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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Photos Courtesy of Emily Gigoux

-Erika Muir

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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.
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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 // http://laurenparkerphotography.com

studio art Uncategorized

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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.

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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.

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-Chandler Brutscher

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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

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