Meet the Class of 2014: Yixuan Pan

IMG_0314-2Hometown: Changsha, China
Major: Art (studio arts concentration)

Q: How would you describe your experience at George Fox?

A: Two years ago I transferred here as an exchange student from China. George Fox made Oregon become my second hometown. I thought it would just be an adventure – to taste and check out different things and go back home. However, my experience here has definitely been richer than that. The first week of school, my professor Mark Terry says, “Artists are very special, there is a hand of God that has touched them.” … I guess that was the first time I felt the Holy Spirit. … At that point I decided to know Him and learn about Christianity. Last semester, I accepted Jesus Christ with joyful tears.

Q: How have you changed or grown since coming to George Fox?

A: I think I have had two turning points. The first one is I switched the concentration of my major from graphic design to studio art. I learned to follow my interests, to allow myself to explore. More important, I learned to appreciate my talents and became more confident. The second turning point is when I accepted Jesus. … I realized how much He loves me and how much I needed Him. Becoming a Christian made me understand that God is there and that I can fully trust and rely on Him, and I can give all of my happiness and anxiety to Him, because He will take care of them as always.

Q: What’s next?

A: It is quite exciting that I got an offer from the graduate glass program at California College of the Arts, but I decided to take a year off. One of the reasons I decided not go to gradate school right away is I’m still not very satisfied with my portfolio – I know I can do better. So, this year I’ll be a teacher’s assistant in the George Fox Department of Art and Design to gain experience, develop my portfolio and share my knowledge. In addition, I’ll try to get in more exhibitions to stretch myself and broaden my horizons. I think I will never stop experiencing and learning wherever I am.

[Ed. note: answers have been edited for clarity.]