UT Tyler Department of Art and Art History
Gary C. Hatcher
Department: Department of Art & Art History
Building: ARC 120
B.F.A., Texas A&M Commerce
M.F.A, Texas A&M Commerce
Area: Ceramics, Small Metals, Introduction to Art
Philosophically, my approach to creativity is broad and interdisciplinary. Creative expression and investigation is integrated and not segmented by material or discipline. An interdisciplinary, cross cultural view is how I think, work, explore, read, investigate and express myself. This is the way I navigate this world.
Most of my work has been concentrated in the area of wood-fired ceramics, although drawing, printmaking and monumental stone sculpture have at times been my choice as expressive media. Increasingly, jazz study and performance has been of great interest to me. I am interested in how creative expression shares a common thread regardless of spatial or audial specifics. All converge in my soul, at the core of my being as an individual creative spirit, as a child of the universe, both free and connected simultaneously.
Current areas of creative expression and improvisation include detailed sgraffito drawing on three dimensional clay surfaces and jazz improvisation. Both drawing on clay surfaces and jazz guitar are immediate, improvisational and free. Both share the same psychological space and approach. Both emanate from the same impulse and emotive space in my soul, although using different media, tools, skills and study. I retain conceptual permission to utilize any process or modality to channel my creative spirit. There are no creative rules which are not self-imposed.
Gary C. Hatcher studied ceramics at The University of North Texas where he received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in ceramics and at Texas A&M at Commerce where he received a Master of Fine Arts degree in sculpture. His MFA work was done with monumental stone sculpture. Thesis Exhibition Title: Exploration of Jungian Archetypes and Greek Mythology in Limestone Sculpture.
He apprenticed in ceramic art studios in Devon, England, with Michael Leach and David Leach from 1976 to 1979 as well as shorter apprenticeship experiences in France and Greece. He is currently Professor of art in the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Tyler where he has taught since 1992 and served as department chair from 1999 until 2013.
After returning from England in 1979 he has maintained a studio in east Texas with his wife, Daphne Roehr Hatcher, also a ceramic artist, firing most works in a Bourry box wood fired kiln. Gary is also a performing jazz guitarist and incorporates music into his daily routine. He continues to balance teaching, music and a very active involvement in the creation of ceramic works at his studio.
He has served as guest editor three times for The Studio Potter and had several articles published on wood firing and wood kiln construction, had articles published in Ceramics Art and Perception, Ceramics Technical, Ceramics Monthly, The Studio Potter and American Craft. His works have been included in over a dozen books in print. He exhibits widely both nationally and internationally and has participated in over 300 exhibitions. Major exhibitions of his ceramic works have been held in venues such as Baylor University, Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Center for Contemporary Crafts, Austin College, Tyler Museum of Art and Irving Arts Center. His works are in numerous private and museum collections. Hatcher has curated a number of exhibitions of ceramic works for The University of Texas at Tyler and the Tyler Museum of Art.
On teaching at The University of Texas at Tyler Hatcher has said, “Teaching has become a part of my journey. After working undisturbed in my studio for twelve years I began teaching ceramics at The University of Texas at Tyler in 1992 and it has become the place where I share knowledge and experience I have gained in the last forty years as a ceramic artist. I am dedicated to providing the best learning environment possible for students. I want to challenge students to think of art in a cross-cultural way. I want my students to see creative expression as integrated and not segmented by material or discipline. Although much of my training was as an apprentice in art studios in Europe, the university offers the most effective environment for learning the ways of art. It is a place where ideas are exchanged and the process of creative exploration is pasted on to a new generation of those in pursuit of knowledge and understanding of our world through art.”
Current activities involve improvisation and creative expression through guitar and piano and the connections with creative and improvisation in fine art. He performs regularly with the band, “Purple Velvet Fox Jazz”.
Visit http://www.purplevelvetfox.com for information about his music.
Visit http://www.garyhatcher.com for information about his ceramic art.