College of Visual & Performing Arts
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Dr. Richard Bay
Art Education, Professor
B.S., Art Education, Kansas State University
M.A., Printmaking/Drawing/Painting, Pittsburg State University
Ed.D., Curriculum & Instruction Art Ed., Oklahoma State University
Born: September 28, 1948 –
Simply and without a lot of fanfare my life is my art without which I am not alive.
My life is a mix of physical and spiritual challenges (if someone asks about the pictures on my arms - - you’ll understand the story more deeply). My life has been a battle to control what I was taught as a young child, that being anger, distrust and pain. Again being able to have an outlet for these and other emotive moments allows one to focus, heal, and grow! Read below this is the physical part:
For some reason my early childhood as well as my adult life have been riddled with health issues (Rheumatic fever as a child; Adult: two brain surgeries, spinal surgery, colostomy, and last year...bleeding ulcer which lead to the determination my gall bladder was dead and after an involved surgery – oh, I've had over 46 surgery’s in the past 34 years!), a GIST tumor was found and I am now on Chemotherapy to protect against the enzyme it has produced and is in my blood (basically I'm trying to stay cancer free!). I have been diagnosed with NF1 and factor 8 & 12 deficiencies (VonWila-someboy's San Francisco syndrome). What can I say...been cut on more times than a birthday cake but am able to just move forward. Anyway it seems that way!
The one constant through all this is my art (Oh, FYI: I am represented in major collections around the country!). My art has become the metaphor to not only keep me sane but in a strange way a way of healing myself. It is a way to teach others and give them permission to face life challenges, and those things easier forgotten but gnaw at you your entire life. My work is my strange sometimes irreverent form of humor!
I know one thing; I am stronger for it and more focused in my life's direction. You see we never stop learning about ourselves in the process! I swing in and out of my moods. My ideas change and grow I have never stayed with one theme style or body of work longer than a couple of years in the 80’s. I see my art as a timeline of life, its successes and failures. But by knowing this I have a safety valve so to speak, I can understand and accept life's challenges! I can accept who I am and the fact I will never be what others want me to be nor would I want too!
Remember this: One must take responsibility for their ideas. It is the old adage: Do what you want, whenever you want, but be ready to pay the consequences of your actions. I have lived this way for over six decades. No sense changing now. Just look at the work as a story board of life - - maybe you’ll even find something’s that are parts of the pages you live.
What is on these walls is what it is! Remember you only know what you experience based on what you have already experienced. So sometimes confronted with something so different it is uncomfortable and you may not know what to do. Let me offer a suggestion: If you don’t like it, find the exit and leave! Don’t criticize something because you don’t understand or thing you understand it. I’ve done this before - - just walk away, you’ll find something you like another time and that is what art is about! It is a way you find and define yourself with things you like and new ways of knowing the world around you. This is HOW I SEE IT!
Richard J. Bay
Action (in life and creating) implies the aggressive pursuit of new and distinct ways of translating experiences. The self I am is a collection (translation) of those experiences with others. My work is what I know (memories). The process of creating emerges and fuels my interest in beginnings, not prescribed endings. Making ‘stuff’ allows me to demonstrate those relationships among individuals, environments, and gives me the ability to communicate these thoughts in a variety of visible forms
Sometimes I hate what I am (an Artist) and all that swirls and clutters my mind. I hate trying to bring to being what most people ignore. I hate not being able to rest or have moments of quiet. Being a visual artist (…for that matter any artist) is both a curse and blessing. We try to give answers to what others sometimes ignore and find ourselves then defending what others think we have said without asking us first, what is meant! Context is everything, we each bring our own to an experience and it is in that context we have/find our meaning. Remember, what you think you know I am saying is only your context of knowing.
You see it is a curse, that of being misunderstood!
With this in mind, I encourage the viewer to think of my artworks in different ways and to move beyond what you already know. Interacting with my images, constructions, and their philosophical qualities may be uncomfortable for some individuals. Ideas that confront our emotions and our personal beliefs can challenge the viewer to form new attitudes and redefine their experiences. I want the viewer to take the initiative to construct personal meaning, and explore new possibilities of knowing through my works, reinterpreting the experiences presented in light of their own.