College of Fine Arts News Archive

August 2015

  • SFA art scholarship to honor Parker

    SFA art scholarship to honor Parker

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    August 28, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    The Friends of the Visual Arts at Stephen F. Austin State University has recently established a scholarship in honor of retired SFA School of Art faculty member Gary Parker.

    The Gary Parker Art Scholarship will be awarded for the first time in spring 2016.

    The FVA has established scholarships in the name of retiring SFA School of Art professors who were employed in the School of Art for minimum of 10 years before retirement and who contributed in a significant way to the mission of the Friends of the Visual Arts board and its fundraising activities, such as consistently donating art for fundraisers, by providing monetary assistance, or by serving on FVA committees or board.

    “I am honored to have a scholarship named after me, and I hope it benefits aspiring artists,” Parker said.

    Parker collaborated with the Friends of the Visual Arts to establish the criteria for the scholarship. To be eligible to receive this scholarship, students must:

    • Be an undergraduate student with 60 hours toward an art degree (including hours in which they are currently enrolled) in any non-computerized, traditional art medium.
    • Demonstrate a desire for a professional art career by entering into competitive exhibitions, including the Texas National art competition.
    • Have demonstrated promise in the field of art by using their hands and minds to create art.
    • Be willing to donate a piece of art to at least one fundraising event sponsored by the FVA.

    Parker has been an integral part of the Friends of the Visual Arts since its inception in 1996. As gallery preparator, he collaborated with original Gallery Director Eloise Adams when the only gallery was the Griffith Gallery inside the Griffith Fine Arts Building on campus. In 2001, the School of Art gained the downtown Old Opera House where Parker expanded his responsibilities for installation of art shows in the old brick-walled space. A few years later, the art center was renovated, and Parker became chief preparator of the two fine galleries in the new space. Parker has also curated several exhibitions, including the spectacular Gruebel African art show in 2011.

    Parker also ran the student galleries and scheduled all the BFA and MFA student exhibitions while teaching students through professional practices how to install exhibitions.

    Prior to his recent retirement, Parker installed every art fundraiser that FVA ever hosted, and the past several years, he built the 12x12 panels that are distributed to local artists for the FVA’s wildly popular 12x12 Art Auction. He has also donated his own fine art to many of these auctions.

    For many years, Parker was the driving force behind the School of Art’s annual Art Camp that takes place every summer for young art students.

    “The art student workers who have apprenticed with Gary all agree that his insights and guidance have helped them become who they are as young adult artists,” said Linda Mock, FVA member. “The FVA hopes to recruit Gary to continue his involvement by becoming an active member of the board.”

    The SFA Friends of the Visual Arts is made up of community members who support the arts in East Texas and provide monetary assistance to students enrolling in the School of Art by conducting fundraisers, such as the annual 12 x 12 event every July.

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  • Exhibition to feature work of UT Tyler art faculty

    Exhibition to feature work of UT Tyler art faculty

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    “Dazzle Jays” by Merrie Wright is among the featured pieces in an exhibition of artwork by faculty members of the University of Texas at Tyler School of Art to be shown in Griffith Gallery on the SFA campus.

    August 28, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    An exhibition of artwork by faculty members of the University of Texas at Tyler School of Art can be viewed Sept. 3 through Oct. 9 in Griffith Gallery on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus.

    Guest artists include Gary Hatcher, James Pace, Alexis Serio, Dewane Hughes and Merrie Wright. The exhibition will feature a variety of mediums, according to John Handley, director of art galleries at SFA.

    “Similarly to our own annual faculty show, this exhibition features the talents of the artists who teach at UT Tyler and includes painting, sculpture and mixed media pieces,” Handley said.

    Wright, whose piece “Dazzle Jays” is featured in the exhibition, describes her art as “driven by an innate need to understand myself as well as my relationship to the world around me.” She said “Dazzle” explores the figure of the animal and its place within contemporary landscape. Wright is an associate professor at UT Tyler and chair of the Department of Art and Art History.

    Occasionally, the SFA School of Art features the art made by faculty at other Texas institutions, Handley said.

    “It’s a nice gesture to acknowledge other professionals in the field, and this also gives our students an opportunity to see work made by professionals from other universities,” he said.

    An artists’ reception is scheduled from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, in Griffith Gallery, which is located in the Griffith Fine Arts Building, 2222 Alumni Drive.

    The exhibition is sponsored in part by the Friends of the Visual Arts and Nacogdoches Junior Forum. For additional information, call (936) 468-1131.

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  • Meyer to premiere unique percussion compositions

    Meyer to premiere unique percussion compositions

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    SFA’s Dr. Brad Meyer will perform the premieres of a number of percussion pieces in a recital at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building on the SFA campus.

    August 26, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Dr. Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies at Stephen F. Austin State University, will present a recital that features unique and newly commissioned compositions for solo and ensemble percussion.

    The first event in the 2015-2016 Cole Performing Arts Series of the SFA School of Music, the recital is at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31, in Cole Concert Hall in the Wright Music Building.

    The performance includes several premieres, including Ivan Trevino’s “Hold Fast” for vibraphone and drumset, Mark Applebaum’s “Composition Machine No. 1” and Meyer’s world premiere of his own arrangement of Steven Bryant’s “Hummingbrrd.”

    “Hold Fast” is a vibraphone and drum set duo commissioned by a consortium of 28 percussionists and colleges around the U.S., according to Trevino. While writing the piece, Trevino said he and his wife, Amanda, “took a leap of faith.”

    “She left her job, we sold our home in Rochester, New York, and we packed our bags for Austin,” he said. “While an exciting time, the move required us to support each other in ways we had yet to experience. With ‘Hold Fast,’ I wanted to capture my emotional state during this time. The piece is technically very challenging, requiring each player to hold steady and be a foundation for the other.”

    Keith Lloyd, assistant professor of percussion at SFA, will play drumset on “Hold Fast” with Meyer on vibraphone.

    Applebaum’s “Composition Machine No. 1” is a blend of improvisation, composed improvisation, and traditional notated composition, Meyer said. The piece is in three parts with the first and last being semi-improvisations on contrasting percussion set-ups, and the middle section being a traditionally written section involving such “percussion instruments” as bottle caps, cups, bowls, chains and tree branches.

    Meyer will perform his own vibraphone arrangement of Bryant’s “Hummingbrrd,” which was originally an electronic work with no live performer. Several months of Meyer working with Bryant after he visited SFA last fall resulted in “an exciting and entertaining new version” of the piece, Meyer said.

    Meyer will also perform the virtuosic, four-mallet marimba solo “Burritt Variations” by Alejandro Viñao, as well as Applebaum’s composition for gestures and tape.

    Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for seniors and $3 for students and youth. For tickets or more information, call the SFA Fine Arts Box Office at (936) 468-6407 or visit

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  • Auditions set for new SFA Choristers

    Auditions set for new SFA Choristers

    August 26, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Stephen F. Austin State University’ Music Preparatory Division has announced the formation of the SFA Choristers to be directed by Carolyn Andrews.

    Formerly the SFA Children’s Choir, the Choristers will be comprised of students in 5th through 8th grades. Rehearsals will be from 4:30 to 6 p.m. Tuesdays beginning Sept. 8 in Room 170 (orchestra room) in the Tom and Peggy Wright Music Building.

    Auditions for the SFA Choristers will be from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, in the Music Prep House, 3028 Raguet St. Auditions will also be held on two Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 29 and Sept. 5 at the Music Prep House. Singers are encouraged to be prepared to sing a simple folk tune such as “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”or a more elaborate solo of their choice, according to Pat Barnett, director of the Music Preparatory Division.

    “We are so happy to have Carolyn Andrews as the choirmaster,” Barnett said.

    Andrews is a graduate of Baylor University where she received her Bachelor of Music Education degree and studied piano at the Brevard Summer Institute and sang in the Institute Chorus. She also conducted various choirs wherever she resided. Most recently, Andrews is the music teacher and choir director at Regents Academy in Nacogdoches.

    During the fall semester, the Choristers will meet for 14 weeks and will end the semester with a choral concert. Tuition for the ensemble is $60 for the semester.

    For more information, contact Barnett at or (936) 468-1291.

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  • Tubbs new preparator for SFA art galleries

    Tubbs new preparator for SFA art galleries

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    August 5, 2015—Robbie Goodrich

    Michael Tubbs, faculty member in the Stephen F. Austin State University School of Art, has assumed the duties of gallery preparator following the recent retirement of Gary Parker, who worked for the university for nearly 30 years.

    “We conducted a national search for this position,” said John Handley, director for the SFA galleries. “From the applicants we received, Michael was clearly the most qualified, and we are happy to have him join our team.”

    Tubbs is a multimedia artist who merges traditional art materials and techniques with digital processes. He holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Ceramics and a Master of Fine Arts in Digital Media from SFA. His work has been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Texas, California and New York.

    Tubbs has taught graphic design and digital media courses in the School of Art and advanced advertising courses in the Department of Mass Communication at SFA. His areas of specialization include vector graphics, videography and motion graphics. He served as faculty co-advisor for the campus chapter of the American Advertising Federation and students competing in the National Student Advertising Competition from 2009 to 2014. In his new capacity at SFA, Tubbs will oversee all of the exhibition installations for the galleries, teach two classes per year and supply technical support for the School of Art.

    He has also worked as a freelance graphic designer and videographer, producing award-winning Web videos for national and international clients, including Proctor & Gamble, the National Cancer Institute, TomTom Europe and Robert Half Professional Staffing.

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