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Dr. Chuck Clevenger posing with his painting of Founders Hall

Professor's Painting Is Picture-Perfect Christmas Card

by Heidie Raine, Student Public Relations Writer

Dr. Chuck Clevenger working in his art studioEmeritus senior professor of music Dr. Chuck Clevenger is known around Cedarville University for his 33 dedicated years of service and his exceptional instruction in piano and composition. However, Clevenger is also a skilled artist, and with Cedarville’s upcoming Christmas card showcasing his artwork, the message is clear: Clevenger is a modern-day Renaissance man.

Cedarville’s official 2021 Christmas card will feature Dr. Chuck Clevenger’s original watercolor snowscape of Founders Hall — the oldest building on Cedarville University’s campus.

The idea for the painting was born in 2019 when Dr. Thomas White, Cedarville’s president, contacted Clevenger to discuss the potential project.

“When Dr. White and I first sat down two years ago, we talked through his vision for paintings of four iconic campus buildings in the four seasons of the year,” Clevenger shared. “Dr. White is a lover of the arts and is always thinking of creative projects. He wanted this series of paintings to celebrate Cedarville over the years.”

Clevenger paints with transparent watercolors, which is essentially a process of dying paper with transparent dyes. White sections, which are heavily featured in the snowscape, are unpainted.

Before putting paint to canvas, Clevenger and White collaborated extensively during the brainstorming and sketching processes. Together, they decided upon the four buildings, the seasons, and the time of day they would be captured.

Now complete, the series features the Stevens Student Center in the fall around dinner time, the Center for Biblical and Theological Studies during the summer at daybreak, the Dixon Ministry Center in the spring at late morning, and Founders Hall, midwinter and mid-afternoon.

The paintings also highlight several noteworthy Cedarville figures, such as Dr. Chris Miller, senior professor of biblical studies; Professor Frank Jurkat, the only member of Cedarville’s Presbyterian faculty who stayed and taught when Cedarville became a Baptist institution in 1953; and Dr. James T. Jeremiah, university president from 1954 to 1978.

“I was excited when I received an invitation to the meeting about the watercolor being used for the Christmas card,” Clevenger shared. “This project has been a true thematic collaboration from start to finish.”

“For me, knowing my artwork will represent the university is great fun,” Clevenger said. “I had a stroke back in January, and my music has been a challenge since then. Painting is something I’ve been able to keep up with and to be asked onto a project where I’m an artist interpreting a vision and successfully bringing it to life — there’s so much satisfaction there.”

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,715 undergraduate, graduate, and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is one of the largest private universities in Ohio, recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, including the Bachelor of Arts in Music program, strong graduation, and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement ranking. For more information about the University, visit cedarville.edu.

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