Passionate teaching: Dave Richmond ‘knowledgable,’ a ‘hard ass’

by Tia Nearmyer

Associate Professor of Art Dave Richmond’s passion for the fine arts began early in his life and continues to be very evident.

“I drew a lot when I was young,” Richmond said.

When he entered the University of Iowa, Richmond intended to major in photojournalism.

“As I grew older photography was something I did, but I wasn’t good at writing,” Richmond said.

According to Richmond, he got along better with the people in the art department.

“It was an accident I ended up at one of the top-10 art schools in the nation,” Richmond said. “I just wanted to be close to home.”

After graduating with his Masters of Arts and Masters of Fine Arts in the late 1980s, Richmond became a practicing graphic designer. He started teaching at Simpson in 2000.

“It’s kind of normal to be here,” Richmond said. “The School of Art at Iowa was small, so I’m used to this type of atmosphere.”

Richmond has recently been tenured, and he’s content to continue working at Simpson for a long time.

“I’m not leaving unless they chase me away,” Richmond said. “I like the students and the opportunities they have given me to teach.”

Junior Ashley Finestead said it shows that Richmond likes his job.

“He has a passion for teaching,” Finestead said. “He could find a job in art but wants to teach.”

Junior Stephanie Jetter enjoys Richmond’s classes. She is currently enrolled in Art 142 – Photography II – with him.

“He has a light, stupid sense of humor that makes the classroom less tense,” Jetter said.

According to Jetter, Richmond is a personable professor.

“He’s a professor you can get to know and talk to about anything,” Jetter said.

Finestead appreciates Richmond’s level of respect toward students.

“Dave’s a kind of person who’s going to tell you if your art is working or not,” Finestead said. “He uses constructive criticism to help us learn.”

Richmond’s classes usually involve five to six large projects and no tests.

“He’s a hard-ass,” Jetter said. “He’s a very easy teacher, but he wants to see his students succeed. He just wants us to tell everyone he’s a hard-ass.”

According to Jetter, Richmond makes learning art fun and easy.

“He’s very knowledgeable in his subject and he can convey it well,” Jetter said. “He could teach to anyone, no matter what age or skill level.”

Richmond has passed his talents onto his students as well as his 14-year-old daughter, Danielle. According to Richmond his daughter is a very talented artist and writer, but he’s not pushing her to follow in his footsteps.

“I want her to be an artist because that’s what she wants to be,” Richmond said.