Featured Faculty Friday – Frank Shaw

March 8, 2013
Mr. Frank Shaw
Associate Professor of Art
Getting to know you…
What is your favorite sandwich?
Prosciutto and arugula on a ciabatta roll.
What is your family like?
Thoughtful, inquisitive, prone to conversation.
What is your favorite hobby?
Reading – literature, biographies of artists, magazines, criticism, tracts, essays, other people’s lists, The Dictionary.
What is your favorite joke?
A good one told by someone else.
Do you still have your tonsils?
Would you bungee jump?
I’d prefer not to, thanks.
What is your favorite cereal?
Steel cut oatmeal with honey and milk.
Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
Yes, they don’t come off otherwise and I don’t like to shower in my shoes.
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
The whole box of 128!
Mountain hideaway or beach house?
Both please!
What is your favorite sport or television show to watch?
I don’t watch television or sports because I prefer to lie in the hammock and watch the clouds or listen to the insects.
Do you have a special talent?
I can easily generate random five-digit numbers.
Where were you born?
Rochester, New York
What is one thing you wish everyone knew about you?
I was blessed with a very special dream two years ago: A young, hale and hearty Ray Kahmeyer came to me. (Ray had been dead four years and I’d known him only as a wise, generous professor in the years just before he retired from teaching at Bethany 1993. Ray’s knowledge and perspective were vast: without pretension he would relate something to the upper or lower Paleolithic; the Japanese tradition or a current issue, often all three; conversations with him were enthralling. He taught with a light, sure touch: a former student said, “We talked a lot about life, but I ended up learning ceramics.”) Ray drew near; smiled warmly, looked me in the eye and said, “James Joyce is Boss of the Universe.”
Getting to know your program…
What is your academic area?
ART: painting, drawing and printmaking.
What is your favorite course to teach?
Each course has its own special pleasures: Drawing I helps student learn to see more acutely; Painting I introduces student to paint (PAINT!) and color; there one literally learns to see, think, speak color; in the Studio Focus courses students are making work that explores and expresses their view on things and that is complicated, meaningful work.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Teaching; that is essentially a four year conversation with a student about seeing, understanding, meaning.
What is the worst part of your job?
The other stuff.
If you could describe your teaching style in one word, what would it be?
Thoughtful, generous, enthusiastic.
What three things would you want all students to know or do?
Look carefully; what is shown matters; what is not shown also matters.
What makes your academic area important?
Drawing and painting are deep human traits and they are deeply humanizing practices. They let one see more acutely, and that makes the world a larger, more interesting and complicated place; drawing and painting help us see what resides within and they let others see that too.

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