Here in the Mizzou Art Dept, we have a centralized area that holds most of our grads called Bingham Commons. The space has 26 studios, a small wood shop, Fibers area workspace and classrooms, and several areas for critique and instruction. Since recently becoming Coordinator of Graduate Spaces at Bingham Commons, I have spearheaded an effort to name our common areas.
I wanted to honor several of our faculty members who have moved on recently. Eric Sweet, who died last year, was a huge presence in the department. His dynamic attitude was a challenge to students, fellow faculty, and the general structure of education in Missouri. We have named our main graduate instruction area The Sweet Suite in his honor:
Bill Hawk, who recently moved into Emeritus status, was a major part of establishing the ethos of undergraduate paying at Mizzou. His sense of ‘tribe’ and his understanding of the unique place an art studio could be were – and still are – influential to more than 20 years of students (and fellow faculty):
J Brett Grill was with the Mizzou Art Department for a decade, and brought his technical clarity and administrative smarts to every area of the program. His tenure as Director of Graduate Studies was very positive. He leaves us to be near family and focus on his successful career in public sculpture:
Dr. Melvin Platt is, just maybe, the most important individual in our Department in the last 25 years. Brought in to shore us up and bring structure to a 21st century vision, Dr. Platt really saved our program and made huge strides toward making us secure for the future. His warmth, kindness, and knowledge of parliamentary procedure paid off:
So, if you ever find yourself wandering the graduate studios and someone tells you to meet them in The Sweet you’ll know just a bit about why the room is named as it is.
PS: if you can, consider donating to the Eric Sweet Memorial Scholarship.