Students Turn Themselves ‘Inside Out’

Students at William Woods University turned themselves “inside out” recently to see what they could learn.

Art students used expressive color to communicate their personality through painting. Psychology students then provided analysis of the portraits. Students involved in the university’s LEAD program selected the most revealing portrait and written analysis.

The “Inside-Out” portrait project was the creation of the Art and Psychology Learning Community. Terry Martin, professor of art, explained that the primary goal of the learning community “is to provide the resources and the atmosphere necessary for students seeking enhanced creativity to grow emotionally and intellectually.”

WWU students chose Jacob Itegboje of Lagos, Nigeria, as the artist completing the most revealing portrait. Jamie Forbes of Fenton, Mo., and Esther Holleman of Mandeville, La., were recognized for their psychological analysis of the portraits. Allison Hedges of Kansas City, Mo., was recognized for her essay about the project.

In her essay, Hedges commented, “The world, this country, our school is such a melting pot of culture, diversity and uniqueness. The great wall of portraits reflects this, mirroring each individual, and yet as in all great portraits, you can see not only them but yourself.”

Martin added, “While each student has the opportunity to excel individually, we hope that everyone will develop an increased understanding and appreciation for diversity in thought and develop new perspectives for life.”

“The results of this informal pilot project have been very encouraging and have inspired us to propose a formal learning community bringing together art, psychology and education,” Marilyn Van Leeuwen, associate professor of psychology, said.