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College of Fine Arts and Communications History

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Karen Bybee

Karen Bybee graduated with a bachelor's degree in public relations from Brigham Young University in 1981. While attending BYU, she served as the ASBYU Women’s Vice President (1977-78) and the Associated College Unions-International (ACU-I) Region 13 President. While on campus, she worked for the Office of School Relations. Prior to graduation, she served as a missionary in the Italy Catania Mission.

Karen has spent more than 25 years working in international sports and is well versed in international relations, protocol and hospitality. Among her various assignments, she has worked on four Soccer World Cups, eight Olympic Games, two Golf Ryder Cups, and a Women’s World Volleyball Grand Prix.

Karen has served in numerous callings and auxiliaries in the church. Currently, she and her husband, Jeff Holdaway, are serving in the Langley YSA Ward in the McLean, VA Stake. She serves on the Board of the Alliance for Haiti’s Children and as a member of the Cultural Arts Committee for the Washington, DC Temple Visitors’ Center.

Karen and her husband Jeff are the proud parents of 3 sons – all of whom have attended BYU. Her hobbies include traveling, running, and spending time with her family.

Prior to serving on the Alumni Board, Karen and her husband served as the Chapter Chairs for the Washington, DC area.

In 2016, Bybee was featured in the BYU Magazine.

To view her wiki page, click here.

Jaren Hinckley

Jaren S. Hinckley received his Doctor of Music Degree at Florida State University where he studied with Frank Kowalsky. He holds a Masters Degree in Clarinet Performance from Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana where he studied with James Campbell and Howard Klug. Prior to that he received a Bachelor of Music Degree from the University of Utah, where he studied with Christie Lundquist.

Included in his solo works are performances with the Utah Symphony, the Canyonlands New Music Ensemble, and the Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia. He has recorded two CDs with the Canyonlands New Music Ensemble and the Utah Composers Ensemble--chamber groups dedicated to the advancement of new music.

Through his involvement with these groups and others, he has performed the world-premieres of many solo and chamber works. He has created a new approach to music pedagogy based on the acting techniques of Constantin Stanislavski.

In 2006 Dr. Hinckley was a recipient of the Alcuin Fellowship award, and in 2008 he was invited to lecture about building a personal music collection as part of education week at Brigham Young University.

When he was in fourth grade Hinckley looked to participate in the orchestra as a cellist. His father informed him that was "a girls' instrument" and that a clarinet would be much better suited for a young man. Since that time, Dr. Hinckley has excelled in the clarinet. In recounting his experiences he mentioned the hardships he experienced at the University of Indiana: "At the U, I was first in everything. [Then] I went to Indiana and suddenly I wasn't first chair in everything, and it was sort of a blow to my ego." At one point he considered going back home but he says, "I'm so glad I stuck it out."

Now, as a professor at BYU, Dr. Hinckley uses his past experiences in his lectures. He has a unique and personal teaching style. Even with classes of over 400 students he finds ways to relate with the students. He not only teaches music but also life lessons, producing both outstanding musicians and upstanding individuals.

To view his wiki page, click here.

James Christensen

James C. Christensen was born Spetember 26, 1942 in Culver City, California. He is a well-known American artist of religious and fantasy art. He studied at the Santa Monica City College and UCLA, and graduated from Brigham Young University in 1968 with a Master's Degree in art. He served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Uruguay. He later traveled through Chile, Argentina, Brazil, and Paraguay. The culture's art influenced him in his own work.

After graduating, Christensen taught Junior High School art and later became an associate art director for the New Era, a LDS magazine for teens. During this time, he also was a freelance artist and continued his own work. He joined the Visual Arts Faculty at BYU in 1976 and held a position until 1997. He traveled with students all over Mexico and Europe. On January 30, 1996, Christensen was invited to deliver a university forum address. The title of his address was "Imagination." In the speech, Christensen expressed his belief that all people are creative, some just feed their imagination more than others.

In 2005, Christensen was designated as an Honored Alumnus of the college and is a Visual Arts Emeritus Faculty.

In 2012, Christensen was one of two main artists featured at the Woodbury Art Museum's exhibit, Wet into Wet. His art is heavily influenced by myths, fables, and fantasies and always has a unique and recognizable flair which makes it his own. Christensen's art was also featured in the book Passage by Faith: Exploring the Inspirational Art of James C. Christensen.

In 2013, the Springville Museum of Art displayed an exhibit titled Curiouser and Curiouser that includes work from his two daughters, Cassandra and Emily. The exhibit was the most comprehensive collection of his major paintings up to that time. It aimed to illustrate how artistic heritage is displayed in the Christensen family.

Christensen was the featured artist for BYU's 2014 Homecoming Spectacular celebrations. His popular art character, Everyman, was also portrayed by Pat Debenham in dance adaptations at the Homecoming Spectacular ceremony. The same year, Christensen was commissioned to paint murals for the Nauvoo Temple and the Provo City Center Temple with fellow artists Robert L. Marshall, Gary Smith, and Douglas Fryer.

In 2015, he was one of the alumni highlighted by the College of Fine Arts and Communications for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Harris Fine Arts Center. Christensen is married and has five children, two of whom, Cassandra Christensen Barney and Emily Christensen McPhie, are also alumnae of the College of Fine Arts and Communications at BYU and are notable artists. He and his wife, Carole, are co-chairs of the Mormon Arts Foundation.

Christensen has published three books: A Journey of the Imagination: The Art of James Christensen (1994), Voyage of the Basset (1996), and Rhymes and Reasons (1997). His work has been featured in many other books, including A Shakespeare Sketchbook (2001), which he illustrated.

James Christensen passed away on January 8th, 2017.

To view his wiki page, click here.

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The Brigham Young University College of Fine Arts and Communications provides information on groups and persons associated with the college--either by employment, study, or performance--as a service to our readers. Statements or opinions expressed by external links or persons written about are provided on the wiki. However, views expressed by people or groups featured on the wiki do not necessarily reflect those of the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications or The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

For more information on the values, principles and standards of the BYU College of Fine Arts and Communications, please consult the BYU Honor Code.

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For more information on the College of Fine Arts and Communications wiki page please consult our Purposes of the Wiki article, featured below.

Any misleading, incorrect or inappropriate content found on the Wiki page can be reported here:

The Purposes of the Wiki

Fine Arts Faculty, 1925.

1. To create a record of the organizational roots of the College of Fine Arts and Communications at Brigham Young University and its departments, places, significant events, professors, students, alumni, friends, and benefactors – and how they have contributed over time toward fulfilling the mission of Brigham Young University.

2. To provide a forum in which college alumni can record their contributions and performances; their experiences with teaching and learning; the ways in which they were mentored and influenced as students in this college, and how they are using their acquired skills to further their careers.

3. To recognize all who have been associated with the college who have made significant, national and international contributions to their fields.

4. To allow those who have been associated with the college over the years to be co-authors and collaborators in writing the college history.

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