See me after class

See Me After Class is a weekly
column where a different professor
reveals their variety favorites.

Jason Rafferty is an applied assistant pro-
fessor of 2D visual art. He received a Bach-
elor’s of Fine Arts from the University of
North Carolina and a Master’s of Fine Arts
from the University of Georgia.

Do you have a favorite book or a book
you would recommend to undergraduate
students to read before they graduate?

I read all kinds of different stuff. I’m big
into listening to audiobooks, that’s how I
like to read a lot of fiction. As far as books
that are interesting, like in terms of my prac-
tice, there’s a book called “Vitamin D 3”
and it’s like a survey of contemporary draw-
ing. It’s just a great survey of all kinds of
wild takes on what a drawing can be. Re-
ally creative stuff. It’s very international and
it focuses a lot on artists who are maybe a
little lesser known, they aren’t just the top
of the top names. So as a student, I like to
have those models presented of “oh here are
artists that are emerging or maybe they’re
from this region, or maybe they’re from a
different country.” But I feel like I can con-
nect with that because their work is cool and
they’re not showing at the Museum of Mod-
ern Art. It’s just a beautiful book.

I read that you spent some time in
France, avez-vous aimé étudier à Paris
(did you enjoy studying in Paris)?

Oui, c’est magnifique (Yes, it is magnifi-
cent). Yeah, I studied abroad in France. I did
a French minor in undergrad. I grew up with
my dad always going to Paris on business,
he was in tech. I would be this kid who was
like, “Dad’s going to Paris, wow! That’s
awesome!” Even growing up, he’d give me
baths and he’d count the water spilling on
my head in French. He’s a Francophile and I
grew up just having that influence and think-
ing it would be cool to go to France. I found
a sort of husband-and-wife ex-patriot cou-
ple from the United States who themselves
studied art in France, and they’ve since relo-
cated there and teach art classes. It’s a place
called Studio Escalier, which means “stair-
case” in French, and people from all around
the world go and take these small classes
they have. It’s a sort of figure drawing and
painting emphasis, and they do a great job
of bringing contemporary theory and really
giving you a ton of hours of practice with
figurative art, which I was really interested
in and continue to be. It was a really good
experience. I definitely bring some perspec-
tives from that training to teaching here at

Is there a movie or show you often find
yourself returning to? Maybe not neces-
sarily a favorite, but something with that
comfort aspect?

I’m a bit more of a gamer, actually, in
terms of comfort food, so to speak. My wife
and I will always watch different shows, so
I’ve been a fan of “Dexter” and the modern
“Doctor Who.” I’ve been watching “Abbot
Elementary” and “The Bear” recently. But
open world video games, for me, are sort
of like that media thing where you can just
go and get lost and explore. I like building
medieval villages and stuff. Most recently,
my brother and I have been playing this
indie game called “Valheim.” You’re a vi-
king exploring this wilderness and building
forts, kind of like Minecraft. We’ll just hang
out and explore this beautiful, little viking
world. It’s just a nice way to relax. He’s in
Massachusetts, so we can basically hang out
in that way and play together.

You’re new to Tulsa, have you found a
favorite Tulsa restaurant yet?

I like Hole Mole, which is a Bramble res-
taurant, but sort of from lunch onward. They
do a Taco Tuesday and it’s amazing. I’ve
found that people are so friendly. I’ve been
maybe three times now and have talked to
the people working there and they’re just so
welcoming. It feels like an embrace from
the community. Another place is Valkyrie,
I’m a bit into craft cocktails and stuff. Check
out Valkyrie, if you’re over 21, of course.
It’s a great cocktail bar;, they have the larg-
est liquor selection I’ve ever seen in a bar.
It’s ridiculous.

Is there an interesting fact about you
that isn’t well known?

I’m a baker. I bake sourdough bread.
I like it, I’ve baked for over 10ten years.
Everything in your life can be crazy, you
have so many responsibilities, you work at
a job, you’re a student, whatever, but hav-
ing something you can just go back to, espe-
cially cooking or baking — something that
doesn’t change — is cool. I have one recipe
for bread that I make, my sourdough recipe
has always been there. I encourage it, it’s
kind of tough to get down, but once you do,
it’s as easy as anything.

If you weren’t in this line of work, what
career would you want to pursue?

Definitely video game concept art. Like I
said, I love games. I loved growing up with
those art styles and I would always look at
concept art. I would design maps in Warcraft
3 growing up. I was always doing art along-
side playing video games with my friends.
We’d alternate on the computer or the Xbox,
and I’d just be drawing all the time. For me,
art and video games have always gone hand
in hand.

Would you describe yourself as more of
a hunter or gatherer?

Oh, a gatherer, definitely. For me, that
looks like gathering tons of art books, gath-
ering friends’ artworks, gathering random
cabinet-of-curiosity style rocks and shells.
My wife and I have this whole collection of
knick-knacks that our family does not un-
derstand. They’re like, “What the hell, you
have so much stuff.” I’m a big collector, and
it’s great until you have to move it all.

How many pennies do you think would
fit in this room?

How many pennies? I might go ahead
and say 3 billion. No, that seems like a lot.
This is a big office, but not that big. Scratch
that. 3,600,072 pennies.

Post Author: Peighton Johnson