Beauty in Expression The Joy of Creating

This is part three of a four-part series highlighting WWU's vision statement:

Excellence in Thought

Generosity in Service

Beauty in Expression

Faith in God

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth," Genesis 1:1.

Visitors to Walla Walla University's Melvin K. West Fine Arts Center can view one artist's expression of this biblical account. Installed in 1973, artist Ken MacKintosh's massive mosaic artwork, "In the Beginning God ..." is an expansive seven-panel mural depicting the artist's interpretation of God and Creation.

The long-time art professor described his motivation for the mural. "The reason for doing this work is the basic need of expressing gratitude to God for His gifts. The gift of existence, creative ability and appreciation, the gift of His creatures and scenery, all of which tell that God loves and sustains us."

MacKintosh's words and artwork are just two of the many campus reminders of the role creativity and expression have at Walla Walla University. Through music, art and writing, the campus is blessed with creative productions that support and enhance the concept that God is in all things and is the ultimate Creator and Designer. Walla Walla University's vision of "beauty in expression" is grounded in this thought.

An area where this connection is especially apparent is in the creative arts. Every year the Department of Music sponsors scores of concerts and recitals, and every week musicians share their artistic talents at church worship services. Worship through music is a campus highlight, remembered long after students leave the campus.

Walla Walla University also supports and celebrates beauty in expression in areas not immediately associated with creativity. In the sciences, creativity is essential for study of the natural world. Tim Tiffin, professor of mathematics, describes one aspect of mathematics as truth waiting to be discovered. Seeking that truth requires creativity and sometimes years of difficult work. "When mathematics solves a mathematical problem, there is joy in the discovery and a sense of fulfillment."

One of the greatest rewards of belonging to a university campus community is the accessibility to creative endeavors both inside the classroom and laboratory, and through extracurricular activities.

Art shows, drama productions, lectures and other forms of aesthetic creativity celebrate beauty in expression for both the artist and the audience.

November 01, 2009 / Walla Walla University