Gary Katona – The Spark
Although I would draw constantly since I was kid, I didn’t ‘trust’ high school art teachers and never took a formal class until I was accepted at Chouinard on ‘probational status’, hoping to pursue filmmaking. The “introduction to drawing class” was headed by Jack Kling, who had us drawing on the floor, mixing our own inks, and fashioning crude drawing utensils. It was the Liberation of a lifetime and to this day I remember him, down on the floor next to me, responding to a drawing and saying “This just all turned on for you didn’t it ? ” And it had. Another moment, a couple of semesters later, I recall Liz Eklund (sp?) , a terrific administrator and part time instructor, who scolded me about my drawing “This is too easy for you. I want to see you WORK.” and she was right. I went on to my BFA and accepted a full scholarship, becoming part of the transitional team, to CAL ARTs and an MFA, only to realize by comparison (especially in those chaotic early days of CIA development) how truly fortunate my timing had been @ Chounaird; Bob Kurtz, Ed Reep, Bill Graham, T. Hee…and so many talented friends and fellow students, and how blessed we were to have experienced it.