For Terry Martin, long-term art professor at William Woods University and a favorite among students, passion and infectious joy for the art he creates and the students he gets to encourage does not come in short supply.
Named this year as an Icon of Education by Ingram’s, Kansas City’s business magazine, Martin was chosen as one of 11 Missouri and Kansas leaders “whose contributions helped make this region’s educational system a foundational element of our business environment and our quality of life.”
Contributing to and serving the community through his art has always been a major part of Martin’s career — a lesson he passes along to his students.
“The students in Terry’s classes experience a deeper learning because the artwork they are creating has a specific purpose,” explains William Woods University President Jahnae H. Barnett. “For this reason, the art becomes more important to them than work they might do to simply demonstrate mastery of a technique. This is the learning portion of all his academic service-learning projects.”
Martin’s students have participated in several service-learning projects throughout the years, including:
- Art therapy for children through Dream Factory, a national volunteer organization that works to fulfill dreams of critically and chronically ill children ages 3-18
- Greeting cards for deployed soldiers to send to their loved ones
- Art therapy activities for Joplin residents after a tornado ravaged their community
- Therapeutic paintings to brighten the walls of SERVE, a local Fulton agency for the underserved
- Paintings to bring color and life to the exam rooms of St. Mary’s Creektrail Clincs in Jefferson City
- Making memory boxes with cancer patients at St. John’s Mercy Hospital in St. Louis
“…You’re not going to make something crummy and give it to somebody,” said Martin. “If you care about who you give it to, you’re going to put forth your best artistic effort.”
This is not the first time Martin has been awarded for his service and commitment. Throughout his career he has also received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Louis D. Beaumont/Dads’ Association Distinguished Professor Award for Excellence in Teaching at William Woods University (selected annually by the student body).
“Basically I believe I was awarded for my service. I don’t see art as something off by itself,” Martin shared in an interview with William Woods’ Hoot Campus Magazine, discussing his most recent award. “Art should just be integrated into society because when we recognize creative ability, we aren’t usually arguing over other things. Art brings us together; it’s not decisive.”