S. Chase Hutchison, MFA
Art Department Chair, Associate Professor of Art
How did you discover Western?
I initially discovered Western as an undergraduate Art student (when Western was still a college). At that time, I had a world of collegiate opportunities before me and was recruited extensively by top-tier schools across the country. While I had toured many facilities, upon seeing Western for the first time and realizing how well-appointed and impressive the Art Department at Western truly was and how effective, professional, dedicated and personable the faculty were even then, it was obvious that the Art Department met all my needs. It was at that time that I realized that Western was, in many ways, second to none.
After the completion of my terminal degree and having had some teaching experiences at other institutions, I was presented with the opportunity to return to Western, and I jumped at the chance. Ever since, it has been my honor to be re-connected to such a unique Artistic environment, and to help to facilitate a program with unparalleled undergraduate opportunity and access, and moreover, to be a part of such a tightknit community.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
My career at Western has afforded me the opportunity to travel extensively and to visit some of the most prominent artistic locales, museums and prestigious institutions of historical significance to the art world at large. It has also afforded me the occasion to meet with artists who are luminaries in their respective fields and to view works of art that can only be described as life-changing. Within the precepts of my profession, I have also exhibited my work in many prestigious arenas, and my artworks are in influential public and private collections.
The highlight of my career thus far, however, revolves around my experiences with the hundreds of students I have engaged with during my tenure at Western as a Professor and as the Chair of the Art Department. To be continually afforded the occasion to be a part of a young artist’s life and to serve as a facilitator of their artistic endeavors and to contribute to their skill set, their mind-set and their path toward meaningful outcomes as a person and as an artist is simply the greatest honor I can imagine.
What most excites you about your field?
What excites me most about Printmaking is its versatility and its capacity to engage so many facets of the human experience. Often confused with duplicating or reproducing, Printmaking, as an art form, is the medium of practically infinite adaptability and most readily, it is the medium of change.
Printmaking combines all the best practices of drawing, painting, photography and digital media. To all of those practices, Printmaking also adds components of chemistry, metallurgy and physics. Printmaking and its storied history unify the graphic and the plastic, the analogue and the digital, the ancient and the contemporary. All of these elements appeal to me personally and professionally. Moreover, I am fascinated by the inherent bond between the matrix and the image, the tradition and history of the form itself and all of its varied techniques. Likewise, I am invested in the production of prints, and their connection to the press as readily as I am invested in the practice itself. I am invigorated by the intrinsic aesthetics and abstraction of individual printmaking formats and I am engaged in the pre-requisite knowledge and work ethic that it all requires.
There is ink in my veins.
What is your favorite thing about the Gunnison Valley?
In a word: Western. The Gunnison Valley has a lot to offer, and the small-town environment is not without its unique appeal or charm, but I am most connected to Western and its campus and specifically to Quigley Hall and the Art Department it houses. I am an artist to my core and classes notwithstanding, you will typically find me nights, weekends, holidays and the like either in my own home studio or in the Printmaking studios of Quigley generating personal work, working with students or generally prepping spaces for more artmaking.
I pride myself as a dedicated professor and professional artist, and I relish the access to such a state-of-the-art environment. Whether I am working outside of classes with upper-division students or making my own personal work, I always strive to take full advantage of the opportunity one can find in such tremendous facilities.
- Western Colorado University
- Visiting Professor of Art
- PDQ Photography
- Digital Imaging Technician and Graphic Designer
- New Mexico State University
- Instructor of Art
- New Mexico State University
- Graduate Assistant
- Terminus (The Walker of Boundaries) 2006 WSC Alumni Exhibition, Gunnison
- Telos Master of Fine Arts exhibition, Las Cruces, N.M. 2006
- Amigos de las Muertas charity exhibitions/auction, Las Cruces, N.M. 2005
- NMSU Graduate Student Exhibition annual group exhibition, Las Cruces, N.M. 2004-2005
- NMSU Student Art Show annual juried exhibition, Las Cruces, N.M. 2003-2006
- Works Displayed at the WSC President’s House, Gunnison 2002-2003
- !metis" & bie "Bachelor of Fine Arts exhibition, Gunnison 2002
- Edge of the Cedars Art Show, annual group exhibition, Cedaredge 2000-2003
- Numerous freelance illustration & advertising campaigns, Gunnison Arts Center, Gunnison