Today, I received the sad news that one of my teachers, Ray Must, died.
I didn’t cotton to art school. I was a difficult student; actually one of the worst types: impatient, judgemental, and burdened with an extra-large dose of youthful angst.
Luckily for me, Ray was an angst-ridden student whisperer. With his patience, kindness, and unfailing encouragement he welcomed me into his printmaking studio. A facility he was instrumental in creating. My days in his sun-filled studio were full of light and joy. That isn’t hyperbole.
Ray taught me an immense amount. With its dangerous chemicals and arcane processes, etching is a difficult medium to master. Mistakes can spoil a work of many hours. Printmaking is physically and mentally taxing. Not to mention smelly and dirty! I loved it and Ray loved it even more if possible.
Ray communicated his high view of art and his love for creating it. He inspired me. Just yesterday I helped him pull a print off the press bed and watched the pure joy on his face as we revealed the print.
Rest in peace, my friend.