Art & Design Posts

Photos Courtesy of Emily Gigoux

The above is a photo of myself in the most recent and possibly most important space I have ever designed. For my final project in Art and Design, I decided to integrate my faith into my design practice by tracing down my roots a bit and recreating something familiar from my past.

Photos Courtesy of Emily Gigoux

Rewind to a much younger me at church camp, in lets say, 2006. Insecure, hurting from my parents’ divorce, and looking for something to deem me as valuable in almost every empty thing, I was having a hard time feeling secure and finding rest. The church camp that I attended was very intentional about the importance of non-traditional acts of worship and expressing that importance to its campers. I remember one day at that camp, I was wondering around, feeling a bit down because none of the boys at church camp seemed to be interested in me (Weren’t boys supposed to still be “gross” at that age?) and I was really insecure, constantly comparing myself to others and seeking approval. Alone, I walked into the sanctuary at the camp and saw a sign posted on a nearby door. It read “Holy of Holies: All are Welcome”. Intrigued, I opened the door.

When I stepped inside, the space was decorated in a way that promoted peace, the sun was shinning in the room, there were white curtains and soft places to sit, and I was surrounded by so many stories. There were beautiful stories of worship and beautiful stories of victory, wonderful prayers seeking redemption and deliverance from pain, and so much art that expressed each intricate and unique longing through the lives, eyes, and hearts of God’s people.

Photos Courtesy of Emily Gigoux

While surrounded by pieces and parts stemming from the vulnerabilities of what it meant to be human, I realized that I wasn’t alone. I wasn’t the only person feeling unworthy, unwanted, or lost. I spent time there that day knowing that God meets our needs in ways that we don’t even ask for and in ways that we don’t expect. Little did I also know that that experience would influence me to pursue Art and Design later in life at George Fox University.

Holding that experience so dear to me throughout the years, it was only natural for me to recreate my version of the “Holy of Holies” for those on campus.

So, that is what I did.

I reached out to a local living area on campus and then began creating the worship space shortly after (SHOUT OUT TO ANDREA ROBERTS, KIRSTI DOOLIN, AMY SHIFTLY, AND DEANNA ZERKEL FOR HELPING ME IMPLEMENT!). Out of the actual implementation of the space, I also hosted an event titled: Be Still: A Collaborative Worship Experience to launch my design. There, I shared with a small group of folks my vision for the project, that being: to emphasize the value of collaboration and the importance that comes with being vulnerable with others regarding our experiences and opinions. I also asked them where they saw beauty and what they considered “beautiful”. This was in order to continue the beauty debate discussion we were having in class. In addition to the prior question on beauty, I also asked them to share an identity statement as I think it is important for us to claim truths over ourselves.

Photos Courtesy of Emily Gigoux

At the end of the evening, the space began to fill with the same types of stories that healed my young heart and camp, which brought me so much joy. The space also held small, rolled up notes of encouragement that I wrote, ready to be taken and received by whoever needed them.

Photos Courtesy of Emily Gigoux

There is so much I could go on about regarding this project and how it has shaped the way I view myself as a designer. Reflecting back on my prior interior design projects, I have come to the conclusion that all this time I have been designing in order to encourage the creation of valuable/ impactful experiences between/for people, and that is my ministry.

Photos Courtesy of Emily Gigoux

Other experiences I have had lately give me reason to believe that when we open up parts of ourselves that hurt, God uses His power to heal both us and others. My hope is that, because of this room and the stories that it held, people found the healing and rest that they needed to make it through whatever season they were in.

Photos Courtesy of Emily Gigoux

Below are some quotes that I want to share from what was written/ reflected on in the space:

“Beauty is in places like this, where they are quiet enough that your prayer is heard. We strive for moments of peace in a chaotic world. We are beginning to  fear the stillness. Now we must learn, with child-like abandon, to feel free in spaces like these. Let whispered prayers be free and heal from the inside out.” 

“To the God I love, For every heart and every head, for every heartbreak and every heart mended, thank you for the experience of life.”

“I want to pray for everyone. Sometimes I feel like there is so much hardship it feels like we won’t be able to overcome it BUT we must trust that through God we can do all. I want to pray for trust and perseverance.” 

“I have given up and I need strength to push through.”

Photos Courtesy of Emily Gigoux

-Erika Muir


By Janelle Honeycut

Recently, I’ve discovered a struggle that millennials face. For some, this may seem like a trivial or petty thing to struggle with, but I assure you it’s very real and very important: Film photography. Almost nobody in my generation knows how to use a film camera. People sometimes recognize and appreciate it as a novelty and antique practice, but it’s almost never considered as the practical or worthwhile way of taking pictures.

I had never used a film camera until a month ago when I began my college photography class. Now, I would consider myself as someone who cares about photography in all its forms and appreciate its historicity, and yet I had never used a film camera until recently. Capturing pictures in film is entirely different from shooting on a digital camera, but learning how to develop and print said film is even weirder.

After two separate demonstration sessions with my professor on how to develop and print, I finally printed my first film photo. And let me tell you, when I first dropped my photo into the liquid Dektol and saw the image come to life upon its surface, I teared up a bit

My classmates didn’t seem to mind too much when I started squealing with joy at the birth of my very first film photo. They just sort of chuckled and smiled at me. I couldn’t contain myself. It was beautiful! Somehow, by the marriage of scientific discovery and artistic vision, I was able to capture a single image and reproduce it so I could look at it forever.

And here lies the point of this article:

Maybe it’s just me, but until printing this photo, my brain had actually never even computed the process of photography and how it’s physically possible to take light and harness it onto a piece of paper. Taking photos is one of those things that just always seemed like a natural right of mine – something I had never imagined living without. If I saw a thing with my eye and wanted to preserve the sight of that thing, I could always take a picture and have its visual information safe in my camera.

But here’s the thing: photos aren’t a given. It’s not a given that we should be able to take the light which we see and reproduce it onto paper. That’s not a natural thing. That, my friends, is the result of genius discovery and innovation.

So this, I propose, is why every single person should learn a bit of the science behind film photography. Until developing my first film photo, I never really understood or even considered the physicality behin
d photography. Now, though I may never fully understand the exact chemical process behind photography, I am more in awe of photography as an art than ever before.

Why? Because photography is a very scientific process that exists very tangibly in the world we live in. Art is not some entirely ethereal, abstract force of nature that exists only in our heads. Art very much exists in the world we inhabit. And the more we understand this earth, the more ways we can discover how to participate in and appreciate its beauty.

I cried while developing my first film photo because it was beautiful, and I am privileged to be able to create such beauty.



Written April 27th, 2016

And as I finished preparations for my senior project—the culmination of not only four years of a college education but of my entire past twenty two years of life on earth—I realized that the paradox of it all is that this is a beginning as well. It’s only the first ripple in the surface of a turbulent and wonderful ocean.

When I was a senior in high school, I couldn’t even imagine myself finishing college. Four more years of school was too daunting, too long, too challenging. And yet here I am on the other side, the same but completely different. I guess our art practice is like that too. On one hand, what you make now is totally different from what you’ll make in the future, but it’s the same. It’s all a part of you as you continually evolve and grow more rings and deepen your roots. Never take your work too seriously. It’s the most serious work in the world, and it also doesn’t matter. I’ve learned that no one will care about my work as much or quite like I do, and there’s a great freedom in that. And yet, the work will influence people deeper and in far different ways than it affects me. This world is far larger than we can imagine and our lives are but a wisp. But it’s the most beautiful single breath of air I’ve ever known.

To my fellow seniors that are going to walk across a stage with me in just a couple days, I just want to say thank you. There is a community here at George Fox that is unlike anything I’ve experienced in my life. I am beyond thankful that God led me here, to you, to this place, to be surrounded by a loving community that cares for me and supports me and loves me with no expectations. I may make mistakes and fail and not live up to standards, but I will always be loved. I am so very grateful for this place and you. And here we are at the end. It’s so fulfilling. It’s beautiful. It’s terrifying. But I know we are going to leave this world better than we found it. You all are beautiful souls, and I am so honored and humbled to know each of you. Really. These words are frustrating because I could never explain just how eternally grateful I am.

To the incoming freshmen, who have no idea how their lives are about to be changed by this place, you have found something great. I know college is challenging. Growing up is hard. When I look back to who I was coming in on that day in August in 2012, I thought I knew who I was. It’s funny how life works that way, where you look back four years later and put yourself into the mind of who you once were, with a faint recollection that you’re going to experience so so much. I think if I could narrow down my college experience into one word, it would be this: rich. You are about to be blessed so richly. You will be overflowed with love—from new friends, from professors who care about you more than you know, from the land that we walk upon every day, from a God who always cares for you even if you can’t feel it—there is an overabundance of love and you will leave this place with a richness that is beyond words. Savor every single moment. People will tell you that this phase of life will pass by quickly (I didn’t believe them). It will. You will blink and transport from moving into your freshman dorm on the first day of school to the end, when you’re surrounded by a community of people all wearing the same ridiculous outfit. It’s bittersweet. No one ever talks about how bittersweet graduating from college is. It is an ending. But it’s also a beginning. Here is a special piece of advice for you that I happened upon about two years ago:

“Campus Delusion number one: ‘When I get out into life …’

College days are not a time in which to prepare for life. College days are life. The weeks and months spent on a campus constitute a segment of the life of every student. These days may be preparatory to a larger or even to a smaller life thereafter, but in any diary their record will always embody an actual part of the whole. They are life itself.

Campus Delusion number two: ‘Then I will …’

It has been suggested that the ‘Devil’s Soft Spot’ is that imaginary time or place in which it will be easier to do what one should, rather than here and now. But life is made up of todays, which are lived one at a time. Any duty neglected today becomes more difficult tomorrow. The will power which should have directed the performance yesterday finds itself weakened by the procrastination until in reality the imagined soft spot of tomorrow turns out to be a harder spot of another today. Industry, regard for time, honesty, thrift, courtesy, helpfulness and all other desirable virtues must be incorporated into life today or never.

Campus Wisdom: ‘Hail to the morn! This is today!’

Whatever I desire for my life throughout the years to come I will, by the grace of God and careful effort, seek to incorporate therein today and throughout the succeeding days as they come one by one. For I realize that life is but the summation of daily living.”

A message from Gervas Carey, George Fox University President, 1949

Be thankful for every moment in your life, even those which are challenging and seem impossible. George Fox is an incredibly special place, where you will cultivate and grow and stretch. Challenge yourself. Allow yourself to be challenged. Seek out every opportunity and make opportunities for yourself. Believe in yourself and in your art, and allow others to believe in you when you don’t think you can. Hail to the morn! This is today!

-Lauren Parker

Since graduation Lauren began a 52 week self portrait project, and she’s been photographing engagement sessions and weddings. Lauren also got married this summer! Photos are below. You can check out more of her work at http://laurenparkerphotography.comimg_0041-2

Photo by Lauren Parker //

studio art Uncategorized









I didn’t know printmaking existed as an artistic discipline until my sophomore year at George Fox; I was hooked from day one. My first print was a small wooden block print that portrayed the aura of a migraine, and it was all of 2″ x 3″ big–hand-pressed. Although I’m keen on skillfully made woodcuts, my own printing preferences tend towards some form of collograph, screen printing, and relief work.

Printmaking is steeped in processes, and it’s all about transferring images from a stencil (matrix) to a support (like paper or fabric). Never do I walk out of the studio after one printing session with a final piece. This is maddening yet addicting. Printmaking demands we “think in layers” and consider that one layer might look disjointed and unappealing until subsequent layers overlap it. I love having this constant puzzle that I have to solve, and as I acquire more tools to solve it, my designs get bigger and better.

Apart from process, paper choice is another emphasized aspect of printmaking. Fox’s printmaking professor Jillian Sokso introduced me last year to Gampi silk tissue paper (a highly translucent paper from Japan) that has ruined me forever. Not only can I layer inks on the Gampi paper, but the paper’s sheerness allows me to layer it with other papers as well. The puzzle becomes that much more complex.


A final distinction between printmaking and other art forms is the equipment used to reproduce an image; I am fond of the combination of hand-made images with low-tech mechanisms like presses. Presses add technical elements to printing that continue the ever-unfolding printing puzzle and bring about new levels of proficiency to achieve.

I lose track of time in the studio because I’m solving, working, and reworking puzzles on paper. Between ink quality, paper type, and pressing method, I have plenty to explore and not enough time to explore it. My time at Fox and connections with professors has been key to unlocking this door for me, and I know my printing journey is only in its infancy.


-Chandler Brutscher


I grew up surrounded by the arts – from begrudgingly stopping at every gallery at the coast on family weekend trips as a kid, to being dropped off after school at the GFU art office until my parents got off work (if you can imagine, the art office used to just be what the mat cutting room is now), to being babysat by art students up until high school. I knew that I loved the people in the arts and the creative energy that surrounded me when I was with them. Therefore, when I chose to be an Arts Major at GFU my freshman year I knew that it wasn’t because I was necessarily good at one particular medium or because I wanted to be a professional artist, but because I wanted to learn how to be an active participant in this creative energy.

I remember the season before graduation and the ridiculous amount of questions such as “what are you going to do, who are you going to be, and are you afraid to enter the real world.” My response was always the same, “I am going to live.” Life doesn’t just restart after college, you don’t suddenly enter the “real world” rather, you continue to choose to live in the real world creatively problem-solving through the variety of different transitions life offers. I deeply value the arts degree I earned at George Fox because, while I learned to create in varying mediums, I also learned how to creatively problem solve, think critically, work hard and learn from failure. These valuable lessons have taught me how to be an active participant in the arts, and have followed me into this season of life outside of school.

Since I graduated, nearly 3 years ago, I have had many wonderful opportunities, some include a couple of cross country road trips, numerous exhibitions including one with my dad at Art Elements Gallery, getting married this past summer, becoming an Auntie, climbing mountains, and getting to work for the Chehalem Cultural Center – in a variety of different positions – but currently as the Arts & Public Programming Coordinator. All of these experiences have required the skills I learned as an arts major in one way or another. Life has continued rolling on since school and whether on a hike, playing with my niece, or hanging art at work it is a life that I love and that will continue to evolve over time in ways I could never anticipate. Life outside of school is just life continuing on. It is something to look forward to, to be creative about and to embrace.

-Erin Terry Padilla


This past semester I had the huge honor of studying under George Fox’s new Art & Design professor, Jillian Sokso, in her Drawing II class. I was finally able to sit down with her one day and learn a little more about her and her plans for Art & Design.  She was previously a professor at Houghton College in up-state New York, and had been working there for nine years (with five of those years spent keeping her eyes open for an opportunity to teach at George Fox!). The Pacific Northwest called both her and her husband because of the bike culture, the weather, and the landscape. “My work is all about place and landscape, and the history of the landscape and the identity that we draw from it, so both of us were attracted to this landscape.” Initially, she didn’t think George Fox would consider her simply due to the fact that the position description seemed so open-ended; it could have been filled by an art historian, any kind of studio artist, or even a designer. But with her commitment to Christian higher education and her husband encouraging her to apply, saying, “You’ve always wanted to work at George Fox. You never know,” she  applied for the position, and the rest as they say, is history.

As a master lithographer, Jillian will be teaching printmaking which will include screen printing and lithography, and will also teach Drawing II and 3-D Design. Over the Christmas break, the printmaking studio received a major facelift a facelift, complete with a new lithography press.

She is also working to introduce two new concepts to the Art & Design Department, the first of which would be a required course for all art majors. It will be a rotating series of lecturers, both art practitioners and anyone who has their hand in the art and design world. They would be invited to tour the facility, meet with faculty and upper-class students, do studio visits, and do critiques. Secondly, they will make themselves available for public lectures and question-and-answers, which will then be a required course. Students would pay a lab fee, with the money going into a pot to pay for the artists so the Department will not have to rely on a budget that can be changed or manipulated. If approved, the class will begin next fall and incoming students will be required to take it five out of eight semesters.

The second concept Jillian hopes to introduce is an “Art CSA”, Community Supported Art, which models the Farming Initiative in which people who subscribe to community-supported farms pay at the beginning of a season and receive the rewards of the harvest. Art collectors will pay either $500 for a half share or $1000 for a full share and will receive either three or six pieces of artwork created by artists that come to the University. For example, a guest photographer will come on campus and spend time creating a piece using the facilities and will create an edition of the artwork that will then be given to the patrons. This will also allow students to get involved in the production of the work.

Many students want to know, “How do you get to be where you want to be?” And that is one of the main purposes of both the class and CSA. It will not only build community among the students and practicing artists, but the language of the students will begin to change. There will be endless opportunities to talk with contemporary artists and learn about their influences and their studies, and it will change how we as students carry ourselves as artists and how much effort we put into our work. The artists become peers. There is also an open invitation for alumni to visit.

These two programs will help students find their voice. Jillian says, “It sounds cliché but it really is how the Be Known promise at George Fox translates to Art and Design, because we want you guys to be creative individuals that can function as part of society and know where you can make relationships with contemporary artists and practitioners.”

Below is a selection of Jillian’s work as seen on her website. 

j1 j2 j3 j4 j5 j6

printmaking studio art

IMG_5240Hey, what’s it like out there on the other side? You know, the day-to-day work world? Well, within the Department of Art and Design at George Fox University, there’s no better way to experience this than to participate in an extended creative internship or to do a one-day job shadow. There are a number of small and large companies in the Portland area, and beyond, providing opportunities to experience what happens on the inside of a creative department within a company.

This past summer, Fox sophomore, Amy Shifley spent a day following and observing Fox alumni, Rachel Getsinger (Graphic Design ‘10) as she went about her duties as a designer and art director at the Pivot Group, a Portland design agency.

Amy shares, “One of the best parts about this experience was how I was able to sit down with Rachel and watch her apply the skills she learned through George Fox and through her post grad internship in New York. She was able to show me a typical day’s work and talked me through what she was doing. It was neat to see how Pivot Group is more of a community than larger companies and operates on a more personal level with employees.”

From this experience Amy not only saw first-hand what a designer does but it also confirmed her decision to change from English to Design as her major.

The Department of Art and Design seeks to establishing relationships with companies of all sizes to place appropriate students in the right positions. Here is a short list of some of the companies that have provided an internship or job shadow experiences in the past for Fox art and design students.

Norm Thompson, Nike, Never Boring, George Fox University MarCom, Livengood Nowack, NOE (New Opportunities in Education, Mexico), East Hill Church, All American Publishing, Lucy, Craftsman Label, Ashley Lippard Design, Pivot Group, Nordstrom, Anthropologie, and Bank of America.

If you know of a company that have opportunities for an internships or job shadowing within a creative department please contact us. We know it’ll be a great experience for both the student and the company. You can respond to this blog or send an e-mail direct to Jeff Cameron –


Department of Art & Design Open House and Networking Event

Fox Art & Design alumni visiting campus October 18 for the football game and Homecoming festivities are invited to attend this special networking event. This will be an opportunity to share your current professional experiences with Fox artists and designers at a reception in Hoover. The event starts at 10 AM and goes to 11. If you can come by and share your post-graduation professional experiences with students, please call Cheri @ 503-554-2619 or e-mail Mark at

Internships & Jobs

Processed with VSCOcam with p5 presetIt was a wave of emotions almost as strong as the ocean herself, from extreme happiness and peace to that of despair, all encompassed by a feeling of freedom and surrender that one can only feel when waters crash against one’s legs and sand underneath the feet sift away. But that feeling of giving up only makes way for giving in to the Creator of the stars and the galaxies and the blackness of space and the ocean and the whiteness of the waves and dots of sand in the sky.

Yes, it was the annual Art Retreat, but it was so much more than a simple event. From late nights and early mornings to sunburns, and from paint on our faces to plaster in our toes, every single moment was spent in this concept of creation and creating, and it was glorious.

For me, the act of creating is the purest form of worship. When God created the heavens and the earth, He also created us in His image, to partake in Himself and His own creating nature. In each human is a fundamental command and predisposition to create. Wasn’t it Picasso who said that all children are born artists?

Spending a weekend away from the lull of civilization in the heart of the first creation amongst 50+ other creators is refreshing to say the least, and it is no less than the most beautiful form of worship. We are all artists and were able to fall back on our first impulses to bring forth into the world something that previously had never been there before. So many beautiful works of art came out of the weekend, so many thoughts and words and changes of heart, and so many new or perhaps altered views on our lives and the world we live in today, all were realized and explored in those short three days.

I never feel quite as alive as I do when I am at the beach and when I am creating. It’s that sort of atmosphere that brings about changes of mindset and causes me to look closely at what I’m doing, what I’m contributing, and what my priorities are (and what they should become).

For those of you who didn’t attend the Art Retreat this year, I encourage you to go to the ocean. Bring your sketchbook or your camera or your paints. Close your eyes and fall into the ocean and allow yourself to become overwhelmed by all the creation around you, and think of how amazing it is that you are allowed to create just as God first created you.

Art Retreat 2014 from George Fox University on Vimeo.




IMG_4146This year for Serve Day, a group of art students came together to do something a bit different from the usual manual labor that accompanies the day.  We headed out close to home to a physical therapy center to continue some projects that began in years past, and even start some new ones.

My group worked on a mural in the main waiting room, recreating a typical Oregon vineyard scene that I’ll never get tired of seeing. Along with Gary Buhler, Annelise Koeth, and Yixuan Pan, we spent the day laughing and painting and chatting with patients who came to watch. At one point during the day, there was a little girl who sheepishly watched us render grapes and leaves, but soon even she was painting alongside Gary and contributing to the mural.

Other teams painted children’s rooms and waiting areas and a graphic design team worked to create decals of inspirational quotes to go in the workout space. It was a wonderful way to spend Serve Day—being able to help others through our particular gifts and blessing others, and being blessed ourselves.

IMG_4175 IMG_4171   IMG_4130 IMG_4165



1965407_10151757514047537_147672717_oWe are so excited to bring to you this window into the department, where you can discover everything from upcoming events to awards shows, from student portraits to alumni stories, and topics concerning art today. There is so much beauty and talent within our walls at George Fox and beyond in our family that we feel it is a disservice not to share it with our larger artistic community. Thus the creation of this blog; we bring to light the gift we all have to create just as God first created. So I welcome to you sit back in your chair, sip your tea or coffee, and breathe in the creative air that surrounds you every single day.

As a little bit of background about myself, my name is Lauren (that’s me on the right) and I am currently a junior at George Fox. I am studying both English and Studio Art, with concentrations in Creative Writing and Photography, and also am the Creative Director for the university yearbook, The Student Collective. During the summers (and cold winter months) you can find me hiking around my home in Alaska, making lots of macaroni and cheese, and dreaming up the next big photo shoot. It is a huge honor to be a part of the Art & Design Department and to be able to head up and curate this blog, and it is my hope that you are enriched in both your creative and spiritual endeavors as you navigate through not only what our department looks like, but also through what it means to be a Christian artist. Enjoy!