ST. PARIS – His father’s interest in trains and his own pleasure in drawing got Todd Buschur interested in art.
That artwork got the 48-year-old Graham High School art teacher and Urbana resident featured at an Ohio University juried art show in October. He’s been teaching at Graham for 27 years.
Three of Buschur’s artworks were on display at Ohio University School of Art + Design’s “State of the Arts” juried exhibition Oct. 12-31 at Ohio University. The exhibition included a spectrum of creative works from artists in over a dozen cities across the state. The pieces, approximately 25 works from 17 artists, were selected by School of Art + Design graduate students. High school art teachers are invited to participate in the show to showcase their work, according to an Ohio University press release.
“There’s a lot of talent in that show,” he said. “I thought that’s really impressive. Somebody is recognizing work that high school art teachers do outside of and beyond the realm of the classroom.”
Buschur has been featured in other juried shows, but this was his first show at Ohio University. He has not yet applied to a national juried show.
Buschur had three artworks selected for the Ohio University show, “The Birth of a Line,” “Until We Meet Again” and “A Timeless Journey.” They are either oil or acrylic paintings depicting a train or train tracks, with the initial image coming from a picture. The backgrounds and colors were changed, he said.
“I try to incorporate an expression of what I want to get out of it – a color, or a certain composition or a look that a photo couldn’t give me,” he said.
Oil and acrylic are his favorite mediums, even though Buschur said he still loves pencil drawing.
“There is something maddening about painting. There are so many different things you can take into account, where in pencil drawing you don’t think about them,” he said. “(Pencil drawing) is lines and shading. With color, you have a whole array of color and values of that color. I like that challenge. I’m definitely not a master at it. That’s why I keep going back to it – to get better and better at the craft of painting.”
Buschur has been drawing all of his life, which expanded into painting. Born in Kansas, he has lived most of his life in Ohio. He graduated from Bluffton University in 1989 with his bachelor’s degree in art education, and graduated from Antioch Midwest in 1998 with his master’s degree in art. His artistic perspective changed during a summer study in Italy while he sought his master’s degree. At the time, he was copying photographs on canvas, but he wanted to be more original and expressive in his designs.
Buschur’s fascination with trains began with his father, who loved model trains and trains in general. He also focuses on barns and trees.
“The train or, more so, the railroad line, represents a journey – my journey,” he said. “I like the spiritual side of that, of where you are going in life.”
Tree and barn themes were part of Buschur’s rural upbringing: “Who doesn’t love trees? They’re everywhere. They provide shade, provide beauty, provide food.”
While Buschur does not try to promote his work to his students, they know that he does his own artwork and submits art for shows. He has a place in a gallery in New Albany, where he will be featured in a solo exhibition in December.
“When you teach art, you have an awesome platform where you can do what you teach,” he said. For example, it is probably not that often a math teacher does math equations during free time, he added.
Buschur has been inspired by some of his students’ creations. Sometimes it is a color created in an artwork that does it.
“Every now and then they’ll come up with a beautiful color, and I’ll want to make a painting with that color,” he said.
Buschur said it is sometimes hard to create his own art after a long day of work.
“When I come home, I’m dead tired. When you are working with people all day long, that takes a certain amount of energy,” he said. “Some days when you just actually think about making something on canvas for yourself, that’s a sacrifice. It takes time – time away from your family.”
For more information on Buschur’s artwork, visit www.toddbuschurstudios.com.
Casey S. Elliott may be reached at 937-652-1331 ext. 1772 or on Twitter @UDCElliott.