Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Decades of art, inspiration in new book A Life in Art from Professor Emeritus Maurice Schmidt

KINGSVILLE - November 08, 2006

Contact: Jason Marton
jason.marton@tamuk.edu or 361-593-4143

Signing to take place Sunday, Nov. 12, 11 a.m.-2p.m. at Congregation Beth Israel in Corpus Christi

Maurice Schmidt signing a copy of A Life in Art at the Barnes and
Noble University Bookstore Nov. 1

KINGSVILLE (November 8, 2006) — Sculpture, paintings, drawings and prints all make up A Life in Art, an illustrated look back at the life and art—so far—of Maurice Schmidt, professor emeritus of art from Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

As he readies for a book-signing event on Sunday, Nov. 12, from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in conjunction with the Jewish Food Festival of Congregation Beth Israel, located at 4402 Saratoga Blvd. in Corpus Christi, Schmidt reflects on the book that took two years to complete.

A Life in Art is a biography, my search in art and what I’ve found out,” said Schmidt.

The project started as a companion to an exhibit of Schmidt’s work held at the Bryant Gallery in Kingsville. It became a collection of biographical essays and an exploration of a body of work that reflects Jewish, agricultural and everyday subjects made surreal through the mediums of oil, watercolor, charcoal, printmaking and sculptures in clay, wood, bronze and stone.

“Looking back on the works, I was able to add another dimension to them as I realized the influences behind them,” said Schmidt. “I started to see a unity among the pieces.”

Schmidt taught art at A&M-Kingsville for 37 years from 1965 through 2002, and for four years thereafter, part-time. He is a native of Texas. He earned a bachelor’s of fine arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s of fine arts from Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Mich.

In addition to his degree work, Schmidt studied mural painting at Instituto Allende, San Miguel Del Allende, Mexico and sculpture and printmaking at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Before taking his position at the university, Schmidt taught at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio. He also taught private lessons to people of all ages and talent from preschool to post graduate.

Schmidt is an established painter, sculpture, printmaker and muralist whose work is in private collections and has been exhibited in museums, colleges and university throughout the United States and Mexico. He has published articles in scholarly journals such as Judaism and Southwest Art. His book, How to Achieve Mastery in Painting and Drawing, was published in 1974. Also in that year, he became art critic for the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, writing one column each week, and later, bi-monthly. His biography and work are featured in a book entitled, Deep in the Heart: The Lives and Legends of Texas Jews.

With A Life in Art complete, Schmidt said that he will continue creating through art and writing. Another book he has been working on for many years, In the Shadow of the Divine: The Tabernacle of Exodus as a Work of Art, makes the case that the structure was both a work of art and seminal influence in the architecture and art of Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

Schmidt introduced the first copies of his book at the opening of his largest retrospective exhibit last April at the Bryant Gallery in downtown Kingsville. His book signing at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore on the A&M-Kingsville campus this past Wednesday, Nov. 1, makes his book available on the campus where he taught for 40 years.  A Life in Art also is available at the the Bryant Gallery, located at 302 Kleberg St. in Kingsville, and at Congregation Beth Israel.

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