In Memory

In Memory of Austin Franks from Dominican University of Calif on Vimeo.

“Ask yourself in the stillest hour of your night: must I make art? Delve into yourself for a deep answer. And if this should be affirmative, if you may meet this earnest question with a strong and simple “I must,” then build your life according to this necessity; your life even into its most indifferent and slightest hour must be a sign of this urge and a testimony to it. Save yourself from general themes and seek those which your own everyday life offers you; describe your sorrows and desires, passing thoughts and the belief in some sort of beauty- describe all these with loving, quiet, humble sincerity, and use, to express yourself, the things in your environment, the images from your dreams, and the objects of your memory.” – Rainer Maria Rilke from Letters to a Young Poet..

Faculty members who worked closely with Austin share memories that echo this piece. Austin’s artistic gifts and creative passion were palpable. His excitement infectious, and in his creative practice we saw extraordinary talent. And we know he summoned great courage to forge a path doing what he loves, committing to his avid quest to visually express what he “sees.” He had an undeniably gifted eye, and was acutely sensitive and curious about all kinds of people and places-- often those that go unnoticed.

Artist and athlete, two lines drawn parallel. He was tenacious and fearless. He engaged, questioned, and challenged, himself, his teachers, and his work. These are such important qualities for creating and crafting truly original and beautiful art.

The beauty that continues to emanate from his art is matched only by our loving memories of his sincere, friendly, and outgoing personal nature. We are honored to have both indelibly etched into our hearts.