SAS Alumni Magazine

We enjoy getting our younger son’s high school alumni magazine. Although we are not as connected to Sewanee now that Jackson is no longer on The Mountain, we look forward to hearing news about St. Andrew’s Sewanee (SAS) and and by association The University of the South, where we all attended. Plus, with this being near the end of the school year, educational calendars are on my mind.

The Spring 2013 issue is full of beautiful paintings by Tony Winters, of whose work up until this point, I was unfamiliar.  It’s always a pleasant surprise to learn of an artist and even more so to know they have some mutual connection to a place that is so meaningful. Tony Winters is an painter and architect living in Manhattan and a 1971 graduate of SAS. To paraphrase the article below which you may not be able to read, he states that he “realized that great architecture often draws on its inspiration from the forms and structures of nature. Nature is a great teacher.”  I believe Frank Lloyd Wright would have agreed. His painting below of Sewanee’s Perimeter Trail captures that dappled sunlight through the woods that I’ve seen so many times but it never comes out in my photos. His exaggerated bright colors authenticate the experience while traveling on this path with the that great rock suspension looming above.

Tony winters on Art Is Everywhere

Perimeter Trail, oil on canvas by Tony Winters

Here’s a study of the work above, which looks to me like fall.

Study for Perimeter Trail by Tony Winters on Art is Everywhere

After going to his website I realized that there were many similarities to what others have tried to captured while living the Sewanee Life.

tony winters_cumberland plateau on Art Is Everywhere

tony winters_lunar spring on Art Is Everywhere

The photos below are by my son Jackson.


Sewanee Planet – photo by Jackson Spencer


Moon Over Trezvant  – photo by Jackson Spencer


Rock Formation – photo by Jackson Spencer


Bridal Veil Falls – photo by Jackson Spencer


Sewanee Light – photo by Jackson Spencer

And I took these while hiking with him.

Cumberland Plateau photo on Art is Everwhere

The Cumberland Plateau and valley dwarf us

Perimeter Trail_and Art is Everywhere

Looking  over the edge above Perimeter Trail?

These other paintings have other personal significance. Ed Carlos was  also an inspirational art teacher of mine. I’m so happy to see an homage done for him.

Tony Winters on Art is Everywhere

This cavern painting reminds me of another SAS and University graduate and fellow classmate, Stephen Alvarez, who takes incredible photos for National Geographic, among other places, as he travels the world and captures caves and magical sites that many of us will never see otherwise.

tony winters_cavern on Art is Everywhere

Stephen was also featured in this issue and is being awarded SAS’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Congratulations, Stephen!

Stephen Alvarez on Art is Everywhere

Here’s a previous photo that I posted of Stephen’s work so many moons ago. He’s taken hundreds more since and had had exceptional story features in The National Geographic like Paris Underground, where he and his family lived for months while shooting. A nice gig to have! 😉 Although these gorgeous stars were taken in Madagascar, they could be in Sewanee because this is what it looks like at night from the top of The Mountain.

Stephen Alvarez on Art Is Everywhere

Hunting Crocodiles in Madagascar. © Photo by Stephen Alvarez

Getting back to Tony Winters and finding a further connection from his website — 2 places right in my neck of the woods, were designed by his architecture firm, along with the Nabit Art Building at the University….We really needed that while at school there. A little late for us previous art students but much welcomed by the current:

Since 1999, Tony Winters has owned and directed Pentastudio Architecture, New York, a professional firm focused on design for creative environments such as fine arts studios, galleries, rehearsal and performing-arts spaces. In 2000 this office was joined by the Italian design firm SOHO Architteture of Rome to form Pentastudio Associated Architects.

Architectural clients include leading schools and arts organizations including the Blue Man Group, the Olney Theater in Maryland, Cinecitta Studios in Rome and the Episcopal High School in Alexandria, Virginia. For more on Pentastudio Architecture see web site.

 Small world with Art being everywhere within it.

Tragic Loss

“What happens when art dies?”…”It leaves a hole in the universe,” said Washington artist Aziza Gibson-Hunter (as quoted from the story about Peggy Cafritz’s home suddenly burning to the ground recently in The Washington Post). She had a massive art collection and I think this quote is very profound to describe the loss.

Cafritz Home Burned and artwork, Washington Post

Sadly, this quote without reference to art, may ring true in a personal way for those who knew the Weeks brothers.  How could one not be moved by the obituaries of Stone Taylor Weeks, age 24 and his brother, William Holt Weeks, age 20? As a mother of two boys about this age, Piers (turning 21) and Jackson (17), I was heartbroken when I read this account. They were tragically killed recently in an automobile accident on Hwy 81, on their way to Rice University in Texas. I know this route well because it’s the one we take at least twice a year to drop off our younger son at his school, in Sewanee, TN. It’s also the one I traveled to DC when I was attending The University of the South. These brothers were humanitarians and good friends and had accomplished so much in their short lives. They are survived by their parents and a grandmother who lives in Franklin, TN (near Sewanee). They are the only children of their parents. Their father was a former staff writer for The Washington Post and their mother, I was surprised to discover is an art teacher. That’s the Art is Everywhere connection — in tragic, unexpected, life and death events…My boys wanted to travel together up to Rhode Island this week in Piers’ new car that he worked hard to purchase himself. After reading this, I said absolutely not. We’re going to caravan in two cars. Piers will get to drive me while I work and Peter can have the much needed bonding time with Jackson. A precautionary risk with benefits.