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Art and the art of teaching: Austin Peay professor featured on upcoming PBS show

April 1, 2002

"Who feels as though they're drowning? I'll swim over to you first."

That question and assurance, uttered by Kell Black, Austin Peay associate professor of art, was one of many caught on tape Jan. 22, when the crew of "Tennessee Crossroads" dropped by Austin Peay to profile Black and his work as an artist and teacher.

A show with a self-proclaimed mission to "travel the highways and byways of Tennessee, highlighting the personalities, crafts, places, foods and events that make state special and its character unique," "Tennessee Crossroads" has been on the air since 1987 and is one of Nashville Public Television's most successful productions. Its producer and moderator, Rob Wilds, is an APSU alumnus.

In addition to focusing on Black in the classroom, Wild turned the camera on Black's art, particularly his intricate cut-paper creations. The camera crew followed Black to his home and studio where they interviewed him and documented many of his sculptures, including his paper chairs, musical instruments and telephones.

The piece will air at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 11 and again at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 13.

For more information about the show, go to