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Tornado Alley extends from West Texas diagonally through Oklahoma, Kansas, and beyond. It is the geographical swath where more tornados occur than anywhere else on earth. But there is a little known fact related to this phenomenon and does not concern the weather, but the powerful influence of a man…

At least it should.

There lives a man whose manner does not suffer fools. Would we desire our guardian of tradition to be anything less? He can blow your roof off, illuminate your skies with lightning intensity, and twist your mind around his commitment, professionalism, and vision. Would we wish our mentor to coddle us?

And with deconstruction comes growth.

There lives a man with a discerning eye, an elegance of hand and a focused mind. He has worked for half a century tilling the garden of aesthetic pursuit with the artistic equivalence of Manifest Destiny. What he touches blooms, what he perceives becomes his own, and he sees beyond the horizon.

And so.

There lives a man, dependable as springtime storms in Texas, who races through life with the energy of a tornado, but whose careful cultivation of his garden has resulted a crop of students, colleagues and friends who understand this man who offers us hard lessons, produces hail storms of work, and seeds the next generation of artists.

And we call him friend.

There lives a man, Richard Martin Ash III, whose influence stretches wider and deeper than Tornado Alley, who has been a constant gardener for so many. I for one can’t wait for the next wind to blow, and the new sprouts to rise. And after the work is done, just pass him another cold one, hold on to your hat and say “ thank you”

He deserves it.


Richard Ash III retrospective