Texas Tech University

Art Making Links:
Collaborative Projects at School of Art

Faculty research trajectories often include intense explorations on topics developed over many years. We regularly engage in interdisciplinary research that integrates with diverse fields such as medicine, engineering, ecology, etc. Below are some recent collaborative projects that art faculty have facilitated.

Art, Environment & Sustainability

Brooke Tuma - Elsewhere
Photography graduate student Brooke Tuma during the Summer 2022 Elsewhere Residency Program.
Photo Credit: Brenda Lanphear

Art, Environment, Sustainability, is a June residency at Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, CO, lead by Carol Flueckiger, Associate Professor of Art. The residency  welcomes Art students from Texas Tech University and Environment and Sustainability students from Western Colorado University who are conducting creative research at the intersection of art, environment and sustainability. The 2022 Residency Program had SOA photography graduate student Brooke Tuma working in collaboration with Western Colorado's Brenda Lanphear. The idea for the program started in 2018 with Elsewhere Studio's symposium Inspired: Art @ Work, a program that engaged artistic, environmental, cultural, social, and economic issues vital to preserving the natural world and communities. In addition, Texas Tech University School of Art offers a spring semester course titled Art, Environment, Sustainability.

Engineering Meets Art

Shape of Water class work

During spring 2022, Carol Flueckiger, Associate Professor of Art, working with Professor Danny Reible and Dr. Ryan C. Campbell and their classes in Civil Engineering and Engineering, Flueckiger asked the question, "What is the Shape of Water?" She worked with graduate students, 10 women and 9 men, majoring in environmental engineering, civil engineering, construction/management engineering, or chemical engineering to explore basic cylinder drawing techniques that could be applied to drawing an individual's water bottle. The gathering of drawings was included in the Shape of Water exhibition in the School of Art Building that was one of several exhibitions associated with the Annual Comparative Literature Symposium whose theme that spring was the Ogallala Aquifer.

Art-Engineering Collaboration

During spring 2019, graduate students in Sangmi Yoo'sART 5328 Graduate Printmaking class collaborated with graduate students in CE 5331-019 Advanced Work in Specific Fields: Developing Reflective Engineers with Artful Methods (Instructors: Danny Reible, Ph.D., Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair, Dept. of Civil, Environmental, & Construction, and Dept. of Chemical Engineering, and Ryan Campbell, Ph.D., Dept. of Civil, Environmental, & Construction Engineering) in a semester long project that yielded a group exhibition at the Maddox Research Building (MERC) in April through May.

Art and Ecology

Aaron Hegert, Assistant Professor of Photography, is teaching ART 5326 The Art and Science of Restoration Ecology during Spring 2020, which partners with Natural Resources Management course NRM 6001, taught by Dr. Robert Cox, Associate Professor, Habitat Restoration Ecology. The class is developing an art and ecological restoration plan for the railroad right-of-way located near the Charles Adams Studio Project galleries at 5th St. and Ave. J in Lubbock. Readings, critiques, and conversations are included with the aim of improving the environmental quality of the area for both human and non-human life.

This is the latest offering in a series of classes, beginning in Spring 2018, that investigate contemporary practices in both art and restoration ecology and create opportunities for collaboration and crossover between the two areas. The classes include graduate students from all mediums and disciplines. The Spring 2018 class developed a proposal for artistic and ecological restoration for Mae Simmons Park that was presented in an exhibition in the permanent, rotating gallery Leonardo's Kitchen at the Museum of Texas Tech University in May 2018.

Arts in Medicine

Animation and Healing

Since 2014, Drs. Jorgelina Orfila (Art History) and Francisco Ortega (Graphic Design) have been engaged in a transdisciplinary teaching and research project that aims to bring animation studies to Texas Tech.

As a field of knowledge, animation studies focuses on animation's history, theory, and practice. Albeit commonly linked with the entertainment industry—video games, movies, special effects and cartoons—animation is a medium that transverses all areas of visual culture. It is a valued resource in scientific research, social activism, and education, and an artistic manifestation when modern and contemporary artists and experimental filmmakers use it as an expressive and experimental tool. Animation is today so pervasive that its presence in our everyday life (weather forecast, sports, apps) goes unnoticed.

Born at the crossroads of established academic disciplines (art history, film and media studies), animation studies is an intellectually open enterprise rather than a traditional endeavor interested in defining and patrolling epistemological boundaries. This field of knowledge offers a prime place from which to explore disciplinarity (at a time characterized by doubts about metanarratives) and the intersection of art and technology. By focusing on animation history and theory, and more specifically on the intersection between art and animation, the project of Drs. Orfila and Ortega links the School of Art and the J.T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual and Performing Arts with the rest of Texas Tech and the Lubbock community.

In the context of this endeavor, they organized the Animation and Public Engagement Symposium (APES19). Presented in partnership with HEART (Healing Education Animation Research Therapy) and the Animation Academy, two research centers associated with Loughborough University in the U.K., APES19 took place on the Texas Tech campus September 19-21, 2019.

APES is a forum for professionals, scholars, and practitioners concerned in advancing and promoting animation as therapeutic practice, educational technique, and as a tool for social engagement. This annual event offers an alternative view of the potential of animation beyond artistic expression, entertainment or publicity, and identifies new terrains in the connection of animation and society.

Endoscopy and the Body Image

In late May 2018, Assistant Professor of Painting Ghi Fremaux was awarded an Arts in Medicine grant from The CH Foundation, to support the interdisciplinary project Luminal Self: Endoscopy and a New Body Image. The project unites the disciplines of visual art and gastroenterology, and the campuses of the School of Art and TTUHSC El Paso, in a qualitative investigation into the imaging of the gastrointestinal tract and patient experiences of GI illness.

Entrepreneurship in the Arts

Chelsea Stone

Chelsea Stone, a Prescott, Arizona-based nationally active arts entrepreneur and 2002 TTU MFA Alumna, was in residence in April 2019 to provide lectures on "Entrepreneurialism in the Arts" as well as workshops in glass bead casting.  The sessions were open to graduate and undergraduate students as well as teachers from Lubbock's K-12 sector.

Stone's company, Eye Candy Jewelry, LLC, is currently represented in numerous museum stores across the United States. She has also sold her work in over 50 galleries across the United States, and also has an extremely successful online business. Ms. Stone is routinely juried into nationally recognized entrepreneurial showcases, where she sells her colorful and whimsical jewelry to a national and international audience of collectors, businesses, etc. Ms. Stone also travels across the United States conducting workshops. Her work has been featured in Lark Book Publications, 1000 Rings and 1000 Beads, and also in Lapidary Journal Magazine.