Students who graduated from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art last week took part in a new tradition in the making: They received a surprise piece of art from a successful alumnus, along with their diploma.
The artist was Edgar Heap of Birds, a multimedia artist, educator, activist, and member of the Cheyenne Nation who received a master of fine arts degree from Temple in 1979. He is known for his text-based conceptual art.
His silkscreen print featured the phrase “Learn, Share, Lead” in white letters on a red background, the school colors.
“I wanted these students to receive something concrete to celebrate the conclusion of their studies at Tyler, something they would keep and enjoy for the rest of their lives,” said Tyler dean Susan E. Cahan.
About 500 prints were handed out at graduation on May 10. The school plans to ask a different alumnus each year to create a piece of art for graduates.