Community Collaboration Through Art & Design

Student artwork adorns local behavioral health facility and school district food truck

Students from Olivet Nazarene University’s Department of Art and Digital Media have benefitted from fantastic hands-on experiences this semester — donating artwork to cheer community participants at the newly remodeled Bourbonnais location of Riverside Behavioral Medicine and designing the artwork to wrap the new food truck for Kankakee School District.

Through a connection between professor Jon Seals ’03, chair of the department, and alumna Rebecca (Williams) Parks ’13, business development coordinator for Riverside Behavioral Medicine, five senior art students from Olivet donated their paintings and photography to line the walls of the newly renovated space. The Pathways program provides group therapy for mental health services for individuals in the local community ages 12+.

This fall Kylie Festen, Elizabeth Kijowski, Jamie Kuiken, Lillian Brown and Maddie English donated a total of twenty completed works of art to the initiative. On October 30, the students were invited to the Pathways open house to see the installation of their works.

The next day on October 31, the Kankakee School District unveiled the final artwork on its newly commissioned food truck, Kays’ Kitchen, which was designed by a team of students from Olivet’s Department of Art and Digital Media. The food truck will provide meals to local students struggling with food insecurity.

Earlier in the fall, the school district’s community engagement specialist, Bill Yohnka, approached adjunct professor John Fetterer about collaborating to design the artwork for the district’s food truck. Professor Fetterer tasked his Advertising and Publications class with brainstorming ideas and drafting potential content. After six class sessions, the students emerged with a final design, which the school board approved. The wrapping materials for the truck were printed and installed by Image Crafters in Bradley. 

“I cannot emphasize enough how impressed I am with this group of students’ professionalism, natural talent and willingness to work together toward our common goals,” Fetterer said. “I am excited for the day that this food truck will pull up in front of Sims and we will be able to see the real application of our designs.”

For more information about the Department of Art and Digital Media, contact the Office of Admissions at admissions@olivet.edu or 800-648-1463.

Photos submitted by ONU Art & Digital Media and used with permission.

Published 11/16/2020
LB