Artist Victor Stabin, Jim Thorpe, returned to his alma mater in New York City, for a series of lectures, a solo show and book signing.
The co-owner of the Carbon County Cultural Project/Flow Restaurant, and the designer of nine U.S. Postal stamps, Stabin is a 1972 graduate of the High School of Art and Design.
The 50-year-old school is in the process of relocating. Stabin's show is expected to be the last alumni show at the current location.
Stabin, who recently published a designer alphabet book, "Daedal Doodle," spoke to three classes about how he created the book's concept and artwork. He illustrated the talk with images collected from scraps of paper he sketched upon while developing the project.
Stabin was enthusiastic about being invited to present at his former high school.
"Because it was at my old high school, it touched all my emotions," he said. "This is where I started out. Now I'm back here where these kids are starting out. They are asking me questions about what I have been doing. It made me feel like I was paying back people who had given me something.
"When I went to school at the High School of Art & Design 40 years ago, professional artists used to come to the school," Stabin began. "At one point, Salvador Dali came to my school. He brought several paintings and he spoke to the kids about his artwork. After that, other professional artists came as well. These artists influenced me."
A year ago, Stabin called the school and said, "I'd like to show the students what I've done. Perhaps it might inspire them."
They agreed, but for a year, he received no further contact. They didn't even return his emails. One day, they called and said, "Can you come in tomorrow?"
The school proposed a show in the gallery of the school's existing building. He was told it would be the last alumni show.
"Frankly, it gave me chills to be asked," Stabin said.
Because Stabin's portfolio was on the web and the school had web projection equipment, he was able to quickly assemble his presentation.
He would speak to several classes in a music room as the auditorium had already been disassembled for the move. He relocated artwork from the CCCP gallery and hung the show. It opened Sept. 21 and ends today in the school's Kenny Gallery.
The High School of Art and Design is operated by the New York City Department of Education. Founded in 1936 as the School of Industrial Art, it moved to its present location in the center of the city's design district in September of 1960.
For Stabin, attending the school was a life-changing experience.
"When I went to Art & Design I realized this is what I am going to do. It was really clear to me that I only had one path. I couldn't see myself going to school and focusing academically, but my drawing was strong. It made it obvious to me that I should focus on my strengths."