Most students enter college immediately after high school or a few years after, and not many wait more than 40 years to decide to achieve a higher education.
Wayne King is a student at Shippensburg University. However, he has no declared major. At 67 years old, Wayne is known as a “nontraditional student,” studying art at SU. Spending much of his time in the Huber Arts building on campus, King was willing to answer some questions about himself and his experience while enrolled at Shippensburg.
Wayne is an abstract artist.
“I don’t typically have a subject as much as an idea,” he said.
King attributes his love for painting to the various colors and artists he was introduced to at a young age.
“I was able to relate to the subject matter. Subject matter and color. And I found the artists to be interesting people.”
King looked at a number of schools in the area, but said that he liked what he saw at SU. King especially appreciates SU’s Huber Arts Center
“It has everything in it that you could possibly want to pursue a career in art, or just to pursue art.”
King has a wide palette of art, having done sculpture, ceramics and drawing. Currently, he has become smitten with the style of encaustics, which is a type of art involving wax and adding color to it, which is similar to painting.
“The medium, it’s very versatile and it blends itself to a lot of things and I like that.”
King attributes much of his inspiration to musician Miles Davis, who once said a quote that stuck with King: “What I want you to do, is I want you to go out there and I want you to do what you’ve never done before.”
Before a performance, one of Davis’ musicians asked him what he wanted him to do because they had not rehearsed much and he was nervous.
King continued that quote is largely what he wishes to do every time he sits down to begin working on art.
“That’s a real inspiration for me, because that’s how I approach it. I want to do something I’ve never done before every time I sit down in front of a piece of art. There are a lot of artists. Matisse, he did lily ponds. God, I don’t know how many times he painted that scene. For me, every time I sit down it’s a new experience, and like Miles said, I want to do what I’ve never done before.”
King is currently working on a project using encaustics.
“Just being inspired looking for that moment, expressing myself, trying new things,” King said.
King said he recently came across a technique that was particularly impressive and really caught his imagination. “So this piece I’m working on is really, in every respect, something new. Something I’ve never done before. In every respect. And this is uncharted territory for me. This is some place I’ve never been so every brush stroke, every moment is exploring.”
King continued to speak about how he was exploring and uncovering more with art, and about his love of doing new things with it.
“You know this is art at its best for me. This is the most exciting time, is when you come across these concepts, these ideas, these techniques that are, you know, just mind-expanding in a sense and it’s something you’ve never seen before or something you’ve never done before so everything you do is new.”
Having attended as a nontraditional student for three years now, Wayne continues to learn more about art, and like Davis said, he continues to go out and do what he has never done before here at Shippensburg University.