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Dave Yust celebrates 45 years of service

April 28, 2011

Art Professor Dave Yust is celebrating more than four decades of service at Colorado State University.

Art Professor David Yust in his studio in 2001.Early years

Dave Yust began painting and drawing at a very young age.

In the summer of 1951, Yust spent his Saturdays studying with the renowned Swedish painter, Birger Sandzén.

“My parents fortunately knew a number of artists where I grew up, and arranged for me to spend that time studying with him,” Yust said. “That experience had a huge influence on me, and has played a significant role in my love of color and the decision to study drawing and painting.”

Born and raised in Wichita, Kan., Yust moved to Colorado in the summer of 1963, and has been here ever since.

“It was a big adventure for me,” Yust said. “Everyone I knew was either staying in Kansas or moving to California, so I decided to come out here.”

Joined CSU in 1965

When Yust joined CSU as an instructor in the Art Department in 1965, the Visual Arts Building had not yet been built.

“The department was scattered throughout several different buildings on campus,” Yust said. “We didn’t have a centralized location for the department until the Visual Arts Building was completed in 1976.”

During his time at CSU, Yust has also been involved with CSU’s Fine Arts Series and the Visiting Artist Program, later named the Critic and Artists Residency Series, which introduced major art exhibitions and visiting artists’ residences to the CSU campus.

“The creation of that program has been a rewarding and enriching opportunity for our students,” Yust said. “We have hosted artists such as Andy Warhol, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Robert Rauschenberg and Roy Lichtenstein.”

Paintings displayed nationally, internationally

Yust has had his artwork featured in nearly 400 art museums and exhibitions around the nation. Since joining CSU, Yust’s paintings have been selected through the Art in Embassies Program in Washington, D.C., three times.

In 2004, the Art in Embassies Program selected two of Yust’s paintings to be displayed in Zagreb, Croatia. American Ambassador Ralph Frank and his wife selected two of Yust’s circular paintings for their residence in Zagreb. In 2007, American Ambassador J. Adam Ereli and his wife selected two of Yust’s abstract paintings for their residence in Manama, Bahrain.

“I still vividly recall my youthful longing to uncover interesting and unexpected ways of combining geometric and biomorphic imagery,” Yust said. “I am fascinated by the challenges of abstraction, and I remain convinced that the imagery coming from my head is considerably more inspiring and just as much as part of the ‘real world’ as imagery from direct observation.”

Yust’s art has also been displayed in numerous art museums galleries around the nation, including work in the permanent collections at the Butler Art Institute, and the Denver, Indianapolis, and Portland art museums.

Recipient of many awards, honors

In 2000, Yust received the Denver Art Museum’s AFKEY Award for his significant contributions to contemporary art in the state of Colorado.

“That award was probably the biggest single honor I have ever received,” Yust said.

He has also received numerous awards for his excellence in teaching art education, including the Colorado Art Education Association’s Higher Education Art Educator of the Year Award and CSU's John N. Stern Distinguished Professor Award.

“I try to challenge my students that while there are certain things they need to know, their on-going role as an artist and human depends on the acceptance of what’s really meaningful to them,” Yust said.

Yust will be recognized for his 45 years of service at CSU at Celebrate! CSU Milestones, Thursday, May 5.

Celebrate! CSU Milestones Thursday, May 5

Join the University community in honoring employees during Celebrate! CSU Milestones at 3 p.m. May 5 in the Lory Student Center Main Ballroom.

The event will honor Colorado State University employees who are celebrating retirement and those who have reached 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, and 45 years of service to the University.

Contact: CSU Events & Constituent Engagement
Phone: 970 491 4601