Lauren Bird – Staff Writer
New professor Sara Alsum-Wassenaar has loved art for as long as she can remember.
“I remember when I was little, even before I started going to school, I would always ask for art supplies on my Christmas list,” Wassenaar said.
Originally from Holland, Michigan, Wassenaar received her B.A. in art and psychology from Hope College, her M.A. in education from Grand Valley State University, and her M.F.A. in new media from the University of Illinois.
With her new position as assistant art professor, Wassenaar teaches classes on ceramics, design theory, art education, and a section of core 160.
As well as her love for three-dimensional art, she also has a passion for art in the media, and discovering new ways that art and psychology are connected.
“It’s so interesting to me how art and psychology can overlap,” Wassenaar said. “It’s seeing how images can affect your brain and how you can respond to them differently.”
Wassenaar had spent time previously living in Florida where she was a high school art teacher, and also has previous experience in teaching middle-schoolers outdoor education.
Wassenaar’s love for what she does can be described simply. “I love the non-verbal mode of communication that art offers,” Wassenaar said. “It can communicate a huge range of ideas.”
Wassenaar had heard of Dordt College through her husband, whose family is from the area. When she heard there was an opening, she jumped at the opportunity.
“It’s Dordt’s caring community that I like the best,” Wassenaar said. “I always feel welcomed, and it’s great seeing people I know all over the community.”
Wassenaar included a photo of her art show that was produced while she was finishing her M.FA. degree in Illinois. The title of the piece is called “Foraging Set.” In her artist statement, she speaks of how the piece represents to her the “foraging activities possible in the human environment.”
With Wassenaar’s strong experience in the field of education and art, she has been able to teach and instruct students in what she loves to do most.