Inside the East Campus Humanities Building is a large studio featuring sculpture pieces that range from tiny disc shaped figures to extremely large creations. All of these pieces were made from students of Edward Inks, a City College 3D Design and Sculpture professor.
After 38 years of teaching and 25 years at City College, Inks has announced his retirement for the end of the academic year.
“Teaching is challenging but it is a good challenge. It is a rewarding challenge,” Inks said.
Inks is said to have helped students achieve their goals for transferring and has aided them to create incredible pieces from their own imaginations.
“I have had around 30 students go to the Chicago Art Institute, the number one art institute in the United States. They are now showing and exhibiting their art in New York and they’re all doing really well,” said Inks.
“I’ve had a tremendous number of students that have been inspirational. I always say to my students that if I keep teaching, then one day, I will be teaching about you to my future students.”
Morgan Smith, one of Inks students, describes him as lively and “active in his teaching.”
“I haven’t really had a teacher like that before. I’ve already learned so much and I have only been here for a few months,” said Smith.
“This is my first type of sculpture class and I really like it only because he has been teaching it, it’s been very interesting.”
Inks first art pieces came from his parent’s backyard in his hometown in Pennsylvania. During the winter, he would go outside and create animals out of the snow. From there, his passion for art grew. As a sophomore in college, he created his first sculpture made from marble.
“It took me almost a year to carve, it was pretty hideous as I look back at it,” said Inks.
He attended graduate school at Carnegie Mellon and then enrolled in the Peace Corps in Botswana. After working for the Peace Corps, he got a job teaching at the University of Las Vegas. However, once he was married, his wife and him decided they didn’t want to raise children in Las Vegas, so Inks chose City College for the full time teaching position as well as the a family friendly environment.
Inks passion for sculpting evolved from the creations of Henry Moore’s pieces. He once saw a film based on Henry Moore’s work and decided to switch his art genre from painting to sculpting. He traveled all over the world, from Italy to Toronto, to see Henry Moore’s work.
“I’ve tried to meet with him once because I knew that he was the mentor that I actually never got to physically know. He was ill and he died several months later, so I never did meet him,” Inks said.
“It would have been an interesting experience and who knows what that would have done for my career.”
From his previous teaching experience at other universities, Inks felt that a sculpting class is required for students to have as a foundation level for all kinds of art. He generated the class and was brought in to teach not only sculpting but also 3D design.
Inks plans to enjoy his retirement by moving to his property in Nevada City to garden and to raise dogs and chickens with his wife. His contributions to the school with his teachings have not only had an evident impact with the creation of the 3D Design classes but also a positive influence on his students.
“We are entering into a field where Americans don’t particularly like us [artists.] And maybe they think they like art as long as it is something that they understand but the minute it becomes somewhat challenging. They don’t like the art and they don’t like the person that made it. So I think art attempts to be influential,” Inks said.
As a farewell and thank you, Ed Inks art will be featured in the Atkinson Gallery from Jan. 29 to March 25, 2016.