A Tour of Lubbock’s Art Community with Chad Plunket

Written By Maggi Gallaspy

March 18, 2021

By: Chad Plunket

My grandfather wore paisley ties. I know this because I remember my mother and aunts telling me not to touch grandfather’s tie with my muddy, little boy fingers. I tell you this to prove that as long as I have been alive, paisley has existed. But paisley hasn’t always existed. Someone created it. I like to imagine that at one point in human history everyone wore plaid. Straight lines intersecting making squares over and over. I wonder what it was like to wear paisley for the first time when everyone else was wearing plaid.

I sometimes think about art in Lubbock that way. Our streets are plaid. Straight lines overlapping creating an efficient grid. Piercing that grid are paisley amoebas, also known as art. It’s the weird things that are unexpected, but once seen, inject visual joy into our days.

And so, for me I love art in unexpected places. It’s the Jonathan Whitfill sculptures masterfully utilized in Western Bank as lighting, paired nicely with Bonnie Ellis abstract color field paintings.

You are certainly welcome to download the TTU: Public Art App and find all of the amoebas on campus, but I much prefer to walk around lost, because the surprise of turning the corner of a Spanish Renaissance building and seeing the “Oblique Intersection” by Lead Pencil Studio or the “Zephyr” by Marc Forne/THEVERMANY is worth the wandering stroll. Take your bike if you want to see as much as possible. And, take the kids! Let’s inspire the next generation of Red Raiders with amoebas.

Full disclosure, I am the Director of the Charles Adams Studio Project (CASP), and I think the exhibitions inside of 5&J Gallery are diverse and must see. But I also encourage you to peek through the glass garage doors of any of our studios and see what our artists are up to. They are probably creating the next great paisley.

I’ll also fight anyone that tells me the pinball machines at Flippers Tavern aren’t great art, as I believe a game shared with friends is amongst the highest forms of art. While you’re there check out the iron work, “Particles & Waves,” by Tornado Industrial Arts in the outdoor patio.

Don’t get me started on the comic strip archives of Dirk West, one the greatest artists to reside in Lubbock, displayed on the walls of Dirk’s Chicken.

I am also a super-fan of LHUCA Curator, Linda Cullum. She has programmed the LHUCA galleries for over ten years. The four galleries are constantly rotating the best work from across the city, region, state, nation, and beyond.

You shouldn’t miss the doodles by various artists on the tables at Two Docs. Take your own sharpie and add to the evolving designs.

Because at one point in human history, paisley didn’t exist, and now it does. Who Knows, maybe your doodle is the next great amoeba.


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