Dedicated to Dr. Ann McGee-Cooper
of Ann McGee-Cooper and Associates
I loved you so much… but you knew that, didn’t you? I cannot imagine what my life would have been like if I had never known you. I yearned for someone like you to direct me in my path of following my dreams. You were like an angel to me, as well as the greatest teacher I have ever known. You me offered a world of honesty, beauty and imagination.
I dedicate my career of teaching to you. You were my mentor who taught me how to help students discover their God-given talents within them. You are the fairy godmother to all of these students who have been blessed through the channeling of a very special gift of teaching which you bestowed upon me many years ago.
You have blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. I am forever grateful for sharing so many amazing moments with you and your team of ordinary people who became extraordinary through the Experimental Arts Program.
Ann was the Head of Art Education and Director of the Experimental Arts Program at Southern Methodist University. She was my teacher at S.M.U. for 5 years. She passed away this past year – 2016 – from a long fight with breast cancer.
An assortment of some of Ann’s books. I helped her with the one on the right: “Time Management for Unmanageable People”
“We do not believe in ourselves until someone reveals that deep inside us something is valuable, worth listening to, worthy of our trust, sacred to our touch. Once we believe in ourselves we can risk curiosity, wonder, spontaneous delight or any experience that reveals the human spirit.”
– e.e. cummings
Photos of me when I was teaching with the Experimental Arts Program, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, 1971-75
The following are just some of my former students who continued on the path of creativity and the human spirit…
Stevie Ray Vaughan / Musician
I taught Steve drawing in the Experimental Arts Program located at Southern Methodist University, Dallas, Texas, in 1973.
This is a photo of Steve (that’s what I called him) during the time I taught him in the high school drawing class of the EAP. He used to stay after class and help me clean up. Once he asked me if he could bring his guitar. “Of course. I play the guitar, too.” I wasn’t prepared for what I heard when he first played for me while we sat in the hallway outside the art ed classroom at SMU. Needless to say I had no desire to play anything on my guitar for him. He blew me away from the very first time I heard him play.
The rest of the story is in the poems below which I wrote for him after his death. I never knew that the Steve Vaughan I used to teach in high school was the world renowned blues singer-guitarist Stevie Ray Vaughan until I received a call from “Texas Monthly Magazine” who told me that when they interviewed him he had told them about me and our conversation in the SMU hallway after he played for me that day in 1971. It was the reason he was inspired to pursue his life in music. I was just talking to him the way any good teacher would talk to a wild, crazy talented child – “Follow your dreams because obviously God has given you a gift that is so special that if you do, you will bless your family and be so very, very successful.”
So he did.
And he was.
CRYING IN PARADISE by Wally Linebarger 2011 after listening to “Riviera Paradise” with Norm Nelson. All alone I sit And listen to your tears Crying in your paradise I remember you… How did you turn into such a brightness From your darkness? I remember you Crying in my paradise You gave me Something so great which No one No one No one Will ever know how it feels. I am so amazed That you remembered me and in your darkness You gave me brightness Which we both have shared Crying in paradise Alone With memories of believing in our dreams. IN ANONYMITY by Wally Linebarger 2011 You were no different Than all the others No different except you were kind You were interested in my opinion and to spend extra time with me Just because you saw Something in me As special as you You mastered your music With amazing brilliance But you never forgot Those times we spent after class Playing our guitars Our talks As if you were no different Than all the other ones You didn’t know how to reach your dream And reach your parents With your music And with your love You mostly wanted to show them That by being the best damn guitar player in the world Would one day bring them honor And give them pride To make up for those times When they told you You were just wasting your life away …how strange to think That you not only made them proud You gave me the gift of respect Instead of casting me into the closet and forgotten Like your old guitar We never forgot how you made magic For eternity For my personal paradise Sharing the gift you gave to me In anonymity
James (J.B.) Neal / James Neal Films
I taught JB (James) at Walden Preparatory School, Addison, Texas, from 1976 to 1978.
This is a music video which JB wrote, filmed and directed with another former Walden Preparatory student, Cliff Price, son of the late Ray Price: Cliff Price “Makalittleluv”
“Jimi Hendrix ’67”
Sam Brown/Visual Artist
I taught Sam at the Walden Preparatory School, Addison, Texas, from 1976 to 1978.
Sam drawing with chalk on the sidewalks in Denton, Texas. Right after this photo was taken he was arrested for vandalism.
Jon Price / Filmmaker
I taught Jon and his wife Susie (Rufus) at the Walden Preparatory School from 1976-78.
Jon (bottom right) with me… he was one of my very first students in a 8mm filmmaking class.
Jon is now the Director of Post Production at Disney TV Animation Studios.
Logan Stollenwerck III / Sculptor
I taught Logan at Trinity Christian Academy, Addison, Texas from 1979-1980.
Logan acting crazy with his wife Cheryl just laughing it off.
Chip Hagen/Commercial Photographer
I taught Chip at Trinity Christian Academy, Addison, Texas, 1979-1982.
GeorgeAnn Shafer / Shafer Studio
I taught GeorgeAnn at Trinity Christian Academy from 1979-1983.
Jon Millet / Head of Visual Arts, TCA / Artist
I taught Jon at Trinity Christian Academy from 1979-1983.
Jon Millet, Caroline Crockett Kneese and Robert McGraw at Cerulean Gallery-Dallas – all 3 former students from Trinity Christian Academy and Ursuline Academy.
Don Relyea / Artist, Futurist, Technologist
I taught Don at Trinity Christian Academy from 1979-1985.
Thor Johnson / Multi-media & Performance Artist
I taught Thor at Trinity Christian Academy from 1980 to 1985.
Comic Book Illustration by Dwayne Carter
Christen Crews Christie / Art Educator
I taught Christen at Trinity Christian Academy – Addison from 1980 to 1985. She also taught art at Trinity after graduation from college.
Jonathan Ingram/Ingram Design
I taught Jonathan at Trinity Christian Academy Class, Addison, Texas from 1982-1988.
I taught Andy at Trinity Christian Academy, Addison, Texas, 1979-1988
I taught Jason at The Stony Brook School, Stony Brook, New York, 1988-89.
Considered by many to be the greatest Australian artist of all time.
Tiffanie Phillips/Art Educator
I taught Tiffanie at Trinity Christian Academy from 1984-1990. She is presently teaching art at Trinity.
Kellie CA (Weaver)/Artist
Lori Pearson Brennan/Photographer & Graphic Designer
I taught Lori at Trinity Christian Academy from 1986-1990.
David Connolly/Art Educator-Artist
I taught David at Trinity Christian Academy, Addison, Texas, 1988-90.
Matthew Akers/Mud Puppy Films
I taught Matthew at Trinity Christian Academy, Addison, Texas, 1980-1990.
Gretta Eberhart Arzate/Art Educator
I taught Gretta at Trinity Christian Academy from 1990-1991.
Arthur James aka Artman / Artist
I taught Arthur at Trinity Christian Academy from 1979-1987.
Adria (Johnson) Warner/Art Educator / Ceramicist
I taught Adria at Trinity Christian Academy from 1987-1991.
Bryan Embry/Ross Akard Gallery
I taught Bryan at Trinity Christian Academy from 1988-1990.
Pin Show directors Bryan Embry, Julie McCullough, and Mike Thompson
Gina (Sibrizzi) Dunn / Utopia Parkway Arts / Painter
I taught Gina at Ursuline Academy from 1993-1997.
Caroline Crockett Kneese/Owner of Cerulean Gallery, Dallas & Amarillo, Texas
I taught Caroline at Ursuline Academy of Dallas, Texas from 1995-1997.
Jon Millet (TCA), Caroline Crockett Kneese (Ursuline Academy) and Robert McGraw (TCA) – all three former students.
Kris Norvett/Musical & Cultural Events Producer
I taught Kris at Ursuline Academy of Dallas, Texas, 1995-97.