Jordan Combines Art with Entrepreneurial Spirit

Wingate, N.C. – Jordan Parker of Durham, N.C. is a business major at Wingate University who decided to take an art class during his last semester just for fun before graduating. The cooperative learning experience with local woodworker Phil Loudermilk turned out to be a jump start to a potential career and a way to beat the odds in a tough job market.

Parker created several pieces of furniture and unique wood sculptures that will help launch his new business called Project 9 Designs. After graduating, he plans to sell artwork and furniture while working with his brother's custom home business, Riverbank Custom homes of Durham.

"Cooperative learning is a good opportunity for students to work with the community and those with specialized skills so they are better prepared for the real world when they graduate," said Louise Napier, chairman of the Wingate University Art Department.

One of the items on display for his senior art show at Wingate University is a coffee table made to incorporate a guitar. It is made from ash wood that he found at a local sawmill. The glass-covered table is cut in a guitar shape to display a real guitar that is suspended underneath by guitar strings. The table legs are wrapped with steel strings.

He also made a walnut chest made with a lid that lifts for storage and a front pull-out drawer. Etched into each piece is a logo he created while learning about branding in his business management class. It combines three elements - a P for his last name, a cross for his faith and the number nine, which was his number in football and baseball growing up.

Founded in 1896, Wingate University is a private four-year co-educational institution of 2,159 students offering active learning opportunities through personalized instruction, world travel, career discovery, and community service.

Wingate offers 34 undergraduate majors in arts and sciences, business, communication, education, fine arts, music, and sport sciences. It also offers graduate degrees in accounting, business, education, physician assistant studies and sport administration. In addition, the school awards the Doctor of Pharmacy and the Doctor of Education degrees.

Bulldog student-athletes compete in 19 NCAA Division II sports. Wingate University has won the South Atlantic Conference Echols Athletic Excellence Award for the past four years.