"When dawn spreads its paintbrush on the plain, spilling purple... ," Sons of the Pioneers theme for TV show "Wagon Train." Dawn on the mythic Santa Fe Trail, New Mexico, looking toward Raton from Cimarron. -- Clarkphoto. A curmudgeon artist's musings melding metaphors and journalism, for readers in more than 150 countries.

Saturday, December 16, 2017

December Departures - Old North

"Old North at UCO," 5 by 7 watercolor card
Graduation days are departures as well as beginnings, and this marks the first December in more than two decades that I won't be attending at UCO,  congratulating favorite students receiving their degrees. It's why we teach.
Retirement has been departure, and they so are students, beginning new phases of our lives, leaving behind the iconic Old North, oldest higher education building in Oklahoma, dating from 1893. 
For years I've painted snow scene watercolor cards for several friends on campus, but not this year. However I've photographed it a lot this year, watching its construction, and through the years. 
Old North was often the first thing I saw early in the morning as I arrived on campus, lit by the rising sun, or in the evening, silhouetted by the setting sun. Departures.
But  this year has been important for it as well. After sitting vacant since 2001 because it was unsafe, it reopened this fall, rebuilt inside, and added on to as well, the result of lot s of fundraising and committed administrative leadership. It is once again a showcase of the promise of education, including excellent art and photographs, the latest technology, and classrooms full of students. 
Anybody who has attended UCO in its various name changes through the years probably has stories to tell, because there are literally thousands of people who have had classes inside this former teacher's college--including me.
Here is last year's painting, and some photos I took walking around  campus in May, and some from earlier years. Departures.
(Day 16 of 31 December paintings)

Icon  of education

The new and old, and Chickasaw Plaza



Campus beauty

From UCO archives

From UCO archives

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