Carlson Brings "Utopian Playground" to APU

by Jaime Garispe '10

"In the beginning, God created…" David Carlson, MFA, associate professor in APU's Department of Art, has taken the creative spirit in these first five words of Genesis and applied it to the artisan world. This creativity was evidenced in his most recent art show, "Utopian Playground," which opened in the Duke Art Gallery on January 19.

"My work encompasses a joyful spirit," Carlson said. "It is futuristic, yet still rooted in reality." As the son of a physicist, Carlson grew up "hanging out with the nuts and bolts," which later influenced his work in play theory. William Catling, MFA, chair of the Department of Art, commented that Carlson’s work excellently questions how God can be seen in the manmade world. "Blending elements of the natural world with aspects of modernity, he questions what the world could be through discovery," Catling said.

Catling taught Carlson during his undergraduate years at APU and even owns one of Carlson's art pieces. "Carlson was a resourceful student and well driven," said Catling. As Carlson has gone from pupil to mentor, his students appreciate the quality of his skills as an artist as well as an instructor.

"Utopian Playground," the faculty art exhibit of 2010, will be on display through February 2. Next year's show will feature Melanie Weaver, MFA. To view additional artwork by David Carlson, visit, or learn more about Carlson at