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Art Department on the Move

A crowd of more than 100 friends, colleagues and family packed the opening of Bruce Bobick Gallery in the Humanities Building to honor years of dedication to the art of teaching by Bruce Bobick, professor and chair emeritus of art, and to the continued success of the Department of Art.

John Gall’s works at the Bruce Bobick Gallery will run through March 12.

John Gallís works at the Bruce Bobick Gallery will run through March 12.

Bobick is credited with the dynamic growth of the art department and that momentum continues today under Chair Kevin Shunn and a baker’s dozen of faculty and staff whose accomplishments shine throughout the year. More than half attending the Bobick dedication were community members touched in some way by Bobick, the arts and the university.

The first visiting artist’s exhibit to open at the Bobick Gallery is John Gall’s “Facts, Fables and Fantasy-the Realm of Knowledge Seekers.” Gall, a printmaker and artist from North Carolina, follows the European tradition of etching or intaglio.

Stephanie Smith, lecturer and gallery coordinator, has booked the galleries in the Humanities Building for several years with a widening range of genre and medium.

Faculty members are active. This month, assistant professor’s Eilis Crean’s current series of paintings, Memorial Wall and Portraits, is open for viewing through February 20 in the Arnold Gallery at Shorter College. Crean’s work is held in state collections in Ireland, Latvia and France and several museums in Georgia.

The new and improved website at http://www.westga.edu/~artdept provides an update on upcoming shows at the Bobick and other art opportunities in the area.

Bobick taught art at West Georgia from 1976 to 2005 and chaired the department for 26 years. He was responsible in acquiring more than $100,000 in grants and student scholarships for the Department of Art, achieved NASAD accreditation for the department while chair in 1998 and developed many degree programs.

Although dozens of recognitions and awards for his paintings have been presented throughout Bobick’s career, with many of his paintings on campus building walls, he is still all about the department and his students.

“All those grants and awards for my paintings are nice but not that important,” said Bobick. “And I really mean that. The work that I did to develop programs and build scholarships helped our art students to advance their careers and become productive citizens; now that’s important.”

One of those students is Clint Samples, now an assistant professor of art at UWG.

“Bruce was my mentor and my success is directly tied to him---I'm fortunate enough to be an Assistant Professor, teaching at my Alma mater in my hometown of Carrollton. I am a 1996 graduate of UWG and Bruce was my main professor. I double majored in Painting and Art Education because of Bruce. I attended Graduate School at Florida State because Bruce encouraged me to pursue a graduate degree. I was a textile designer for six years because Bruce gave my name to a headhunter. I wouldn't be teaching today at UWG if it weren't for Bruce.

"Long story short, I was a 1990 graduate of Villa Rica High. I was the 'high school art star' and thought I knew more than I did although I was a 'C' average student. I almost didn't even go to college. That all changed when I met Bruce. Bruce was both compassionate, tough and honest. He pushed and challenged me to work harder and to take art seriously. He encouraged me to enter exhibitions and travel with the department. Most importantly, he took a personal interest in who I was. Today, I am a completely different person than I was coming out of high school. I have had many great teachers but Bruce is the one I owe my success to. Other than my parents, Bruce Bobick has had the most influence on my life.”

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