CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) – According to an announcement from West Texas A&M University, a world-renowned Western artist will be the featured guest for the 2023 Garry L. Nall Lecture in Western Studies for the university’s Center for the Study of the American West.
Theodore Waddell, an artist whose work has been featured in different collections worldwide, including the “Musselshell Rider” sculpture on the lawn of the Amarillo Museum of Art, will be featured at the event. His lecture, “Cheatgrass Dreams” will be presented at 7 p.m. on April 20 at the AMoA at 2200 S. Van Buren St. in Amarillo, with admission free to the public.
The museum, said WT, will also feature a live stream of the event and display examples of Waddell’s art.
“To my thinking, Waddell’s work is a celebration of the American West, especially of its epic landscapes and its pastoral traditions—that is, cattle ranching in particular,” said Dr. Alex Hunt, Vincent/Haley Endowed Professor of Western Studies and CSAW director. “But his painting and sculpture is not the typical sort of Western art—neither realist in its presentation of region nor romantic in its treatment of cowboys. In short, I wanted him to come to this area because he asks us to have some different ideas about our region and our identity.”
WT described that Waddell is a Montana native who served on the University of Montana art faculty from 1968 through 1976. After retiring from the position, he began working in Montana as a rancher and artist, which is reflected in his current work.
“My life as a rancher in Montana has provided a distinct choice of subject matter as well as a sense of place, which is very important to me,” Waddell said. “My paintings are titled by the geographic locations that inspire me and I try to translate the narratives of land, seasons, mortality, grandeur and human/animal interdependence into our own context.”
WT noted that students will also be able to attend a Q&A session with Waddell at 2:30 p.m. on April 20 in the Blackburn Room of Cornette Library on the WT Canyon campus.
“I hope that students will get excited about where they live, that they will reflect on the fact that they live in this awesome, epic land of the American West, and that it’s a privilege to be here and to celebrate that experience,” Hunt said. “I hope that, whether they are from the Panhandle or from another continent, that they will be excited about the American West. That’s really what CSAW is all about.”
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