Redmond resident Colin Mahnke pursues future in art

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Colin Mahnke, senior art major at Olivet Nazarene University

BOURBONNAIS, IL (09/25/2013)(readMedia)-- "I want to create something that influences the world around me," Colin Mahnke, a senior at Olivet Nazarene University said.

His hometown is Redmond, but when he was looking for colleges, Illinois became a new home. When he first visited Olivet, he knew he was supposed to be a part of this community. As he walked around the campus, he felt that he fit in. That's why he came. And that's why he stayed.

Surprising redirections

At Olivet, he developed his passion for art and, most importantly, developed a deeper love for Jesus. His major is general art with a concentration in drawing and illustration.

"My favorite part about Olivet is the University's willingness to commit to something despite opposition. Our leaders stay strong in their values, and I respect that," Mahnke said.

Mahnke also met his future wife, Emily Roesslein '13, who graduated with a degree in art, concentration in drawing and illustration.

Important influences

Along with the art scholarship he received from Olivet, Mahnke has gained the tools he needs to become a successful artist. Though he doesn't know right now what he will do after graduation, he knows he wants to impact others through his work.

At Olivet, he has found friends and people who have made a huge difference in his life. Professor Gary Thomas has strongly influenced him, showing him how to express himself in both words and art.

"Colin is a very intelligent, deep thinking person. I appreciate the ways in which he takes his work seriously," Thomas said. "He always works hard to complete the assignments. What I really like about Colin's work is the fact that he goes beyond the project assignment. He makes his art his own."

As an Oregon native, he is used to the high desert, rivers and trails - and mountains just 15 minutes away from his home. His experience of that world has transferred to his art in cool, earth tones, his favorite colors to use.

His father, Bill Mahnke, is a not-for-profit Christian counselor and does woodworking in his spare time.

"My dad builds me up and is an important influence in my life," Mahnke said. "He consistently expresses his love for me and gives me his support in whatever I plan and do."

In the months ahead, Mahnke will graduate, get married and influence the world around him with what he creates. His Olivet experience is preparing him for the adventures ahead.

Olivet Nazarene University is an accredited Christian, liberal arts university offering more than 100 areas of undergraduate and graduate study, including the Doctor of Education in ethical leadership. Olivet has one main campus in Bourbonnais, Ill. - just 50 miles south of Chicago; three additional sites: Rolling Meadows and Oak Brook, Ill., and Hong Kong; and more than 100 School of Graduate and Continuing Studies learning locations throughout Chicagoland and the Midwest. From Oxford to Tokyo, hundreds of Olivet students also experience the global classroom each year, whether through study abroad opportunities or worldwide mission trips.


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Laura Warfel

Public Relations Specialist

Olivet Nazarene University

Bourbonnais, Ill.