Spotlight on Ohlone:
Extraordinary art in president’s office

By Zunera Syed, Staff writer .

Thursday, November 19, 2009—Reprinted from Monitor.

Black and white drawing: Safaa.Black and white drawing: Rebecca. Top, ‘Safaa’ from the president’s office and bottom is ‘Rebecca’ both are charcoal pieces.

Christian Fagerlund has always loved procuring art, “There was never this dilemma of what I was going to do.”

Fagerlund recently started drawing because he feels that several of his drawings are strong enough to be independent pieces; until a year a go he only did paintings. Ohlone should be proud of the talent that lies within a member of its community.

Through his paintings he is able to capture the subtle, everyday moments of beauty that we take for granted. His artwork is inspired by objects that he is innately attracted to.

After drawing faces for quite some time, he has become interested in portraying landscapes in his drawings. Fagerlund particularly enjoys going out into nature and capturing its essence in order to reproduce it on a canvas.

Besides actively procuring paintings and drawings Fagerlund teaches classes here at Ohlone: Descriptive Drawing, as well as Anatomy for the Artist, Figure Drawing, Figure Painting, and Drawing Fundamentals at UC Berkeley Extension Program.

Although he doesn’t have a private gallery, his art work has been exhibited in many locations. It is currently being displayed here at Ohlone College in President Gari Browning’s office.

Mounted along the upper walls of Browning’s office, Ohlone staff and students can view his detailed renderings of people whom are apart of his life. The pieces of art are so profound that even a gallery on a Caribbean island is featuring several of his works. Fagerlund has done a five week residency this past Spring in the Caribbeans, and while on the island he was able to share his work there.

He is planning on going back to the Caribbeans this Spring to host a gallery show. Fagerlund has been a part of many group shows but does not have an independent gallery representing him.

His favorite piece is a painting he did of his girlfriend because it captures her inner feelings, something that is not apparent to the everyday person.

Fagerlund’s artwork is primarily figurative, meaning that it focuses on people. Having an emotional connection with his models is one of Fagerlund’s priorities, which is why he mainly uses people that he is close to.

Having such an admiration for fellow painters like British painters Jenny Saville and Euan Uglow, Fagerlund ponders aloud, “There are certain artists, that when I see their work, it makes me want to paint.”

His advice to aspiring artists is to talk to as many people as they possibly can about what it truly means to be an artist.

Furthermore, get a high-quality core education of the foundation(s) of drawing and painting in order to gain the knowledge and skills you need to become a good artist. “It takes a lot of discipline to make your own art.”

For more information about Fagerlund’s work; visit

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