SOA Announces New Scholarship Endowments
by Daniel Horsch
On Saturday, September 15, 2007, the Texas Tech School of Art celebrated its 40th anniversary. School of Art alumni, former and current students, faculty, staff, administration and friends commemorated the life and times of the Art program with the introduction of two new scholarship endowments. One was created to honor Dr. Bill Lockhart, first Chair of the Department of Art. The second was established by the collaborative efforts of alumnus Ken Little in collaboration with the Medici Circle.
While the School of Art celebrates the anniversary, few know the true story behind its founder. Nestled in the heart of the hill country in Junction, Texas, art students have perfected their crafts far from the lights of the Hub City. Lockhart was responsible for creating another division of the School of Art in Junction, as the Director of the School of Art in the early 60’s. Through the years Lockhart drew recognition from people all over the state, the country and even the world.
Lockhart recruited students from all over the country to live and hone their artistic skills among Texas’ most appealing landscapes. Within a few years word spread of the growing success at the campus in Junction which helped recruit artists to study in the Texas Tech system. Ken Dixon, professor emeritus of art and former professor in Junction, Texas, recalls Lockhart’s curious fascination with kites. “Lockhart along with Betty Street, created the international kite symposium,” Dixon said. Dixon said that some of Lockhart’s kites were as big as a car, and that was no exaggeration. “Lockhart brought people from all over the world who took an interest in kites. People from India, Japan, Australia and all over the United States, would come to Junction to design and fly their kites.” Lockhart became an international ambassador for the Texas Tech School of Art as a kite enthusiast, but will be remembered for building the Tech School of Art from the ground up. Forty years later, Lockhart’s influence still draws a significant amount of attention. Due to Lockhart’s wide contact base around the country it took less then six months to secure the funds to establish an endowment, which was no surprise to Dixon. “Usually these things take years. It shows how much people respect Lockhart and all his contributions.”
Ken Little believes that it takes a collective effort to create something useful. “It takes a community to make a decent art world,” Little said. A 1970 alumnus of the BFA program in painting, Little has been an practicing artist and art educator for over twenty five years. Little’s sculptures have been exhibited in many prestigious venues across the country. With a deep professional and scholastic background, Little had always hoped to help art students fulfill their dreams. And that’s exactly what he and a group of others did. “I was very interested in raising money for art students, because art students don’t always have the chance to get scholarships” he says.In a collaborative effort, Little and the Medici Circle, created the Ken Little-Medici Circle Studio Art Scholarship Endowment. In addition to providing a live performance of his alt-country music during the scholarship fundraiser, Little also generously donated one of his sculptures be raffled off to benefit the event.
With the recent addition of these two endowments, the School of Art adds to its growing list of scholarships. Rachel Fullerton, a senior from Lubbock majoring in Studio Art with an emphasis in Jewelry Design and Metalsmithing, said receiving a scholarship has helped her immensely. “The scholarship I received took care of my silver orders and my tuition,” Fullerton said. “As an art major people don’t understand how much money goes into the major.”
Lauren Boldon, a senior from Sugarland majoring in Studio Art with an emphasis in Photography and Sculpture, said that scholarships are especially important for students like her who are going on to graduate school. Boldon said that scholarships that are available to graduate studies are highly sought after. “When it comes to choosing where I want to go to graduate school, the amount of money I will be receiving will greatly affect my decision,” Boldon said. Sitting quietly on the cusp of the next 40 years the School of Art has waited for the right moment, or rather the right person to guide them in the right direction. That’s where Todd DeVriese steps in. Hired in mid-August, DeVriese was brought in as the new Director for the School of Art. Armed with vast experience, DeVriese said that he hopes the new “branding and marketing campaign,” will help generate new recruits.
In the spring DeVriese will spend a lot of time out of the office to promote the development plan, which will seek external support. “Starting in the spring I’m going to be spending a lot more time out in the community, both here in Lubbock and around the state to look for potential donors that would help create new funds for scholarships.” With the development of recent endowments, the School of Art may have gotten just the spark it needs to move forward. Aided with a growing support system and a growing talent base, the art program hopes to become one of most reputable art schools in the State of Texas.