By Kendra Johnson, Arts Editor
Visiting campus is often a deciding factor in student’s choices about college.
Oklahoma Baptist University’s Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts will give prospective students the chance to spend a day on the OBU campus through Fine Arts Main Event (FAME) Monday, February 18.
“The idea is for us to expose prospective students to all of the opportunities that they have through the college of fine arts,” Dean of the Warren M. Angell College of Fine Arts and professor of music Dr. Christopher Mathews, “Specifically to introduce them to the degrees we have and at the same time introduce them to our faculty and what our students are doing.”
The annual FAME event has changed shape over the years.
“A few years ago, it was more closely attached to Concerto-Aria and students would come on Sunday night of Concerto-Aria and spend the night and then stay,” Mathews said. “When it was that it was mainly music students.”
FAME is currently one-day event that incorporates students from all areas of the fine arts college.
“Since I’ve come I try to in the college to keep everything collaborative and open and so we’ve opened that up to our other two divisions and within those division particularly art and theatre since they tend to be the showiest of what we do – easiest to showcase,” Mathews said.
The event begins with registration and sign in and then includes a general information meeting, College of Fine Arts Showcase, meeting with the individual departments within the college, a parents meeting, complimentary lunch, and the chance to audition for scholarships and major or minor programs.
Students can register to attend by visiting https://www.okbu.edu/fine-arts/fine-arts-main-event/schedule.html.
The general meeting comes first.
“Where we introduce several of the faculty members,” Mathews said. “I’ll speak about the degrees and the opportunities that we have.”
Next is the showcase.
“What we want to do is take a snapshot of everything we do in the college of fine arts and celebrate what we’re doing here in this main event – say an hour snapshot of some of the most exciting pieces of art that we’re working,” chair of the division of communication arts and professor of communication arts Dr. Vickie Ellis said.
There are many options for areas of study in the College of Fine Arts.
“Theatre [for example] could mean PR, it could mean I’m an actress on the stage, it could mean I’m managing front of house, it could mean that I’m in the scene shop, it could mean that I’m doing light design, it could mean, I mean there’s so many options within that,” Mathews said.
A BA in an arts field can be taken in many different directions, and this ability to use arts degrees in many fields is something faculty emphasize.
“Our best advocates for this are our graduates – that we can point to our graduates and say ‘they’re doing this and they’re doing this and they’re doing this’,” Mathews said. “Many times, its related directly to their degree, but you know oftentimes it’s not related but they will cite the interpersonal skills I’ve developed or the opportunities I had to develop my confidence or the team building that I had or something that I learned in the theatrical process readied me for a job that otherwise does not seem a direct corollary for that.”
During FAME students have opportunity to personally interact with students and faculty members.
“The more we can help them understand that you’re coming into a family that involves all of the creatives on campus and so if you create on a computer or you create on a stage or you create at your keyboard composing something, this is part of the family that we want you to be a part of,” Mathews said. “That’s what makes it unique.”
These conversations can help students understand what it would be like to be on campus.
“We do this with any of our recruitment events on campus, but particularly in FAME what I hope their imagination is doing while they’re hearing us talking and seeing fellow students is that they start imagining themselves in that classroom or with that professor or friends with that students or doing that production,” Mathews said.
FAME can also benefit the faculty.
“I love, love, love, love dreaming alongside hopeful, excited high school students who see so many exciting opportunities for the future, and ‘could it be OBU? Oh, and if it is I might get to have a front row seat to that person’s four years of critical thinking’,” Ellis said.
For current OBU students, the event is a chance to reflect.
“It has us stop quickly in the middle of the first part of the semester and say ‘wait, what we’re about, let’s share it out loud for a few moments’,” Ellis said. “And it reminds us again of who we are when we’re sharing together and how much we care and respect the creation of others and the gifts that God has given others to share here on Bison Hill.”