Page 11 - Amarillo Senior Link Magazine Summer 2019- Online Magazine
P. 11

Ken is also an avid
                                                                                               gardener, both in his
                                                                                               home garden and his
                                                                                               greenhouse. He grows
                                                                                               orchids - according
                                                                                               to him, "some more
                                                                                               successfully than
                                                                                               others." He enjoys
                                                                                               of course, recording
                                                                                               what he grows. He
                                                                                               is a proud “Master
                                                        had discussed for years                Gardener” - class
                                                        having something          of 2002, affiliated with the Randall
                                                        painted on that wall but   County Extension Service. He has
                                                        had not found the right   a large pond in his backyard with
                                                        design.  Ken was asked    many koi fish and has given talks to
                                                        to present what he could   civic groups about landscape design
                                                        do to make the area       and water gardening. Ken has been
                                                        come to life. He created   involved at the Amarillo Botanical
        When Ken was a student at South                 a beautiful mosaic        Gardens for more than 20 years,
        Plains College, he had an art teacher   backdrop for the statue.          serving as President of the Board
        who did a mosaic on the side of a                                         from 2016 to 2018.
        building at SPC. The dream of doing   Ken has also created several other
        the same thing stayed with Ken       mosaics in Amarillo, Lubbock and     In April of 2018, Ken was named
        throughout his years of teaching,    Houston. At the Amarillo Botanical   Professor Emeritus at Amarillo
        so when he retired from Amarillo     Gardens, Ken has a mosaic of the     College. To receive this honor, a
        College, he decided to pursue        Palo Duro Lighthouse in the Palo     professor must be retired for 10 years
        that dream of creating mosaics.      Duro Gardens.  Two years ago,        or more. It was an honor that both
        He developed a system to design      he designed an iris mosaic at the    humbled him and honored his work
        mosaics with Photoshop, creating     front gate in honor of Jane Meyers,   at AC. He has impacted the lives
        pixels on a grid instead of using the   after her 50 years of service to the   of hundreds of students, teaching
        traditional method of placing broken   Gardens.                           them how to use their creative eye to
        pieces of tile.                      He met the Texas Tech Athletic       capture the beauty of the world.

        He did his first mosaic at Amarillo   Director at a TTU Alumni meeting    Ken and Tarrie Sue are members of
        College in honor of Louise Daniel,   in Amarillo and discussed with him   the Polk Street United Methodist
        an Amarillo native who taught 40     what they were going to do in the    Church where Ken is an active
        years in AISD and was a Regent at    way of art in the newly renovated    member of Methodist Men and the
        Amarillo College. After she retired,   football stadium.  That connection   Aldersgate Sunday School Class.
        she took photography classes from    gave Ken the opportunity to create
        Ken. She dedicated her years to      eight large mosaics on the east side   Art comes in so many different
        education, and Ken created a mosaic   concourse of Jones AT&T Stadium in   forms, but with Ken Pirtle, his art
        of one of her photos of Palo Duro    Lubbock.                             spans from photography, to mosaics,
        Canyon on the AC campus.             He also has created murals for a     to gardening. He is certainly a man
                                                                                  with many talents and makes a
        A special mosaic in Amarillo is the   movie theater owner in the Houston   difference not only in our community
        one he did at Llano Cemetery. There   area. He has created over 20 pieces   but across Texas.
        was a blue wall standing on the east   depicting famous actors for two
        side of the grounds with a statue of   of the theatres that the owner has   For more on Kenneth Pirtle’s art go to:
        Jesus in front of it. The Llano Board   renovated.              

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