St. Olaf College | News

An artist charged with creating new worlds

Andy Eklund ’03 did not come to St. Olaf College expecting to be an art major. But as part of his broad liberal arts education, he was given the chance to explore and discover new passions.

Inspired by his art classes, Eklund declared a studio art major. “I didn’t consider myself one of the art people, but, you know, you take a class and you discover something you didn’t know about yourself,” he says.

As a studio art major, Eklund enjoyed the challenging yet collaborative learning environment. “It wasn’t an easy thing to be an art major,” he says. “It’s a lot of work, and part of that work is self-discovery. You had to be working hard all the time, and I guess that’s something I really enjoyed.”

After graduating from St. Olaf, Eklund participated in St. Olaf’s Fifth-Year Emerging Artist program. While in the program, he was encouraged by his professors to apply to graduate school. After earning his graduate degree from Maryland Institute College of Art, Eklund moved to New York City to pursue his craft.

Now an art director and production designer for TV and film in New York City, Eklund continues to draw on the skills he learned in his art classes at St. Olaf — where he had to articulate the “why” and the “how” of his work, along with effective collaboration and communication. His ability to think critically about what’s in front of him — which he credits to his St. Olaf experience — and how it can be interpreted artistically lends itself daily to what he does at work.

With the spread of COVID-19, most film and television studios shut down production by mid-March. While Eklund is looking forward to their return, he is grateful for the extra time he gets to spend with his wife Laura and their six-month-old daughter Vera. “This time I have is precious, and I am so fortunate to be safe, healthy, and with family,” he says.