“Ted Kincaid leads double life of creating and teaching,” Dallas Morning News

By Michael Granberry, via Dallas Morning News – Arts and Features

Ted Kincaid describes his work for the past two decades as “questioning the veracity of the photographic image.”

Jeffrey McWhorter/Special Contributor

Born in Chattanooga, Tenn., Ted Kincaid grew up in Dallas from the third grade on. And the pattern was always the same.

“I was the kid who got in trouble for drawing all the time,” says Kincaid, 47. “I would turn in papers in elementary school with drawing all over them. And somewhere in the middle of it was my homework.”

These days, Kincaid leads a double life of creativity. He’s a visual-art teacher at Plano West Senior High School, where he doubles as chairman of the department of fine arts, overseeing band, choir, orchestra, theater, speech, debate and visual art.

He’s also an accomplished artist, having shown his work at the Dallas Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston — he’s in the permanent collections of both — and at Talley Dunn Gallery, where “The Terrible Truth/The Beautiful Lie” runs through April 13.

He designed a large mosaic for the international terminal at D/FW Airport and a 22-foot piece for the new Omni Dallas Hotel. He has exhibited consistently since 1988. Neiman Marcus commissioned two of his works in 2000 for the covers of a special double issue of its project, The Book.

Kincaid describes his work for the past two decades as “questioning the veracity of the photographic image.” He recalls a favorite television show from childhood titled In Search Of, hosted by Leonard Nimoy of Star Trek fame.

“There were always photographs of ghosts and Bigfoot and UFOs,” Kincaid says. “Even at a young age, I was intrigued by the fact that you could take a picture of something that didn’t necessarily have to exist. If someone is told that something is a photograph, there’s a lot of themselves that goes into interpreting that image.

“And so I have made a career of making real photographs look fake and making fake photographs look real. If you’re looking at one of my images and it looks fake, most likely it’s real. If you look at one of my images and it looks real and photographic to you, most likely it’s fake. My aesthetic has changed over the years and swung back and forth from minimalism to realism. The idea has stayed the same, even though the aesthetic has changed. And I think that’s really important.”

As a teacher, Kincaid says, “I love everything about it. I really love the energy, the hive of creativity.” He has taught at the university level, “but by the time students are there, they’ve made their decision. It’s wonderful to be able to bring my real-world experience into this stage of a student’s development.”

Kincaid teaches only 11th- and 12th-graders, a population that tends to believe that “creativity is not valued in the business world. But in fact, creativity is the most sought-after quality in the business world. Whether you decide to pursue a career as a banker or an architect, every industry is looking for someone who can think outside the box and be successful at problem-solving, which is what visual art teaches. It teaches that more so than any of the other arts.

“With music, there’s a sheet in front of you. In theater, there’s a script. But in art, there can be 10,000 answers to one question, with all of those being correct.”

Plan your life

Ted Kincaid’s “The Terrible Truth/The Beautiful Lie” runs through April 13 at Talley Dunn Gallery, 5020 Tracy St., Dallas. Free. 214-521-9898. talleydunn.com.