The Division of Art has gained two new faculty members this semester. Mr. John Nolan and Mr. Lewis Carl both have many years of practical experience to bring to the classroom.
John Nolan, the curator at the Museum & Gallery at Bob Jones University for 20 years, has begun a dual role this semester, adding assistant professor in studio art to his duties. In the past he has taught one class per semester, but this semester his teaching includes Drawing I, Human Anatomy Drawing, and Art Appreciation.
“It’s brought on a whole new dimension for interacting with the students and seeing development and growth throughout the semester,” Nolan said. “That’s been really rewarding, and I look forward to more of that this year with more classes and more opportunities to influence [students].”
Before his life at BJU, Nolan grew up in Toledo, Ohio. He is the youngest of three children and was always interested in art. He attended Bowling Green University to earn his bachelor of fine arts degree in painting and drawing.
As a sophomore Nolan heard the gospel clearly presented and accepted Christ as his savior. While visiting Bob Jones University with a friend, Nolan said the Museum & Gallery particularly impressed him. Upon graduating from Bowling Green University, he applied for a GA position at BJU.
Nolan has worked at the Museum & Gallery since he began part time as a graduate student. He shadowed Dr. Bob Jones Jr., learning all he could about the history of the collections and art pieces. When Dr. Bob Jones Jr. died, Nolan took over as curator.
For the past two years, he has been filling in teaching classes, and this year he is teaching full-time while still fulfilling his role as curator. He also is the owner and founder of Greenville History Tours, which operates downtown, taking people on walking, driving, trolley and culinary tours around Greenville.
Nolan lives in the Greenville area with his wife Anne, also an alumnus and faculty member, and their four children.
Lewis Carl, a 1997 graduate of Bob Jones University and missionary to Italy for five years, has taken a new position as assistant professor of graphic design. “I’m excited to be able to engage with students and hopefully impact them to be Christian artists engaging in the different areas of the arts for God’s glory,” Carl said.
Carl grew up in the “corn and bean fields in southwest Ohio.” His parents encouraged his artistic talents, and his twin brother helped fuel the fire with friendly competition. Starting in the fifth grade, he was homeschooled using the BJU Press curriculum, so deciding on BJU was easy.
He graduated in 1997 with his bachelor’s in graphic design. Carl then continued his education by getting his master’s in studio art.
Carl started teaching basic drawing courses until he felt God’s pull into missions. His family had taken multiple trips to Europe, and those trips had given him a love for Italy, but he wasn’t at peace.
“I struggled understanding how God could use an artist on the mission field or in ministry in general,” Carl said.
However, in 2002 he resigned and did a one-year internship in Venice. “It was just crystal clear that God wanted me there, and I just fell in love with the people, fell in love with the country, the culture, the language— everything!”
Carl and his wife, Sarah, moved to Italy in 2010. Carl spent almost five years there co-pastoring a Filipino church. However, God moved again last December when He called them back to the States.
Last spring Carl was an adjunct professor once again teaching basic drawing classes at BJU. “My life had made a big circle,” he said. This summer he worked on multiple pieces for December’s Living Gallery, and then took the position this fall as assistant professor of graphic design.
“[It’s] a little weird to be back . . . to jump into the mission field and then jump out of it and come back where I started is incredible,” Carl said.
This semester he is teaching Fashion Illustration, Illustration, and Foundations II. Carl is also a faculty adviser for The Collegian.
He and his wife, Sarah, recently celebrated the birth of their third child. Though they are unsure of what God has planned for their future, they are happy to be back in Greenville.
“If God continues to open up those doors, we’ll walk through them, but for now we’ve planted ourselves here, and we’re thrilled.”
He knows that this move back to BJU is part of God’s plan and whether they stay here a while or just a year or two, God is continuing to prepare them for whatever lies ahead.