South Plains College has hired a new foundations instructor, Chris Adams. Here’s the scoop!
Bowerbird (BB): You’re a Texas Tech (TTU) alumnus, what have you been up to post graduation?
Chris (C): The post-graduation ride has been interesting. I was fortunate to have been offered the opportunity to help Future Akins and Ed Check in Visual Studies for the semester after I graduated. I had the pleasure of working with some really fantastic artists and educators. I then spent a rather colorful year teaching 8th & 9th graders art at Crockett Junior High in Odessa, Texas.
It was an eye opening experience. No amount of training, education classes, or seminars can prepare you for the tragic emails about students being arrested (etc.) and how that will impact you. One of the hardest hitting experiences involved a wonderfully talented student who dropped out to take on a job and raise her son. It was junior high. Crazy. Still, I worked with some awesome people and had some of the most wonderful students I could have asked for. I might have stayed at it were Odessa more hospitable, but when my wife’s car was stolen we began looking around for something else. We landed in San Antonio where I began working for Sanford-Brown College teaching Art History. No, really…Art History. It’s actually been really great!
Okay, as an adjunct, the pay hasn’t been great, but the experience has been pretty fantastic. Most of my students have zero background in art, so it’s been wonderful to join them at the beginning of their journey. Somewhere in all of that I’ve actually been pursuing my art. I found myself visiting previously abandoned themes through my post-graduate, more experienced eyes. It turns out that some of those old dinosaurs have maintained themselves pretty well! I haven’t been able to do a lot of printmaking, but I have been experimenting with photography and good, old-fashioned drawing. I was briefly a member of the Clamp Light Gallery & Artist Studios here in San Antonio, and participated in both a group Clamp Light show and a solo exhibition entitled #dinogram. Now, it’s back to the Panhandle for a bit as I begin life at South Plains College.
BB: Are you excited to return to the Panhandle?
C: I am. I have a new and great job opportunity there, one I’ve wanted for a long time. I also have friends (in the Panhandle), and there’s a thriving art community to get involved with in Lubbock. West Texas is my home. I seem to never stay away for too long. I have family in both Lubbock and Midland/Odessa. I’ll be doing a lot of back and forth travel between the two places. It will be very nice to be close to my parents again (and they no doubt will be thrilled, too). I can’t say I’m thrilled about revisiting the constant wind and all the dust, but I really, truly do miss the big Panhandle storms! I just love those things!
BB: What are your plans for your new position at SPC?
C: First of all, I plan to enjoy the heck out of it! It’s not every job where you meet your coworkers and cannot wait to start working alongside them. I look forward to meeting the students–I get to meet them during a very exciting time in their lives. They will be at the very beginnings of their collegiate journeys. I want to keep them excited about art! I look forward to helping them develop their skills and opening them up to new possibilities.
I’ll be a Foundations instructor. I’ll teach Design or Drawing, depending on what the department needs, and Art Appreciation. Having taught Art History for a year, I’m really looking forward to Art Appreciation. The way the credits and requirements break down now, I believe Drawing and Design have been closed to non-majors simply needing to fulfill fine art credits. Art Appreciation is where they’re throwing everybody into (now). It’s my job to inform and help my students understand the basics while introducing them to the idea that art is all around them. The majors will likely be onboard already and I want to keep them excited. It’s my sincere hope, however, to convert some of the non-believers to the cause! I plan on having a very good time and making sure everyone is enjoying the ride.
BB: Will you share some of the artwork you made, post-grad, with us?
This article originally appeared on The Bowerbird, Hannah Dean’s art blog in Lubbock, TX.