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Officials at Northeastern Oklahoma A&M College (NEO) announced that Mr. Ted Watts will be formally inducted into the NEO Fine Arts Hall of Fame on Friday, March 4, at 5:30 p.m. in the Charles Banks Wilson Art and Cultural Education Center in Kah-Ne Hall. All alumni and friends of the college are invited to attend. Watts will join three other honorees: Michael Barnes, Susan Wright Mogilka, and Melissa Dill-Behnke.

Watts graduated from NEO in 1962 with an associate of arts degree after studying under Charles Banks Wilson. After NEO, he transferred to Pittsburg (Kans.) State University and received a bachelor’s degree in 1966. While a senior at PSU, Watts joined the Kansas Army National Guard (KARNG), serving until 1972. “I am honored to have met Ted Watts when he was recognized as an Outstanding Alumnus in 2013. I enjoyed our conversations about art classes with Charles Banks Wilson at NEO and about the creative process behind his illustrations and portraits,” said Jessica Stout, art instructor. “I look forward to seeing my students follow his direction of going forth to continue their education in the visual arts, to enjoy lives enriched by the arts, and to pursue the prolific professional success in the field that Ted Watts accomplished.”

Watts worked in the fields of advertising, sales, and newspaper production for three Oswego-area companies before opening his own business in May 1972. He gained experience in a variety of art related fields, including product illustration, architectural rendering, commercial art, graphic design, photography, copywriting, feature writing, printing, newspaper illustration, and cartooning. Nationally recognized for his artwork, he was best known for his focus on sports art. He painted art gallery portraits of Heisman Trophy winners and cover illustrations for three NCAA Basketball Championships ‘Final Four’ event program covers.

His client list included the United States Olympic Committee, the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and over 150 college and university clients from coast-to-coast. His work has hung in the College Football Hall of Fame, the Pro Football Hall of Fame, Major League Baseball Hall of Fame, Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame, and the USA Wrestling Hall of Fame. In 2013, he was named Outstanding Alumnus for NEO’s College of Liberal Arts. Watts passed away on November 13, 2015.

To RSVP for the ceremony, please contact Jordan Adams, coordinator of public information and marketing at Jordan.m.adams@neo.edu. Following the ceremony, the NEO Fine Arts Department will perform “Legally Blonde” at 7:30 p.m. in the Fine Arts Auditorium. Tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors, and free with a valid NEO I.D.

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