Dr. Rick Love, chair of the art and design department at the University of Northwestern – St. Paul, does countless important services for the art and design students. He first began teaching at UNW in 2004, commuting all the way from Madison, Wisconsin. Now, as the chair of art and design, he oversees 3 majors, schedules art and design classes, and supervises the department’s budget along with teaching classes such as Printmaking, Art History, Aesthetics, and Color Theory.
Love’s artistic expertise is in printmaking, but prints are not his sole focus. “I’m more interested in the creative process than any specific medium,” he said, “so that’s my take on what I do with my work.” He added, “I think the creative process is directly connected to being a Christian, and being made by God, so that creative process is in us and it’s an amazing way to get a better understanding of how God works in your life and how He can use you in a creative way. The act of participating in in a creative act is a form of prayer and meditation; you’re seeing how His creation happens.”
It can be easy to dismiss this by saying that it only applies to “artistic” people, but Love disagrees. “The process teaches you,” he said, “It’s not a human being. A huge myth in our culture is that creativity is talent, but it has nothing to do with talent. Some people may be predisposed to it, but that’s not talent. You don’t need talent to witness it and take part in it.” To Love, art and creativity are not something that everybody either simply has or does not have. “Anybody can learn how to be creative,” he explained, “you just have to practice. It’s like practicing the piano – every week you’ll be a little better than you were the week before.”
Some of Love’s many interests outside of art include ice climbing and rock climbing, reading, spending time with family, and traveling. “The most interesting place I’ve been to is Egypt,” he recalled. “It’s not what you think it is until you go there.” However, art remains at the center of his career. “I’ve been a practicing artist since I was a kid,” he said. “I’ve always done art, I went to school for art.” Now, he teaches concepts of art to students as well as creating his own, which can be seen at ricklove.com.