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Via Exhibit, One-Time Fine Arts Faculty Member Again Benefits Students

Marty Tucker, who taught generations of students, passed away earlier this year. Now, his family has agreed to carry on his legacy by exhibiting his works, with a portion of the sale of any to benefit student travel scholarships.

Date: 9/4/2013 12:00:00 AM
By: M.B. Reilly
Phone: (513) 556-1824

UC ingot   Marty Tucker taught painting and drawing at the University of Cincinnati for more than 30 years. And, even after retiring from full-time teaching, he continued teaching a film course as an adjunct for seven more years.

According to his widow, Ruth Tucker, his large spirit “always drew a great response from students,” she recalled, adding, “He wanted his students to expand their horizons. Because of that, he instituted an annual bus trip for UC fine arts students that, at first, went to Chicago every year and later alternated between Chicago and New York each year. He was also very proud to initiate an exchange program with the University of Edinburgh, Scotland,” explained Ruth Tucker.

In memory of Marty Tucker’s spirit and dedication to art and teaching, UC’s Dorothy W. & C. Lawson Reed Jr. Gallery will exhibit “Martin Tucker Remembered” Sept. 3-Oct. 13, 2013.
Self Portrait with Hat
Marty Tucker's "Self Portrait with Hat"

The exhibit will include 22 oil painting and 10 drawings, with the paintings measuring approximately 5 feet by 5 feet. Also showing during the exhibit will be a comprehensive slide show of all of Marty Tucker’s work, much of it in collections – public and private – around the country.

In memory of her husband, Ruth Tucker has decided that a portion of the proceeds of any of the paintings in the exhibit that might sell will benefit current fine arts students in UC’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). If any of the paintings on exhibit sell during the run of the exhibit, 70 percent of the sale proceeds would benefit students, offsetting travel expenses for qualified students in need who are taking part in travel as part of their education. Remaining proceeds would return to Ruth Tucker.

Ruth Tucker explained, “Because Marty found travel inspired his own creative process, he would be very happy to know that proceeds from the sale of some of his works will be going to help students travel.”

Known for producing works that focused on ordinary objects of daily life, Marty Tucker’s painting celebrate the beauty of the mundane. Subjects included his own fishing hat, fruits and vegetables and store displays.
Rounding Third
Marty Tucker's "Rounding Third"

In 1988, Marty Tucker stated: “The ideas for my paintings come from the everyday world I experience. My home, studio, school, the supermarket, and the shopping mall provide the visual stimulation that are the sources of my images. It might be a place, an object or objects, or a particular arrangement that offer my mind’s eye the possibility of a painting. As these images linger, it becomes apparent the only way I can shake them off is by giving it a tangible visibility in the form of a painting.”

Aaron Cowan, director of DAAP galleries, is serving as the curator of the exhibit. He explained that Martin Tucker’s works are both realistic and still have abstract qualities. For instance, a fruit, vegetable or object is depicted in and of itself but is often repeated in a vivid, detailed, textured pattern that also served to make them “lovely abstracts as well.”

Marty Tucker began teaching at UC in 1967 and taught full-time for more than 30 years. After his retirement from full-time teaching in 1999, Marty Tucker continued to teach at UC part time (one class) through the spring of 2006.

UC’s Dorothy W. & C. Lawson Reed, Jr. Gallery is located on the fifth floor of the College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). It is free and open to the public from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday thru Thursday. For directions or information, call 513-556-2839, or e-mail