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We hear that instructor Mark Pritchett retired from the art department at San Antonio College at the end of the Spring ’10 semester. We never took a class with him, mind you, but the guy’s an art-educational legend. Mr. Pritchett’s infamously gruff and challenging manner, his deep dedication to not just potential, but excellence, and the sheer impact of his critique have fire-tested some of the best artists San Antonio has ever produced, and enhanced the vision of students whether or not they pursued an art career. Some of Pritchett’s former students: artist and Unit B gallerist Kimberly Aubuchon; NYC-based painter Erik Parker; painter and SAC instructor Ed Rodriguez; artist and Say Sí Director Jon Hinojosa; SMART founder-artist-curator Andy Benavides; and visual artist-DJ-John Mata. Kelly O’Connor, whose collage exhibition Inappropriate is up at Joan Grona until June 27, says that “He was the most important professor I had in my college experience. I took my first studio art class with him … he taught me to see. He also taught me that you have to be disciplined in order to be a good artist.” Ann Morrow remembers “a mean woman who attacked me in a critique about how I’d chosen to draw a still life. Before I could even get a word out to defend myself, `Pritchett` destroyed her. No other teacher has ever done more for my belief in myself and what I can do. Ever.” — Sarah Fisch

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February 24, 2021

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