Backlund to Present at September Academy


Dan Backlund will present “Stop Looking: Start Seeing” at the Monday, Sept. 9, gathering of the Academy for Lifelong Learning. The Academy, part of the Sewanee Seminars Series, meets at noon in Lower Cravens Hall at 439 Kentucky Ave., on the Sewanee campus. Dan’s talk is the inaugural presentation of the exciting lineup of 2019-20 Academy presenters.

By the time we are adults, we seem to notice only the new, the innovative, or the urgent, completely overlooking the complex world always around us. After teaching design and painting at Sewanee for more than 30 years, as well as Rural Search and Rescue tracking and Search and Recovery diving for over a decade, Dan thought it would be fun to talk about actually learning how to see—the foundational skill for all three of these activities. Practicing and improving our observational skills can bring a great deal of joy to our daily lives.

Dan is beginning his 31st year as a Professor of Theatre Arts at Sewanee where he teaches scenic design, lighting design, scenic painting, construction, CAD, model making, and Asian theatre. Since 1976, Dan has worked professionally as a designer, scenic artist, and member of the production staff for more than 550 projects in 19 states and two countries creating scenery, lighting, and environmental designs for theatre, dance, opera, television, special events, live concerts, designed public space murals, museum, library, and restaurant environments, as well as residential, commercial, and other public spaces.

Dan received his undergraduate training at Bradley University in Illinois, and received his Master of Fine Arts from the University of North Carolina’s School of the Arts. Dan also serves on the Franklin County Rescue Squad, and as a State Instructor for Dive Rescue and Rural Search and Rescue classes. He also is a Flight and Instrument Instructor (Airplane), a Master Scuba Diving Instructor, and is certified as a Master Underwater Criminal Investigator.

This season, the Academy is moving their presentations to Monday. The cost for a single session is $3 and an annual membership is available for $20. 

There is ample parking in the parking lot adjacent to Cravens. Sewanee parking regulations require that the vehicle’s rear bumper be visible from the parking lot aisles, so attendees are advised to avoid backing into a space or pulling through.

Coffee, water and cookies are available, and attendees are invited to bring a sack lunch.

For all questions contact John Hille at (814) 599-5768.