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Former Bears flourish in fine arts, media

Oct. 22, 2010

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John Zastoupil, a 2005 graduate, is studying wind conducting as a doctoral student at Northwestern University.

By Liz Appling

Baylor has produced artists and musicians in multiple different fields. Using their crafts, the arts graduates have gone on to exemplify the high quality of the education received during their time at Baylor.

Tim Hale

Tim Hale is the senior vice president of design management and marketing at Fossil Inc.

He received a BFA in communication design in 1984.

"I got a really well-rounded education in terms of art and design at Baylor," Hale said. "It helped motivate me to find my voice as an artist and try a lot of different things that I hadn't been exposed to, such as printmaking and photography."

He has traveled all over the world for his job, but has found Tokyo to be the most interesting place, calling it "very engaging culturally."

"The reason I do what I do is I feel like this is what I was born to do," Hale said. "God blessed me with certain talents and exercising those talents is, to me, a form of worship."

Mark Burckhardt

Marc Burckhardt, a 1985 graduate, is a painter, printmaker and successful illustrator based in Austin.

He has two degrees from Baylor, a BFA in printmaking and a BA in art history.

Burckhardt is known nationally for his artistic capabilities and has done covers for Time, Newsweek, Texas Monthly, as well as many other publications. He attributes his success to the high quality of the education he received at Baylor.

Burckhardt also encourages students who wish to pursue a career in the field to simply love their craft.

"The main thing that will determine your success as an artist is your obsession with it and maintaining a tough skin when faced with discouragement," Burckhardt said.

On Oct. 29, Burckhardt will be speaking on campus to students in the art department.

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DeAnn Cobb works at Pixar University teaching such applications as Photoshop, Illustrator and SketchUp to people in production within Pixar.

DeAnn Cobb

DeAnn Cobb graduated from Baylor with a degree in graphic design. She now works within Pixar at Pixar University.

"It's a university within Pixar where we train internally. Part of my job is to teach applications such as Photoshop, Illustrator and SketchUp as well as drawing and painting classes," Cobb said.

"We teach these classes to people in production with specific needs and to anyone who works at Pixar. It benefits the studio to have everybody learning."

When she started at Baylor, Cobb did not know what she wanted to do, but eventually found her niche in graphic design within the art department. She noted that Baylor also helped influence her in other ways than just as an artist.

"I came from a small town in Oklahoma, so I got the chance to meet a lot of new people," Cobb said. "Baylor shaped me not only academically, but socially as well."

Marjorie Owens

As an acclaimed soprano, Marjorie Owens is a 2002 graduate and is currently with the Dresdon Semperoper in Germany.

She has been a Grand Finals winner of the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions and has gotten the opportunity to perform both nationwide and overseas.

She emphasized that students looking to perform in the opera industry need to enjoy traveling and experiencing new places.

"Students need to make sure that is what they really want to do," Owens said. "I love it. There's no way I could possibly see myself doing anything else."

Paul Soupiset

Paul Soupiset graduated in 1991. While at Baylor, he was a journalism major and studio art minor. Currently, he is creative director at Toolbox Studios, a branding and marketing firm in San Antonio.

"Sometimes we're designing and developing new brands for companies and sometimes we're taking existing brands and breathing new life into them as well," Soupiset said.

He said part of his job is to listen to the clients and do day-to-day design work, but also to supervise the younger designers in the shop and give them creative direction as well.

He said he has always been interesting in melding pictures and words together and does a lot of writing and design at his job.

"I'm glad that I have both foundations from Baylor," Soupiset said.

Dr. Bradley Welch

Dr. Bradley Welch graduated in 1997 and is the organist and director of music and arts at Highland Park United Methodist Church.

Following his time at Baylor, Welch completed two master degrees and his doctorate at Yale University.

"I was attracted to Baylor because they have long had a strong organ department and I knew that I wanted to major in that," Welch said. "Being at Baylor, I was in a community of friends with whom I could have great conversations about faith and spirituality and how those things affect me as a musician."

Britton Matthews

A 2005 graduate in music education, Britton Matthews is a freelance percussionist and teacher residing in New York City. She received her master's in percussion performance from Rutgers University. Matthews plays contemporary chamber music and said she works with several orchestras in the city as well. She also noted that she plays with musical theater shows in New York. While at Baylor, Matthews played in multiple ensembles and orchestras.

"I played in everything I possibly could to start getting experience and it really paid off," Matthews said.

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Elem Eley performs in a production of "HMS Pinafore" with the Syracuse Opera. He specializes in opera and teaches at Westminster Choir College in Princeton, N.J.

Elem Eley

Elem Eley is a baritone performer and professor at Westminster Choir College of Rider University in Princeton, N.J.

One of the reasons Eley took the job at Westminster was to be close to the performing arts scene in New York City. Eley encourages students in the vocal field to stretch their opportunities as a vocalist by working hard and having discipline in the art.

"For a singer, the best thing to do is learn to sing really, really well in a way that gives you lots of options."

Eley said that he learned to adapt to that philosophy during his time at Baylor.

John Zastoupil

Zastoupil is a 2005 graduate and is now a doctoral student at Northwestern University in the field of wind conducting. He also has his master's in conducting from University of Michigan.

Zastoupil spoke fondly about his appreciation for music, specifically conducting. I love making music and I love teaching," Zastoupil said. "I don't want to do anything else with my life besides teach. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have music in my life."