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      The St. Joseph Beagles are based on my friend and professor, Joe Peña.  Joe is the quintessential animal person with a particular fondness for beagles.  I once found a cat outside my apartment who was starving and in bad shape.  Knowing that Joe has occasionally taken in strays, I turned to him to offer advice for where I should take the cat for some medical attention.  Unfortunately there was not much that I could do for this cat.  When it comes to my own cats, Joe has been there to help take care of them when Casey and I go out of town.  In fact, he formed such a bond with Gus, our Siamese, that if he went missing, I’d know where to look first.  If it were not for Joe, this my body of artwork would not be what it is today.  Coming into graduate school, I was skeptical as to the inclusion of sports into my artwork.  Joe has provided guidance and encouragement to allow me to bring my life’s passion into my work.  The number one represents the fact that when Texas A&M – Corpus Christi started offering an MFA degree in painting, Joe was the first ever student in the graduate program.