My name is Dustin Garnet and I am an instructor in the Central Tech art program. I am also a PhD candidate writing my thesis on the history of the CTS art program.
I just came across your comments and pictures on the Internet about your experience at Tech. I was thrilled!!! (He is referring to this post.)
Would you be interested in having a phone or a Skype interview about your experience?
I've already interviewed a bunch of former staff and students and I think your story would be a great contribution!
Please let me know whenever you can.
I checked Dustin Garnet out online and promptly replied with a hearty "Yes"! The phone or Skype interview morphed into a live, in our own home interview. On the heels of a conference in Victoria, B.C., Dustin flew to Calgary, rented a car on June 8th, 2013, and drove the 130kms to Claresholm.
|The video taped part of our day lasted a little over one hour|
The moment he came through our front door I was endeared to him. Our first hour, becoming acquainted, was animated and forthright. He'd emailed me questions to ponder. Those of you who know me would know that I'd have questions of my own, and often among the first is "How old are you?" "Thirty-three" he responded. His obvious passion for Central Tech (where he's been on staff for six years) and easy manner made it easy for me to be my usual, unreserved self. Please view Dustin's art here.
|My vanity had me ask to see how I looked on camera|
In lovely weather, we enjoyed lunch on our back deck, after which I took Dustin down to The Anne Frank Room. There he photographed my memorabilia and student art until it was time for him to dash back to Calgary for a 5 o'clock flight.
I happily watched as Dustin delighted in photographing everything from book covers of school projects, photos, to my diploma and report cards. He marveled at the fact that we were actually ranked according to our overall, average mark; i.e. 3 in a class of 15.
|My final report card ... notice how heavily weighted art subjects were compared to the academic subjects|
|This fine letter, to the graduates, accompanied our diploma|
|And there I am, diploma in hand, November 18th, 1966|
Dustin asked about student interaction. I was so honoured when he said that he could give a dissertation on me and my classmates. He wondered about how our teachers instructed. I felt (because art is so visual) that they had taught by doing and then left us to work it out. What they gave us was a desire to be like them. We could see that, as artists, they enjoyed a wonderful life both in and out of the classroom. I wanted that.
|Design class, Dawson Kennedy, January 1966|
|My photo from the VULCAN, Central Tech's 1966 year book|
When the four-year course was over I was not yet weaned from Central Tech and neither were other students from my graduating class. Some of us returned for night classes in life drawing. As well, I took sculpture which was not offered in the high school art program.
Dustin wanted to know about work placement after school. To my recollection it was arranged behind the scenes. Sent off to be a cartographer, I lasted a week. Good thing employment was easy to come by back then. Upon quitting I was hired, on the basis of my portfolio, at a division of Irwin Toy; Irwin Specialties. There, using a non-rotary x-acto knife, I hand-cut pro-film for silk screens (of my designs) to be printed as souvenirs. Pennants, t-shirts and tea towels. It was all very unglamourous (although it set me up for fine art, silk screen printing in later years) but it was a great deal more interesting than map making!
How wonderful that Dustin came so far to spend a day with me! He gave me a tremendous opportunity to remember my school days, of some 50 years ago, with someone new. Someone who feels every bit as strongly about the institution as I do. I look forward to his transcript of our interview and to his final thesis presentation.
Not to mention the book and the movie!