On a cold Tuesday night in January, Audrey Ushenko, her auburn hair pulled back in a ponytail and her clothing splotched with paint, was in full creative mode in a first-floor corridor of the Walb Student Union at IPFW.
In front of her on an easel stood an oil painting with about two dozen human figures sketched in pencil or partially filled in with color. Gripped in one hand was a preliminary painting on drawing paper of a young man in a wheelchair and in the other, a paintbrush she was using to transfer the image to the bigger work.
Ushenko had been there most of the day, as students filed by and attendees at an awards dinner in a nearby ballroom stopped occasionally to chat. And, as the clock ticked toward 9 p.m., she admitted feeling a bit of creative anxiety.
The work on the easel had been commissioned by the university for