Art Book, Creative Writing and Community
Posted by Brian Gonzales, ’00 on Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 12:43 PM PDT
Below are the introduction and epilogue for Brian’s stories. Read all of his stories, see his photos and art and find your shared Seattle University experiences.
Brian, you wrote a book?
Yes, an art book.
What started out as a social experiment on Facebook to help raise awareness for Seattle University’s Uncommon Good campaign, quickly became an outlet for personal discovery and a platform to rekindle all sorts of amazing relationships with fellow alumni, professors, friends, family and mentors.
What you are about to read is a collection of short stories about my personal experience at Seattle University during the late ‘90s and beyond. As I was writing each story, I began to notice the narrative became less about me and more about the people, events and surroundings that shaped my college experience. Thus these stories are less about me and more about us.
We all share experiences similar to the ones you are about to read. We all got nervous on Freshman Orientation day. We all struggled with money at some point and might even take pride in what we consider to be the most inventive way to cook Top Ramen. Many of you have had friends come and go and at some point you will drive 5 hours away just to see them one more time, even in the peak of winter with 14 inches of snow on the ground, because you miss them and eagerly wish to reunite despite all logic concerning road conditions. If you have not experienced it yet… trust me, you will. We can all relate to this. This is OUR story.
My name is Brian Gonzales. I am a Seattle University alumnus from the class of 2000, a Portland Alumni Leader, and SU Social Ambassador and proud to help out in the way that I can. This is my way of giving back.
Enjoy this book.
I must warn you: I AM AN ARTIST.
Sometimes I get a little carried away in my grammar and over dramatization of what would otherwise be a normal event. I am also compelled to make and share drawings, photographs and other visual highlights sometimes to the point of exhaustion.
Prepare your liver for a swell of:
- Following my brother towards Nirvana
- Afro, Orientation, and the Art Nudes | AKA: How Visual Arts Major found Me and a tribute to Father Roger Gillis, SJ
- The golden voice of Jeremiah and how he fed my starving soul at the Chieftain
- May the force be with us all
- KSUB radio and the ubiquitous basement vibes
- His Spanish name is “Kiko”
- Zoom out. Navigate. Experience. Connect. Innovate. Give back. Thanks.
- Empowered by our Mission and life beyond diploma
Class of 2000
Major: Visual Arts
Empowered by our mission and life beyond diploma
These days I find myself asking a lot of questions to Google or Siri.
“Hey Google what is the weather like today?”
Within a moment's pause a friendly voice replies with factual data gathered from the interwebs.
“Today in Gresham it will be mostly sunny with a forecasted high of 70 and a low of 42. Right now it’s 42° and sunny.”
How many of you know the mission statement of Seattle University verbatim? As alumni, I bet we all inherently understand the main concept. I always knew it had something to do with developing students to be well rounded (hence all the core classes we had to finish whether we liked it or not) and something to do with social justice. I knew I was close, but I also knew it was more specific than that. So let’s ask:
“Hey Google what is the mission of Seattle University?”
“Seattle University is dedicated to educating the whole person, to professional formation, and to empowering leaders for a just and humane world.”
It's been over 2 decades since I graduated from Seattle University in the year 2000. On a daily basis I try to live my life with positive energy, being kind to people, making ethically correct choices, expressing appreciation for others and their contributions to our society as a whole and helping others when I can. I enjoy hobbies ranging from cooking and writing to home remodeling and computer programming. I am a firm believer in community, shopping local, volunteering for a good cause, continuous education, and I try to amplify the voice of those more quiet than I am. I have a fulfilling career and aside from the occasional feeling of “imposter syndrome” I am confident in my professional skill set.
I am not saying this to boast. I am saying this to relate. I bet You, fellow alumni, also have a broad interest in the world around you. Your hobbies might align with mine but they probably extend well beyond in unique and wonderful ways. I bet you have a high capacity for critical thinking. I bet you have a natural process of ethical reasoning. I bet you have appreciation for the arts. I bet you also strive for making a positive impact in your community and would choose to volunteer for a good cause if you could carve out the time in your busy schedule. As difficult as it may be at times, I bet you amplify the marginalized voices that are otherwise difficult to hear.
What we are experiencing is the continual fulfillment of the Seattle University mission. No need to ask Google; we live it on the daily.
Thank you for reading this art book and sharing in the experience. Let’s keep sharing stories and building community connections online and in person whenever possible. Join your local regional Alumni Chapter and stay involved. Let us all be empowered by the mission and help spread the good word.
Brian Gonzales, ’00, is a multidisciplinary artist specializing in technology, marketing and creative services. He started the digital creative agency called PAIRODIME (originally Pair O’ Dimes Productions) while attending Seattle University in 1999 and it continues to help companies and brands locally and around the globe as a partner in modern marketing solutions. Brian lives with his wife Alyssa and their 2 children, Elias and Ariela in Gresham, Oregon. Brian loves to spend time with family and friends, cook, do various art projects, read, and watch movies. When not at home, you might find him traveling in his Minnie Winnie Winnebago, snowboarding, skateboarding, biking and pretty much doing anything that sounds like fun.