Art Major, Studio Art Emphasis
Justin Morris '07
Artist and Teacher
Justin Morris painting in his studio.
, oil on canvas.
, oil on canvas.
I believe in the power of education to cultivate knowledge and understanding. I believe student interests are important and learners should be active in thinking, reflecting and forming new ideas. Students must be equipped with knowledge of the great ideas of Western culture and cultivate an appreciation for the humanities, so they may be best equipped for rationally defining the meaning of their existence through artistic means. Teachers are facilitators who guide student inquiry by focusing on student needs. As Martin Luther has argued, "Since Christ wished to educate men, he had to become a man. If we are to educate children, we must become children with them." We must understand where children are coming from, having compassion on them as Christ had compassion on us. In building artistic skills, we teach students to find meaning—meaning adolescents are desperately struggling to find. Through the power of the written word, as well as the image, students can make sense of the world. As an art teacher, I bring a well-rounded teaching philosophy into the classroom to not only teach the students how to make art, but to participate in the higher thinking that is ingrained in our humanity, being ever sensitive to the needs, behavior problems and weakness of individual students.
I am called by God to teach, exercising my spiritual gifts in this manner, to be committed to my class, exercising my authority with humility, leading with a teachable spirit, balancing vulnerability with boldness, to be responsible and accountable for my students, respecting them as potential unique members of the body of Christ, to love them unselfishly, to forgive and ask forgiveness, as I set an example of Christian love. It is a virtue to train others' children faithfully and I trust God to work all things for His good, as He has called me to teach according to His purpose.
Lauren Tucci ’07
YMCA of Orange County, Santa Ana, CA., Y Arts & Humanities Program Specialist
Lauren Tucci painting.
, acrylic on canvas.
Concordia University and its staff not only imparted unto me the skills necessary to create the art that I’ve always found intriguing, but they also instilled in me a confidence that I never knew I had. A confidence that I’ve made good use of in my life, and in starting my career. I found that Concordia helped open the world to me, providing keys to doors once locked, and the aplomb to walk through them with the knowledge that I would succeed. I now teach art to children—a dream of mine I’ve finally brought to fruition—through the YMCA’s Arts and Humanities Department, giving others the chance to discover their passions, as Concordia University helped do with me.
Rachel C. Hayes ’02
Studio Artist and Art Instructor
Rachel Hayes working in her studio.
, Mylar, paper, and textiles.
My decision to study art came late during my time at Concordia. However, I am glad that my first forays into art were in an intimate, personalized setting where I could explore ideas at my own pace. Concordia professors not only inspired and encouraged my pursuits, but challenged me to be a better communicator, artist and teacher. Concordia offered me a place of personal, spiritual and artistic exploration that prepared me for the challenges of graduate study and artistic practice. This foundation of education and support gave me confidence as I pursued an M.F. A. in drawing and textiles.
Laura Meredith ’07
Sony Pictures Animation, Culver City, CA., Visual Development Production Assistant
Laura Meredith at Sony Pictures Animation.
Laura Meredith at Sony Pictures Animation
Just like any child, I loved animation. I hoped that someday my interest in it would evolve into a career somehow— fortunately for me, it did. When I was a sophomore in college, I applied and was hired as an intern at Walt Disney Feature Animation Studios, where I worked in the artist training department. We did everything from putting on lectures with famous artists, and voice talent, as well as workshops in computer programs like Maya, Photoshop. I loved every minute of it.
The following summer, I was hired as an intern at Sony Pictures Animation where I worked in the Visual Development Department. Vis Dev--as it is called, is where the whole look of a movie comes from. This is where the characters, locations, props and more are designed and painted. My job was to make sure that the artwork that was being created was archived (digitally and physically) into our databases.
Once I graduated from Concordia in May 2007, I was hired as the Visual Development Production Assistant at Sony Pictures Animation. I love my job. I work with artists all day and I am constantly inspired by the amazing things they do.
At Concordia, I gained a clear understanding of the elements and principles of art. Without these I would be totally lost. I can look at the artwork that is produced and knowledgeably take notes when the film’s directors ask for changes. When archiving and printing, I am required to use Adobe Photoshop daily. Luckily, I had already learned these skills in my graphic design classes at Concordia. The art education that I received at CUI has been crucial to my success thus far. I am so thankful that I have a job where my art degree is used daily.