When The Roundup last sat down with Bill DeOre ’65, he spoke about his love of doing whatever he can to give back to his high school alma mater. He has found a plethora of ways to do so, donating his artistic skill to everything from football programs to senior prints.
On Thursday, September 8th, the former Dallas Morning News editorial cartoonist found another way to lend his talents to Jesuit: passing on some of his knowledge to the next generation. He talked to students enrolled in Drawing I about editorial cartooning and caricaturing as they set out to draw their own cartoons for a class project.
“He gave some good insight into and tips on how to draw caricatures and different ways that you can emphasize things,” said Paul Gramling ’18, who admired how successful Mr. DeOre had become in his discipline.
Art teacher and sophomore counselor David Williams ’96 explained the thinking behind the project. “We wanted to capitalize on the political season. So, our theme and our fall show is going to be politics and elections and things like that. But, we also wanted to give it a decisively Jesuit feel, and so the theme of this particular unit is going to be social justice.” He continued, “We’re picking social justice heroes, and…the unit project is they have to draw a caricature or cartoon of a social justice figure.” This way, the students can demonstrate mastery of certain artistic skills as well as an ability to convey a specific message.
Mr. Williams also explained why he and colleague Joe Howard ’04 chose to have Mr. DeOre speak, saying, “Not only is Mr. DeOre excellent at that and has a long professional background of doing caricatures, he worked for the Dallas Morning News as their editorial cartoonist. He is also very giving of his time to Jesuit.”
Mr. DeOre spoke on a variety of topics and fielded questions when he was done speaking. He spoke about teaching cartooning and caricaturing: “It’s not easy… This is a whole different genre, and there’s a different way to approach it. So, you have to appeal to the common kid.” He understood that some may have taken the class just to gain an art credit for graduation, but still gave excellent tips on not only how to draw but also conveying a message in general.
“He ended up communicating an idea that I think is way more important than any drawing lesson: he talked about just the opportunity to be able to draw in the context of a classroom,” Mr. Williams added. After all, when Mr. DeOre attended Jesuit in the 1960s, the school did not offer the sort of artistic outlets available now.
Mr. DeOre concluded, “You want to make sure they’re interested in doing this project and have some fun doing it. That’s probably the word I left out. If you can’t have a little fun, you’re going to see it as a struggle.” Mr. Williams heralded him as an underutilized resource. He is certainly a very valuable member of the Jesuit community, one who gives generously of his time and his talent.
Click here to read Mr. DeOre’s profile for The Roundup’s Atypical Jobs series.