Union student places in NICF art contest

What started as a hobby, a passion and a ministry has made junior Chaz Spellman $200 richer.

The Union College theology major won second place in the two dimentional art category in the 2014 Nebraska Independant College Foundation/O’Keefe Elevator Company Art Show.

The annual show awarded prizes for two dimensional and three dimensional art, which included photography, paintings and illustrations, and held an awards reception on Thursday, April 10, at the O’Keefe Elevator Gallery.

Spellman submitted two of his pictures, Brian and Karl—part of his ongoing “100 Somebodies” project chronicling his meeting 100 people he didn’t already know.

“I don’t just like to take pictures of people, to me it’s about building relationships,” said Spellman. “I befriend my subjects, try to look past what their appearance may suggest of them.”

Spellman posts his pictures on his Facebook page and on his Flickr account, and spends times with the “somebodies” and writes a paragraph to accompany every picture describing the subject.

His discription of Brian says, “He is a polite, kind-hearted and simple fellow who walks everywhere he goes and really likes soda from the gas station.”

“I want this to be a way I can share my gospel,” Spellman said. “God changed my perspective on many things, including people. Through my pictures, I want to make the subject into a ‘somebody.’ You spend time and talk with anyone and you start caring for them. I want to share that.”

Spellman’s description of Karl ends with an invitation to pray for the subject.

All entries are still on display at the O’Keefe Elevator Gallery until the end of the month.

The gallery is located on the first floor of the O’Keefe Elevator Company on 1402 Jones Street. It is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.