Seniors of the College of Architecture, Visual Arts & Design at California Baptist University came together in downtown Riverside to showcase their work to friends, family and peers.
The showcase’s opening night gave the audience a look at the projects the seniors had worked on throughout their entire career including graphic design, photography, fashion and other artistic mediums. It was a full house April 5 as the audience flooded the floor of the art gallery.
As the crowd settled, they gathered in a circle around the main floor. Nancy Ward, lecturer in art, gave her students a message as they prepare to graduate and enter the next phase of their lives.
“I want you all to remember to go in confidence. You’ve had some great training from some great people, but that’s not the only reason to be confident,” Ward said. “The real reason I want you to go in confidence is because you’ve been gifted by God and you carry his grace and mercy into the world and in everything you do. That’s the reason you have confidence.”
Ward’s message was a reminder to students that their true confidence does not come from their looks, talent or creativity, but their devotion to Christ and the gifts that has been bestowed upon them to spread God’s word.
After her speech, Ward then gave the floor to students who each gave a 30-second elevator pitch to the crowd, detailing their projects and how they were conceptualized. This part also served as practice for potential job opportunities.
The first of the elevator pitches came from Kaira Santos, senior graphic design major, who said she has found a way to integrate her faith into her passion for graphic design.
“I love the graphic design program. The professors are the best in the field,” Santos said. “Initially, I wanted to just be a graphic designer in a church, but my professors challenged me that design and faith can be applied outside of the church, which is amazing.”
Santos said being in the graphic design program has taught her about God’s design in her own art.
“I learned that through designing, you get to experience God in a deeper way,” Santos said. “We also learned in school that the way we design is the way that God designs, which is in goodness, truth and beauty.”
Another soon-to-be graduate, Craig Bond, senior graphic design major, said he found the program has taught him how to be an entrepreneur in the design world.
“I looked at it as they were teaching us graphic design, but at the same time they were also teaching us how to be an entrepreneur,” Bond said. “I joined the program because I noticed how motivated people were and everyone was basically a self-starter — that attracted me to the program.”
Bond said he has taken what he has learned and used it to develop his own clothing brand. As an entrepreneur, Bond understands what comes with it, which is why he believes it is important to keep his faith strong.
“You don’t really know where (the field) is going to take you, and at the same time, you don’t know where God is going to take you,” Bond said. “You have to have faith in your career journey as well as your faith in where that’s going to take you.”
Along with their degrees, some students brought home awards. Juliana Bontrager, senior graphic
design major, won an award in graphic design and digital media while Connor Schuch, senior photography major, won an award for photography.
The next senior showcase will take place May 3 at CBU’s gallery where visual art students will present their work.