This spring Macon State College brought back Eric O’Dell, a well-known and respected artist, to teach Art Appreciation and a studio painting course.
“Our hope is for me to come on board in the fall to continue being a part of the Fine Arts team with the regular professor, Mr. Charles ‘Skip’ Ward,” O’Dell said. After graduating from high school O’Dell attended Mercer University.
Upon completing his education at Mercer he married his high school sweetheart, Greta. He started teaching at Mercer in 1994, but along the way he taught several adjunct courses at Macon College during the 90s.
Also during the 90s, he started working at the Museum of Arts and Sciences. During his employment he wore several hats including building manager, exhibition designer, curator of art and Director of Exhibitions.
While teaching, he has enjoyed traveling overseas to Europe to places including: Paris, France; Florence, Italy, and Athens, Greece. In 1994, he secured studio space in downtown Macon which is now known as The Contemporary Arts Exchange/Macon.
“I have a very vigorous studio life, making paintings and drawings over the years and I continue to do so today,” O’Dell said. “Making art is essential to who I am and it allows me to not only talk about art to my students, but also to show them how they can improve their own efforts as well.”
When he came on board in the spring, the committee chairs of “The Arts Festival” Ph.D. Sheree Keith, and Ph.D. Loretta Clayton invited him to be a part of the planning for this year’s events.
“I’ve had a ball helping, which is essentially reaching out to folks I’ve had the good fortune of working with in the past,” O’Dell said. The theme for the festival this year was “The Art of History” and he thought that Macon’s Art and Science Museum’s former director, Nancy Anderson, would be a marvelous guest speaker.
“She’s brilliant, feisty, and a top notch storyteller,” O’Dell said. He was also responsible for introducing the talents of Randy Cannon, Brian Renko and Roger Jamison to the students of Macon State College.
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