In 2008 I took my first group of art students to Turkey for a month of exploration, creative research, cultural enrichment, and fun. Every other summer since then I have taken another class to Turkey. One of the students on that first journey in 2008 was Gabby Reeves. Gabby returned with two other students to travel in Turkey during the summer of 2010, eventually moving to Turkey for nearly a year in 2011-2012…and now has returned to live in Istanbul full time. She currently writes for the online expat site Yabangee. This summer Gabby interviewed me about my work, my connection to Turkey, and my ongoing study abroad art class in Turkey.
Below are the first and second parts of her interview:
In Conversation with Doug Russell (Part One) – by Gabrielle Reeves
In Conversation with Doug Russell (Part Two) – by Gabrielle Reeves
A series of photographs taken from hand built Styrofoam “ruins” in my studio. The models and photographs will serve as a reference for drawings and other work.
Capriccio: an architectural fantasy, a placing together of buildings, archaeological remains and other architectural elements in fictional and often fantastical combinations.
Here are a few of my favorite travel drawings – all done in Turkey over the past five years.
More can be found here:
Here are several images of the exhibition currently up at the Leedy-Voulkos Art Center in Kansas City. The exhibition includes work from the Ebb and Flow, Edifice, and Empire series. It was great to return to Kansas City after eight years
Just quick bit of good news…
My academic work at the University of Wyoming has been recognized with a 2013 Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award. Follow this link to read more on the UW News page…or see below:
Doug Russell: Devoted to Students
April 29, 2013 — Doug Russell continuously draws praise for his teaching style and devotion to students.
Russell, an associate professor in the University of Wyoming Department of Art, received the university’s John P. Ellbogen Meritorious Classroom Teaching Award. The award was established in 1977 by businessman John P. “Jack” Ellbogen to “foster, encourage and reward excellence in classroom teaching at UW.”
Russell brings out the best in his students, who say his style makes them want to excel even more.
“Doug does much more than merely instruct students. He mentors, supports and takes time to help them find their own voice as creative artists,” says nominator Ricki Klages, head of the UW Department of Art.
Shelby Shadwell, assistant professor of art and drawing, adds “He interacts with his students in the most responsive ways, going out of his way to encourage the very promising and talented to reach even greater accomplishments and to encourage those that need more assistance to work with him outside of class to master the technical and material challenges of drawing.”
Russell teaches art drawing courses and an international summer course in Turkey.
“The development of international courses in art, that are taught in the summer, has been a huge recruitment tool for the Department of Art. Doug worked ceaselessly since he started teaching in the department to establish an international study abroad opportunity to Turkey,” Klages says.
One of Russell’s students concurs about the impact of the international course.
“My study abroad experience helped open my eyes to the possibilities and differences that are out there. Professor Russell planned the perfect excursion to teach me those things,” says an undergraduate art student.
Such devotion to students doesn’t go unnoticed.
“Professor Russell helped me understand the beauty of communicating an experience in an unfamiliar culture through writing and drawing rather than from behind the barrier of a camera or a phone,” says an art undergraduate student.
“He is a leader and mentor for many students, and is perceived as having high standards for his own work and his students,” Art Professor Mark Ritchie adds. “Doug is engaged with teaching well beyond the scheduled meetings with students. He is genuinely engaged in his own studio practice and brings this passion to the studio classroom, as well as to his interactions with students beyond the classroom.”
One of Russell’s students praises the high standards that are set for all students in his class.
“Professor Russell is my favorite instructor. He has really high standards and expectations, but gives very clear guidelines on how to meet them. If the students want to succeed, all they need to do is put in the time and effort, and use the tools that he has given,” the student says.
A UW faculty member since 2005, Russell earned a BFA degree from Columbia College and an MFA degree from the University of Iowa.
Three drawings from the “Entangled Worlds” series are now on display at the Hartmann Center Art Gallery at Bradley University. Each of the drawings is over twenty feet in length – and composed of adjoining sheets of 30″ x 22″ paper. This series was first exhibited at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in Michigan. The Bradley show closes February 19th.
Please follow this link to an article on the exhibition in the Journal Star written by Gary Panetta.
Here is a detail of one of the pieces in the show:
We have started classes in the new University of Wyoming Visual Arts Building. The classrooms and spaces are great. The light is incredible. This is going to be a wonderful place to work, create, and teach for many years. Here are several images of the new facility:
Upper hallway west:
The view from the second floor balcony looking west towards the UW Art Museum:
Looking down into the main lobby towards the gallery with its movable walls:
Looking down into the main lobby:
Upper hallway east:
Upper hallway west:
One of the two drawing classrooms – this one is set up for Drawing I and II. The other classroom is set up for Drawing III and IV and Life Drawing I and II:
A view of the flat file stacks in one of the two drawing classrooms. Both rooms have identical stacks – with a total of 80 flat file drawers:
My faculty studio:
My faculty office:
The main lobby looking towards the classroom and faculty office wings:
The main lobby looking towards the gallery:
The main lecture hall:
Upper hallway west:
A view of the Snowy Range from our lobby balcony: