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Rudy Gutierrez is the epitome of what a teacher of illustration should be. The following statement of purpose by Rudy does much to describe the essence of his spirit in the classroom; “The highest honor I can achieve is to assist a student to walk on his or her own path.

”Rudy started his teaching career at Pratt Institute in 1990 where he had received his undergraduate education in illustration. At Pratt, Rudy studied with and later taught alongside of Dave Passalacqua, one of the all time great teachers of Illustration, as well as a previous recipient of this prestigious award. Passalaqua, never one to give praise lightly, felt that Rudy truly possessed the teaching spirit. I could not agree more.

I invited Rudy to teach in the Syracuse University Masters in Illustration program where he performed brilliantly, earning the unanimous praise of the students he worked with. I have spoken with faculty and Masters Students at Marywood University where Rudy teaches as a visiting professor. Once again there was unanimous praise for Rudy the professor, Rudy the artist, and Rudy the man.

In addition to his great talent as an illustrator and his obvious skill as a teacher, Rudy possesses what cannot be taught. I describe that as his ethical core. There is about Rudy an overarching honesty and integrity that simply will not be compromised.

The following remarks by Rudy are a prelude to each semester and will explain better than I can Rudy’s visionary spirit; “If art is therapy, if art is to inspire, if art is a weapon, if it is a medicine to heal soul wounds, if it makes one not feel alone in his or her visions, or if it serves as transportation to a higher self, then that is where I aspire to live every day.”

As a teacher as well as coordinator of the Illustration Program at Pratt Institute, Rudy continues to be a profoundly positive influence on every student he comes in contact with.

Text and Photo by Murray Tinkelman 

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