Former art department chair showcases work at Martin Museum

By Rylee Seavers | Broadcast Reporter

The Martin Museum of Art is currently featuring The Velasco Paintings by former Baylor art department chair John D. McClanahan.

McClanahan is also the founding director of the Allbritton Art Institute and worked at Baylor for 35 years before retiring.

“It’s really special for someone with a connection to Baylor to be here because they have that inside knowledge of how our department works, what our students are learning in the classroom and they can really hone in on helping them develop themselves as artists,” said Allison Chew Syltie, director of the Martin Museum of Art.

The exhibit is named after McClanahan’s studio in Dallas on Velasco Avenue where all the pieces were created. The works are watercolor landscapes inspired by Colorado, New Mexico, Missouri, Kansas and Texas.

“The landscape for me becomes a universal statement, so hopefully people that stand in front of it can see different things,” McClanahan said.

The pieces featured in the exhibit were selected out of about 500 paintings that McClanahan created over the last four years, he said. Each one took between four and six hours to complete. Some of his favorites depict places he spent time in while growing up.

“This one here, Nathe Hill, is a painting from memory of my grandfather’s farm in southwest Missouri. He lived on a hill, Nathe Hill,” McClanahan said.

His granddaughter also has a painting featured in the exhibit. McClanahan said it is a true Velasco painting because it was created in his Velasco Avenue studio.

The exhibition will be featured at the Martin Museum of Art until September 24.