By Maria Valles, Staff Reporter |
Amarillo College’s dean of liberal arts, Victoria Taylor-Gore, left AC Jan. 31 to return to work as a full-time artist.
“I’ve always had a passion for art,” Taylor-Gore said. “My mother’s death made me realize how short life is, and I decided then that I would make art my career.”
Taylor-Gore said she worked full time as an artist before becoming an instructor at AC.
“After getting my MFA, I eventually moved to New Mexico and exhibited my work in galleries in Santa Fe and Taos,” she said. “I also exhibited my work in galleries in Scottsdale, Denver, Los Angeles and Dallas. It took time and perseverance to get to the point where I made a good living selling my artwork.”
Stephanie Jung, an art instructor, said she is sad about Taylor-Gore’s departure, but understands.
“I feel very happy for Vicky and I feel sad for us as a department because Vicky has been the most amazing boss,” Jung said. “Vicky was a professional working artist for many years and I absolutely respect and am thrilled for her to go back to doing that.”
Jung said she has learned many things from Taylor-Gore. “Vicky has taught me so much about what it’s like to be a good leader in a variety of ways being honest, straightforward, kind and consistent–all those things are so valuable,” Jung said.
Former student Elizabeth Beckham, a photographer, said Taylor-Gore has influenced her life in a positive way.
“As a photographer who felt really off balance in my first art class, Vicky helped me feel at ease and boosted my confidence in my innate artistic sense outside of my camera,” Beckham said. “She always gave me solid advice regarding my classes and fine art career as a whole.”
Jung said it can be risky to quit a job that has a steady income and to make way as a full-time artist.
“Not many people are able to do that but Vicky has done this in the past so she has experience; she knows what is required to make a living from being an artist,” Jung said. “I am very excited and happy for the next chapter in her life.”
Taylor-Gore said she will be waking up every morning with gratitude that she is pursing the thing that makes her the happiest; however, she plans to keep up with the people from AC.
“I have very mixed feelings, because I love AC,” Taylor-Gore said. “I will miss the inspiration of interacting with students and my great friends and co-workers at AC.”
To see some of Taylor-Gore’s work, go to http://alexandrastevens.com/viewcollection/110787.