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Arts Toolkit

Arts Toolkit: Visual

Kentuckians in Visual Arts

Art and Design Professor Edward Carroll Hale
Richmond, Kentucky


Who Carroll Hale, sculptor and art professor at Eastern Kentucky University, traces his interest in three-dimensional art and design to his childhood, when he built models, worked with pottery, and spent time in an artist friend/mentor’s studio. “I just had a three-dimensional way of seeing an object, seeing depth and perspective instead of seeing an object as a flat thing,” he says. After high school, he joined the Air Force and spent four years working as an electronics technician with navigational computer systems. After his military service, he attended the University of Kentucky as an art major. Then he spent five years as a middle school art teacher (two years as the department chair) in Maryland. After receiving his MFA from the Maryland Institute of Art, he taught at Pembroke University in North Carolina for two years. In 1969, he accepted a position at EKU. Altogether, he has taught art studio and art appreciation courses at the college level for almost 40 years. He also helps graduating students as senior adviser of the EKU Department of Art and Design and has twice served as the department chair. Hale is a practicing sculptor, painter, potter, and photographer.


What “I teach sculpture classes in all techniques, including bronze, stone carving, plaster work, and three-dimensional design and composition. I work within the department’s overall organization, developing various projects with other faculty and assisting with the general art program. However, most of my work is with students: preparing lectures, guiding projects, serving as a technical resource, and evaluating my students’ work. I maintain all the equipment and supplies for the studio. I usually end up spending twice as much time in preparation for a class than I do in the actual classroom/studio instructing students.”

When “I spend up to 10 to 12 hours in-studio with students and doing additional work for the department. My day usually begins at 7:30 am and is spent primarily in the classroom. I often work at night and on the weekends on current projects.”

How “Each day is different, with a new set of problems to solve. My biggest challenge is making sure students get the message. Being a good listener, providing students with enough information, helping them advance, and continuing my own education to stay on top of the developments in this field are all musts when I consider the needs of my students.”

Why “I love to see students learn and grow while knowing that I’ve been a part of the process. I’ve been accused of being an adviser-for-life because I want to be directly involved in the development of my students’ talents.”


Getting There “I spent my youth working at a wide variety of odd jobs, then joined the Air Force. I spent a lot of time in an artist’s studio when I was young. So I would say that it is really important to do and learn as many things as possible, especially if you want to be an artist. Artists and educators shouldn’t concentrate on being good in one specialized field. They should maintain a broad range of knowledge and experience, or their artwork and their students will suffer. Choose schools that offer a broad curriculum. Work with as many other artists as possible. Read as much as you can and don’t stop learning. If you want to teach, especially at the university level, get as much classroom experience as possible, in addition to continuing to broaden your overall knowledge. You also have to enjoy people. You must be optimistic, trusting, and willing to do work outside of class to maintain experience in your field. You must always be willing to start over—both with projects and with people. And you should always make sure, especially in the studio, to have a Plan B. Sometimes the kiln just doesn’t fire or the furnace won’t work, and you have to change your teaching plan on the spot. Finally, if you want to teach sculpture, get a truck: It’s a ‘heavy’ job.”

600 Cooper Drive, Lexington, KY 40502 (859) 258-7000 (800) 432-0951