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Oklahoma State University

Director Ed Walkiewicz Passes the Torch

Wednesday, July 29 2015

ed walkiewiczI am experiencing mixed feelings as I compose my final group missive as Director of the Doel Reed Center for the Arts. On the one hand, I believe it is time for me to step aside and turn things over to others with new ideas and energy to spare. On the other hand, I know I will miss being in the thick of things and seeing to their logical conclusions many of the projects and initiatives currently underway. 

I am pleased about what we have accomplished in the past four years. When I became Director, the stabilization of the three buildings on our Talpa property had barely begun. We now anticipate that by August all three will have been completely renovated and furnished. Moreover, in the same period, we have replaced all the infrastructure of the site, had a new well drilled, and made major improvements in terms of landscaping and accessibility. 

In the past few years, we also have expanded our academic programs, so that we now offer credit-bearing classes during three different sessions as well as an appealing selection of leisure learning courses. Our visiting artists and scholars interact with students in both Taos and Stillwater and give public presentations in both locations. Increasingly, the Center is being recognized by more and more individuals and organizations as a valued contributor to the educational and cultural life of northern New Mexico.

I have been using “we” frequently in this message because it truly has taken a team of people to bring us to this juncture in the evolution of the Doel Reed Center. I include in that company the highly committed members of our board as well as other generous donors and supporters. The growth of the Center also has been fostered by the staff of the OSU Foundation and those of the College of Arts & Sciences and the OSU Museum of Art. In restoring the property in Talpa, we have benefitted greatly from the contributions of gifted architects in both Stillwater and Santa Fe and from the expertise of our Taos-based contractors. A number of OSU faculty members have devised and taught intriguing and substantive classes for us, and the students who have taken them have enthusiastically helped spread the word. Finally, what we have achieved sofar would not have been possible without the steadfast support of Kirk Jewell, Joe Weaver, and, of course, Ann and Burns Hargis.

I am confident that Carol Moder and Vicky Berry possess the abilities and vision to carry on the work. Although I am stepping down, I am not walking away, for I hope to remain involved with the Center as a board member and, perhaps, instructor. I am too excited by the possibilities for further growth to leave the team just yet.

-Edward P. Walkiewicz

Photo courtesy of Louise Siddons