The hall was filled with excitement and the students at Olivet University were all smiles showing off their pencil and oil creations at the first Olivet School of Art and Design winter art exhibition Saturday evening Dec. 10 at the campus on Tripp Flats Road in Anza.
Smart phones and cameras clicked and buzzed as the students, all from mainland China and Inner Mongolia, judged and talked about their first creations. The Olivet School of Art, now awaiting approval for its curriculum from the Olivet University Regents, is led by Associate Dean of Students Zimou Tan, an accomplished artist from San Francisco Academy of Art.
In the short year the students have been learning the basics of fine art from the dean and other artists on staff, the students have shown great achievement with both still life drawings and their own creative imagination. Several students, like Vicky, while attending her schools in China learned much of the basics of art and was able to improve upon it with the guidance of Associate Dean Tan. Her pencil drawing of Beethoven looking over a violin and one of his music sheets was equal to other accomplished pencil and ink artists.
Equally proud of her pencil drawing of a horse was Sarina who grew up and went to school in Inner Mongolia where horses are common. “I’ve always loved horses,” said Sarina although she never owned one.
Student Sophia showed off her new skill in oil paintings learned at the school. Each of the students in their first year learn the basic techniques of oil and pencil drawing. Her still life oil was that of a teakettle and cup.
Tan said the students, once the school is approved, will continue their learning that will eventually earn them a degree in Fine Arts. He said the students, numbering about 20 now, spend about four hours each day in four classes a week. Each student is required paint or draw so many pieces during their studies
Tan said the students at Olivet University are chosen to attend the University in Anza through an application process. Olivet University is an institution of biblical higher education dedicated to the training ministry-bound men and women as biblical scholars and leaders and to equipping them with the practical skills to preach the Gospel effectively into and after the ‘network generation, thus priming them to revolutionize the world through Christian Mission.
Tan said his arrival to Olivet about a year ago, was really “a call from God.” He said he hopes to spread the Gospel in China and throughout the world through fine art. He said he hoped to provide more outreach to the community through his students and their art.
In addition to the new fine arts school, Olivet offers undergraduate classes in theology, music, journalism, graphic design, informational technology, business, civil engineering and certificates in English as a second language and a certificate in language. They also have some graduate programs and a Ph.D. in Global Theology. The University now has approximately 120 students with a goal of one day reaching 500 or more. Some student families live on campus.
For more information about Olivet University see the webpage www.olivetuniversity.edu or call (951) 763-0500. The campus is located at 36401 Tripp Flats Road in Anza.