The Amarillo Pioneer

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WTAMU to Host Doug Ricketts

West Texas A&M University will host Doug Ricketts, a well-respected furniture maker from Texas, to give a lecture titled “Against the Grain: Journey of a Panhandle Furniture Maker,” at 7:00 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 28 in the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, Hazlewood Lecture Hall.

For this lecture, hosted by Center for the Study of the American West (CSAW), Ricketts will discuss how grain elevators, baling wire and rust have figured into a lifetime of art and furniture design. A sampling of his work will be on display.

Ricketts states that his style is modeled after the ruins and archetypal structures of the plains he sees around the eastern Panhandle of Texas, labeling this style Prairie View. He utilizes castoff hardware and lumber from the very same ruins that inspire him in his pieces. Feeling that each piece has a story to tell, Rickett aims to reveal that story to the public through his work.

In 2003, Ricketts created “Art from the Ruins,” a traveling exhibit throughout the Texas Panhandle and Oklahoma until 2005. The exhibit is now a permanent installation at the Wolf Creek Heritage Museum in Lipscomb, Texas.

Alex Hunt, director of CSAW, explained that Rickett’s work fits the mission of CSAW. “When you think ‘regionalism,’ your mind might go to a place far from high culture, someplace dusty and dry and traditional. But Ricketts’ designs show us that to be regional can also mean being dynamic and modern and in touch with the larger world. That’s what makes Ricketts’ work inspiring for me.”

Ricketts earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture and ceramics from Phillips University in Enid, Okla. Ricketts has received multiple awards for his work, including the J. Michael Patrick Best Woodworking Craftsmanship Award (2004), the Best of Show Award (2010), and the Best of Woodwork, Sculpture and Metal at Las Cruces Arts Fair (2015).

CSAW was established at WT in 2016 and aims to promote the study of the American West both as a region culturally unique and as a product of broad historical forces.

For more information on CSAW or the Ricketts lecture, please contact or 806-651-5238.

-West Texas A&M University

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