Faculty/Student Collaboration Continues Post-Graduation

A section of the cover of Dr. Tiel's forthcoming book, "Faith & Reflection."

5/7/13 ASHLAND, Ohio – A collaboration between Dr. Jeffrey Tiel, associate professor of philosophy at Ashland University, and AU art student Joshua Risner, who graduated in 2012, has resulted in the two working together on two books published by Tiel.

Following the release of his supernatural thriller, “The Search for Melchizedek,” Tiel desired to give a more artistic touch to his first philosophy text, “Philosophy of Human Nature.” So he and Risner joined forces to display Risner’s painting, “Cleansing Presence,” on the cover of Tiel’s “Philosophy of Human Nature.”

Risner and Tiel then collaborated on the cover of Tiel’s forthcoming book titled “Faith & Reflection.” Risner provided the graphic design as well as the artwork, “The Contemplative Virgin,” which he completed back in 2010 and offered as a gift to the Regina Apostolorum Pontifical University in Rome, Italy.

Tiel began collaborating with Risner prior to his graduation from Ashland University. Risner studied under Art Professor Charles Caldemeyer, who provided thoughtful guidance and direction, encouraging Risner in the sincere pursuit of artistic discovery.

According to Tiel, Risner’s painting  also received inspiration from the classical philosophical ideas of Plato and Aristotle as well as Renaissance painters such as Da Vinci and Raphael and the sculptor Bernini.

In the summer of 2011, Risner joined Tiel on a tour of major art museums throughout Italy, including the Uffizi in Florence and the Borghese in Rome. Risner and Tiel also collaborated on a metaphysical theory of beauty that influenced both Tiel’s writing and Risner’s art.

Prior to his years at Ashland University, Risner worked as a commercial sign painter, before developing an interest in the computerized side of commercial art. His interest in computer art motivated him to teach himself graphic design and computer programming.

Before enrolling at Ashland University, Risner had owned and operated a small freelance graphic design business. But Risner’s real love has always been fine art, so he came to Ashland University and poured himself into his painting.

Following his graduation from Ashland University in 2012, Risner received a fellowship to attend Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Mich. He held his first solo show and also was invited to participate in a group show in the summer of 2012, where he sold several large works.

Risner currently resides in Grand Rapids, Mich., with his wife of 10 years, Dr. Jill Risner.

Tiel, who joined Ashland University in 1998, previously taught at the United States Military Academy in West Point, N.Y., as well as Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. He is an award-winning teacher, known for bringing ancient ideas to life. In addition to “Philosophy of Human Nature,” Tiel has also published a supernatural thriller titled “The Search for Melchizedek,” both available exclusively at Amazon.com. He is set to release “Faith & Reflection” later this year.

Ashland University, ranked in the top 200 colleges and universities in U.S. News and World Report’s National Universities category for 2013, is a mid-sized, private university conveniently located a short distance from Akron, Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. Ashland University (www.ashland.edu) values the individual student and offers a unique educational experience that combines the challenge of strong, applied academic programs with a faculty and staff who build nurturing relationships with their students. ###