Still buzzing with the good times of my trip to Athens, Georgia and the great folks at The University of Georgia last Thursday. My talk as the 2014 Visiting Jack Davis Distinguished Visting Artist was part of a rollicking couple of days, seeing the sites, and, most importantly, meeting the students of the program of Prof. Alex Murawski. Thanks to him and the whole gang for making this a memorable trip and a great honor.
The main event is held in honor of Jack Davis, who moved cartoon and caricature into the realm of serious illustration. Here’s my sketch of Jack as presented to his family Thursday night.
The poster for my talk.
Athens is all in bloom. To a spring-starved New Yorker this was magic!
Alex Murawski, professor and chair of the Davis event, in his office, with many of his illustrations on the walls. Any fan of the art will know Alex’s work
Thanks, Alex, for taking this social democrat to a Chick-fil-A! Truett, the founder, is cast in bronze, cluelessly gaping into his soda. I sullied it for him.
With cartoonist and colleague Patrick Dean. He held the pad while I discussed a basic concept of caricature: get the big shapes down and the rest will come. I showed how Bush was a diamond, Nixon, an eggplant, Carter and Obama, lightbulbs, Clinton a teardrop, etc.
During class I did one-on-one discussions about student’s art. Affected here by something a student said (can’t remember what).
This evolved into a draw-off. It was all a blur after that!
Emmy and Kaitlyn provided me with two of the many wonderful quick sketches (I have them all!).
The night of the lecture opened with a group of slides of artists who have preceded me in this honor. Especially happy to see the Joe Ciardiellos. I’m such a fan!
At the ceremony I got the boot: the Jack Davis Visiting Artist Award. It’s a bronze version of the Jack Davis shoe; a perfect distillation of the Davis oeuvre. That night Jack Davis himself called during dinner. In his 90th year, he sounded hale and hearty and was very generous. I tried to express how we all felt about him. The whole table erupted in applause, which he could hear very clearly. A great thrill all round. Thanks to everyone at the University and to Jack Davis for a lifetime of inspiration.