In the community: art & design

February 27, 2018

With professors like Jamie Tucker and Mike Bartlett, art students have the opportunity to impact their community using the skills they’ve learned.

“I’m always looking for ways to get my students engaged in real life experiences,” said Jamie. “It allows them to use their skills and gifts for good, and it stretches them. For the seniors, it challenges them to think outside the box of what they think they will do when they graduate. It hopefully encourages them to dream big about how God can use a designer, fine artist, or photographer to impact the world or, on a smaller scale, one person.”

For Jamie, it is her experience doing mission work in Guatemala that has fostered her servant mindedness and desire to use her gifts in the greater community and church. Finding inspiration from seeing creative ways other artists serve, she incorporates community projects in many of her classes. Currently, Jamie has students working in the community through her Digital Photo and Engaging Art & Faith courses.

Digital Photo students are working with the West Valley Humane Society photographing dogs and cats in order to help with the adoption process, and students in Engaging Art & Faith are working with Grace Episcopal Church, Sunnyridge Retirement Center, and NNU’s Office of University Mission & Ministry, engaging with kids and the elderly as well as creating visual artwork for chapel and the prayer chapel.

“It’s quite challenging to coordinate and plan, but it’s worth it to me because the experience is so valuable,” Jamie added. “For instance, students have to master their cameras if they want to capture a good image of a dog. They learn to capture good photos of moving subjects in challenging lighting and to work as a team. We are then rewarded by a good shot when we see the image on the shelter’s website where they advertise animals available for adoption. When we see that dog has been adopted, we are all happy!”

In addition to mastering a skill, Jamie hopes to ignite servant hearts in her students through these projects. She said, “As Christ followers, this is what we are called to do—to serve and love. This is what I am hoping to at least model to my students. When they graduate, I hope they will remember to serve, and it will seem less scary because we’ve done this together before.”

Also finding ways to take classes into the community, Mike Bartlett uses his Integrated Media Campaigns course to develop students’ skills while doing good. “The purpose of this class is to provide students with real project experience and interaction with real clients, and it is also a way for NNU to give back to the community,” Mike commented.

In this course, students work on a wide variety of design projects for companies, usually nonprofits. “We focus on partnering with nonprofits, because they often don’t have the funds for design work like this,” he said.

This semester, Mike’s students are working with four clients: Because International, Intermountain District Church of the Nazarene, Salt Lake City Central Church of the Nazarene, and Dillabaugh’s Flooring America.

“This is the first time we are partnering with a for-profit business,” Mike shared. “Dillabaugh’s came to us with a great idea about how they wanted to give back; we thought it aligned with the vision of the class, so we are going for it.”

With Because International, they’re working on branding a project for the Shoe That Grows, which involves designing the look for a bus that will tour in Mexico to give away shoes and spread awareness about the organization’s mission. For the Intermountain District, they are creating the visual look and feel for the Intermountain District Assembly in April, and, for SLCC, they are creating the branding and messaging to raise funds for a new community center in Salt Lake City. The Dillabaugh’s project is focused on creating a campaign to give a portion of their proceeds back to charities.

“It is important for our students to get involved in the community in ways that fit their skill sets,” Mike said when asked why students should be involved in the community. “Part of an education at NNU is learning how God has gifted you, and realizing how those talents can be used in the working world and community. If we can each play a part in helping the community, we will all be stronger.”

Learn more about studying art and design at NNU→