Christian Taylor’s time at WSU encouraged his innate desire to create
Scholarships gave him the flexibility he needed to pursue art and academia
Christian Taylor, a senior majoring in studio art, works on a portrait in his workspace in McKnight Art Center.
In a brightly lit and spacious studio spattered from floor to ceiling with paint of every color imaginable, Christian Taylor regards a portrait hanging on the wall of his workspace.
Paintbrush poised, he steals occasional glances at a photo of a young woman — obviously the model — he has downloaded on his laptop computer. The likeness is undeniable, but he has given the woman’s eyes and mouth a thoughtful sadness. He continues applying blue acrylic paint to strands of her brunette hair.
Portraits are a favorite subject for Taylor, a 22-year-old senior in WSU’s College of Fine Arts, majoring in studio art with an emphasis in painting.
“They kind of act like a diary of the people and places I’ve been around,” Taylor says. “They help document what I was feeling or seeing at the time, or the connection that was made.”
Taylor will graduate in May, after a college career that allowed him to explore his creativity through painting, drawing and printmaking, but also to get an education in fields that will make him employable so he can pursue his art. He has a minor in entrepreneurship and has gained real-world experience in computers, technology and graphic design while working part-time at WSU’s Training & Technology Team, which provides website design and other computer services.
His education has been financed in part through scholarships, including financial aid from the Miller Trust, established through the Lewis and Selma Miller estate to support the College of Fine Arts. Miller Concert Hall in Duerksen Fine Arts Center was named for Lewis Miller.
Scholarships "gave me time for creating."
- Christian Taylor
“I don’t know how I would have done it without the scholarships I received,” says Taylor, who grew up in Wichita and has a younger brother also attending WSU. “I was able to go to school full-time and only work 20 hours a week, which allowed me to put in the studio time I needed. It definitely gave me time for creating.”
Creating is what Taylor considers most important, whether it’s painting, designing a Web page or making films, another outlet he has found rewarding. His team recently won second place in a citywide 24-hour filmmaking competition called Down to the Wire.
Ron Christ, WSU professor of painting and drawing, calls Taylor a model student and an artist with excellent potential.
“I have always been impressed by his commitment to his own studio practice,” says Christ, an acclaimed painter. “He has outstanding visual and technical abilities. Most importantly, those abilities are supported by his inventive imagination in terms of honest and personalized concepts.”
Scholarships are vital for deserving students like Taylor, Christ said.
“They provide two important benefits,” he said. “They offer financial assistance with tuition, fees, textbooks and art supplies. And they also provide an incentive for advancement as a developing artist and maintaining overall academic achievement.”
After graduation, Taylor plans to look for a job in graphic design or Web development, but painting and making films will be lifelong passions. “Everything is about creating,” he says.