By Emma Stratton, Student Writer
Name: Jordan Parnell
Major: Studio Art
Hometown: Hollidaysburg, PA
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about a lot of things. The first thing that comes to mind is art. I am really passionate about ceramics, painting and finding the relationship of those things with my faith and how God interacts with me in that way. I am passionate about how art becomes worship for me. I am also passionate about skateboarding, skiing and a lot of other things, but those are the main things.
Did you always know you wanted to go into this career path?
Not really actually… my thought process coming into college was that I wanted to become a physical therapist because I worked in a physical therapy clinic. I still work there and have been working there since I was 15 or 16. Yeah, it was something that the Lord set on my heart.
Was there a specific moment that you felt God calling you this direction?
Yeah, sort of. It was more of a series of moments. Art has always been something that I was really passionate about. It started back in third grade when the artist, illustrator, and author for the Fly Guy books came and spoke in my classroom, Tedd Arnold. He was really inspiring. From that moment, I knew I wanted to make children’s books and art for the rest of my life.
Throughout high school, art became really important to me. My art teacher in high school had a huge influence on me deciding to go into the art field. We would get together every morning and pray together for a long time. It was a public high school and she is one of the strongest women of faith that I know. She had so much courage doing that in a public high school setting. She was always really open about her faith, she would play Christian music while we were making work and always super nice. Other people probably caught onto the fact that she is a Christian, but we were always really tight. We still are today, but yeah, she had a huge influence on my faith.
You previously mentioned your desire to write books, do you still want to write children’s books? What do you desire to do within the art field?
Yes, I think it is a dream that I have in some form or fashion someday. As of right now, I am heavy into painting and ceramics, more so ceramics right now. The plan with that is to open up my own shop and studio. Work the art festivals, selling handmade pottery in terms of dishware sets, pitchers, mugs, anything that you can think of. Then on the side, doing more sculptural stuff. Yeah, making children’s books is a long term goal.
There are a few pieces that I am currently in the process of making. These pieces are 24 to 36 inches tall. Each pot resembles a person that was influencing me in some way or another. They are beautiful, elegant pots. I will throw clay on the wheel and think of that person as I am making the pot. At the end of it, the pot will round off and close, but there will be a small little hole opening. Then that person will come into the pot and blow into it to expand it. This whole idea came from the thought that God made us out of dust. Clay is made out of dust as well. God breathed His breath of life into us as well. I was inspired by God’s creation and wanted to bring that into my own creative works. In the long-run, I want to continue into that, but not right now.
As of right now, I enjoy making utilitarian objects. It is really cool to make things that I can use for a long time.
What is one fun fact about yourself?
This is really weird, but I don’t experience cold temperatures. I don’t feel them at all. It is a weird condition in my skin where I don’t have as many nerve receptors to cold temperatures. You will see me in the middle of winter in shorts and a t-shirt chilling. My body will still respond the same way with hypothermia and frostbite, but my body won’t know it.