Robin Snyder, The Benefits of Art

Published on May 12, 2017 by William Nunnelley  
Snyder Robin

Robin Snyder has taught in the Samford art department for 32 years and served additionally as Samford Art Gallery director for the past 16. As a teacher, she led a variety of courses. In the gallery, she hosted exhibitions in media ranging from drawing, painting, photography and sculpture to glassblowing, woodworking, fiber arts, bookmaking, printmaking and graphic design.

The highlights have been many, said Snyder, heading into retirement. But among the best was teaching art appreciation courses. “I greatly enjoyed engaging students that knew little about art and bringing them into a world of art and teaching them about the importance of art to life, history and society. I still receive notes (saying) that course unlocked keys of understanding that has benefitted them in their travels, work and world views.”

 Snyder said she most enjoyed her colleagues, students and travels abroad with Samford groups. Her destinations included London, Paris, Budapest, Vienna, Salzburg, Italy, Greece and others. She taught on some trips and went as a traveler on some.

 As an artist and art teacher, she described her tastes as “eclectic.” For example, she admires da Vinci and Picasso for their constant experimentation in methods and materials, “and their willingness to fail in their efforts.” She is inspired by van Gogh for continuing to produce his art while suffering with his sanity, and by Matisse for his use of “joyous color.”

 In retirement, Snyder looks forward to working more in her art studio, spending more time with her grandchildren and reading. “I will greatly enjoy the leisure time of retirement,” she said, and hopes not to discover that the prospect of such is “an illusion,” as some have suggested.

 What will she read? “Non-fiction such as Sisters in Law (about Sandra Day O’Connor and Ruth Bader Ginsburg), novels such as Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch and numerous books about artists and art styles,” many purchased during her international travels.

 Editor’s note:  This story originally was written for inclusion in the summer 2017 issue of Seasons magazine.