WSC Mourns Passing of Art Professor Lud Stromayer
Jan. 13, 2010 -- At Western State College of Colorado, art professor Ludwig “Lud” J. Stromayer was more than a teacher – he was a friend to students and colleagues, an avid chess player and an accomplished artist who was involved with the local art scene.
Stromayer passed away on Jan. 8 in Grand Junction, Colo. He was 72.
Western is hosting a Celebration of Life Memorial for Stromayer at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 4 in the Quigley Recital Hall. Anyone who wants to share a memory of Lud should contact Celeste Helminski at (970) 943-2114 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Detroit native joined Western in 1979 and taught painting and introduction to art classes. He retired in November 2009.
Stromayer was well-liked by students, noted Al Caniff, director of the art program at Western. Art alumnus Nathan Kubes, one of Stromayer’s former students, echoed that sentiment.
“Dr. Stromayer was my favorite professor at Western; he was amazing. As an art teacher, he taught confidence and helped students feel comfortable about their own artistic expression. In his class, he was so reassuring and had a nurturing aspect to him as a teacher that he helped you become a better you as an artist.”
Kubes added that Stromayer was also a “good friend, not just a teacher.” When not in the classroom, Stromayer could be seen around town challenging colleagues and students to chess. Kubes estimated that they played hundreds of games together, of which Stromayer often emerged victorious.
An accomplished artist, Stromayer's work is owned by art collectors throughout the world. San Jose State University in California, where he taught in the 1970s, holds a permanent collection of Stromayer’s artwork.
Caniff described Stromayer’s artistic style as “conceptual” and “contemporary.” In his work, Stromayer broke free of traditional techniques and explored other mediums and ways in which to combine them. One of his shows, “Mono Prints: A Unique Artistic Experience,” featured his artwork that blended drawing, painting, collage and printmaking.
“He was very conceptual; not analytical. He saw everything in ‘phrases’ and his artwork reflects that,” Caniff said, referring to Stromayer’s abstract paintings that mix together multiple images.
Stromayer earned his bachelor, master’s and doctor of education degrees from Wayne State University in Detroit. As an undergraduate, Stromayer was a standout basketball player on the freshman and varsity teams. While earning his undergraduate and graduate degrees, Stromayer was an art teacher at several middle schools in Michigan. Upon earning his doctor of education degree in 1970, Stromayer joined the faculty at San Jose State University in California, where he taught art and supervised elementary/secondary student teachers. Prior to coming to Western, Stromayer was a visiting art educator at the University of Northern Colorado.
“Lud was a brilliant creative talent who imparted his love and passion for painting to his students throughout his career at Western,” remarked WSC President Jay Helman. “He will be greatly missed and long remembered by his many students and colleagues.”