University of Central Arkansas Professor and sculptor Bryan Massey was the first guest speaker at City Talks, presented by Art on the Green.
Massey is perhaps best known in Conway for his sculpture of "Otis," the bear on the side of UCA's Donaghey Hall.
During his talk, Massey recalled some of his first drawings — of models in the Sears Roebuck and Co. catalog. The audience laughed as he remembered his mother finding them and burning them because she thought they were inappropriate.
When he started teaching at UCA three decades ago, he was appalled to find an old clause in the university's constitution saying the institution was for the education of white students only. When he and another African-American professor protested the clause, they received death threats.
Massey sent his family to his home state of North Carolina as a precaution. Eventually, he was successful in getting the clause removed through a lawsuit.
Massey, who has been a UCA professor for more than 30 years, said he will continue to work in art long after he retires from teaching.
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