Ouachita Baptist University’s Visual Arts Department is hosting an alumni art exhibit through Oct. 8, in the Hammons Gallery of Mabee Fine Arts. The department will also host a free painting demonstration in conjunction with the exhibit on Oct. 6 from 11:15 a.m.-12:45 p.m. in Ouachita’s outdoor amphitheater, weather permitting. A reception for the exhibit will also be held Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. in Hammons Gallery.
“The alumni exhibit is a great opportunity for the faculty and students in the visual arts to become familiar with the kinds of things that our alumni are involved in,” said Donnie Copeland, assistant professor of visual arts. “I am surprised by and enjoy the diversity of their artistic work and the success they are having. This exhibit underscores the creative imagination of our graduates, not only about the sort of artwork they make but also about the lives they live, their vocation and employment.”
Eight artists are featured in the exhibit, including Emily Arrison, Justin Bowles, Doug Connell, Laura Grisham, Cory Gustke, Amy Pickens, Bob Snider and Emily Wood. The work included is as varied as the artists, including paintings, graphic art, photography and mixed media. Snider will lead the painting demonstration on Oct. 6, which will address watercolor and oil painting. Participants are invited to bring their lunches, and beverages will be provided.
Emily Arrison, a former Arkadelphia resident, earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design at Ouachita in 2004 and went on to earn her Master of Arts degree in publication design at the University of Baltimore. She is the owner of Timeless Paper, which specializes in paper cutout place cards, table numbers, menu cards and wedding programs.
Justin Bowles attended Ouachita from 1991-1994 and went on to earn her Bachelor of Arts degree in English and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture at the University of Kansas. In addition to painting and sculpting, Bowles also designs purses and jewelry for Clementine Fine Purses & Collectibles.
Doug Connell, a 2001 Ouachita graduate, worked in the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and went on to travel extensively. He most recently lived in Istanbul, Turkey, with his wife and five children. The painting and photographs that are included in the exhibit are inspired by his travels to Cairo and its City of the Dead.
Laura Grisham, a 1984 Ouachita graduate, is a retired schoolteacher. She currently works painting oil and acrylic “Pooch Portraits” on commission. Grisham suffers from Sjogren’s Syndrome and Fibromyalgia, and she said, “I paint nearly every day. It helps me forget about the pain, and it’s how I worship. … God is good even when things seem to be bad.”
Cory Gustke earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from OBU in 2002 in studio art and English. Originally interested in animation, Gustke learned through an internship at Film Roman Productions that his talents were better suited to the production side of the business. Upon graduation, he returned to Film Roman to work on the crews of “X-Men: Evolution” and “King of the Hill.” He went on to working on MLG Productions’ Marvel animated features and currently works on Marvel animated features at Warner Brothers Animation.
Amy Pickens is a 2005 Ouachita graduate in studio art. She works as a 2D and 3D artist on contract for video game developers. Character and environment art are her specialties, and she has worked on a variety of gaming platforms ranging from the home computer to the iPhone.
Bob Snider is a 1967 Ouachita alum, and he went on to earn his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Arkansas. Snider served as press assistant and staff photographer for U.S. Sen. John L. McClellan after spending two years as an officer in the U.S. Army. After a 30-year career in investment banking in Little Rock, Snider retired in order to work as an artist and consultant for Biblically themed art festivals.
Emily Wood earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Ouachita in 2004. She went on to earn her Master of Arts degree in painting from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and has studied art at Texas Christian University, the University of Reading in England and the Art Students League of New York City. She has taught art in the Little Rock Public School District and currently serves as a painting and drawing instructor at the Arkansas Arts Center Museum School. Her work has been featured in numerous juried exhibitions and galleries and is part of the statewide traveling exhibit “Women to Watch 2011.”
For more information, contact Donnie Copeland at email@example.com or (870) 245-5559.
By Anastasia Waymire