Not one to keep his feet planted on American soil, art professor Charles Wissinger made yet another journey to Europe to address a worldwide audience.
Last month in October, Wissinger was honored to be the Key Note speaker at the Art and Design Congress at Dokuz Eylul University Fine Arts Faculty in Turkey, he said.
“I have been able to speak and work in many different countries and it has changed my life,” Wissinger said.
Last year in December, Wissinger represented the United States in Rome as part of a group of artists that paid tribute to the 500th anniversary of the world map created by Piri Reis.
Traveling and learning is a large part of being an artist, he said.
“If you want to be recognized in the big picture, you have to get out there,” he said.
As the keynote speaker, Wissinger addressed more that 200 artist and professors from all over the world and also held workshops for art students that attended the conference.
Learning is one of the most important parts to being an artist, he said. There is always something new to learn, but the willingness to learn has to be present.
“I learned to never go anywhere with preconceived ideas because they are wrong,” Wissinger said.
During his travels, Wissinger likes to always be an artist and not the professor because as an artist there is more of a desire to be enlightened, he said.
American art students have a stronger emphasis on the creative approach to art, while European students put a large focus on the details of art, he said.
The joining of different approaches to art is what will become arts future.
Associate professor Todd Lucas has been at TAMUK for more than 13 years and has seen the impact that Wissinger has on his students, he said.
“The hardest thing to do is getting the students to forget the box they are in so they aren’t afraid to take risks,” he said. “ They need to know there the lines are so they know when they have crossed them, but taking risks is a big part of art.”
Lucas said that Wissinger’ travels have allowed him to make lasting connections that have built worldwide relationships that have expanded our art community.
Dr.Manuel Flores has been the Chair of the Art, Communications and Theater Department for more than four years and is honored to work with Wissinger, he said.