By Olivianna Calmes, Assistant Arts Editor
Thomas Merton said, “Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.”
OBU’s art classes are not just filled with art students. Many non-traditional and non-art majors take art classes to quench their artistic thirst and try something new.
Jonathan Soder, a sophomore philosophy major with a double minor in English and Bible, gets vocal lessons at OBU.
Taught by Dr. Stephen Simms, Soder is enhancing his vocal skills and trying something different than his regular schedule allots. He wanted to take an art class in high school but did not get the chance. He had some room this semester and said, he wanted to diversify his class schedule.
“In the last few years I’ve just really come to enjoy singing, like I don’t want to perform or anything, I just enjoy singing,” Soder said. “I thought it’d be fun to take some private vocal lessons and get some help from someone who knows what they’re talking about…get some pointers so that, whatever the singing that I do in the rest of my life, I can try not to hurt the person’s ear in the pew next to me.”
These classes have helped him have a balanced semester in a pace that he can accomplish well.
“It’s just been a nice change of pace, having classes that aren’t just writing classes,” Soder said. “The music class is kind of taking me back to high school, reminding me what it’s like to try to practice music, and that’s difficult. It’s a lot different than sitting and reading for a couple of hours.
He’s also taking and Drawing Basics with professor Joshua Brunet. These classes have not come easy to him and have shown him his strengths.
“it’s actually been a really good humbling thing for me…reminding me ‘You’re not going to be great at everything,’” he said. “I’m here to enjoy what I’m learning and I’m learning so that I can glorify God. I got to try to enjoy what I’m doing, if everything’s just completely utilitarian, then, nobody is going to enjoy life.”
Soder said if students have time, they should try something they would enjoy.
“Try to take something that’s not going to stress you out, but something you know you’ll enjoy,” he said. “Also, be ready to learn from that because, honestly, there are things that I can apply from these art classes to my other ones; it’s just [a matter of] drawing the connection to them.”
As those who are created in the image of God, humans have the capacity to create beauty.
“Fine Arts classes at OBU provide wonderful opportunities for students of all backgrounds to explore creative processes guided by experts who care for their students and pursue God’s truth in and through each endeavor,” said Dean of Fine Arts at OBU, Christopher Matthews.
Art classes can offer a good change of scene, also.
“Sometimes you get stressed out with your major…or with life if you’re out of college and you just need a dash of something that’s not all serious,” Soder said.
Art can be a getaway but also something that can relate to life after college, no matter what your major is.
Caleb Corff, freshman Biology major, is another OBU student who’s not majoring in art but finds joy in taking classes here in it. He wishes he could have an art minor, but his major will not allow for it. He found that art classes have practical use for him and others.
“I think it really helps you when you get in the real world because not everyone’s going to be one certain type; if you have a career you’re going to deal with all sorts of people,” Corff said. “In hand lettering, I learned how to do fonts and make little logos. Vector graphics is like the next step of computerizing…adding color and refining. I’ve been able to make some t-shirts and posters for events and some stickers for people and posters.”
Corff said he uses art to be an extension of his relationship with the Lord, also.
“It helps [you] be creative and if you serve the Lord…He’s a creative God and he made everything around us. I think in a way you’re being like him when you’re doing art.”