Suguru Hiraide, Professor of
Art in the Juanita and Ralph Harvey School of Visual Arts, is the first
recipient of a new fellowship at Midwestern State University that will allow
faculty in the creative arts to spend one semester recharging their creative batteries
outside of the classroom.
The Jane Spears Carnes Faculty
Fellowship in Creative Endeavors, made possible by a gift from Carnes, is a support
grant to reward and refresh faculty in creative fields so they might take a
semester off from teaching to enhance their research, artistic endeavors, and
teaching. It will support the faculty activities and their replacement in the
classroom for one semester.
Hiraide says the semester away
from the classroom will enable him to learn new techniques, knowledge and skills
that he’ll pass on to his students. “I’m thrilled to be able to focus on my
creative research, and then share what I discover with my students,” Hiraide
said. He also will be able to attend two exhibitions in Japan without worrying
about being absent from his classes.
Dr. Martin Camacho, Dean of
the Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts, said that the Carnes Faculty Fellowship
is of tremendous importance for both the faculty member and the students. “We
strive to provide MSU students with an education and preparation from
successful experts in their field. The Carnes Fellowship allows us to continue
that promise – Mr. Hiraide’s artistic development will ultimately have a direct
impact in the classroom,” Camacho said.
Carnes has been an art teacher
herself. She previously owned an art gallery and gave lessons to children.
After the gallery closed, she taught art to adults in her home and now writes.
“I realized how critical it was to have time and solitude to work,” Carnes
said. “It’s crucial to have time to block out the world so you can focus.”
A longtime supporter of all
the arts in Wichita Falls, Carnes has served on boards for the Wichita Falls
Symphony Orchestra and the Wichita Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas. She also served
on the MSU Texas Board of Regents from 2008-2014.
“As a fellow practicing artist
herself, we appreciate this opportunity that Jane Carnes is making possible for
our faculty,” said MSU Texas President Suzanne Shipley. “Creative endeavors
require independent thought and action that is not always consistent with a
regular teaching schedule. This gift will propel our faculty engaged in
creative fields toward increased productivity and fulfillment.”
Hiraide, who is from Japan,
has long been fascinated by his culture’s custom of bowing. When someone told
him that bowing looked like a bird pecking and eating, he at first was
offended. Then he realized that everyone sees the world differently. From that
encounter came his kinetic sculpture, “Fly High,” a bowing bird that reflects
Hiraide’s respect for his tradition.
A large version of “Fly High”
is powered by the wind, which represents difficulties in life and how energy is
absorbed from outside forces. The wind is also a force that keeps motion
continuous. A smaller version of “Fly High” is electric – with the sculpture
creating its own positive motion instead of passive reactions to the outside
The powered version of “Fly
High” will be part of an exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum in
January 2019, which Hiraide will attend. He will also spend time in the studio
at MSU to work on kinetic sculptures for a second exhibition at the Kanagawa
Kenmin Hall in Yokohama, Japan, in summer 2019.
Hiraide says that being able
to attend the exhibitions without interrupting his classes is important, and that
he looks forward to meeting other artists who might be interested in visiting
MSU and showing their work here. He has taught at MSU for 15 years and
currently teaches metals, sculpture, and 3D design. He has shown works in
exhibitions across the country and internationally. He has curated exhibitions,
including “Crosscurrent,” an international exchange show with United States and
Hiraide will also study the
programmable computer platform product called Arduino®, an electronics platform
for interactive projects that will help him create more sophisticated and
complex motion sequences for his kinetic sculptures.