Alumnus Brooke Gettman: “My art professors at Concordia helped me grow”

Published by Amy Crawford 2 weeks ago on Mon, Apr 1, 2024 8:12 AM

Brooke Gettman ’20 was drawn to Concordia Nebraska because of the university’s art department.   

“I heard positive things about the program from instructors during my high school years,” she said. “It was after meeting with professor Don Robson and touring Brommer Art Center that I knew I wanted to pursue my art education further at Concordia Nebraska.” 

Gettman earned a bachelor of fine arts in studio art and a bachelor of arts in graphic design from Concordia Nebraska.   

She said the conversations about art and life with professors and the time spent in the studio spaces in Brommer are some of her favorite memories from her time in the art department. 

“I feel that one's purpose in life can change and shouldn't be limited to one thing, nor is there always a concrete moment where purpose is discovered,” she said. “However, my art professors at Concordia helped me grow as a human by asking questions, listening, and prompting me to consider thoughts I hadn't considered before. As I learned from my art professors, a large part of being an artist means being observant. And as artists themselves, they are observant of their students, which allows them to see and best guide them in their artistic practice. I feel that I have a greater understanding of who I am and what is important to me by having been a student under the professors in the art department.” 

Upon graduation in 2020, Gettman held a variety of roles including a post-baccalaureate position in the art department at the university as a design and recruitment specialist and as a gallery assistant at Seward’s Red Path Gallery. She also taught classes at a local art center.  

“Eventually, I found my way to my current role as an art instructor and direct support professional for Live Yes Studios in Lincoln, Nebraska,” she said. “I have been in this role for three years.” 

Live Yes Studios is a nonprofit professional art studio that serves adults with intellectual, developmental or physical disabilities. Their mission is to support resident artists through creative expression, representation, and community partnerships. Live Yes Studios offers artists the opportunity to explore a number of different mediums within its facility, including woodworking, printmaking, fiber arts, painting, drawing, digital arts and animation, graphic design, podcasting, music education, theater, bookmaking, sculpture, ceramics and more.  

“Not only do we instruct and collaborate with the artists we support, but we offer them the opportunity to access and engage with the community through gallery exhibitions, events and visits to local galleries, museums and businesses,” she said. “A number of the artists we support have had work accepted in juried exhibitions and shown out of state in addition to Live Yes' gallery space.”  

Gettman’s parents are social workers, and she has an older sister – Breanna – who has autism.  She said it was natural for her vocational pursuits to be human-services oriented. 

“The opportunity I've had to get to know and build relationships with the artists I support is by far the most fulfilling aspect of my job. While I am incredibly passionate about art and design, it is the individuals I serve that make my job fun, exciting, and meaningful each day,” she said. “It's an added bonus that I can share my knowledge and love of art and design to help them grow in their own artistic practices. But at the end of the day, the artists at Live Yes have done more for me than I have done for them. They are some of the most creative, inventive, intelligent, vibrant, funny, and observant individuals I have ever met in my life. I am so fortunate that we get to make art together every day.” 

Concordia Nebraska’s Department of Art is a community of visual artists and designers committed to an innovative program, a rigorous work ethic and an attitude of artistic integrity. Together they form the premier Christian visual arts learning community in the Midwest. Learn more at cune.edu or schedule a campus visit today.