Among my many talents, you may be surprised to hear that I am a stick-person artist. So rare is this skill that they’ve yet to make a major for it, support a scholarship for it, or fund a non-profit organization in its honor. “Stick People and Co.,” it would be called.
I often find people unimpressed by my gift. “I draw stick people,” I tell folks modestly, and they laugh at me. “I draw stick people,” I explained logically to my high school art teacher, who was likewise unmoved by my 3D sculpture work. “I draw stick people,” I will announce someday at rallies and business meetings, trying to bring inspiration to my listeners.
My stick people remain an unappreciated wonder of the modern world. I AM happy to announce, however, that the quality work from our very own Pensacola Christian College has not gone unnoticed nationally, as well as locally.
The magazine Southwest Art, which annually highlights 21 artists in the United States who have shown outstanding ability in their field, has colored its pages with PCC’s Studio Art graduates for several years standing. In a recent edition, PCC grads took the cover page and a significant 25 percent of that artist list! Click here and here to see some of their work.
PCC art grads have also been recognized locally. At last year's annual Interstate Fair in Pensacola, twelve of our own graduate students and alumni won awards in the fine arts exhibition.
One cannot help but admire these numbers with a question: What makes the PCC artists so distinguished?
A PCC faculty member who visited the art exhibit at the fair told me,“The quality of the art coming from Pensacola Christian College stood out. Even from a distance, I could pick out which pieces belonged to our graduates!”
What makes our work so different? I picked up my sleuthing cap and magnifying glass and…asked. I had the privilege of talking to Kayla Swearingen, a PCC graduate who placed at Pensacola's Interstate Fair.
“It’s all in the understanding,” answered Kayla, whose oil painting Beautiful Weed won the "People’s Choice” award. “Pensacola Christian College’s art department not only teaches us to pull from experience and knowledge, but from my first few moments in the classroom, they emphasized the importance of studying the great artists from history who have done the same. We are taught to understand reality before we pull from it, and people identify with that reality and the quality of it when they see our work.”
“Now, how do you think some of my stick figure pieces would go over in that Inter fair-thing next year?”
Just kidding, I didn’t ask that.
A big kudos to the art department here at Pensacola Christian College! The very same principles and consistency that have made this college such a foundational place to learn are also being integrated into the artwork here—and others are taking notice!