Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Greg Blair

   Dr. Greg Blair, who works as Associate Professor of Art and Northern Galleries Director in the Art Department, hails from Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Blair’s hometown of Red Deer, Canada is a fact that never fails to intrigue multiple students across campus.
   He earned his undergraduate and masters degrees in sculpture, earning a BFA from the University of Lethbridge and his MFA from the University of North Dakota for his masters. He then earned a PhD in Visual Art and Theory from the Institute for Doctoral Studies in the Visual Arts based in Portland, Maine.
   Dr. Blair has exhibited his artwork and presented his research both nationally and internationally. These locations include places such as Rome, Tuscany, New York City, New Orleans, St. Louis, Cincinnati, Minneapolis, Sioux Falls, and many others.
   Much of his research encompasses interdisciplinary sculptural practices, cultural critique, ecocriticism, and philosophies of various places.
   The title of professor was not Dr. Blair’s first thought for a potential career when he was studying in school. However, continuing to grow and educate others as a professor has turned out to be a source of intellectual energy for him.

Photo courtesy NSU website.

   “One of my favorite things to do with students is to talk about something. It’s like I get to go to school forever… I learn so much” Blair states.
   Holding the position of the Art Club Faculty Advisor extends his passion for teaching.
   Working with Art Club allows Dr. Blair to work with students and extend his love of art to others. Art Club extends its reach to as many students as possible, who may not even be art majors or minors.
   Dr. Blair commented on his role as faculty advisor, saying, “It gives me an opportunity to interact with students outside the classroom. We are able to do activities and projects that are not in the course curriculum but are still valuable.”
   As with any subject, extending knowledge outside of the classroom is absolutely essential.

One of my favorite things to do with students is to talk about something. It’s like I get to go to school forever… I learn so much.
Dr. Greg Blair

   As for personal projects, a recent spring sabbatical provided him the time to develop a new body of artwork, leading up to a solo exhibition set to open next year, along with a writing project that echoes the artwork.
   When Dr. Blair isn’t creating or writing, you may possibly find him at a Northern athletic event or participating in the Aberdeen Curling Club.
   Dr. Blair is also involved with an art collective named Exo-Syndicate, which holds exhibitions in the area.
   As the Northern Gallery Director, utilizing the new gallery space in the Johnson Fine Arts Center has long been anticipated.
   “We will be able to collaborate with the music and theatre departments in ways that we’ve never done before,” he explained. This era of collaboration will contribute to increased foot traffic and exposure for the gallery and the artwork exhibited.
   A professional gallery space will help attract artists and enable exhibitions with varying needs to take place all the time.
   Dr. Blair frequently mentions the importance of the gallery and its relation to the Northern State University campus as a whole. He notes, “The gallery is an extension of the Art Department, and an extension of the opportunities for students.”
   Referring to the students, Dr. Blair notes that, “Not only does it allow them to see artwork presented in a professional manner, so they can learn by example, but it allows us to bring in artists to interact with.”
   Clearly, Dr. Blair is excited to further educate himself and his students and be able to continue utilizing the new space at Johnson Fine Arts Center that will bring together students, faculty, and the community.

Annika van Oosbree