The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Visiting Artist Lecture Series brings Tibbetts to SMU

Known for its collection of Spanish art, the Meadows Museum is no stranger to international artists. Thursday evening, the museum hosted an English artist as part of its Visiting Artist Lecture Series. Roger Tibbetts, sculptor, painter and professor of fine arts at Massachusetts College of Art, gave a presentation on his artwork throughout the years to an audience of about 40 people, some of them SMU students.

Before showing the slides, Tibbetts apologized for any technical difficulties, since this was his first time using digital images rather than slides, noting that his slides had deteriorated over the years. The first image the audience viewed was a green painting with two circles, or as Tibbetts stated, ellipses. He mentioned, “There wasn’t a plan for the painting when I started it.”

Then he moved on to paintings that looked like skewed multicolor checkerboards. However, the paintings are more than meets the eye; when explaining the art, Tibbetts noted that he used “root two” rectangles, which consist of square on one side with the diagonal of that square forming the other side. He ended by showing a few of his sculptures, which were inspired by considering “the possibility that models could become sculpture.”

While he portrayed his art very mathematically, using words like “axis of symmetry,” gravity” and “plot points,” there was also a very personal aspect to the methodology. For example, when viewing the paintings with mirror images, Tibbetts explained, “There’s something very potent about looking in the mirror. You see how others see you and you know you’re still there.” Furthermore, responding to his indication of precise measurements, he stated, “I think measurement is kind of interesting; it proves a doubt.”

Tibbetts’s first encounter of art was in high school in England when he took an art class. He mentioned that although the curriculum was strict, there was still freedom for expression. Later during his career as a student, he was awarded a scholarship to Yale.

His professional honors include numerous exhibitions at museums in New York and Boston, the National Endowment for the Arts Individual Artist Grants twice, a Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Grant, and a Guggenheim Foundation Grant.

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