Excerpt from Peeler Pottery: A Retrospective (2009)
As a DePauw student majoring in Art Education, with an art focus in ceramics and a member of the basketball and track teams I had many levels on which to connect to the great Richard Peeler. He was not only my Art Education and Ceramics Teacher, but also my Academic Advisor. He gave so freely of his time, wisdom and life in-sights to all his students plus he shared his family and home with us. I was fully aware, even as a freshman, that he made a special effort to give me all the nurturing and inspiration that I could hold.
When I graduated in 1959 my contact with Richard Peeler remained. Like all his former students, I stayed in touch with him and kept him informed of my life and career. I think that all his former students wanted him to be pleased with what they were doing with the information and inspiration he gave us.
One of the most memorable events in my life was during my first one-man exhibit in 1961. As the exhibit reception opened, in walked Richard Peeler who had adjusted his flight to Japan to come through Dayton, Ohio to support me. To this day that remains one of the highlights of my art career.
My accepting the offer in 1970 to return to DePauw as its first full-time, tenure track, African American Professor was influenced by the fact that Richard Peeler was still on the faculty and I would have another opportunity to be in his presence. It was difficult at first to teach along side of my Mentor whom I held in such high esteem. He put me at ease and I enjoyed his vision, insights and friendship. Of course I continued to learn from and be inspired by this Master Artist/Teacher. We remained friends even as I moved on to teach at Miami University and Central State University. He was always available to share his knowledge. We had quality time together a few days before his passing. I counted him as a dear friend.