Events at WT include an art exhibition, a guest lecture by the poet
WT Graduate Student Art Exhibit Shows ‘Nomadic’ Journey Through Space and Time
CANYON — After careers as an actress and an English, speech, acting and art teacher, West Texas A&M University graduate student Marcia Tippit knows a thing or two about long trips.
“Life is a journey, and I’ve been on a pretty crazy one,” Tippit said.
This long and winding road has inspired Tippit’s new exhibition of abstract drawings and paintings, “Nomadic Navigations”, which will hang November 3-30 at the Dord Fitz Formal Gallery in Mary Moody Northen Hall. An opening reception is scheduled from 5 to 7 p.m. on November 3.
After retiring as a teacher in Albuquerque, Tippit decided to pursue an MFA at WT Graduate School; the exhibit is the culmination of her studies at the Sybil B. Harrington College of Fine Arts and Humanities, and she will graduate in December. “I was a performer and director and did a bit of film and TV, but that career isn’t very age-appropriate when you’re a performer,” Tippit said. “I taught everything from kindergarten to college, but I needed to retire so I could start making art.”
She chose WT because she was looking for a major change.
“I’ve lived in big cities, so I was looking for something smaller and with a lower crime rate,” Tippit said. “I was thrilled when I came here in 2020 and the first week I was on campus I saw that WT is one of the top 10 safest schools in the country and the safest in Texas.”
Being in Palo Duro Canyon’s backyard doesn’t hurt either.
“I have an annual canyon pass, and you can definitely see that showing up in some of my work,” she said.
“Nomadic Navigations” shows Tippit’s interest in landscapes and the passage of time, but it also has a spiritual element.
“I explore the idea that people are spiritual beings having a human experience, rather than human beings having a spiritual experience,” she said. “I’m more interested in the commonalities we have as humans than the things that divide us.”
Tippit is “one of the most prolific artists we’ve had in our MFA program,” said Jon Revett, Artistic Program Director and Doris Alexander Emeritus Professor of Fine Arts.
“She often brought twice as much work to criticism as any of her colleagues. This immense amount of production led to her abstract paintings and drawings touching on a myriad of subjects, from memories and time to landscape and fossils” Revett said, “His work is proof that if a picture is worth a thousand words, a painting can say a million.”
The Fitz Gallery hours of operation are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Thursday and by appointment on Fridays and Saturdays. Email [email protected]
WT welcomes award-winning poet and author back to campus
CANYON – West Texas A&M University will host Pushcart Prize winner George Bilgere as part of the Dorothy Patterson Distinguished Lecture Series and Poetry Series.
Bilgere will present a poetry reading at 7 p.m. on November 2 in the Recital Hall of the Sybil B. Harrington Fine Arts Complex. All DLS events are free and open to the public.
The author will read excerpts from his six published poetry books; four of them – “Imperial”, “Central Air”, “Blood Pages” and “The White Museum” – will be available for purchase and autographs after the event.
“George’s poetry is very accessible, often humorous, but ultimately serious,” said Dr. Eric Meljac, Assistant Professor of English and Director of Creative Writing at WT. “His insight into the little things we seem to miss in everyday life, and their importance to our existence as human beings, is unmatched by any poet I have ever known.”
The free event — the fifth of six lectures presented as part of WT’s DLS fall program — is hosted by the Department of English, Philosophy, and Modern Languages.
“I was delighted to invite George back for a second visit to be part of the series he started with what was supposed to be a little read in 2016 but has now grown into an annual event that rivals many many literary readings organized across the Panhandle,” said Meljac, who is also deputy director of gender studies.
“The last time I spoke at WT, the audience was really wonderful,” Bilgere said. “Rarely have I read to a group of poetry lovers who were so warm and generous with the appreciation of poetry, and I look forward to seeing familiar faces in the crowd when I return.”
In addition to the Pushcart Prize, Bilgere has won numerous awards, including the Midland Authors Award. He has also received grants from the Witter Bynner Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fulbright Commission, and the Ohio Arts Council.
Her poems have been published in numerous anthologies and journals, including “Poetry”, “Ploughshares”, “Kenyon Review”, “Fulcrum” and “Best American Poetry Series”.
“I want students and faculty to leave the reading and the workshop with a renewed sense of the importance – the necessity – of poetry in our lives,” Bilgere said. “We currently live in a complex and troubled world, and poetry has the power to reassure us and remind us of the essential goodness of humanity. And I want to make people laugh and leave with a smile.
In addition to the evening event, Bilgere will host a poetry workshop for students, faculty, and staff at 12:30 p.m. on November 3 in Classroom 301.
Supporting the arts and humanities is a key goal of the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From Enclave to World. This plan is powered by One West’s historic $125 million global fundraising campaign. To date, the five-year campaign — which launched publicly in September 2021 — has raised more than $110 million.
The mission of the Distinguished Lecture Series is to invite nationally recognized experts to the WT campus to expose students to some of the most important issues of our time and to inspire and enlighten students, faculty, and the community.