"Two painters are probably tied for 'my favorite' right now," says Clay Little, a junior from Tulsa. "Both Rene Magritte and Chuck Close were always striving with their creativity, pushing their contemporaries to always look for a new angle, giving new ideas to express what one sees and what one feels. Magritte suspended reality to create his own. Close broke ground in photorealism. They spur me on to think differently and create, not the way everyone else would or even the way they would, but truly the way I would."
Clay hopes to attend graduate school and eventually open a coffee shop that would serve as a studio and gallery as well. "I found out about OBU through my church," he says. "Many of the upperclassmen came to OBU, so I always kept it as an option. I decided to major in studio art once I arrived on campus, and the art program is wonderful. The faculty care and OBU offers a diversity of classes."
Allison Michalewicz began painting at age 15. "A few elderly ladies in my hometown invited me to paint with them," she says. "I fell in love with art at that point and knew that I would be an artist for the rest of my life. I view art as a calling. Art is my way to communicate and reach many people, and I embrace the idea that it's a universal language that can be understood." From Detroit, Texas, and majoring in studio art, Allison hopes to participate in organizations like Compassion International "reaching youth around the globe with my art," she says.
As a junior, she says she originally found OBU by purposely looking for a Christian university with a great art program. "I have found my first impressions of OBU accurate," she says. "I receive one-on-one instruction from my professors and know them on a personal level." Regarding the painters that inspire her, "Joseph Cusimano is my favorite," she says. "He's a contemporary metaphysical surrealist. Surrealism is my personal artistic movement of choice. I can easily identify with the concepts of applying one's subconscious to visual icons and symbols. I find that not only are the ideas behind this movement an extreme challenge for me to understand and represent, so is the actual application of a realistic technique."