Friday, July 8, 2011

In memory of Brian Wagner

Friday, July 8, 2011

Six years ago today an amazing artist & professor lost his battle with Lung Cancer.  Brian Wagner was more than just a teacher and advisor to me, he was a friend.  In the fall of 2001 a young 18 year old {me} went off to Drexel University to study design.  It was hard and I almost quit.  Brian was the first person to make me feel like a person and not a number.  From that day on I took his classes whenever I could.  He taught me Design 101, Design 102, countless oil painting courses as well as a few independent study classes.  He pushed me to think, to experiment and to have fun in the process.  I would not be who I am today had he not taken me under his wing.

Brian Wagner (1947-2005)

I don't have photos of any other teachers from college, but as luck would have it I have one with Brian.  It was May 2004 and I was out with my sorority sisters helping paint our sidewalk block on greek walk.  It was then that I got this photo with Brian.
Julie & Brian
May 2004
Brian was a collector.  His office walls were covered with rulers, yardsticks, and measuring tapes of all kinds.  He found beauty and art in the everyday things we often ignore.  This is an image of 5000 Sticks.  They are broomsticks and mop handles collected and salvaged over the course of 15+ years.
5000 Sticks

After Brian passed another very caring teacher asked if I'd like some of Brian's paintbrushes and supplies. I said yes and put them together in a shadow box.  The framed supplies have hung in my apartment or house since I put it together.  {I had to take it off the wall & take the glass out to get a good photo}

I treasure the supplies and keep them around as a reminder to experiment... to play... to try new things.


I miss you Brian & I thank you for giving me the courage to try.




© Blog post written by Julie Herman
For more information visit http://www.jaybirdquilts.com/

32 comments:

Lurline said...

Wow! Brian certainly must have been a wonderful man - oh, to be remembered with such love and admiration - very sad, but some people never leave this earth!
Hugs - Lurline♥

amylouwho said...

So sweet. Amazing teachers are a blessing.

Splendorfalls said...

I had one of these amazing professors too; they can truly change our lives.

QuiltSwissy said...

Thanks for sharing. I can see how his life affected yours.

glen

Needled Mom said...

He sounds like a very special teacher. I am so glad that you have a piece of him left to remember him.

natalie. beyond the reef said...

Inspiration comes through our life in many ways. What a nice memory...

Patchwork Penguin said...

What a wonderful tribute. As a teacher, I know that if I am able to touch one student, it reminds me of why I became a teacher.

My daughter has Drexel on her list of schools to consider. She is thinking of something with production/set design. Being in Shippensburg, it makes sense to check it out.

Hugs!

Jodi said...

Julie, what a sweet post! And wonderful idea of creating a shadow box in his memory!

Jennifer said...

this post makes me feel good; i am a teacher and i hope to make students feel just the way brian made you felt!

he sounds wonderful. i'm glad you were able to benefit from his caring mentorship.

Chris {frecklemama} said...

What a wonderful post. Thank you for sharing this. Your memory of him is a tribute to the positive impact he had on the world.

SewSister said...

Wow, amazing! Sometimes we are fortunate enough to have someone extra special come into our lives who influence and change us for the better. It sounds like Brian was one of those people. How wonderful for you to have known him and how special of you to honor his memory in the shadow box you created.

Baskets Of Quilts said...

Great post! I love the shadow box it's such a wonderful tribute toa teacher. I'm sure he would be proud! Love the pic w/ your letters. Go deephers!

kate spain said...

It sounds like Brian did not just teach art...he taught life. He continues to live on through and in you, Julie. What a gift. Your tribute to him is deeply heartfelt and i share in the sadness of your loss. hugs, k

mascanlon said...

Every student deserves to have the kind of teacher Brian was...and how lucky he was to have a student appreciate his caring and support. Love the shadow box, very cool way to see those things and feel inspired Julie.

Marjorie's Busy Corner said...

Oh Julie...how nice that you had this connection with Brian....it is a rare thing....and it has paid off for you...

Pepe said...

Sorry for your lost. Happy for your experience and love. I'm a teacher and I can say these words are so beautiful to read...
Take care.
Pepe XXX

Collette said...

Such a very sweet post. I'm sorry for your loss but glad you had a person like him in your life. Thanks for sharing a little bit of him with us.

Joy said...

I'm so sorry about your friend. Your shadow box tribute to him is so precious...I'm glad you have a little bit of him around to enjoy every day. Thanks for sharing this.

PEGGY said...

What a wonderful tribute :) It's so nice to have the memories of someone who made an impact on your life!
Peggy

Siuan @ Snowbound said...

What a wonderful tribute to a teacher. You were lucky to have him.

Paul said...

I recently lost one of those instructors myself. He impressed many, many students in his 4 decades of teaching.

The school held a memorial, and hundreds of people ranging over 50 years in age were in attendance.

Totally cool that you have some of his supplies. What a tribute.

Heather A said...

Such a touching and genuine tribute. I love what you've done with his painting supplies. What a wonderful way to honour a person and your memories.

Blue Is Bleu said...

That's just beautiful, Julie :) I think you're blessed to have had a such a great teacher.

Andrea said...

that beautiful memories! his words a great teacher

Patty said...

Good teachers touch their students in ways they probably never realize. I'm glad that you were able to know Brian.

Kathie said...

what a beautiful post
Having a teacher like that just changes ones life, so happy you had one touch your life like this
LOVE the shadow box of his paints and brushes what a wonderful memory box.
thanks for sharing with us
Kathie

Nicole Morris said...

I know it would mean a lot to him to know that he had an impact. Wonderful teachers are so important!

Amy, a redeemed sheep said...

Beautiful post...

Cindy said...

How blessed you are that you were able to have such an inspiring person your life. And how blessed he was to have you to help keep his memory going. What a remarkable person you both are!

lost said...

So sorry to hear of your friend's passing.

Sandy said...

What a beautiful post about a great mentor! I love the shadow box..a great reminder of a great friend. Love the pic of you two!

April (Polkadot Sparrow) said...

What a beautiful post.