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WSC’s Art Instructor's Work Recognized

WSC’s Art Instructor's Work Recognized

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2016
Posted by WSC Marketing

WILLISTON, N.D. - Williston State College's (WSC) Art Instructor Justin Sorensen's image depicting a Bible passage was published in "Revealed: a Storybook Bible for Grown-Ups" with artists from across the country who produced art to correspond with different scripture. 

Sorensen's piece was of the Jewish prophet Elijah in the passage found in the book of 1 Kings where God tells Elijah to stand at the mouth of a cave so he can pass in front of him. After a strong wind, a hurricane, and a fire pass by. God reveals himself in a whisper, which causes Elijah to cover his face.

"I was interested in trying to depict that unexpected manifestation of God, and how you give visual form to something that has been revealed audibly," Sorensen stated. "I am very proud of what was added to this book."

After attending a conference in Grand Rapids, Michigan, Sorensen was approached by Ned Bustard, the publisher at Square Halo Books, to contribute a print.

"My graduate work focused heavily on how theology can inform contemporary artistic discourse," Sorensen explained. "For me, this was a great opportunity to continue research that I've been heavily involved in for the past five years."

Though published before, this was Sorensen's first time being asked to contribute an image for a book.

Since he began at WSC as an Art Instructor for the Spring 2015 semester, Sorensen's art has also been shown at the North Dakota Museum of Art in Bismarck. The museum's director, Laurel Reuter, invited Sorensen to contribute a conceptual drawing/performance piece to a museum art auction this past October.

"The auction was a great opportunity for artists across the state to showcase their work," explained Sorensen. "The piece I created was entitled, 'My Brother's Face.' It consisted of me purchasing a pad of tracing paper, tearing out a sheet, and writing 'my brother's face' in cursive. I then took the rest of the paper and proceeded to do the same thing. I would lay down each new sheet on top of the last, and try to align my writing perfectly with my last attempt. The idea behind the piece was how the passage of time affects memory."

Impressed with his work, the North Dakota Museum of Art invited Sorensen to stage a solo exhibition March 31-May 15.  This exhibition will be based loosely around the book "The Snow Leopard" by Peter Matthiessen. In the story, the search for the snow leopard in the Himalayas becomes a spiritual journey.

Sorensen's students at WSC will have their own art on display at the James Memorial Art Center this month. The opening of the exhibition will be Friday February 5, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. It will last through February 29 and is open to the public.

Sorensen's image in "Revealed: A Storybook Bible for Grown-Ups" may be purchased through or Amazon.
For more information about his solo exhibition please visit