Without a doubt, this month’s exhibit of works by Dr. Carl Gombert won’t be the last time his talents are on display in the galleries of the Clayton Center for the Arts … but they may well be the last time he hangs his work as a faculty member.
Gombert, a charismatic and gregarious art professor who’s been a Maryville College fixture for 31 years, announced recently that he will retire at the end of the 2023-24 academic year. An exhibit of his works – titled “Newer Things” – is on display in the Blackberry Farm and William “Ed” Harmon galleries at the Clayton Center.
A reception for Gombert and “Newer Things” will be held from 6-8 p.m. Friday, September 29, 2023, in the gallery space, located in Building B of the Clayton Center for the Arts on the Maryville College campus. The event is free and open to the public, and “Newer Things” will be on display through Saturday, Sept. 30.
While his retirement isn’t an out-of-the-blue decision, the reaction by students and fellow faculty members alike has been tinged with surprise, he said.
“They’re all like, ‘Wow! Really?’ I guess my childish behavior has misled them, and they don’t realize just how damn old I am,” Gombert said with a chuckle. “There are certain things I’ll miss, and I’ll still be around, but I’m certainly looking forward to spending more time in my own studio.
Steve Wildsmith, is assistant director of communications at Maryville College.