Video by Hannah Onder
Graphic by Hannah Onder
Growing up, Rueben Gonzales knew he wanted to be surrounded by art and make a career out of it.
“I’ve always wanted to be in the art world and teach, so I’ve been building my resume and my portfolio and my professional experience with the idea that I would settle myself with art as my career and profession,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales initially came to Wesleyan as a creative services manager in marketing in communications for a year and a half before leaving to work on his Master of Fine Arts degree in photography at Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia.
He’s now come full circle returning to Wesleyan as a visiting assistant art professor and the new coordinator of the Bernice Coulter Templeton Art Studio.
“I really fell in love with this school and my team, and the only reason I left was to go back to school,” he said. “I needed to be able to balance school full time with a full-time work schedule that would work for me. Always with the idea in my mind that I would eventually come back to the school if the position would arise.”
According to Dr. Steven Daniell, the interim dean of the School of Arts and Letters and assistant provost, Gonzales’s application rose to the top of the application pool for the job. This was due to his great recommendations from people at Wesleyan, his MFA from a preeminent art school, his prior teaching experience, and his experience and connections from working at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth.
“We’re just thrilled to be able to get him back on campus in this position,” Daniell said. “I think the students are really going to enjoy having his courses, and the university community is going to really enjoy the exhibitions he’s able to bring people in to do.”
Gonzales said he’s teaching three art classes this year: two sections of Basic Art and one section of Beginning Drawing.
“I think what’s really interesting about teaching students that are not visual arts majors is that a lot of them are at different levels of their capabilities in art,” Gonzales said. “A lot of them see this as a chance to breathe. It’s like art therapy for them, and I think that’s really important.”
One of Gonzales’s art students, senior general business major Lucas Salazar, said he looks forward to his art class.
“Before I was kind of scared taking art, but after a couple of classes with him, he made me feel pretty comfortable taking the class. If you’re feeling stuck about anything, you can just ask him, and he’ll look at your art and explain,” Salazar said.
Salazar also said thinks he’ll do well with the gallery.
“He has a real big love for art,” Salazar said. “He has a huge passion for art, and he can definitely spread that passion towards others.”
Gonzales said he wants to bring in more local artists from the DFW area and more art variety.
“I wanted to bring in photographers, painters, installation pieces. I want the breadth of what we do to be larger, and I want students to be able to make work and put on a show as well,” Gonzales said.
Gonzales said he wants to make the gallery more open to students outside of art and get more people on campus involved with it.
“I just want to be able to continue to present this space with exhibitions and to make it as much as a centerpiece as the new student center,” Gonzales said. “I want people to be talking about this place all the time.”
These two photos “Untitled (Black Diamond)” (left) and “Untitled (The Climb)” (right) are from Rueben Gonzales’s photographic exhibition called “Counterpoint the Climb” showing from Oct. 5 to Dec. 14 at the MYT Art Studio and Gallery at 3740 S. University Drive. Photos by Rueben Gonzales
Social Media Strategy:
The story will be promoted on social media through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram on the day the story is posted. Each post will run once. Also, note that all the links currently say therambler.org since this story wasn’t online when the post were created.
Published link: https://issuu.com/therambler/docs/vol._103._no.7-book (Page 4)