Texas Tech University

A Studio Visit with Shannon Cannings


March 7, 2018

Glasstire - Artist and writer Hannah Dean spoke with artist and professor Shannon Cannings in Canning’s studio in Lubbock on March 4th, 2018. An exhibition of Cannings’ work opens Thursday, March 8 at the McCormick Gallery, Midland College in the Allison Fine Arts Building, Midland, Texas. It runs through April 13, 2018

HD: Does teaching foundational drawing and design [at Texas Tech University] contribute to what you do?

SC: I think a lot. As a teacher, you hear your voice all the damn time. I'm reteaching myself and reinforcing those ideas as I teach students. I find little mantras that are super important to me. I always wear these bracelets [gestures to arm], like one says "general to specific" which is the most important thing about Drawing I. This one is the most important thing about color, "hue, value, and intensity," which is how you identify a color. The third one, by the way, is that fake Latin from The Handmaid's Tale: "Don't let the bastards get you down." I added that one this year — weird [laughs]. I find myself doing the rosary with them while I'm talking with my students. Here [in the studio] it's important, too — not to get ahead of myself. I always am yelling, well, not yelling... suggesting to my students not to ice the cake before you bake it. It's a good reminder to slow down and get it right from the bones.

Read the whole story here.