Successful artist and former student, Ryan Ayers spoke to attendees of a reception Feb. 12 that was the first in a series of exhibits planned to showcase the talents of TJC alumni.

This art showing is one of several to happen this spring semester in The Full Circle Series, which was planned by Derrick White, a TJC art instructor and the leader of the Art Club.

Ayers, along with other former student artists of TJC, are coming back to show their artwork during the series.

The Full Circle Series is a calendar of art exhibitions and events featuring former TJC students who currently work professionally in the field of visual art.

A number of previous students such as Amber Draschil and Bryan Pettigrew, along with Ayers, are to show their work in the series.

“It encourages our current students to meet, hear and see examples from artists who have been exactly where they are and who are taking what they have learned and succeeding,” White said

White hopes that with these art showings, as well as the art classes and instructors of the art department, the students will be inspired to pursue their career goals.

“I love the department and the teachers. It just makes me wish it was four years,” art student Tiffany Moore said.

She agreed that seeing artwork by Ayers and knowing that he was a former TJC student helped inspire her to go as far with her artwork as she can.

Ayers received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2008 after transferring from TJC.

Ayers attended TJC in 2004-2006 and completed numerous studio art courses in drawing, design, painting and sculpture. He received recognition as a 2004-2005 TJC performance grant student showcase artist.

The TJC Art Department has had numerous students that have gone on to universities, art institutes and work professionally in the field of art.

These former students like Ayers have gone on to success and stay in contact with their former TJC art instructors. They also give back to the art department.

“TJC has one of the best art departments I have come across. They are very encouraging and allow a lot of creative freedom,” Ayers said. “I plan on donating a few pieces in the art auction. Anything to help the art department.”

Ayers has also sold some of his work professionally and has more than a few fans in East Texas.

Ayers’ work will be on display through March 4 in Wise Auditorium on TJC campus.

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