The State of the Arts: Follow Up

Clarifications regarding the article The State of the Arts: Graphic Design may provide more insight into the piece.

In my previous article, published in the 10th issue of The Crescent, Senior Lehman Pekkola was quoted: “they teach style and communication arts, not what’s new and upcoming.” Pekkola has since clarified that the “communication arts” referenced in the quote refers to the publication, Communication Arts, which is regarded by many as the TIME Magazine of design. “It’s been around for a long time, but like older publications I feel like it’s lost its relevancy, but they still keep pushing it. It’s old fashioned, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It has its pros and cons. It’s important to know what used to be.” Pekkola said.

Sophomore Jordyn Dunseath was on the search committee for the new graphic design professor. The university hired Brandon Waybright to begin teaching starting in the Fall 2017 semester. “He’s awesome. He’s energetic, innovative, and conceptual. There’s going to be a lot of new wonderful classes,” she said.

In the previous article, the class Creative Suite I was mentioned. The class’s structure revolves around professor Bob Bredemeier’s tutorial videos, and Pekkola was quoted as saying “they should be teaching us what you can’t learn in videos.” Pekkola stand by his words, citing Google as an education landscape game-changer in recent times, but adds that “that’s not to discredit all the work he’s put into the videos. But also, in addition to the videos, I think we should be learning more concept.”

“The art department is very technically oriented right now, they’re training us to be technicians and then to think conceptually as we go out,” Pekkola said. He emphasized that this is not a negative, rather a personal preference to start conceptually and move to the technical side. On a similar note, regarding the quote “I’ve had to pave my own path,” Pekkola clarified that the reason for this is “because what I’m interested in is not necessarily what they offer.” Pekkola is interested in print publications, which could be considered more of a niche concentration. “I’m very thankful for all the opportunities the program has given me,” he said.

“The design world is constantly changing. And to keep up with it is very hard, especially for a university,” Pekkola added. However, freshman Allison Spoelhof points out, “they’re doing a good job of understanding what the program needs. With the new jobs coming into the market, especially in the art realm, it’s going to be really cool to see the diversity in the graphic design program.”





Why Comic Cons?

Most people have heard the term “Comic Con.” However, even with the plethora of Cons increasing in popularity, there are still millions who have never experienced the fantastical world of Cos-play, celebrity meet and greets, panels, talented artists, and so much more.

This past January, two George Fox University students took their first step into the Con world when they attended Wizard World Portland Comic Con. Seniors Keilah Uhre and Jordan Nelson walked into the Portland Convention Center and stepped into a world of geeks, nerds, costumed heroes, artists, gamers, and fans of all things other worldly.

When Uhre and Nelson found my sister and me amidst the many packed rows of booths, I noticed how ecstatic they were. They had just attended a panel on understanding comics and were about to get in line to meet Bruce Campbell. Uhre’s face was full of joy and Nelson was silently glowing with anticipation of meeting Campbell.

Attending a Con has been on Uhre’s bucket-list for years.

“Oh. My. Gosh! I don’t even know how to explain it,” she said as she reflects on her first steps into Wizard World. “I was really overwhelmed. I was so happy to be there.”

Some of her favorite costumes were worn by fellow Doctor Who fans. “There was a really awesome Weeping Angel. I was the most entertained person in the world.”

Uhre and Nelson stood in a long line in order to meet Campbell. Nelson said when she finally met him, she told him that his character, Sam Axe on “Burn Notice,” was one of the best written characters ever. Both were only recently introduced to his most famous role of Ash in “Evil Dead 2.”

Now that they have both been to their first Con, they are looking forward to the next opportunity. When I mentioned to Uhre that maybe next time we can all go as Airbenders, she screamed like a child getting her first puppy or kitten. Uhre’s exuberance reminded me of my first Con.

I remember stepping into the convention hall and finally feeling accepted. Each Con allows attendees to be their favorite superhero, villain, character, to collect fan art that you can’t find anywhere else, and meet iconic celebrities.

So why should you go? If you like to talk about “Downtown Abbey,” “Breaking Bad,” “The Walking Dead,” “Arrow,” “Lord of the Rings,” Magna books, or if you love costumes, then Comic Con is something I encourage you to attend. Comic Cons allow everyone to be whatever they want while also allowing one to learn more about his or her passions. Cons inspire. They bring people together to celebrate the child within. Cons allow fans to say thank you to their favorite actors, Cos-players, and artists. They are a conduit for new friendships with kindred spirits.

At Cons, it is perfectly normal to take a picture with a Jabba the Hut or find a reason to wear a unicorn horn and superhero cape.

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There is something so freeing about surrounding yourself with other people who love to celebrate their favorite geeky passions.

I look forward to seeing more GFU students at Rose City Comic Con in September.

The Curious Case of Ross 140 and 141!


The first time I walked on campus as a full time student, I remember feeling awestruck at the simplicity of the quad, the architecture of the buildings, the beautiful reaching trees, and the kindness of students and staff.

When I looked at my class schedule, I noticed one of my classes was in Ross 140. Unsure where Ross was located (I could not see it from the quad), it took me fifteen minutes to figure out that Ross was attached to Bauman. On my way from Stevens to Ross, I stopped for five minutes to let a squirrel yell at me for walking in the grass—highlight of my day.

I entered Bauman and headed to the right down the stairs and past the restrooms before trying to open the door to Ross. The brown metal door refused to open. I knocked on the door hoping someone would open it from the other side—to no avail. So I gave up and walked back past the restrooms and into the hall where the Music and Art Departments were located.

Walking down the hall of the Music Department, I stopped and admired the posters promoting upcoming plays and concerts. I remember thinking I was surrounded by gifted artists as I continued my journey to the other side of Ross.

Turning left into the hallway that houses Ross 140 and 141, I noticed a stark difference between the hallways. The Music Department had wonderful art and signs adoring the white brick walls,while the classroom hallway only had bare, white brick walls. I suddenly felt cold and sad.

Walking into Ross 140, I was assaulted by the smell of a wet locker room. My eyes started to water and my asthma began to flare up. I couldn’t breathe. How was this smell allowed in school?

I decided to sit in the back of class, near the back door, closest to the window with my inhaler ready.

As my professor walked in, she immediately asked students to open the windows.

Someone asked about the smell.

Someone else answered, “It always smells like this.”

What? It always smells like this?

And that wasn’t the end of the bizarre Ross 140 issue. The class heated up like a sauna. As the temperature increased, the odor intensified. I wish I could tell you the stench goes away but I can’t.

I endured three classes in Ross 140.

Now I am in Ross 141, which has the same issues as its neighbor, but we have the added seemingly endless construction of the football stadium to contend with our professor’s lectures.

There is also, for some, the added distraction of vocalists singing above us. Ross 140 and 141 have no soundproofing. Some are annoyed by the competing voices. I am not. I love the music department. I love hearing voices run through the scales.

What I don’t love is the constant smell of mildew and fertilizer. I don’t like having class inside a sauna. And the professor has to choose either air flow (and compete with construction or vocalists) or the aroma of wet socks that have sat in the washer for a month.

Why can’t something be done about this? I have been informed that these issues in Ross 140 and 141 have been around for 10 years! I don’t understand that. There is money to redo the carpet of Bauman but no money to rip up a mildew infused carpet in 140 and 141? Can we soundproof the rooms? Can we put in fans to help with the heat?

Ross 140 and 141 are not the only places that smell horrible. Have you ever been to the top floor of Minthorn? The mildew smell is so bad, I have to use my inhaler every time I walk up to the third floor—which houses the English Department of which I am blessed to be a part. I would love to have a chats with my professor in their offices in Minthorn but I can’t stay up there due to locker room fragrance.

I wanted to share these concerns with you in hopes that we could come together and discuss ongoing additions and reconstruction on campus. As students, our voices matter.

Art Exhibit: Riding into Tomorrow

Currently on display in the George Fox Minthorne Art Gallery is Alison O’Donoghue’s show, “Riding into Tomorrow,” which features O’Donoghue’s unique style of paintings that exhibit the complexity of the imaginary and realistic sides of life.

O’Donoghue works primarily with acrylic on wood or canvas. She seems to communicate well through pattern and contrasting positive and negative space, where her art is full of creatures, plants, and people interwoven and interconnected. Each painting is like looking into a crowd, as if the figures are pushing each other and jostling to get attention. Some are more playful and show the carefree side of life, and others are somewhat sinister. But regardless of the tone, O’Donoghue’s work is bound to intrigue.

The amount of detail in each painting is almost overwhelming. Her style, according to O’Donoghue, comes from the experiences of making collages and piecing together jigsaw puzzles as a teen. As a young artist, O’Donoghue worked through the medium of wood sculpture and oil paint, but when she began a family her style changed. She turned to acrylic paint, and her subjects were centered around family and the interconnectedness of humans, animals, and nature.

“Stories and characters rise up from my subconscious and make themselves known,” said O’Donoghue in her artist statement. “Sometimes I learn what is really going on in my life from the process of making a painting . . . I have never-ending fun with shapes, pattern, and encouraging the painting to become a balanced and interactive world.”

“Riding into Tomorrow” will be on display in the Hoover Academic Building Minthorne Gallery through Dec. 5.


In Defense of Passion

Life is stifling, squeezes and wrings the passion and emotion and inventive energy from a person, demanding the continual transformation from the creative, imaginative, idealistic state of youth into a machine-like adulthood. When young, one may dream lofty dreams and think lofty thoughts, may experiment and explore and expand the limits of existence. When older, one must produce, perform, on demand. Each day is a little more mechanical; if one cannot perform 100 times in 100 for an employer, it’d better be 99.

What space does such a life reserve for expression? What possible outlet for the constant longing and writhing of the heart as it plots and plans for grand adventures of love and loss and heroism? Regardless of what scientific minds may claim, humanity is, at the most essential level, transcendent and imbibes transcendent bits of the world every day. The most basic human instinct is not shelter, or food, or reproduction, but instead to contribute to the collective artistry of life, to somehow embody and expel a fraction of the beautiful life-breath of humanity.

One cannot fashion cosmic elegance sitting at a desk. One cannot be an artist of the beautiful filing papers. Each human needs, desperately, a method by which he expresses, for there is nothing as pleasing or as good as a physical, kinetic, tactile embodiment of one’s heart and soul. Again, the claims of the scientist, of synapses and natural attractions and pleasing color combinations are dashed to the wind; a painting fascinates not because the palette of color triggers a wild desire to hunt and gather, but because that painting offers a rare opportunity to step into another reality, to see the dynamic and unstatic world through the eyes of another.

Seize a little of all the universe offers. Life is so much more than work and achievement. Beauty is not constrained by schedule and guideline. To claim as such, to claim life is withdrawn and austere, a minimalist representation of something greater, is an insult and a terrible mistake, for life escapes all things and all thoughts. A painting, a poem, any work of art is not merely a physical thing, fettered by physical limits of space and dimension, but is fluid and infinite, a dream captured and sandwiched between a moment and a heart. To express oneself is to mark the universe, to validate one’s own existence. Do something beautiful. Be something beautiful.