Graduating senior shares on journey to Biola, dreams for future

Graduating senior Chrisitne Fuchs reflects on her time at Biola.

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Graduating senior shares on journey to Biola, dreams for future

Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES

Nicole Foy, Writer

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Senior Christine Fuchs adds some finishing touches to pieces for her gallery, "Come Alive." | Ashleigh Fox/THE CHIMES


Christine Fuchs, a third-semester senior graduating in a few weeks with a degree in art and an emphasis in painting, was never supposed to attend Biola.

Instead, the New York native planned to continue a family tradition and attend Wheaton College.

“I thought for my whole life that I was going to Wheaton College,” Fuchs said. “That was my dream, wearing the sweatshirt and hat, taking pictures there as a fifth grader.”

Dreams of Wheaton changed by a visit to Biola

However, it wasn’t until her senior year that Fuchs began to question her predetermined future.  An August trip to the West Coast got Fuchs interested in Biola University, as she was intrigued by the passion and genuine excitement of the students she met.

“I remember being on the tour in the Library and people whispering, ‘Go to Biola,’” Fuchs said. “[I saw] how relational it was and that contrasted with what I had experienced at other schools.”

Still serious about attending Wheaton, Fuchs travelled to the school alone for an interview and campus tour. Seeing the school for the first time without her alumni relatives made Fuchs realize that her love for Wheaton was a result of her family’s enthusiasm rather than her own.

Fuchs wrestled with her choice between the two schools, postponing her decision until the deposit deadline. She questioned God’s seeming refusal to provide a clear answer to her conundrum. After a lot of prayer and weighing the pros and cons of the each school, Fuchs decided to take a chance despite the opposition and disappointment she would inevitably receive from her family.

“I realized that I did want to go to Biola, and that everyone who was helping me to pay for my college education doesn’t want me to go there, because no one knew anything about it,” Fuchs said.

"I didn't think that I could be a studio artist when I came in."

Now, more than four years later, Fuchs has just finished presenting her senior art show titled “Come Alive.” The show features several abstract drawings referencing forms in nature, drawn with charcoal, ink and graphite on various kinds of paper. Fuchs explained that, unlike many art majors, she is faced with the exciting possibility that she may be able to continue vocationally as a studio artist.

“I didn’t think that I could be a studio artist when I came in … I didn’t think I was good enough,” Fuchs said. “But this past year I have had this discovery of not just this love or passion for art, but that I am actually in love with art … because it is the space where I can be most honest with God.”

With several job interviews coming up in the next few weeks, Fuchs’ future as a studio artist is bright. One interview will be with Inner City Arts — an organization where Fuchs has volunteered at since July of this year — that seeks to provide art education to youth in the heart of Skid Row. However, as much as she would like to fulfill her dream of painting for a living, she is equally determined to pursue her passion for teaching and possibly even procure a Master’s in education.

“I am really interested in non-traditional ways of learning and second-chance students, people who fall in love with learning late in the game, like myself,” Fuchs said. “I’m interested in unleashing those possibilities and maximizing those people.”

Torrey education uniquely complements artistic talents

Fuchs chose to attend Biola University not only because of the academic and art department scholarships she received, but because of the chance to enroll in the Torrey Honors Institute. Fuchs believes that the Torrey Honors Institute not only uniquely complemented her learning style, but also was essential to her education as an aspiring artist.

“The crux of what they are both about is holistic learning, or holistic being as Christians,” Fuchs said. “[That] as a Christian, I am created to value my mind, body and spirit equally. They are not disconnected from each other.”

Melissa Schubert, a tutor in the Torrey Honors Institute and Fuchs’ mentor in her last year at Torrey, agreed with Fuchs’ assessment of the impact of her Torrey education upon her life and art.

“[Torrey] kept her open to and committed to learning within a process without knowing what you are going to end up with,” Schubert said. “To be able to start making things, you also want to be good at understanding. I think that Torrey helps students read the world.”

But whether or not she does pursue a job or a teaching degree in the near future, Fuchs will continue to create art. Although Fuchs praises Biola’s incredible impact upon her life and art, senior Katie Winters, Fuchs’ housemate and fellow art student, says that Fuchs has left an impact of her own.

“Her relationship with God is extremely inspiring, I know to all the girls in our house,” said Winters. “She is so diligent, so faithful. And I think that comes out, obviously in her art and in her relationships with people and the way she carries herself.”