Saturday Morning Art Project (SMAP)
The Saturday Morning Art Project is an enrichment program in the visual arts for talented high school students. The project began in 1981 from a collaborative effort by the Junior League of Lubbock, the Texas Tech Art Department, the Texas Tech Museum and the Lubbock Independent School District; it continues today as a cooperative venture between the Helen DeVitt Jones Foundation and the School of Art.
Twenty-one gifted and talented students from the surrounding school districts and the Lubbock area, covering a forty-five-mile radius, are recommended by their public-school art teachers for participation. The selected students meet for seven Saturday mornings during the spring semester in the Texas Tech University Art Buildings for three hours of instruction by School of Art faculty.
During the past thirty-nine years, the Saturday Morning Art Project has contributed to the education of talented high school art students. Former participants of this program have ended up pursuing Art degrees at the university level, often at Texas Tech, and then gone on to pursue successful professional art careers and have distinguished themselves as leaders in the art field, as educators, studio artists, designers, and arts entrepreneurs. One distinguished SMAP alumnus is Alex Ross, a Chicago based artist who contributes to Spiderman and Human Torch for Marvel Comics and Superman for DC Comics. He is a significant influence in the graphic novel and comic book world. A 2016 SMAP alumna, Koby Griggs, graduated from Savannah College of Art and Design. After graduation, Ms. Griggs was employed by Atlanta-based Floyd County Productions as a Background Illustrator for an Animated International Televised Show. Daniel Aycock entered the TTU Art program soon after participating in SMAP. He received a BFA in Photography then proceeded to get an MFA from the School of the Visual Arts in New York, where he stayed. Daniel was one of the earliest artists to venture into Williamsburg in the late 1990s, setting up one of the first art galleries there. He was also the founding publisher of WAGMAG, the Williamburg Area Galleries magazine. While Daniel has re-located his gallery into Manhattan, WAGMAG still operates as a Brooklyn Art Guide.