Conference Theme: Crossing Boundaries

Keynote Speaker: Tony L. Chauveaux

Tony L. Chauveaux was named the Deputy Director of The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum in January, 2008. In that role, Mr. Chauveaux is responsible for planning, directing and administering all programs and activities of the library & museum.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library & Museum is a part of the National Archives & Records Administration. It is an educational and cultural institution and community resource whose mission is to preserve, display, and make available the records and materials of Ronald Reagan, the 40th President of the United States.

Prior to his moving to California and the Reagan Library, Mr. Chauveaux served as the Deputy Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC from 2003 until 2007. The NEA is an independent agency of the federal government, and is the nation’s largest annual funder of the arts, bringing great art to all 50 states, including rural areas, inner cities, and military bases.

Before moving to Washington, Mr. Chauveaux’s public service included board membership with Mid-America Arts Alliance, the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies and the Institute of Texan Cultures at The University of Texas at San Antonio. Mr. Chauveaux was appointed to the Texas Commission on the Arts in 1997, was named Chairman of the Commission in 2000 by then-Governor Bush, and served in that capacity until accepting the Arts Endowment post in 2003.
In Texas, Mr. Chauveaux served as president of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas, vice president of the Jefferson Theater for the Performing Arts, vice president of the Symphony of Southeast Texas and president of Friends of the Arts at Lamar University.

Mr. Chauveaux, formerly a corporate attorney with the Beaumont, Texas firm of Crutchfield, DeCordova & Chauveaux, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism and earned his Juris Doctor degree from St. Mary’s University School of Law. He was raised on a ranch in the Texas Panhandle near the town of Claude.

Paul Hanna Lecture: Mari Omori

Beaumont’s 2008 TASA Annual Conference featured Mari Omori as the Paul Hanna Lecturer, and her presentation was “Crossing Boundaries”.  Mari Omori is a Professor of Art at Kingswood College in Kingswood, Texas.  Omori describes herself as a “Japan born visual artist working in multimedia since 1997.

Omori has said: “I examine the boundaries between private and public domains through installation, and how my cultural identity plays a key role in processing information, ultimately allowing how it shapes my work…My interest in examining certain materials and objects in relation to the space in the form of installations has been to cross over these boundaries to discover my authentic self.”

Omori sees boundaries everywhere, but she does not see herself on one side or the other.  Like a hybrid, she feels she is in between the line.  As a visual artist, Omori becomes a moving filter that experiences both sides of a border that is not solid, but breathes with light and space, as her shimmering installations sift light and space from one side to the other.

Many of Omori’s installations are composed of small, repeated parts that are quilted together:  common objects like tea bags that are stained and stitched together to form larger translucent structures that sometimes suggest gateways, sometimes sails, sometimes kimonos, sometimes simple houses.   The use of teabags have a specific association for Omori…reminding her of the tea rituals of Japan – teabags not as discarded remains of a common daily ceremony, but unified pieces of a light filled puzzle that are reassembled into a more poetic whole so that cultural traditions mingle with dream and memory.  Common textures, color, and light quality unify the individual parts of her work.

Some of her large scale installations are collaborative efforts that employ a group of people to create the work, like individual bees working together on behalf of the hive…reflecting the idea that one single entity is linked to a multiplicity and the border between the individual and the community fades.

The repetition involved in the process of Omori’s work, such as sewing individual teabags to form larger structures, requires discipline that allows Omori to escape into a meditative “zone” where she finds a “new place” in her mind, like a dream.  Her poetic, collective structures create a secret place that melts the border between the inside and outside.

You can see more work by Omori at

by Victoria Taylor-Gore

One Cube Foot

Katherine Trotter, Bronie, Encaustic on Wood, 2008 TASA One Cube Foot Exhibition, 2008 Annual TASA Conference, Beaumont, Texas. - Photo by Victoria Taylor-Gore

Katherine Trotter, Bronie, Encaustic on Wood, 2008 TASA One Cube Foot Exhibition, 2008 Annual TASA Conference, Beaumont, Texas. - Photo by Victoria Taylor-Gore

There were 26 participants in the show the TASA One Cube Foot Exhibition 2008 in the Dishman Art Museum, Lamar University, April 4 - 17. The first place award went to Steve Hilton, the second place award went to Gary Washmon, the third place award went to Stephanie Frideres, and honorable metions went to Fred Spaulding, Jene T. Laman, Robbie Barber, and Brian Row. The judges for the One Square Cube Show 2008 were: Lynn P. Castle, Executive Director, and Ray Daniels, Curator, of the Art Museum of Southeast Texas.




Boundaries of Perception

Pre-Conference Newsletter


Featured School and Host: Lamar University

Kurt Dyrhaug (Conference Co-Chair), Greg Reuter (TASA Board Member), and Xenia Fedorchenko (Conference Co-Chair) 2008

Kurt Dyrhaug (Conference Co-Chair), Greg Reuter (TASA Board Member), and Xenia Fedorchenko (Conference Co-Chair) 2008

Conference co-chairs

Kurt Dyrhaug and Xenia Fedorchenko

Host University

Lamar University