By: Heather Cox
Amy Wagner graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University in 2012 with a degree in Fine Arts.
Originally hailing from Northwest Ohio, Wagner found IWU through researching art programs at Christian colleges. To Wagner, it seemed as though IWU had the best art program in the midwest. The art program and appealing atmosphere of campus called Wagner to make IWU her home for a few years.
Wagner had grown up loving art and math, but knew she would have to choose between the two when it came to picking a major to study. As for why she chose Fine Arts instead of a specified medium of art to study, Wagner has a love for all mediums.
“I chose Fine Arts versus majoring in one specific medium because in high school I wasn’t really sure what my favorite medium was,” Wagner said. “I just knew I liked creating all sorts of art whether it was sculptural or two dimensional.”
In addition to majoring in Fine Arts, Wagner was also a member of the John Wesley Honors College. Wagner said that growing up she had always excelled in school and had been placed in gifted programs at an early age. Joining the honors college on campus just seemed to make sense.
“If I’m not challenged, whether it’s at school or work, then I’m bored and I don’t feel satisfied,” Wagner said. “I wanted to do the honors program so I would be more challenged, and after I started the honors program I was very glad I chose it because not only was I challenged, but I also feel like I got a better grasp of our faith through the generations.”
Wagner also enjoyed developing a deeper historical view of Christianity, as well as a more in-depth look on Christianity as a whole.
A lot of Wagner’s time as a student was dedicated to schoolwork and hanging out with her art friends, but she was also a student chaplain her senior year in what was the west side of North Hall, now Beckett Hall.
Being a chaplain meant that a lot of her time was also dedicated to working in North Hall and planning hall events.
Out of Wagner’s many favorite things about IWU, the school’s emphasis on critical thinking is at the top of her list. Wagner said she appreciates that IWU always encouraged students not to base things off of people’s assumptions, but to instead turn to the Bible to see what God has to say about certain situations.
Wagner also said her art professors were another favorite aspect of IWU, specifically Professor Goodman and Professor Crossman.
Following graduation, looking for a job was intimidating for Wagner.
“Every entry level job I’m overqualified for,” Wagner said. “And every artistic kind of job I’m under-qualified for and they want me to have my Masters, or they want me to specialize in Computer Graphics or something like that.”
Wagner went on to care for her father until he passed away in 2013, and in April of the following year she moved to Kansas City, Missouri. There, she began working at God TV, and met her now husband, Derek Wagner.
Before the two married last July, Wagner began working for a company he had started, called Peak Distribution LLC. He continues to manage the business side of the company, while Wagner does administrative work and manages their employee.
As for the future, Wagner has big plans and dreams.
“My husband and I have talked about starting a product line and that is still under development and probably won’t be on the market until the middle of next year,” Wagner said. “I’m really looking forward to designing the packaging and creating the products listing for that because it’s more on my creative side, which is what I excel in, and it’s what I live and breathe for.”
Wagner also hopes to someday open a space for artists to come and work on projects with some needed supplies readily available for a minimal cost. In addition to this creative space, she hopes to have a gallery and offer classes. She also hopes to be able to teach technical skills to artists.
“There are a lot of Christian artists who create what the world would look at and dismiss readily because it’s not technically good,” Wagner said. “I’d love to teach the technical skills to fellow artists.”
As for artists who are already technically skilled, Wagner said she would like to teach them how to dialogue with Jesus while they create. Wagner’s use of her passion to glorify the kingdom of God is a beautiful piece of herself and makes her an IWU World Changer.
Written by Heather Cox, guest writer for the Alumni Office. Heather is a Junior Journalism major at IWU. She is also the Editor of GrantCOnnected.net, a community news site run by IWU students. She is unsure of where life will take her after college, but she knows she never wants to stop writing!