Meet Tyree Hodo: Art student at College of the Arts, Kennesaw State University


By Keaton Lamle

In 2008, young artist Tyree Hodo began applying to colleges, sending applications out of his hometown of West Point, Alabama, to admissions departments all over the United States. He quickly realized he had numerous options­.

His decision was made when Kennesaw State University wanted him in the College of the Arts more than any other school on his radar. Tyree says Kennesaw State has become a larger and more fulfilling part of his life than he expected. He said the KSU faculty and students have changed him for the better. “There is so much diversity at KSU: students from so many different backgrounds and walks of life. My professors have done art their entire lives and just being exposed to people like that is completely fun.”

The senior art major is completing what he calls “the art trifecta” – a double major in art and art education (focusing on painting and drawing) and a minor in art history. Hodo was drawing and painting from an early age, and a special art teacher in high school guided him towards a career of creating and teaching art.

 Those who have worked alongside Hodo confirm his decision. Sandra Bird, professor of art Education, says, “Tyree brings a creative bent to his work in art education,” citing a recent service learning project in which Hodo lead a shadow painting exercise designed to familiarize children with Japanese art. Hodo and Bird will travel to California in March to discuss this creative approach to education at the San Diego National Art Education Association National Conference.

Even with his success, Hodo says he isn’t satisfied as an artist, explaining that satisfaction often leads to decreased creative output. He believes the creative impulse often comes from what is wrong with the world, including social issues he feels are best confronted with imagination.

Likewise, his passion to teach rises out of the same spirit of philanthropy. “When you’re good at something, you don’t realize it until someone points it out to you. A friend once asked me if I’d rather be a light or the mirror shining the light back. Personally, I’d rather be the mirror. A lot of students have so much light within them and I want to help them succeed.”

After graduation, Hodo hopes to spend time teaching high school art as he pursues a master’s degree, then teach studio art at the college level and, perhaps someday, lead his own College of the Arts as a dean.