In his 39 years at Midwestern
State University’s Department of Art, Richard Martin Ash III served as teacher,
administrator, and mentor to the hundreds of students who took his classes. During
that time, Ash continued making prints, churning out artwork that spans his
time at MSU.
A retrospective of Ash’s art,
“Looking Back – 39 Years of Printmaking, Selected Works of Richard Martin Ash
III,” will open with a reception at 6 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the Wichita
Falls Museum of Art at MSU Texas. Ash was Professor of Art at MSU Texas from
1968 until 2007, and interim director of the WFMA from 2009-2011. He died in
February of this year.
Ash’s wife, Professor of Art
Emeritus Liz Yarosz-Ash chose this time for the exhibition because Ash would
have been 76 years old on April 27. “He has such a reputation in the art
community, and we wanted to celebrate his life with this exhibition, and by
bringing friends, former students, and those he worked with in the art world to
Ash’s prints have been displayed
in more than 450 regional and national exhibitions and in diverse public
collections such as the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, the Blanton Museum of Art
at the University of Texas; and General Motors in Detroit, Michigan. He was
named Hardin Professor at MSU Texas in 1979.
Several of those friends and
former students will speak at a Celebration of Life for Ash, which will be held
at 4 p.m. Friday, April 19, at the WFMA, preceding the opening reception. Guest
speakers include MSU President Emeritus Jesse Rogers, Curator of the Museum of
Texas Tech University Peter S. Briggs, and former students and artists Joe Ed
Barrington, Robert Horvath, Kevin Marshall, and Timothy McDowell.
Barrington is a well-known metal
sculptor and was the Distinguished Alumnus for the Fain College of Fine Arts in
2014. Horvath is now Associate Professor of Painting at the Herron School of
Art and Design at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. He was the
Fain College of Fine Arts’ Distinguished Alumnus in 2018. Marshall is now
Director of Preparations at the J. Paul Getty Museum in Los Angeles and was Fain’s
Distinguished Alumnus in 2010. McDowell is Professor of Art at Connecticut
College in New London, Connecticut.
The WFMA held a retrospective
of Ash’s prints in 2007. At the time, WFMA Curator Danny Bills, a student of
Ash’s and now interim director, said that as well as he knew Ash as an artist,
he was unprepared for the volume of works Ash had accomplished. “It was really
amazing as a student to learn something new along with Richard,” Bills said of
the student-teacher collaboration.
McDowell said, “The viability
of his art has been an inspiration as well, and his talent as an artist may
only be rivaled by his ability as a teacher … not a bad legacy to have.”
In lieu of flowers, memorials
for myelofibrosis research in Ash’s name may be made to the MD
Anderson Cancer Center online or sent to PO Box 4486, Houston, TX
The exhibit will be on display
through May 11. For more information, contact the WFMA at ext. 8900.