Written and Media by Ben Isaacs.
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Who is Jacob Amundson, and what does he do? He is widely known as “the weird art guy on campus,” and he’s glad that he can get away with that. Jake is a professor here at Greenville College, but he is involved in a multitude of other activities here on campus. While most people outside the Art or Digital Media department may not know him very well, Jake Amundson is definitely someone to connect with on campus.
Jake is originally from northern Wisconsin and he didn’t start off his college career at GC. At first, Jake attended Bethel University in Minnesota because it was closer to home and they also recruited him to play football. Eventually, though, he didn’t feel like it was the right fit for him. One day he went to visit an old friend from home that had come to GC initially. While visiting his friend, he ended up meeting the head of the art department at the time, Guy Chase. Jake instantly felt a connection with Guy, the department, and the school. After going back home, he called his friend again and asked, “Hey, you need a roommate for next year?” His friend said absolutely, leading Jacob to Greenville College to start a new year.
Jake started off at Greenville as an Art Education Major. Eventually, his art classes began to dwindle, and
the education classes began to grow. At this point, Jake realized he wanted to be in the studio much more than he wanted to be in the classroom. He stated, reflecting on this point in life, “I’m not ready to give up art, just for this…I feel like God just wants me in my studio.” Jacob states he learned a lot and made a good amount of connections during his time in the education department. But ultimately, he wanted to do art and spend time in the studio, so he changed his major to Art with an emphasis in Graphic Design and Painting. After GC, Jacob went to Webster University and received his Masters in Alternative Media. Afterward, he moved to Los Angeles, where he attended graduate school at Azusa Pacific University where he received his M.F.A. in New Genre.
As part of GC, Jacob teaches a wide variety of classes. He teaches in the Digital Media department, as well as the Art department. This means he teaches classes from digital photography and video, to drawing, painting, and design. One of his favorite classes is Independent Studio. One thing in particular that he noticed about GC is the creativity that is found in the students here, and how they wrestle with hard questions in art. GC’s artists create amazingly high level work, that is unusual for a school of this size, and its geographic region. “Our students get into top M.F.A. programs at a ridiculous rate, they’re just so talented!” Jacob exclaimed.
Aside from teaching, Jacob is also the football announcer for GC. In the art department, it can be hard to interact with a lot of people. Through announcing, Jacob is able to feel a closer connection with the students of GC, specifically “when someone looks up at the booth and laughs when I say something ridiculous.” It is also a way for Jacob to stay connected with the football team even after he finished playing for GC.
Jacob is also a part-time student at GC, along with his wife. They both are taking a spanish class together, in preparation for their sabbatical leave. They will be leaving in the fall, right before GC becomes GU, and they hope to see amazing art and meet amazing people. It will also be a great time to recharge for their family. Jacob explained, “my best teaching comes out of my studio, it comes out of my art practice.”
So if you’ve heard rumors about Jacob leaving Greenville, no fear! He will be back after the 2017-2018 school year. Jake will return to his teaching, his announcing, and he will remain to be known as “the weird art guy.” If you haven’t already, stop by Maves and hang out with Jacob before he leaves for his sabbatical. If you can’t do that, then definitely try to get into one of his classes when he’s back from his trip. He is an incredibly intelligent professor that loves to have fun and invest in his students, and we at Greenville are glad to have him as a part of the GC community.