This academic year, the Bethel University Art Department recently gave back to the community in a creative way. Each student in the typography class created a proposal for a series of 10 posters to communicate the mission of and provide information about Dustin’s Place, a center for grieving children in Plymouth, Ind., which opened in January.
Dustin’s Place will use the peer support model for families experiencing the grief of losing a parent or spouse. It is named for Dustin Cullen, co-founder Viki Brown’s late husband, who died in a single-car accident in 2016.
Becky Branch, administrative assistant in the Bethel art department and friend of the Cullen family, says that Dustin was a social worker whose “goal was always to serve other people, especially kids that were hurting.”
The work of senior Kayla Maike, Graphic Design major and Marketing minor, was selected to be displayed throughout the facility during the ribbon-cutting ceremony and open house of Dustin’s Place, which took place Nov. 15.
“We’ve heard a little bit of their story, and I think what they’re doing is really awesome,” says Maike.
Her work will also be used in future presentations, says Brown, who is thankful for Bethel’s help. “We knew our first impression on the community was important, but couldn't afford to hire this project out. The students and professors that took on this project truly are acting as God's hands and feet to our ministry.”
Branch says the department was excited to be involved. “This is only the fourth center of its kind in the state, so it’s pretty phenomenal to be a part of that.”
Chad Jay, Adjunct Professor of Graphic Design, says that serving the community is part of the identity of Bethel University. “We are not just preparing students to work in a commercial field. We are also trying to teach them ethics and morals and how to not just put together the work for the clients, but also serve the needs of the client.”
Branch added, “Let’s teach our students not only the nitty gritty of how to do this well, but how we use this to serve other people and, ultimately, serve God. You can make a living using art, but you can also make a difference using art. And that’s what you’re able to do with this type of project.”