Remembering Kathy Budd

"I had a lot of respect for her, she was always a very dedicated teacher," junior graphic design major Chris Downey said. "She gave us a lot of freedom with how to approach our projects and gave us an honest opinion of how we should change it or make it better. She was a good teacher and she will be missed."

Budd, originally from Waconia, Minn. was born on Dec. 9, 1965. She graduated from The University of Washington in 1996 with a master’s of fine arts in sculpture. In 1999, Budd joined the art department faculty at Oswego State and became an associate professor in 2008.

She cared deeply for her students and her students were always fond of her, Art Department Chair Cynthia Clabough said.

"The students saw her as someone who was willing to listen to them and respect them as individuals," Clabough said.

"It’s sad when you lose someone that young," Clabough said. "She had a few health concerns but nothing indicated she would pass."

Budd is remembered not only for her vivacious personality, she pushed her students to be creative with their work and to stay engaged and inspired.

"She told our class of a story one day that a student for his final project took everyone outside and had built a snowman which he doused in gasoline and then lit on fire," senior graphic design major Linda Robbins said. "[Budd] threw her whole body onto the snowman and tackled it to the ground; that was my favorite memory of her."

In addition to serving as a mentor to her students, Budd was an advocate for animal rights and a friend to the environment.

According to adjunct Art Instructor Judith Ann Benedict, Budd was an avid member on the Scholarly and Creative Activity Committee on campus and was a mentor and a source for inspiration for her colleagues and students.

"She was very devoted to her students well being, and not just their academic well being but above and beyond what goes on in a classroom," Benedict said. "She was a mentor in that way."

Tyler Art Gallery will host a retrospective of Budd’s contributions in the fall. The exhibit will include Budd’s work and art pieces from both former students and current students she mentored.

"It will be a chance to remember her through her work," Clabough said.

Downey recalls how Budd let her students express themselves through their artwork because she was willing to let her students do whatever they wanted with their projects, just as long as it was within her guidelines.

"She got her students to think of themselves as anarchists," Clabough said. "She had them work on non-traditional work and provided a place for them to feel welcome."

Budd was intelligent, sensitive and above all a respected professor. Her art and wise words have inspired many. She will be greatly missed by her colleagues and students said Clabough.

Clabough said that some students are channeling their feelings about the situation into their work.

Budd’s family has started a scholarship fund in honor of her. In her honor, donations can be made to Oswego State in Budd’s name. Funds will go toward a sculpting award for students.

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