Eastern New Mexico University alumni and professor, Ron Shipp, has studied fine arts and has valuable insight to offer students. He was born in Clovis, NM, moved to Oregon, and has found his way back to ENMU to teach ceramics and enjoy teaching and sharing his knowledge with students.
“I believe in the arts really strongly. Mathematical skills and language skills are really important, and can be judged objectively, whereas in art we deal with things that are subjective,” said Shipp. “You cannot just say that something is good or bad. Art breaks the rules in that way.”
Shipp moved to Oregon at 10-years-old and had access to advanced art programs. He attended junior college for fine arts in Oregon, realized it was not the right path for him and dropped out.
Shipp held a variety of jobs until he finally found a position in his field of interest as a billboard painter.
“It was really good discipline, because I had to learn to paint realistically and on a very large scale,” said Shipp about the experience he gained.
Shipp enjoyed his time painting billboards and doing other pictorial work for many years, until technology started to change the industry. Shipp decide to return to school in his 40’s.
Shipp earned his Fine Arts degree at ENMU in 1993. He taught classes at Clovis Community College as well as at ENMU. He now has a personal focus on ceramics.
“I want my work to be vague enough that the viewer interprets it a certain way. If I spell it out to much I feel like I am taking away from it,” said Shipp about his artistic style.
Shipp considers himself a mixed media sculptor. He uses different outlets such as welded steel, wood, paper, or other materials depending on his project.
“That’s part of what is so great about ceramics. You have to figure out a way to make your idea possible,” said Shipp.
Shipp wants his students to learn how to work with their hands and discover their creative side. He is very involved with what his students are creating and is always brainstorming ways to make their ideas come to life.
“Art fits people’s personalities. No matter what your skills are or what your background is, there is a place in art where you can shine,” said Shipp.
Shipp would encourage students to take a ceramics class because it gives you the chance to explore your creative side.
“It is all about self-exploration. How you look at the world and how you think about the world,” said Shipp. “On the less philosophical side of it, it’s just relaxing. It’s a practical way to unwind.”