Campus Gallery Features Popular Adventist Illustrator

Works by Lars Justinen, one of the most featured illustrators in Seventh-day Adventist publications over the past two decades, is on display at Southern’s John C. Williams Gallery October 8 through November 6. His retrospective show, “An Unexpected Journey,” is free and open to the public.

JustinenThe title describes surprises from Justinen’s own career path and the many changes all modern artists have encountered.

“It’s been unexpected to find God’s grace willing to bless my life in spite of myself, having almost died of a rare disease when I was young,” Justinen said. “And as I look back it’s also been unexpected that I would work for my church, that I could create a watercolor with a digital stylus, and that I could work anywhere in the world with a publishing company in my suitcase (my iMac) as long as Internet is available!”

Art selected for the show spans more than 35 years and represents finished pieces ranging from those created for private galleries to the illustrations he produced for Pacific Press Publishing while employed as an in-house illustrator.

“It’s a big deal for our community to come and enjoy a visual experience of such high quality that might bring back childhood memories or remind them of illustrations from stories they have read to their own children,” said Giselle Hasel, MFA, associate professor in the School of Visual Art and Design. 

Justinen’s company GoodSalt is the world's leading source of religious imagery—used in materials for a variety of denominations—and represents hundreds of artists from around the world. A core belief shared among its management team, as stated on the website, is that “Like our God, we find joyful satisfaction in the creative process, which can be, in many ways, a spiritual experience.” Encouraging and advising in that integration of faith and career is a critical component of how Southern instructs students, making this artist’s visit a natural fit.

Justinen has a passion for sharing the knowledge he has accrued over the years with students, so in addition to speaking about his pieces on opening night he is also serving as guest instructor for an illustration class in Southern’s School of Visual Art and Design. This show’s October 8 opening should be especially engaging for art students or professional graphic designers and illustrators as Justinen walks through the gallery describing not only his creative techniques, but also the commission process and business transactions that lead up to a finished piece.

“This show could be an inspiration for many of our students who sometimes feel uncertain about their future in art,” Hasel said.

For gallery hours and additional information, please call (423) 236-2732. 

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