A Semester Abroad In Your Own Backyard

For two months, seven students traveled from Texas Tech to some of the most remote locations of the American Southwest.

Nancy Holt's “Sun Tunnels” in Utah was a stop the students made during the two-month trip.

Nancy Holt's “Sun Tunnels” in Utah was a stop the students made during the two-month trip.

For two months, seven students traveled from Texas Tech to some of the most remote locations of the American Southwest. They camped out for much of the fall semester, as they explored natural and human forces that shape contemporary landscapes – ranging from sand dunes and skeletal remains, to baby wipes and bullet holes.

“It’s a semester abroad in our own backyard,” said Chris Taylor, assistant professor in the College of Architecture and director of Land Arts of the American West at Texas Tech.

The semester-long interdisciplinary field program concluded this spring, with a five-week exhibition at the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center, presenting documents, objects and constructions by students Cynthia Gabaldon, Gregory Hemmelgarn, Rocio Mendoza, Corinne Sutton, Sunny Tang, Bradley Wilson and Jennie Lamensdorf.

New York Times reporter Randy Kennedy was raised in West Texas, and detailed the unique program recently in “The American West as Classroom, Art and Metaphor.” The article and several pictures appeared May 4 on the cover of the Arts section.

Land Arts of the American West was founded at the University of New Mexico in 2000 by Bill Gilbert. Harvard-trained Taylor co-directed the program from 2001 until establishing it at Texas Tech when he moved from the University of Texas at Austin in 2008.

The Land Arts 2010 field season was made possible with operational support from Andrea Nasher and student support from the James Family Foundation.

See http://landarts.org for details.


College of Architecture

The College of Architecture

Architecture bridges the sciences with the arts. The College of Architecture offers dual degree programs with the College of Engineering and the Rawls College of Business.

Students can pursue career paths in design, construction, real estate development, construction product development and sales.

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