LCU 60th Anniversary Art Faculty Exhibition

*The author’s opinions are her own (this article satisfies claims of nepotism). Exhibition on view at the Diana Ling Center for Academic Achievement until December 2nd, 2016. Photos courtesy of Ashley Webb.

It’s interesting to see the visual history of a University’s art department in its entirety, even from its seminal stages as community college. That’s what you get at the 60th Anniversary Art Faculty Exhibition at Lubbock Christian University, a full-view of all past and present studio art faculty (and multi-semester adjuncts), packed neatly into two small galleries.

I curated (meaning, gathered work and hung it) the exhibition, and I was pleasantly surprised by the range of work (sketchbooks, assemblages, watercolors), and the progressive visual nature of work made by some of the “old guard”. I wonder how often exhibitions likes these happen that we (the royal we) are not aware of- cloistered away in academic settings, advertised to those already in-the-know. This exhibition keenly captures a body of work that shows the influences of everyone (all 19 of us) who have taught in this department- which, by the way, has gone through many names/degrees/changes, and is currently in its very first semester of a true BFA degree.

Through the process of finding work for people I’ve never heard of, Karen Randolph, who has taught at LCU since 1978, susses out artists, relatives, and old friends, and secures every last one of us. It’s just this kind of tenacity and determination that allows this department to grow: a hard-won testament to not only the donors and administrators that make the arts a priority in higher education, but the instructors and artists who are in the trenches teaching, all while committing to making their work. As I receive work, I learn about the lives and careers of these individuals, and am impressed- a history of studio art at LCU is forthcoming. I’m probably (definitely) biased, but I think this exhibition is worth a look. I'll leave you with an excerpt from The Visual Arts at LCU by Michelle Kraft:

“The visual arts have been a part of Lubbock Christian University’s history since its beginning in 1957. Throughout LCU’s 60-year history, the visual arts have contributed to a vibrant campus community, as well as represented the university within the community, state, and nation. LCU former art students and graduates in art have gone on to teach in universities and in public and private schools and in community arts throughout Texas and the Southwest. They are working as designers in television stations, design firms, and museums. They have garnered state, national, and international recognition for their art, with their work represented in collections and in solo and group exhibitions across the U.S. and the world. LCU art students’ work and scholarship have been accepted to state and national peer-reviewed exhibitions, conferences, and publications. LCU art students have taught over 75 students through community arts instruction initiatives, including learners with special needs. The 2016-2017 academic year, this 60th anniversary year of Lubbock Christian University, saw the implementation of the B.F.A. in Art—a first in LCU history—from which students may choose a concentration in Painting/Drawing, Graphic Design, or All-level Teacher Certification. This exhibition, the 60th anniversary LCU art faculty retrospective showcases the artwork of all 19 full-time and multi-semester part-time faculty in the university’s history—a visual reminder of these professors’ role in bringing the visual arts at LCU to where it is today. The next 60 years will prove equally exciting for LCU art. “

Juanita Tittle-Pollard "Black Birds" (At LCU: 1957-1966)

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