Published on: March 02, 2009Lone Star College-Tomball Art Program Coordinator and Professor Earl Staley will be among a select group of artists honored at the 2009 DiverseWorks Gala–All Fired Up–on Friday, March 27, in the Crystal Ballroom of Houston’s historic Rice Hotel.
Staley, an artist with more than 50 years experience –primarily in acrylic painting and teaching–is being recognized as part of the 59@9 Gang, a group of “mature” artists who meet weekly for breakfast at the 59 Diner in Houston. Staley said he and the gang are pleased that DiverseWorks is taking the opportunity to recognize the self-described “first generation of modern artists” in Houston.
“Art has changed so much over the decades that we have been involved,” said Staley. “We are thankful to DiverseWorks for their recognition of a group of guys who truly love art and have a long history in the field. We all were working artists in the 50’s and there aren’t that many people still working today that can say that.”
DiverseWorks is a non-profit art center dedicated to presenting new visual, performing, and literary art. In addition to the recognition at the Gala, DiverseWorks is also hosting a “Fire Sale” with artwork–including pieces by Staley and other 59@9 Gang members–being offered at live and silent auctions.
“We are proud of Earl’s accomplishments,” said LSC-Tomball Dean of Behavioral Science, Humanities and Social Science Dr. Eric Wildman. “He has brought honor to himself and Lone Star College-Tomball.”
Staley, who splits his time living in Tomball and New Mexico, has focused his professional painting life on myths, symbols and landscapes. His work can be seen online at www.earlstaley.com, and this month he will have selected pieces on display at the LSC-Tomball Beckendorf Conference Center from March 20-April 30.
Staley holds a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in art and has taught at Rice University, the University of St. Thomas, and Washington University. He has received three grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and has received the Rome Prize in Painting to attend the American Academy in Rome, Italy.
He has taught at LSC-Tomball for more than 17 years and has “really connected” with the students in the slew of art courses he has led including painting, drawing, art history, art appreciation and more.
“He made it easy, despite the fact that I was an overwhelmed older student learning alongside younger students. He let people develop at whatever stage they were at the time. No matter how advanced a student, he would show them how to do it better. He was never judgmental. It was one of the most exciting adventures of my life,” said Wilma Sharp, who took several art courses from Staley
beginning in the Fall of 1992 and recently visited with him at his showing in February at Gallery M2 in the Heights in Houston.
“His instruction was the basis for my future success as I progressed with my degree at the university level,” added Sharp, who graduated summa cum laude and as the top student in her class from Sam Houston State University with a bachelor’s in Studio Art.
Lone Star College-Tomball is located at 30555 Tomball Parkway/SH 249 in Tomball.
The Lone Star College System consists of five colleges, including Cy-Fair, Kingwood, Montgomery, North Harris, and Tomball, six centers and Lone Star College-University Center. To learn more, visit www.lonestar.edu.