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.

Environment & Sustainability

Eye Shroom, digital drawing by Denise Monteverde, size variable, showing human eye with mushrooms growing from underneath upper lashes and clouds belowBeyond 2d, sculpture of plastic recyclables, 48 inches high by 48 inches wide by 8 inches deep, consisting of white plastic jugs fastened together with brown substanceUntitled, painting by Devin Ratheal, oil on canvas, 18 inches high by 25 inches wide, showing orange coastline with blue and orange water and an orange and yellow skyPainting the Weather, painting by Halle Cooley, oil on canvas, 36 inches by 36 inches, showing multicolored dark clouds in shades of blue, green, gray, purple and yellow with bright area at upper left and visible paint dripsCulture of Takers, painting by Sara Drescher, watercolor on paper, 11 inches high by 15 inches wide, showing green and gold decorated teacup holding a plastic bottle of waterLady, painting by Sarah Jones, acrylic on canvas, 20 inches high by 16 inches wide, showing portrait of young woman with wavy brown hair in dark blouse and pearl necklace, with ladybugs crawling on her face, and white polka dots over entire picture

During Spring 2020, two courses taught by Carol Flueckiger, Associate Professor of Art Foundations, are addressing the issues of painting and drawing at the intersection of materiality, technology and ecology. Students in ART 4321 Advanced Painting: Art, Environment, Sustainability and ART 5320 Graduate Drawing are creating artworks with traditional painting methods as well as mixed media. Reading and writing projects suited to studio art and painting are part of the course. Students are required to present their work at one or more local venues: the Lubbock Arts Festival; the Annual Conference on the Advancement of Women, hosted by the Women's & Gender Studies Program; and the 2020 Texas Painting Symposium and Juried Exhibition at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center for the Arts.

Madeleine Hernandez, Sahar Fattahi, and Corina Carmona sitting on a session at the 2019 TTU Arts Practice Research Conference

At the TTU Arts Practice Research Conference in October 2019, Flueckiger organized a formal session with the theme Socially-Engaged Visual Art-Making, based on the Inspired: Art@Work project and symposium at Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, Colorado. Three School of Art graduate students (above) gave the following presentations at the session: Madeleine Hernandez, M.F.A. student in painting: The Body: Human Fetishism and FeminismSahar Fattahi, M.F.A. student in painting: Art Inspired by Anti-Oppression Feminist Movements in Iran; and Corina Carmona, Fine Arts Doctoral Program: Chicana/o Lubbock: History, Arts, Production, and Praxis. The panel discussion provided a key contribution to the conference and its synthesis of creative activity and critical analysis. 

Students and faculty creating a Solar Powered Painting at the Inspired: Art at Work project at Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, Colorado during summer 2019.

Summer 2019's ART 5304 Art@Work: Environment & Sustainability Advanced Studio class built on the INSPIRED Symposium, hosted by Elsewhere Studios in Paonia, Colorado. The 2018 symposium and Art at Work project brought visiting and local artists to participate in socially engaged projects with scientists, policy-makers, and five local partner organizations to explore and address selected environmental, cultural, social, and economic issues vital to preserving the natural world and the quality of life and sense of place in the North Fork Valley in Colorado. During Summer 2019, Flueckiger, who serves on the Board of Elsewhere Studios, led an interdisciplinary group that consisted of her own independent study art students, Sahar Fattahi and Mattie Hernandez, joined by Western Colorado University's Environment & Sustainability students Sam Liebl and Keriann Conroy. All participants met at the Elsewhere Studios artist residency for two group sessions in June, where the Texas Tech art students were living and working as artists-in-residence. Follow the Facebook group page at https://www.facebook.com/groups/TTUArtatWork/

Art and Ecology

Aaron Hegert's ART 5326 class making a site visit to a railroad track right-of-way near present-day CASP Studios at 5th St. and Ave J in Lubbock, TexasEnd of the Line: A Conceptual Ecological Land Work, by Ian Breidenbach, digital art, size variable, showing photos of existing railroad track right-of-way and design proposal to transform area from industrial past to a restored ecological landscapeArchival aerial photo of site area, by Rick McCoy, with location marked near present-day CASP Studios at 5th St. and Ave J in Lubbock, TexasJordi Art Alley: Before and After, visual simulation by Halle Cooley, size variable, showing two images side-by-side. On left is photograph showing bleak, abandoned alley with railroad track running down middle, surrounded by industrial buildings. On right is artist's rendering of alley transformed with brick paving, flower gardens, benches, lights, and displays of public art with visitors walkingAfter James Corner: Site [Inventory] as [Anthropogenically Fragmented] Species, by Matt Weaver, inkjet print (top half), size variable, showing montage of photos in the shape of a flow chart, indicating vegetation, wildlife, topography, hydrology, soils and climateAfter James Corner: Site [Inventory] as [Anthropogenically Fragmented] Species, by Matt Weaver, inkjet print (bottom half), size variable, showing montage of photos in the shape of a flow chart, indicating vegetation, wildlife, topography, hydrology, soils and climate

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.

Engineering Meets Art

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.

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.

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.

Art and Aphasia

Associate Professor of Printmaking Stacy Elko presented as a member of the Arts and Medicine team at the 2nd Annual Spark Conference held at the Texas Tech University Innovation Hub at Research Park, April 23-24, 2018. Other team members were Melinda Corwin (Health Sciences center), John Velez and Justin Keene (College of Media and Communication). The presentation, "Interactive Environments to Facilitate Patient-Provider Communication for Aphasia Patients", includes contributions from MFA students at the School of Art. Elko received a 2018 TTU Scholarship Catalyst Program Award for "The Interpretability of Emotions: Comparing Facial Expression Recognition in ASD and Neuro-Typical Individuals" as part of the TCVPA Arts in Medicine initiative collaboration with Dr. Tobias Kroll, TTUHSC.

Medical Illustration

Professor of Art Sangmi Yoo attended the Association of Medical Illustrators (AMI) Conference in Newton, MA for her curriculum development in Scientific Visualization concentration in Art, July 18-21, 2018. This initiative was funded by The CH Foundation Arts in Medicine Grant from the J. T. & Margaret Talkington College of Visual & Performing Arts.