Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Visiting Artist in the "Flint Plains" at Kansas State University

Only now am I coming down from my experience as a visiting artist at Kansas State University last week! What a wonderful time I had with the students from the art department. During my presentation there were students from the sculpture, painting, ceramic, and also drawings departments.

I detailed the course of my career with slides from the past 40 years of work, highlighting the epiphanies that altered the direction of my work each time, including my encounter with one of Mark di Suvero's sculptures, my apprenticeship with English millwright Jim Davies, and a symposium in the Republic of Georgia. As I listened to myself talk, I was excited to think of the vast opportunities that are available to students today.

My friend, Dan Hunt, the department head in sculpture, took extremely good care of me while at Kansas State. As we walked the campus I couldn't help but be very impressed with the architecture and building materials. It seems as if the entire campus has been constructed of indigenous limestone from the plains. It was wonderful! Dan also told me of some of the history of area. He said that at one time this land supported the largest buffalo herd in the world. It as also home to many Indian tribes, as evidenced from Dan's massive collection of arrowheads and ancient stone tools that he often discovers in his walks in the area. The geography of this region lent itself to flint and dense field stones that were perfect for making both agricultural tools as well as hunting tips for spears and arrows, and thus the name "flint plains".

All in all it was a fantastic week! The students gave as much energy as they took. I feel energized and am very happy to be back home and working again in the studio.

These are some of the buildings on KState's campus, including a new museum!

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