This week’s gallery event will feature a talk by authors Bill and Linda Reaves.
“I love the fact that an A&M graduate was so loved and supported by other Aggies, that he came back to do a special portfolio of paintings of A&M buildings in the 1970s that were eventually turned into prints by the Texas A&M Press,” said Catherine Hastedt, director of
University Art Galleries. “Visitors to the exhibition will be able to not only take a virtual tour of Texas by looking at Schiwetz’s art, but they will also be able to trace the development of his artistic style from the 1920s to the late 1970s.”
The upcoming gallery talk will also feature Dr. Tianna Uchacz, assistant professor in the Texas A&M School of Performance, Visualization and Fine Arts, who is working with the
Center of Digital Humanities Research (CoDHR) in the College of Arts and Sciences to digitize the works of Schiwetz. She is faculty liaison for the Texas Art Project, which was launched in July 2021 as a partnership between A&M and the Reaves to celebrate Texas art with a series of exhibitions and educational programming.
“I look for ways to enhance the Texas Art Project’s connections to research and teaching at Texas A&M,” said Uchacz. “The Schiwetz exhibition gave us a special opportunity to partner with the CoDHR to visualize the artworks in new ways for a worldwide audience. It has been a pleasure to work back and forth between the Reaves, CoDHR, my undergraduate research assistants, and private and institutional collectors to bring this project to fruition.”
Uchacz says digitizing collections opens art and research to audiences who may be otherwise difficult to reach. “While no digital representation can replace the experience of seeing art face to face, the transformation of art into data brings advantages of its own,” she said. “It allows us to ask new kinds of questions and make connections between artworks, artists, techniques, trends in collecting and histories of reception that would have taken a lifetime (and a small fortune) to make otherwise.”
She added that the Schiwetz Web Companion project is just the first step. “I’m excited to facilitate a suite of digital projects that feature the work of other Texas artists,” she said. “These projects will be invaluable classroom resources for courses like ARTS 329 (Texas Art History), but they actually present an even greater learning opportunity. I look forward to teaching students the skills to undertake art history research
and to build public-facing digital humanities resources in group capstone projects.”
Buck Schiwetz ’21
Ties To Texas A&M
Schiwetz was born in Cuero, Texas, and earned his bachelor’s in architectural design from Texas A&M in 1921. He was a self-taught fine artist and illustrator, known as a “favorite son” among Texas artists. During the university’s 1976 centennial celebration, he worked as an artist-in-residence, producing campus scenes.
Schiwetz said of his time at A&M as an architecture major: “Had I gone to art school then, I would have studied what all other art students study, I wouldn’t have learned architecture, and might have become quite a modernist like so many others. As things turned out, I followed my own bent, did what I most wanted to do, and as a result I have a field of my own, that of architectural and historical art, and it is not a crowded field. Far more artists know how to paint a nude than how to catch the sunlight and shadow on an old courthouse, or the charm of a Mexican cottage, or the rugged strength and power of an offshore drilling rig.”
The Reaves report that during his lifetime, the works of Schiwetz likely appeared in more publications than any other Texas artist, having been featured in popular journals and art books. Additionally, they say, his Texas imagery has long been used to portray the unique history and culture of the Lone Star State.
The Artistic Legacy of Buck Schiwetz Sept. 21-Dec. 16
J. Wayne Stark Galleries, MSC 1110
Tuesday-Friday: 9 a.m.-8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: noon–6 p.m.
Admission to Texas A&M art galleries is always free.