I entered East Carolina School of Art of August 28th, 1983 an excited member of the Class of 1987. I was stunned and delighted to be amongst the very top echelon of Art Students in North Carolina. The hallowed hall where my own inspiration, my high school art teach, Bob Rankin, had earned his degree. I loved the smell of the linseed, the oils, the freshly-stretched canvas. The scent of the kiln. The acidic smell of metal being twisted and shaped into sculptures beyond the imagination of most people. For the first time, in a long time, I felt as if I were home. People spoke my language of Post-Modern, Art Deco, Bauhaus ooey-gooey goodness. For the first time in 18 years, I felt truly alive.
I jumped in immediately into my Art History, my Illustration and Design and my Drawing from Nature class. Illustration and Design was my toughest class because the teacher was a martinet and a complete douche, and was very fixated on his own prowess as an illustrator. I was unimpressed by him, and even now, I do not remember his name.
Art History was, by far. my favorite class. It was certainly the toughest. The class covered the spectrum of art form the Cave Paintings at Lascaux to the Italian Renaissance, and every little fun epoch between. Required by all Art Students, and taken by some as a “easy A” class, people were shaken to the core by the Midterm ( 50% of the grade) and the Final ( the other 50% of the grade). The midterm consisted of 50 slides, of which you were to tell the Artist, the date of creation ( if known) and the significance to the History of the course. I studied for that bastard for two days. I heard tell of some students who studied for a month. In my class, at the end of the midterm, after taking the test, a young woman who had taken a couple of pills to stay up, was on the verge of a breakdown in tears. I made an A, I think she made a reservation out of art school and into a local funny farm for observation.
In the last class mentioned, I saw my first glimpse of a “real life” naked male form. Until that point, I had never seen a naked man, and let’s just say I am sure he was glad for the heater in the room. Drawing from Art was difficult. I had zero depth perception, so angles and perspective was a bitch. The teacher hated me on sight, and made my life miserable. His name was Wesley Crawley and he was a grade A, Government-inspected complete dick of a person. I would hesitate to call him human. Even today, 30 years later (( wait…what?? 2014-1984, fuck Common Core, give me a calculator..tap-tap-tap-tap—SHIT—sighhhh)) his name causes my sphincter to tighten up.
( to be continued)