William M. Itter


President's Award for Teaching (1999)
Indiana University Bloomington
Henry Radford Hope School of Fine Arts


Henri Matisse once said that any emerging artist must learn to work from the heart based on careful observation of nature and self. That is what William Itter has taught his students to do in his color design and drawing courses; he teaches basic drawing not only as an expressive art, but also as a visual process that compares proportional measuring principles with drawing from life.

"If you can draw circles, squares, lines and curves, you can draw anything," said Joanna Murray, one of Itter's former undergraduate students. "Professor Itter taught me how to draw by improving my technique without destroying my individualism." His insistence that students develop the concentration, patience and perseverance to master the basics has led more than one student to recognize that the principles learned in his classroom become the foundation for greater discoveries.

As part of his role as co-director of the Fundamental Studio Program, Itter is also a teacher of teachers. He has made his classes an exciting arena for discovery and the introductory studio courses a rewarding context for faculty and graduate students for learning and teaching. He is, said one colleague, "an advocate of deep noticing."

His works are in public and private collections throughout the United States.