One Foot Exhibition at Studio 97w in Fort Worth

Images from 2017 TASA conference, Art Worth in Fort Worth, October 2017

Award winner - Hollis Hammonds


Dave Bown Projects 14th Semiannual Competition: Grand Prize Winner!

Her installation, Domestic Brutality, created for What A Bloody Mess: works by Hollis Hammonds, Jenn Hassin & Claude van Lingen and exhibited at grayDUCK gallery in Austin, TX, was chosen as the grand prize winner for the Dave Bown Projects 14th Semiannual Competition, curated by Alison Hearst, Associate Curator, Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Benjamin Sutton, News Editor, Hyperallergic, Brooklyn; Jodi Throckmorton, Curator of Contemporary Art, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Art.

(Read More<> )

Above: Domestic Brutality, 2017
Acrylic, objects, chalkboard paint & chalk marker , 96" x 144" (243.9 x 365.8 cm)

Call for Paul Hanna Lecture Proposals

The Paul Hanna Lecture exists to provide a forum through which a selected studio artist can make a presentation at the annual TASA conference. The lecture may include PowerPoint prefer and other visual aids. An honorarium will be awarded. A TASA committee will review proposals. Notices of acceptance and rejection will be sent. Non-members who teach art in Texas colleges and universities may qualify for submission of a proposal by simply joining TASA (individual membership).

Call for Paul Hanna Lecture Proposals Form (PDF)

Deadline for submissions is AUGUST 27, 2017


The Importance of Art

It’s a sad truth most artists must reconcile at some point in their creative lives: the role of the arts is constantly being questioned. Some people question whether the arts are necessary or justified, most often when the subject has to do with funding arts curricula. For others, there is no debating the belief that the arts have never been more important to our society and should be fully integrated into our lives, our community and education in general.

First, art is the barometer that measures levels of cultural sophistication. Throughout human existence, we have learned about cultural accomplishments from the cultural artifacts left behind. Many of these artifacts have left behind permanent marks on the planet. Consider the construction of Stonehenge, the Greek Parthenon, the Roman Colosseum, the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, gothic cathedrals, St. Peter’s Basilica, Meso-American pyramids, the Taj Mahal and even, the Statue of Liberty. Each of these iconic structures also is a piece of art that communicates important messages about the time, place and context in which the structure was created.

In addition to providing commentary about the larger culture, art makes life more manageable, tolerable and enjoyable. One may not think about more utilitarian items and places as “art,” but they do contribute to one’s aesthetic experience. Think about the iPhone, the Fort Worth Water Gardens, Call of Duty: Black Ops, floor rugs, royal processions, Gucci’s Spring line, Versace furniture, Ducati motorcycles, Land Rovers, Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia, Calvin Klein, Calatrava bridges, sunglasses, military uniforms, Star Wars, Rolling Stone Magazine covers and the Transformers. Now, remove any element founded in creativity, art and design, and all that remains are piles of materials that require human imagination and visual thinking.

Art forces humans to look beyond that which is necessary to survive and leads people to create for the sake of expression and meaning.

Our own city, Fort Worth, is home to three world-renowned museums: The Amon Carter Museum of American Art, The Kimbell Art Museum and the Modern Art Museum. This city’s moniker of “Cowboys and Culture” is apt—a merging of Fort Worth’s rich western history as equally shaped by cowboys, expansive ranches, the Chisolm Trail AND important fine art institutions. It is the cultural arts that elevate our city onto the international stage.

Art can communicate information, shape our everyday lives, make a social statement and be enjoyed for aesthetic beauty. Tarrant County College reinforces Fort Worth’s rich culture. Each campus offers a variety of fine art experiences for students of all majors to attend and become inspired. These opportunities include theater performances, music concerts, dance performances and visual art gallery exhibitions. Trinity River Campus is even home to a large techno-centric art collection. These free resources represent an extension of the classroom and can be utilized and appreciated by the entire community.

In an informal conversation with Scott Robinson, dean of humanities at the Trinity River Campus, several Design I students were discussing the importance of art and why it is necessary in an academic environment. Through much discussion and some arguing, the group concluded that the arts are necessary to give meaning to things. The sciences provide the facts and information that give order to our world and are at the vanguard of innovation and human achievement. For example, science can teach us about the life cycle of organisms. It explains why organisms age, it provides the ability to prolong life through medicine and it gives an insight into the workings of death and decay.

On the other hand, art can give meaning to the concept of death. Egyptians mummified individuals and laid them to rest in magnificent tombs, while present-day humans place loved ones in the ground (or in mausoleums) and decorate that resting place with plaques, memorials and flowers. El Dia de los Muertos celebrates the passing of loved ones and remembers them through visitations, offerings and the belief that their souls remain near. These cultural practices, combined with our scientific understanding, allow us to process life and death more holistically.

The focus on Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) is one of the current buzzworthy initiatives in academia. The acronym can easily be transformed into STEAM by the inclusion of art into the formula. Art should be included and the focus should change. The exclusion of the arts is a disservice to the world’s youth. A popular bumper sticker asserts that “Earth” without “art” is just “Eh,” a desolate and meaningless place. We can do better than that. We must. Art is the key.

-Angel E. Fernandez, Tarrant County College, Fort Worth


TASA Conference Kick Off

The TASA conference kicked off with a reception at the Museum of the Big Bend on Sul Ross Campus. Finger foods, wine and “locally produced beer” donated by the Big Bend Brewing co. was served and the museum curatorial staff mingled with the group.  The exhibit “Big Bend Legacy” greeted TASA members as they entered the Museum of the Big Bend. The “Big Bend Legacy” is housed in the main part of the museum displays the distinctive natural history, human history and confluence of cultures in the Big Bend region. Beginning with the Native Americans, who inhabited the area for thousands of years before the arrival of the Europeans, the Spanish, through their system of missions and presidios, imprinted their customs on the region only to be replaced by the nation of Mexico. and the westward expansion of the United States brought a unique culture to the Big Bend.  In the Main Gallery of the Museum was the Ken Ratner Western Art Collection, A Feeling of Humanity, an exhibition features 70 works by both contemporary artists along with works by early 20th century painters. The reception ran from 5:30 – 7:30 and was followed by a relaxed party at the Studio of Carol Fairlie, in downtown Alpine.

Highlights from Chinati Weekend Marfa Gallery Tour

Kruger Gallery
Artist: Rodrigo Lara Zendejas

Inspired by the Xin Dynasty terra cotta warriors and motivated by the threat of presidential nominee Donald Trump’s proposed wall, Lara constructed a life-size army of ceramic mariachi warriors bearing the likeness of immigrants who have crossed the border by foot. The Xoloitzcuintli, a sacred dog of the Aztecs, protects the double-faced soldiers, who are facing toward a new life yet simultaneously looking back to their homeland.  This exhibition was created specifically for Marfa where the majority of boarder patrol agents call home.

A  miniature modern day Xoloitzcuintli

Marfa Ballroom is featuring AFI which is an international collaboration organized by Whitechapel Gallery, London, that showcases emerging artists working in video and animation.

The Ballroom has supported the production of Ditherer, a newly commissioned virtual reality experience from the Institute. This project will use a HTC Vive VR headset to transport users into an infinite warehouse that features an assortment of products for sale and anticipates surreal, near-future shopping. IfNf is working with 3D artist Gary Tyler to create an experience that is both a commercial trap and an escapist fantasy. This installation will be hosted alongside the IfNf (newly-commissioned work from artist collective the Institute for New Feeling) video, objects from the Institute’s product line, and the other AFI 2016 international selections.

TASA member, Lisa Ehrich, Brookhaven College at Marfa Ballroom

Out and About

West, Far West: Lubbock / Marfa

This wonderful show in a very raw space showed off a collaborative spirit and great innovation with Texas Tech students, faculty and alumni

Hotel Paisano Atrium Gallery

Time Ghost

Eugene Binder Gallery: Frozen Territory

These magnificent paintings are reminiscent of Barnett Newman, Josef Albers and Ellsworth Kelly dashed with inventive minimalistic compositions and forms marked with vibrant red orange. Kremer, born 1971, is interested in a term “Art Scrub”, a photoshop technique where you can erase an image within the space. His paintings are magnificently aware of both the negative space within the paintings and how the paintings collectively work with each other and the gallery space. A powerful visual sensation is the result of this precision.

He was the founder of the ILYB (I Love you Baby) artist collective in Houston and owned two design studios called the Speared Peanut and Oilpan (currently).


Painter Paul Kremer: Paintings are acrylic on canvas

Mary Shaffer Studios
Glass and sculptural objects

These sculptural objects were spectacularly ethereal.

The Wrong Store and Gallery

Owned by artists Buck Johnson and Camp Bosworth
Unusual art objects and gallery artists

Hand carved door and gallery attached to the oldest cathedral in Marfa

Big Bend Museum at Sul Ross University

One Foot Exhibition

Gallery Greasewood, Hotel Paisano

Juror: Ellie Meyer holds Texas K-12 art teacher certification and BFA, MA and MBA degrees.  She taught business, art and art history courses at the University level as well as art to elementary and junior/senior high school students for 15+ years. Meyer has been active in fund-raising, development, and program planning in the non-profit sector serving on the Board of Directors of several and Executive Director of not-for-profit organizations in both New York City and Marfa, Texas where she currently lives.  Prior to becoming Director of Akira Ikeda Gallery in NYC 1993-95 she worked for artist Donald Judd for eight years.  She joined the Judd Foundation in September 2015 as Catalogue Raisonné Research Manager. 

 Juror: Ellie Meyer

Juror: Ellie Meyer

Core Curriculum Panel Discussion - TASA 2016

Panelists: Mark Greenwalt, College of the Mainland; Rebecca Dietz, San Antonio College; Amorette Garza, Del Mar College; Lisa Ehrich, Brookhaven College/DCCCD

  • During this session the following topics were discussed:
  • Current status of art education in the general education core curriculum
  • TASA’s initiative to develop 3 new courses for the core
  • THECB’s intent (via the ACGM) to delete 7 second - semester sophomore level studios
  • The DCCCD’s Art Curriculum Committee update on their appeal to removal of these courses
  • TASA’s efforts to support the appeal and strategies moving forward

CORE Issues

As we know, the 2014 Core eliminated studio art classes from the options of classes students could take. Although a few Community Colleges were initially successful in their efforts to restore some of the studio classes, recently, the THECB rejected these studio classes (again) from the Core because they have determined “while the activities themselves are important, the courses do not fulfill the purpose of the Texas Core Curriculum.”

Most art faculty understand and agree that there is great value in meeting the goals of the core objectives in the “Creative Arts” category through courses in the studio arts. TASA is, therefore, investigating the possibility of developing 3 new Art Appreciation courses that unite appreciation content with studio media. Preliminary communication with the THECB is underway to clear the path for this proposal.

TASA Proposal: Appoint a curriculum committee to review, edit and/or develop current course learning outcomes for the existing ARTS 1325, Drawing and Painting for non-majors to include and require the traditional lecture based content an analysis found in art appreciation and art history courses. The curriculum committee would also develop the course description and course learning outcomes for two new art courses (Ceramics and Sculpture for non-majors and Digital Art and Photography for non-art majors) to require the traditional lecture based content and analysis found in art appreciation and art history courses. All of these courses proposals would then be sent to the Undergraduate Education Advisory Committee (UEAC) for discussion edits and approval.

Other ideas were discussed as:

  • Utilizing ARTS 1313 Foundations in Art (for non-art majors) as a Core class
  • Developing a 3000 level portfolio class that Community Colleges could teach for those students preparing to transfer

ACGM issues

Last fall 2015, most of us returned from the summer break only to find out that the THECB had posted seven studio courses that were scheduled for deletion from the course inventory of Texas Community Colleges for Spring 2017.

ARTS 2324Life Drawing II               ARTS 2349Digital Art II

ARTS 2327Sculpture II                       ARTS 2367Watercolor II

ARTS 2334Printmaking II                  ARTS 2336Fiber Arts II

ARTS 2342Art Metals II

The two-year gap between the announcement and the deletion was, according to the Academic Course Guide Manual (ACGM) Advisory Committee, intended to give colleges a chance to respond, appeal, and/or make adjustments to their schedules. Realizing the negative consequences of such actions, the Dallas County Community College District (DCCCD) Art Curriculum Committee decided to follow the appeal process outlined by the ACGM.

Summary and timeline of the DCCCD actions:

September 2015 –DCCCD Curriculum Committee begins work following the ACGM guidelines.

March 2016 - DCCCD Curriculum Committee submits the appeal to the ACGM.

April 2016 – ACGM representative, Rebecca Leslie, responds that the appeal is incomplete and will require additional information, but fails to be specific.

August 2016 – Rebecca Leslie notifies DCCCD Curriculum Committee that they have posted a new form (in February ’16 without informing anyone) need to resubmit using the new form.

October 2016 – Conference call with Rebecca Leslie and DCCCD Art Curriculum co-chairs clarifying the necessary additional information.

November 17, 2016 – DCCCD reps plan to attend the ACGM Advisory Committee fall public meeting in Austin.

December 2016 – DCCCD Art Curriculum Committee intend to resubmit the appeal on the new forms.

May 3, 2017 – DCCCD reps plan to attend the ACGM Advisory Committee spring public meeting in Austin.

In short, the new form requests not only the letters of support from at least 5 state universities that they will receive each of these courses as transferable credit, but also evidence that these courses specifically fit into a degree plan. Additionally, they want this information signed by the Chair or Dean of the Art Department and the Provost or Chief Academic Officer of that university.

The rational for these course deletions, according to Rebecca Leslie, is to facilitate students transferring as quickly as possible to the university and not waste time taking extra classes at the community colleges. When asked about the impact on students who may only get an Associates Degree as a terminal degree, or students transferring to private universities, or students who are in articulations that require these classes, or students who need more preparation prior to transferring, or NASAD standards, she was disinterested. She stated that the ACGM Advisory Committee is only concerned with issues that impact the transfer curriculum.

TASA support:

  • Carol Fairlie, TASA president wrote a letter of support for the 1st appeal submission.
  • TASA representatives plan to attend fall and spring ACGM Advisory Meetings.
  • 2 and 4 year institutions will work together on articulations or 2 + 2 agreements.
  • Universities will help facilitate completion of new forms.
  • Other community colleges will launch the appeal process.

DCCCD appeal documents:

Curriculum Letter Nov 1, 2016
Texas 60x30 talking points
Brookhaven Sculpture II Syllabus 
Texas Tech Sculpture II Syllabus    


The Lost Colony: 1921-1950 - Texas Regionalist Paintings

In the early part of October 2016 at the T.A.S.A. Conference, I attended a lecture by Mary Bones the Curator & Collection Manager, Museum of the Big Bend. She dives right into a part of Texas Art/Artist history I was unaware of. I found this talk to be informative and leaving me with more questions than answers. Such as are there more Lost Colonies of artist and creators still not being talked about in Texas or am I just unaware of Texas based Art history and its contributors.? This lecture sparks the imagination and makes one wonder if on some level it was easier to be an artist in an earlier time. I am attaching a link to a shortened version of this talk. I think you will find it interesting and that it will spark your curiosity about Texas and Texas artist.

 The Lost Colony


Digital Sketching with Elizabeth A. Yarosz-Ash

By Joe Peña, Assistant Professor of Art, Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi

Elizabeth A. Yarosz-Ash, Professor of Art and 1991 Hardin Foundation Distinguished Professor at the Juanita and Ralph Harvey School of Visual Arts at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, TX.

An established and prolific artist in her own right, Yarosz-Ash presented an intriguing seminar on Digital Sketching in the drawing classroom using iPads and sketching software in lieu of traditional materials.

Beginning with an introduction on examples of digital drawings created by the artist David Hockney on his iPhone, Yarosz-Ash then discussed how she organized and presented her concept for the course to the administration, subsequently receiving funding to continue.  She then proceeded to explain how she planned the course following a similar structure of a traditional drawing class and included examples of student work before the use of the new media.  She then discussed the various software apps she experimented with, including Brushes, Redux, Zen Brush, and Adobe Photoshop Sketch, as well as multiple touchscreen tools including the iPencil and the Sensu Brush with those I have mentioned as being successful for the purpose of the class.

Yarosz-Ash further explained the numerous strengths in the use of the iPads as opposed to traditional media which included students’ incentive to take risk considering the ease of erasing unwanted areas of the drawing, and then reverting to the previous drawing after deletion, as well as the ability of some of the sketch programs to record the progression of a drawing and replaying them in front of the classroom during critiques.  A handy tool indeed considering we only see the final work from most assignments. 

Yarosz-Ash then discussed the initial difficulties of enlarging the digital drawings with resulting pixilation but that the use of the software Blow Up by the company Alien Skin allows images to be increased for printing while retaining high resolution. She also spoke about which paper was best suited for printing the digital drawings on (Strathmore Printmaking Paper – 189 lb., followed by Strathmore Drawing Paper- 80 lb.)  and the preparation of the paper using digital ground medium and acrylic gesso.

Lastly, Yarosz-Ash showcased the resulting student drawings both on screen and on a table (printed and framed) after the intensive course which were impressive to say the least. She continued by stating that she invited an artist to serve as a juror to place the drawings who was not aware of their digital origins and expressing disbelief after the judging.

I would like to extend my congratulations to Mrs. Elizabeth Yarosz-Ash on a successful course experimentation (and presentation), having attempted to run a similar project in my painting courses to no avail due to funding. However I do question the necessity of fooling the invited juror as a means of validifying the use of the new media.  Perhaps it wasn’t her intent to downplay that they were digital drawings or perhaps I misinterpreted, but personally I feel digitally created work has earned the right to stand alone on its own merit especially with the amount of stunning work being created in this day and age.

Texas Rock Art and Education

TASA Conference 2016 Review:

Texas Rock Art and Education, Andrew Tegarden, University of Arizona

 Watercolor by Forrest Kirkland, 1934, depicting pictographs along stratified limestone layers at Paint Rock, Concho County, Texas, 41CC1 (Kirkland &amp; Newcomb, 1996, plate 104, courtesy of Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin, TMM 2261-103).

Watercolor by Forrest Kirkland, 1934, depicting pictographs along stratified limestone layers at Paint Rock, Concho County, Texas, 41CC1 (Kirkland & Newcomb, 1996, plate 104, courtesy of Texas Archeological Research Laboratory, The University of Texas at Austin, TMM 2261-103).

Author Note

Andrew Tegarden, Department of Art and Visual Culture Education, University of Arizona, Tucson.

Andrew Tegarden has taught with various schools and programs in New Mexico and Texas, including at Sul Ross State University, teaching art history, art appreciation, and art education.  He is currently working on a Ph.D. at the University of Arizona in art education.  Rock art is a major topic of research for him, both art historically and in terms of its prospects for students.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Andrew Tegarden, 2865 E. Sylvia St., Tucson, AZ85716.  Contact:

TASA Conference 2016 Review:  Texas Rock Art and Education

The attendees had to do a fair amount of driving to get to Alpine, Texas, but the annual TASA conference this year hosted by Sul Ross State University was an exciting one.  Along with the art administration-specific discussions and TASA work sessions, there were workshops on digital sketching and glass fusing, as well as a large dose of art history presentations and tours.  Art history talks filled a large portion of the Friday sessions, and the TASA conference included bus tours to the Chinati Foundation Open House and the rest of Marfa, where artist Donald Judd kept a residence and established permanent installations.  The conference was a chance to take stock of a wide range of contemporary, historic, and ancient art in far-west Texas. 

On the ancient end of things, I presented on Texas rock art and its educational opportunities.  It stands to reason that where there’s rock—canyons, boulders, and geologic outcrops—there’s rock art, and the western half of the state has a lot of both.  The rock art in Texas, like Texas itself, is unique and convoluted.  The first half of my presentation focused on a short survey of rock art regions in Texas and publicly accessible rock art sites.  Hueco Tanks State Park, Big Bend National Park, Seminole Canyon State Park, Paint Rock in Central Texas (privately owned but accessible by special permission), and Palo Duro Canyon State Park all have rock art sites that can be visited by school groups.

The second half of the presentation focused more specifically on educational approaches.  Most of the audience was studio professors, and I thought it would be useful to talk about how rock art was made.  It’s basically taboo to make rock art today, except maybe for graffiti artists, but it’s interesting how rock art can represent a do-it-yourself process and aesthetic.  We looked at how rock art was applied and how brushes, pigments, and binders were made prehistorically (see Wright, 2016, and Malotki, 2007).  I’ve always been intrigued by rock art because it creates a direct connection for the artist between the materials and the art.  The ‘making’ is pure, and for us today, it’s an example of a stark alternative to buying supplies and selling art as a commodity. 

The presentation also brought up various art education pedagogies that can be employed by educators, either in lecture format or during field trips.  I emphasized place-based, environment- and community-engaged, and post-colonial education.  Place-based education is grounded in the resources, issues, and values of the local community and environment, and uses place and geography as integrating contexts (see Powers, 2004, and Coutts & Jokela, 2008).  Ecological and social thinking are activated together in place-based education.  Fieldtrips are opportunities to get different places and different voices involved in education.  I’ve seen rock art site visits become transformative experiences for students in part because it gets them out of the classroom and studio, out of the urban environment, and into different terrains.

We also talked about a more difficult set of issues related to Texas rock art, like colonialism, cross-cultural conflict, land rights, and heritage.  This range of socially-important issues can be put into a unique focus with rock art, and post-colonial pedagogy offers practical ways of dealing with it.  One way to do this is to bring in voices in equitable ways from the Native American, Mexican-American, and rancher communities—all people involved with the heritage of rock art sites.  It’s a way to counter-balance viewpoints so no single worldview dominates.  This is important because it acknowledges that colonial mindsets still exist, and the colonial hold on knowledge still needs loosening (Sefa Dei & Doyle-Wood, 2006).  Another acknowledgment is that archaeological research and education can sometimes be exploitive of cultural resources.  The aim of post-colonial education is to offer a critical look that helps to give the discussion depth.  Other methods include talking about instances of resistance (like Comanche raids against the Spanish, or Apache hold-outs in the Big Bend), Native American diaspora and the history of the border and immigration, and cultural hybridity (like Indian cowboys, buffalo soldiers, and Christianity in Native American communities) (Kanu, 2006, Kincheloe, 2006, and Sefa Dei & Doyle-Wood, 2006).  Rock art in Texas offers a visual and place-based context for all of this. 

The talk generated a good audience discussion at the end.  It was one of the earliest presentations on the docket the morning after everyone’s long trip out to Alpine, so I think the coffee must have helped the discussion along.  It makes me think that we should have pots of coffee at every early class we teach, especially if it involves art history.  As an aside, included here is a short list of rock art research institutions in Texas.  If you or any of your students are interested, these are good places to go to get involved or learn more…besides the rock art sites themselves, of course.

Institutions in Texas that Research Rock Art:

Center for Big Bend Studies, Sul Ross State University, Alpine, Texas

Sul Ross State University Fine Arts and Communication Department, Alpine, Texas

Shumla Archaeological Research and Education Center, Comstock, Texas

Rock Art Foundation, San Antonio, Texas

Regional and county archeological societies


Coutts, G., & Jokela, T. (2008). Art, Community and Environment:  Educational Perspectives. Bristol and Chicago: Intellect Books, The Mill, Parnall Road, Fishponds, The University of Chicago Press.

Kanu, Y. (2006). Reappropriating Traditions in Postcolonial Curricular Imagination. In Y. Kanu (Ed.), Curriculum as Cultural Practice:  Postcolonial Imaginations (pp. 203–222). Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press.

Kincheloe, J. L. (2006). Critical Ontology and Indigenous Ways of Being:  Forging a Postcolonial Curriculum. In Curriculum as Cultural Practice:  Postcolonial Imaginations (pp. 181–202). Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press.

Kirkland, F., & Newcomb, Jr., W. W. (1996). The Rock Art of Texas Indians (1996 reissue). Austin: University of Texas Press.

Malotki, E. (2007). The Rock Art of Arizona. Walnut, CA: Kiva Publishing.

Powers, A. (2004). An evaluation of four place-based education programs. Journal of Environmental Education, 35(4), 17–32.

Sefa Dei, G. J., & Doyle-Wood, S. (2006). Is We Who Haffi Ride Di Staam:  Critical Knowledge/Multiple Knowings - Possibilities, Challenges, and Resistance in Curriculum/Cultural Contexts. In Y. Kanu (Ed.), Curriculum as Cultural Practice:  Postcolonial Imaginations (pp. 151–180). Toronto, Buffalo, and London: University of Toronto Press.

Wright, A. M. (2016). How Did People Make Rock Art. Archaeology Southwest Magazine, 30(2), 12.

Art Under Attack: The Creative Arts in U.S. Higher Education

May, 2016 - Richard Lubben, TASA President Elect & CAA Education Committee Chair

With the implementation of the new Texas higher education core curriculum in the fall 2014 semester, most studio and performing art courses are no longer optionsfor many college students wishing to fulfill their undergraduate general education creative arts area. With the exception of two colleges, students in Texas public institutions are now generally required to select from a very limited list of purely lecture courses such as art appreciation, art history or music appreciation. This decision by state policy makers took most Texas college art departments by surprise when requests to include studio art courses in the general education area were denied in 2014, and again for the last two years. As Texas colleges and universities are busy preparing for continued declines in studio enrollment after new requests to include studio art courses in the 2016-­‐17 core curriculum area were denied once again, many art faculty remain concerned about the future of the arts in U.S. colleges and universities.  

After substantial discussion with art administrators and curriculum specialist in Texas over the last three years, it appears that many policy makers believe that the sole purpose of a studio art course (courses such as painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, etc.) is to train students to be practicing artists, and that students taking a studio art course will only learn "craft" techniques and technical skills. The College Art Association Education Committee and the Texas Association of Schools of Art disagree with this likely uninformed interpretation of the purpose of studio art education, and urge policy makers to understand that studio art classes should not be mistakenly perceived as the acquiring of narrow skills, techniques or procedure specific to a particular occupation or profession. In my experience, undergraduate studio art courses are intellectual courses that are not primarily focused to train students to become practicing artists, just as English composition is not intended to train students to become professional writers. Cognitive skills, particularly critical thinking, innovation, and problem solving are developed and reinforced in studio art courses and help students toward their goal of being successful, productive and gainfully employed citizens regardless of their field of study in college, or in their chosen career. 

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TASA Remembers TASA Co-Founder and Past President Denny Fraze

TASA Remembers TASA Co-Founder and Past President Denny Fraze

Denny Turner Fraze, 75, of Amarillo died October 31, at home. Denny Fraze was one of the three founding members of TASA. Denny served as the co-chair of the Core Curriculum Committee and as President of TASA in two different terms twenty years apart, hosting two of TASA’s state conventions in Amarillo. Amarillo College hired Denny to teach art courses in 1965. Two years later, he was named Professor of Art and Chairman of the Art Department. Read more from Denny's obituary...

In Denny's honor, Denny's friends and colleagues share their remembrances of him below.

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Report on TASA Meeting with the THECB on February 6, 2015

Here is the report (Word file and PDF file) of the meeting (Feb. 6, 2015) between Carol Fairlie, President of TASA and Richard Lubben (TASA Board Member) with Dr. Rex Peebles, Assistant Commissioner of THECB. It is an effective start with assertive and meaningful communication with THECB. But there is still work to be done and TASA is on it.

Master Syllabi - five master syllabi for the art studio classes that were approved by the THECB for the creative arts core area at South Texas College this fall:
ARTS2356 Master Syllabus (Microsoft Word file) ARTS2356 Master Syllabus (PDF file)
ARTS2348 Master Syllabus (Microsoft Word file) ARTS2348 Master Syllabus (PDF file)
ARTS2346 Master Syllabus (Microsoft Word file) ARTS2346 Master Syllabus (PDF file)
ARTS1316 Master Syllabus (Microsoft Word file) ARTS1316 Master Syllabus (PDF file)
ARTS1311 Master Syllabus (Microsoft Word file) ARTS1311 Master Syllabus (PDF file)

TASA thanks Carol Fairlie and Richard Lubben for their outstanding work. If you wish to extend your thanks and encouragement directly to Carol and Richard, please send your emails to and !

Creative Arts Core Component Area and Studio Art Courses

November 1, 2014

Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board

Subject: Creative Arts Core Component Area and Studio Art Courses

As a state non-profit organization created in 1970 at the request of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, TASA (Texas Association of Schools of Art) continues to support a growing membership of 60 Texas higher education institutions in matters of art curriculum and transfer credits. This year, TASA has taken the initiative to address the new developments regarding studio art courses and the new general education core. Prior to our recent 44th annual conference, our association sent out and gathered data from Texas art faculty and department chairs using a specialized survey about the core and studio classes. During the conference the headlining topic and discussion was about the removal of studio art classes from the core curriculum and the resulting immediate and long-term effects to students and colleges. TASA urges the THECB to consider the following supporting information regarding studio art courses when reviewing new core inclusion proposals for the creative arts core component area.

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TASA Newsletter - 2013 Houston Recap

At the Crossroads of Globalization and Pluralism: The 21st Century Artist

By Jerry E. Smith, Collin College

Beyond merely being a documentary of my own recent installation, I seek to present the new perception of Globalization and Pluralism. I examine my own work, as well as trends of Shepard Fairey, Brandon Bird and Gary Basemen, who all break down barriers between “high” and “low” art, commercialism, illustration, and fine art. For them, museum oil paintings exist as equals to toy figurines or self published greeting cards.

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Remembering Our Long Time TASA Colleague Darold Dean Smith

Darold Dean Smith: 1942-2013

TASA member, friend, and colleague Darold Dean Smith, 71, of Canyon died Saturday, November 23, 2013. Darold served on the TASA Board from 1991-1997 and served as TASA Recorder on the Board from 1993-1997. Darold faithfully attended TASA conferences for many years to reconnect with old friends and colleagues.

Darold was born Oct. 24, 1942, in Council Grove, Kan., to Alvis and Doris Smith. He served his country honorably in the Army Special Forces as a Green Beret. He married Janet K. Harms in 1963. In 1970, Darold joined the faculty at West Texas A&M University as a professor of art, retiring in 2008 after 38 dedicated years. Survivors include two daughters, Heather Johnson and husband Mike of Canyon and Dawn Tangri and husband David Groneck of Orlando, Fla.; and six grandchildren. His obituary is here .

Creative Arts Core Component Area and Studio Art Courses

The below link is to Amarillo College’s 2013 core submissions and can be used as an example for your upcoming core proposals.  (Check with your institutional Curriculum Office for deadlines to the THECB.  South Texas College has a Nov. 15 deadline so it is coming up very soon.)  As you know, Amarillo College was the only institution that had studio courses accepted into the core by the THECB last year.  Please notice the use of key words and the amount of detail that seems to be required for an acceptable application.  To increase your chances for a successful application include an explanation of how each of the four core objectives will be covered and assessed and how each course fulfills the core objectives using a grading rubric.  We are no longer using Exemplarily Educational Objectives (EEO’s) so those along with the ACGM page number can be omitted from the application.  You should use the new CLO’s and course descriptions listed on the ACGM link below.  Lastly, please also find a letter of support from the TASA Board (link below) that you can print and include with your core inclusion requests when submitting through your college’s Curriculum Office in November.  We hope it will help explain how studio courses do belong in the Creative Arts Core Component Area.

Amarillo College Core Submissions:

Downloadable grading rubrics for core objectives and team member critique sheet.  Click on the “Competencies and Rubrics” link to download the general rubric form and modify for your department if needed.

ACGM Lower Division Academic Course Guide Manual:
Select “Studio Art & Art History” in the discipline areas and then click on “run”

Notice that several courses have revised course descriptions and Course Learning Outcomes (CLO’s).  Your Fall 2015 Master Syllabi should be updated with this new information when submitting your core inclusion justifications.  The staff member reviewing your core justifications will likely review your Master Syllabi when making his or her decision regarding approve or denial to the core.

TASA Letter to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board
Subject: Creative Arts Core Component Area and Studio Art Courses
PDF file
Microsoft Word Document

TASA Core Survey Results (three survey summaries) -

Richard Lubben
Board Member (2011-2017) 
South Texas College
Art Dept., 3201 W. Pecan Blvd.
McAllen, TX 78501