CampusSpotlight

Tammy Thompson: Welcome back to Campus Spotlight where we focus on the events, activities, and the people West Kentucky Community and Technical College. I'm your host Tammy Thompson. On this edition, you're going to meet one of our faculty members at the Paducah School of Art. Here is Randy Simmons.

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Randy Simmons Hi, I'm Randy Simmons and I am an Associate Professor of Art at the Paducah School of Art, part of West Kentucky Community and Technical College. I teach drawing classes - Drawing I, Drawing II, Life Drawing, Intro to Art, and a new class which is called Survival Skills for the Artist. Uuh... I'm really proud to be part of a dynamic team down at the Paducah School of Art. I've been here for about nine years and uh... it it's going wonderful. We have a a wonderful program that's been on the go for about uh...four years I believe, so it's going strong.

I find inspiration in a lot of things uh... but most of it comes from my family, ah... more specifically my children. I've documented my kids growing up basically from infants up until their teenage years and as they grow from, during those different stages uh... their...my concern as a parent changes. So for example as it when they were young I was watching them play with guns and weapons, so I'm thinking, should I be letting them play with these guns and weapons and watching Power Rangers and all these kinds of things. And then my changes...as they get older I've noticed that they start developing relationships, you know getting girlfriends and things like that, so then my focus changed to watching their relationships as well. I've certainly done my share of uh... of my own personal relationships um...they've been a topic uh... most it's been dark humor. I'm uh...also done drawings that are social and political commentaries uh...I did a series on uh...domestic violence, particularly against women. So I think I've hit a lot of different feels. Uum... I was uh... the winner of a Kentucky Arts Council Grant based on my body of work that was uh...that's was for the domestic violence series.

Uuh... yes uh... I've been published...uh... probably more in the past year than I have ever have, and it's really exciting to see you work in print. I will be...or I am in Strokes of Genius: The Best of Drawing Three and it's published by North Light Books out of Cincinnati and have a couple drawings there...that uh... that's available on Amazon.com, free plug there. Uh...also in the upcoming uh...Manifest International Drawing Six, and that's uh... based out of a gallery called Manifest Gallery in Cincinnati and they're dedicated to drawing alone. Uuh... and that book comes out actually this month in February and in that book will be available through their websites. Uuh...last year in 2010, I was in Studio Visit which is from Open Press uh...Studios..uh... I believe that's out of Boston and that book can be obtained through their website as well and I believe I had a couple pieces and that. So yea, so it's really exciting that I feel like...uuh....my work has been validated now, all this hard work and I see my work in print. In 2010, I was lucky enough to have uh... my image on a billboard just out of Saint Louis as an advertisement for..uh...a portrait exhibit that was up in that area, so my name was in lights for a moment...the first I hope not the last.

I'm exhibiting quite a bit actually. I may have to look down and read my list, I've got so much coming up...uh...the uh... one of the big shows coming up that I'm excited about is that...uh... Virginia uh...Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia and they're going to host me for a month long show in February to March. Uuh... and I'll be going down for about four days and doing a talk to a couple classes and doing the opening as well, so I'm really excited about that, and that's a solo exhibit so it's just me..Uuh... and then later on this year towards October-November, in October I'll be in North Florida at a community college there doing a solo exhibit, and then in November I'll be at Tennessee Tech University that's in Cooksville, Tennessee. So those those are pretty big shows and involves usually 20-25 pieces and traveling with the work. So it's a lot of work to do the show, in addition to doing the work there's a lot of work and getting the pieces to where they need to be. I've got some smaller shows as well, I'll be in New York at a place called the Burger Gallery...uh... in part of um... a group exhibition called "Love" and it was uh... it's going to open on Valentine's Day uh... hence the name of "Love" and it's about pieces uh...that day show some kind of love uh...and I've got one piece there. I'm in the "Kentucky Visions Exhibit 2012", so I have uh... one work hanging at the State Capital till April. And I'm also in the "Body Figure Nude" show in Lexington, Kentucky at the Lexington Art League and I believe that shows up until March, I believe...yea I'm correct about that. I've got a group show of drawings that will be at uh... Herritt Center and College of Southern Idaho in Twin Fall, Idaho. So that will be interesting, I've never shown in Idaho before. What's really cool is a lot of my artwork goes places that I don't get to go, so my work is seen a lot more than I have.

A good way of uh... of figuring out what the quality of an art institution is the definitely look at the student works coming out of that program and to look at the faculty that are teaching these classes. Uuh...at the Paducah School of Art we have an annual uh... art show that uh... takes place in April uh...and it did encompasses a lot of our medias and subjects. Uuh... ceramics, we have painting, drawing of course, digital photography uh... sculpture, 3D Design, 2D Design, there's a lot to choose from and uuh....like I said like I said every April we have the student show and it's hugely successful and is our most widely attended show for the Clemens Gallery. So with that being said, also uh...I would suggest anybody that's interested in going into an art program is to look at the faculty uuh....especially the area that student is interested in, so if you're interesting in drawing, you certainly look up my web site, simmonscharcoaldrawings.com, I've got some uh... samples of my work there and I cover actually a pretty wide uh... timeline of my art work like stuff I'm doing a right now uh... and I back and actually until my uh... freshman year in college so you can see pretty much everything that I've done. Uuh...with that being said, you can focus on some the more recent stuff and even within that category I show works in progress as well on my web site so you can see my process as I go through drawing especially some more the recent works. Uuh...so back to the School of Art, you know it's a wonderful program, we're doing a lot of great things. We have an all-star faculty uh... so I would suggest that anyone that's interested in being a part and the School of Art is to give us a call at 408-4art and we do have a Facebook presence as well, so look us up.

Tammy Thompson: If you have any more questions for Randy or want to know more about the program offerings at the Paducah School of Art, just give them a call at 408-4278. That does it for this edition of Campus Spotlight and we'll see you next time.

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