Tim Cleary is professor and chair of the Visual Arts Department at UW-Superior.
Besides teaching two and three-dimensional design, sculpture and metalworking, he is a productive sculptor. His work can be seen in public commissions in the Duluth-Superior area and in private collections internationally.
Local works include a statue of the Air Force Maj. Joe Gomer, the late Duluth resident and member of the famed Tuskeegee Airmen squadron in World War IIand a sculpture of Duluth native and Navy Commander David Wheat, who was a prisoner in the Vietnam War for 7 1/2 years. Both works are on display at the Duluth International Airport.
What do you think makes UW-Superior a special place to study and teach?
"The students who come here have a lot at stake. Knowing this, my colleagues and I are very committed to our mission. The behind-the-scenes effort to provide the best learning experience is staggering."
Why did you become a university professor?
"I feel the position chose me rather than the other way around. My skill set led me here. Now I am playing what I hope is a symbiotic role in an ecosystem of lifelong learners."
What is your philosophy of teaching?
"The taste of victory is addictive. I try to make sure that learning experiences are individually relevant and involve overcoming challenges."
What professional/academic accomplishment are you most proud of?
"Academically -- student successes. As an artist -- this is a moving target, but mostly whatever sculpture I am about to begin."
What do you like most about UW-Superior?
"I'm an introvert. Also, I place too much weight on self-sufficiency and individual accomplishment. The same is true for many students who come here. UW-Superior provides a venue where we are incontrovertibly on each other's team."
Prof. Cleary's artistic statement on MNArtists.Org:
"The central contemporary problem 'Why do we behave the way we do?' is actually an unresolved ancient one. The human form has been my main tool of investigation. The sculptures' surfaces and motifs work in tandem with subtleties of posture, gesture, and expression. They appear to have been dug up from long ago, but they are us."