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Oklahoma State University

Past Leisure Learning Courses

Summer 2018
Fantastic Visions of the Southwest 
What do Conan the Barbarian, the Cthulhu Mythos, talking sea serpents, and indigenous revolution have to do with Taos? The authors who created those stories - Robert E. Howard, H.P. Lovecraft, Charles G. Finney, and Leslie Marmon Silko – also created fantastic stories of the landscape and peoples in and around New Mexico, stories that are the subject of this course. This course will provide an introduction to writers and works whose influence on contemporary fantasy is widespread and profound. We will examine fantastic visions of the American West and Southwest by modern and contemporary writers from both outside and within the region.

Instructor: Tim Murphy holds a PhD in English from UCLA. From 1998 to 2013, he was professor of English and general editor of the scholarly journal Genre: Forms of Discourse and Culture at the University of Oklahoma. He came to Oklahoma State as the inaugural Houston-Truax-Wentz Professor of English in 2013, and was named Regents Professor of English in 2016. He is the author of several books and numerous journal articles. He teaches regularly in the areas of modern and contemporary literature, experimental fiction, science fiction and fantasy literature, and the history of literary criticism and theory.
 
 
Art and Devotion in Spanish New Mexico
Explore the art and culture of Spanish New Mexico. The course examines the region’s rich history of devotional art—painting, sculpture, and architecture—and considers the lasting importance of this visual and religious culture for present-day communities. Our location in Taos allows for on-site study of local churches (Taos, Las Trampas, Talpa, and Chimayó), collections, and artists. An added visit to Santa Fe provides a dynamic intellectual and cultural experience at the Palace of the Governors, Saint Francis Cathedral, the Church of San Miguel, and Museum Hill. Excursions and discussions comprise each day.
 
Instructor: Cristina Cruz Gonzalez holds a Ph.D. in Art History from the University of Chicago.  She is an Associate Professor of Art History at Oklahoma State University, specializing in the art of New Spain. She has published widely and has lectured extensively at universities and museums. In 2016, she was a Hargis Fellow at the DRCA, where she worked on her book manuscript, Art, Identity, and Salvation in Viceregal Mexico.
 
 
Geology in Taos
Learn about geology from the valley floor of the Rio Grande Rift and the exquisite scenery of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range. The Taos area is famous for its complex geological history ranging in age from 1.7 billion years to present. This course will introduce you to the geology of Taos and the surrounding region through hands-on exploration of rocks, minerals, fossils, and geologic structures. Participants should anticipate walking up to a mile over uneven terrain.
 
Instructor: Deborah Ragland holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science with emphasis in Geology from Oklahoma State University. Following university studies, she worked for Conoco Inc., Westport Technology International, and Phillips Petroleum as consulting geologist and Senior Geologist/Petrologist. She has taught geology at UNM-Taos for many years and has led numerous geological field trips for lifelong learners.
 
 
Flyfishing - Beginning & Intermediate
Beginners will learn about the skills and equipment needed to become a fly fisherman- basics of the fly rod and reel, fly casting, pond and stream ecology, matching the hatch (identifying what fly to use when), knot tying, fish identification, ethics, rules and regulations and safety. Intermediates will have a review of skills. Both groups will get the chance to put their skills to the test in local ponds, lakes or rivers.
 
Instructor: Marc Harrell has spent 10 years fly fishing northern New Mexico and southern Colorado. He has fished every river, stream and lake in the region and enjoys teaching beginners and more experienced anglers.
 
 
Pueblo & Spanish Cooking in New Mexico
What makes the food of New Mexico distinctive? The blending of the traditional food of the Pueblos with the later influences of the Spanish.  Learn about these historical influences on New Mexico food and cook contemporary New Mexico recipes.  Hands on experiences will include traditional Pueblo feast day cooking with Norma Naranjo at Okay Owingeh Pueblo and contemporary Spanish influenced cooking with Chris Maher at Cooking Studio Taos.
 
Instructor: Carol Moder is the Ann & Burns Hargis Professor & Director of the Doel Reed Center for the Arts.  She has been a professor in the TESL/Linguistics Program at Oklahoma State University since 1986. She has conducted research and taught Food Studies at OSU and at the DRCA.
 
 
From Plant to Paper
In this four-day workshop participants will learn the basics of making paper by hand from local plant materials, then use those papers to create unique, one of a kind soft and hardcover pamphlet stick books. Engaging in the paper making process, especially when using local New Mexico plant fibers, allows people to experience a magical material transformation while learning about plants and a new art form simultaneously.
 
Instructor: Megan Singleton is a practicing artist and educator located in St. Louis, Missouri. Her ecology-based work crisscrosses the boundaries of contemporary craft, combining sculpture, hand papermaking, installation, and digital applications.  She received her MFA in Sculpture from Louisiana State University and holds an adjunct position at Saint Louis University, teaching Fiber Arts. In 2016 she was the recipient of the Smelser Vallion Visiting Artist Fellowship at the DRCA in Taos, NM. She has taught engaging community workshops in varied locales.

 

Fall 2017
Color in the Taos Landscape: Monoprint & Painting Workshop
Study color and contrast in the Taos landscape with artist Suzanne Wiggin. She will guide you in the creation of monoprints. Using plexiglass plates and a limited palate of inks, you will create a personal “monoprint sketchbook” of the breathtaking landscape surrounding the Doel Reed Center for the Arts. Once you have your sketchbook, you will explore the range of colors in the in the landscape through oil painting. You will come away with a deeper understanding of color in the Taos landscape.

Instructor: Suzanne Wiggin was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, where her family has been for generations. Forty years ago she moved to Taos, New Mexico, as a teenager. Taos Valley has had a profound impact on her artistic vision. The land with its storms and clear light is the focus of her paintings and monotypes. Her education includes a Masters of Fine Arts from Boston University and a Bachelor of Art Education from the University of New Mexico. Her work has been exhibited widely and is represented by Winterowd Fine Art of Santa Fe, New Mexico.

 

Summer 2017
Ecology & Visual Landscape of Northern New Mexico
Active learning to interpret and to artistically represent the variety of landscapes in northern New Mexico. The instructors will lead interactive discussion about what they see in the landscape, why the landscape elements are there, and how to think about the elements in a visual way. Participants interested in the science may choose to collect samples of plants, soil, or rocks, and participants interested in art may choose to make drawings of the landscape. 

Instructor: Dave Engle, Professor Emeritus & Marty Avrett

 

Art & Literature in New Mexico Post 1940
Since the end of the Great Depression, the visual and literary arts in the Southwest have been characterized by the increasing emergence and critical acceptance of diverse perspectives and voices. We will look at the visual arts in New Mexico from the Taos Moderns on, examining representative works in local museums and galleries. We also will read and discuss works by late modernist and contemporary writers, including Hispanic and Native American authors. Part of each day will be devoted to discussion, another part to excursions.

Instructor: Ed Walkiewicz, Professor Emeritus, English
 

Taos Photography & Solar Printmaking Workshop
Explore Taos by taking photographs in some of its most scenic settings, using your cell phone or point and shoot camera. Then discover how to transform your photos into a solar print. Even if you have no artistic background, you can design and create prints using this method.

Instructor: Jennifer Lynch, Master Printmaker, www.lynchpinpress.com
 

Fly Fishing (Beginning & Intermediate)
Beginners will learn about the skills and equipment needed to to become a fly fisherman- basics of the fly rod and reel, fly casting, pond and stream ecology, matching the hatch (identifying what fly to use when), knot tying, fish identification, ethics, rules and regulations and safety. Intermediates will have a review of skills. Both groups will get the chance to put their skills to the test in local ponds, lakes or rivers.

Instructor: Marc Harrell
 

New Mexico Food & Culture
Corn, beans, chile, chocolate.  Explore the fascinating history of these American ingredients and their contributions to the distinctive culinary culture of New Mexico. We will taste, cook, and explore Native American, Spanish, and contemporary New Mexican food and food culture.

Instructor: Carol Moder, Director Doel Reed Center for the Art
 

Fashion Studies
This leisure learning class will study innovation and tradition in fashion through the lens of the unique culture and setting of Taos, NM. Participants will explore fashion from theoretical, practice, and personal perspectives. Beginning by considering the topic of fashion studies, we will explore Martha Reed’s merging of the Pueblo Indian clothing traditions, particularly pleating, with fashion trends of the mid-20th Century. Participants will also have an opportunity for hands on work, dyeing and creating a silk scarf with the arashi shibori method.

Instructor: Mary Ruppert-Stroescu