December 4, 2023
In November, Asbury Art Professor Emeritus Rudy Medlock joined alumni artists Glenn Howell ’81 and Edward Knippers ’69 to celebrate their recent art installations in the Shaw Collaborative Learning Center (Shaw CLC).
Medlock’s Awakening Celebration series emerged from the Asbury Outpouring in February. His paintings line the walls of the Shaw CLC and the lower level of the Rader Student Center.
“For me, these pieces reflect a celebration of the Second Coming of Christ,” said Medlock, who taught 3-D design, sculpture, ceramics, and stained glass at Asbury College from 1971-2008. “What happened in Hughes Auditorium was a massive celebration with people coming from all ends of the earth to worship together.”
Howell’s photograph, Sanctuary, was installed in the SEARCH Studio last fall.
“Sanctuary shows a holy place where the spiritual and physical world are wafer-thin, like the altar in Hughes Auditorium where I was introduced to the Holy Spirit in a way that I understood,” Howell said.
Knippers’ piece, Jacob and the Angel, will be installed in the Shaw CLC in the spring. Knippers gifted his artwork to Asbury University as an in-kind donation.
“This piece shows our wrestling with God and finding out what He wants for us,” said Knippers, who taught at Asbury from 1975-1981 and in 1986. “We realize that the fighting ends in a blessing, when we are willing to do His work.”
Medlock, Howell, and Knippers reunited to “create art and love Jesus” at Medlock’s Wilmore bed-and-breakfast, The Potter’s Inn. Around the table surrounded by Medlock’s Eucharist chalices, the three artists shared about finding Jesus Christ and receiving encouragement at Asbury.
“I was at a traffic light when God said, ‘Go to Asbury,’” Howell said. “I transferred here from a college in West Virginia, and I felt that God was calling me to be a minister. Little did I know that God would use me to minister through photography.”
“For me, Asbury was my time of contending with God, ‘wrestling with the Angel,’” Knippers said. “I came to grips with the Lord maybe not wanting me to paint as a career, so I gave myself to Him. Later, when He showed me that painting was His calling for my life, I decided to give it all the energy I had.”
“I’ll never forget then-President [Dennis] Kinlaw praying with me before I was hired to teach art here,” Medlock smiled. “He wanted God’s will not only for Asbury, but also for my life.”
Howell shared enthusiasm for the future: “Art reflects life, and life reflects art. We are perfected through that process, and I am excited for what God is doing and will continue to do through the art students at Asbury.”
The Asbury University Art & Design Department students recently returned from the Paris Semester, an immersive study abroad experience in which students receive full-semester credit, complete internships, and visit significant historic and cultural sites. Provided at the same tuition, room and board rate as a typical semester on Asbury’s campus, this opportunity is available to Asbury and non-Asbury students with prior French language experience not required. More information about the Paris Semester can be found here: https://www.asbury.edu/academics/global-initiatives-programs/paris/.
The Asbury University Art & Design Department offers three majors (Art & Design, Art Grades P-12, and Pre-Art Therapy) and four minors (Art & Design, Art History, Graphic Design, and Photography & Digital Imaging). Learn more: https://www.asbury.edu/academics/departments/art-design/.