facial expression of each woman, ranging from confrontational to self-possessed. 

The feature art exhibit (in Sedate Hall, North Foyer and LRC/Options Gallery) was a three person show by Brian Row (drawing), Neal Wilson (painting) and Eric Weller (photography).  In their artists’ statement, the artists pointed out that though there was a difference in style and media, all three of them share the common goal of a personal vision in art – a personal point of view.

Brian Row’s personal vision consists of highly evocative ink drawings that present his personal iconography with precision and manic repetition.   TV’s, clown faces, and doll forms are woven together with vines of intricate lines, sometimes drawn flat on paper, sometimes consuming the relief surfaces of molded hydrocal.  Brian’s work is enchanting and seductive at the same time – there is a playful magic that is witty and provocative.  We zoom into Brian’s black and white wonderland without disappointment, there are even more details to discover up close.

Neal Wilson’s paintings present a rich world of abstract illusion where color, light and texture take on the impression of ambiguous forms.  He works in acrylic on large canvases, and on paper with watercolor and colored pencil.  His large canvases present bold marks that are carved into a rich textural surface, and each nuance of form is heightened with illusionistic shadows and contrasting colors.  The large paintings seem at first very spontaneous and direct, but as you look deeper, there is a deliberate orchestration of light and color.  Neal’s smaller works on paper take us to a deeper world of animated forms that evade recognition yet somehow remind me of ancient battle scenes, one complete with a golden flag waving above a fusion of reflective metal armor and smoke.

Eric Weller’s “Bare Naked Trees” series of rich sepia toned photographs move your eye around with wind and light, like following the vortex of a gentle dust devil.  Tree limbs consume their softly illuminated environments of land and clouds, sometimes in focus and sometimes out.  Eric has an expert eye for capturing the emotional quality of the land – a knack for the sublime, that elusive magic that makes the sway of a tree pull at your heart.

All three artists lead us to wonder and imagine and leave their work open for new interpretations.  As the Brian, Neal and Eric said themselves, “What is implied is often greater that what is shown.”  - Victoria Taylor-Gore


One Cube Foot Exhibition 2007

There were over 15 participating artists in the 2007 TASA One Cube Foot Exhibition in the J. Conrad Dunagan Library Foyer at the University of Texas , Permian Basin . TASA members enjoyed a lunch reception with the show. The juror was the conference keynote speaker, Nathan Orosco. His selection for first place went to Leighton McWilliams from UT-Arlington for his mixed media assemblage titled "Bodyscan/Dice," "Body Dice."

Sanford generously donated the first place prize of a 136 count Prismacolor Pencil set. An Honorable Mention went to Fred Spaulding from UTPA for his bronze sculpture titled "Clay Calling (Bronze)." Another Honorable Mention was awarded to Arthur Polendo for his mixed media piece titled "Hotel California." Sanford also provided assorted pastel sets as the prizes for the Honorable Mentions.


 Prairie Fire Ceramics Exhibition in the Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Gallery at UTPB

Prairie Fire Ceramics Exhibition in the Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Gallery at UTPB

Just before lunch, the group returned to UTPB for a tour of their art facilities including the amazing Stonehenge installation, the UTPB Visual Arts Building, and the Prairie Fire Ceramics Exhibition in the Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Gallery (including artists Jeff Johnston, Keith Ekstam, Kevin W. Hughes, Howard Koerth, and Malcolm E. Kucharski. Then attendees went to the Ellen Noel Art Museum to see the variety of art work in the Joe Diaz Collection.

The tour then shifted to Midland where the TASA Annual business Meeting was held at the Midland College Art Department Allison Fine Arts Building. Midland College hosted an excellent lunch for TASA. After lunch the tour went back to Odessa and at 6 pm TASA members relaxed at the hotel reception before the TASA Annual Banquet. The banquet was great fun, with presentations of various awards and thanks for all that made the conference events possible.

Just before lunch, the group returned to UTPB for a tour of their art facilities including the amazing Stonehenge installation, the UTPB Visual Arts Building, and the Prairie Fire Ceramics Exhibition in the Nancy Fyfe Cardozier Gallery (including artists Jeff Johnston, Keith Ekstam, Kevin W. Hughes, Howard Koerth, and Malcolm E. Kucharski. Then attendees went to the Ellen Noel Art Museum to see the variety of art work in the Joe Diaz Collection.

The tour then shifted to Midland where the TASA Annual business Meeting was held at the Midland College Art Department Allison Fine Arts Building. Midland College hosted an excellent lunch for TASA. After lunch the tour went back to Odessa and at 6 pm TASA members relaxed at the hotel reception before the TASA Annual Banquet. The banquet was great fun, with presentations of various awards and thanks for all that made the conference events possible.


Paul Hanna Lecture: Carol Flueckiger