John '09 and Ashton '08 Wikstrom Speak for Fine Arts Week

John and his wife Ashton Vincenty Wikstrom ’08 are pictured with Katie Lebhar Black ’95, Interim Director of Fine Arts.

The Fine Arts Department was pleased and honored to welcome Fine Arts alumni John Wikstrom ’09 and Ashton Vincenty Wikstrom ’08 to campus on Monday, April 23, to speak with the student body as a kick off for ESJ’s annual Fine Arts Week. John is a commercial and documentary filmmaker in Los Angeles and shared his experiences in the world of movie making with the ESJ student body. Ashton shared with Fine Arts students about her experience living a Christian life while working in the arts industry in California.

In a Middle and Upper School assembly John shared about his time as a performing artist at Episcopal and how he became interested in making films. He even shared some of his student work with the student body in an effort to support his main theme: That you will not be great at something right away, but if you have a passion for it, keep working. John shared that he believes the fine arts can teach you to take risks, problem solve creatively and push you out of your comfort zone, and that these lessons that apply to anyone in their walk through life. John shared commercials and documentaries that he has created with the students, most notably his recent shorts for Hyundai and the NFL Draft.

Ashton Wikstrom shared with the performing and theological arts students in a classroom setting after the assemblies what she has learned about the importance of Christian community in her time in Los Angeles as a publicist for many notable celebrities. She talked about how her faith has been challenged in that industry and how she found a community that made the difference for her. She shared five principles of a Christian community with the students as well as practical ways to seek out such a community in college and beyond. She spoke about how the feelings we experience about friends in our play casts, music ensembles and sports teams are just a glimpse of the community that God desires us to have among His people.

“It was a wonderful day in the Munnerlyn as we celebrated the work of two of our alumni and inspired the next generation to work hard at the gifts and passions that God has given each of them,” said Katie Lebhar Black ’95.