When Dr. William Eickhorst ’69 ’70 MA, first finished high school, he didn’t see himself as the academic-type. He knew he loved art and opted to attend Parsons School of Design, where he completed a professional certification in Advertising Graphics in 1962. It wasn’t until years later, when he’d gotten an Early Out from the military to attend college, that William considered academic study. A friend suggested that he apply to Montclair State College. On his friend’s advice, William enrolled, and had what he calls a “first-rate education.”
Eickhorst studied art while at Montclair State. The faculty in this department was inspiring. Eickhorst fondly remembers a few professors, including Professor Bill McCreath and Professor Oksana Chaves, who he describes as “enlightening” and “the best teacher I’ve ever had.” She demonstrated the connections between aural and visual art by playing music on her piano while showing slides of visual work to her students. She’d highlight connecting motifs in the works displayed, giving each piece context and engaging her students in discussion of the art before them. Eickhorst felt the entire faculty left an impression on him as an artist.
Beyond academics, Eickhorst experienced a vibrant student community on campus. He attended during a time of political and social upheaval that provided a challenging setting for Montclair State’s students. William, like many others, was politically engaged and active while attending school at Montclair State College.
After graduation, Eickhorst continued to make art. He became a professor at Missouri Western State University, where he taught for almost thirty years. During his career, he became well known for his art in the region. His work is currently on display at the Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art in St. Joseph, Missouri. He’s the author of two books, The Car as Art (2011) and Another View: 50 Years of Making Art (2012).
As a teacher, Eickhorst has inspired countless individuals who have gone on to create and further develop their talents, just like he was inspired to do at Montclair State. “Who can ask for more than that?” he said, reflecting on his time as a student.
View Dr. Eickhorst's most recent book, Another View: 50 Years of Making Art.