Kori Bethea
Kori Bethea is passionate about teaching but maintains a lifelong interest in making art. (Photo by Bobby Ellis)

Kori Bethea, ’18, is a world history teacher by day, and an up-and-coming artist by night. Last Fall, the University tapped her growing abilities in digital art to capture the Cardinal football team, which on New Year’s Eve 2020 won the University’s first-ever bowl game.

“When I got the first message from Ball State, I was a little excited and nervous,” Bethea said. “Not everyone wants an artist to really truly collaborate, but I saw Ball State followed me and still liked my work. That was a big deal for me.”

Bethea grew up in Indianapolis and returned there to teach at Ben Davis High School after graduating from Ball State as a social studies education major. While passionate about teaching, she’s also maintained a lifelong interest in making art. Once her high school went remote this past year, she found herself with more time to hone those skills, including learning how to make digital portraits.

For the digital design Bethea created for Ball State football, she sifted through hundreds of pictures of the players to find the best ones to use on the poster. “I layered them to plan it out and drew them all individually.”

Ball State Football Poster
Ball State Football Poster, Digital Design by Bethea

The poster also pays homage to Muncie. In addition to library research, “I talked to locals and asked them what they thought should be included. I wanted to include things people would recognize about Muncie. Those are the pictures I used for the background,” featuring the West Fork White River Bridge, the Civic Theatre, and other landmarks.

“This is a new thing for me. I think it came together pretty well and was well-received. It feels a little closer to home for a lot of people.”

This collaboration with Ball State may lead to more projects and open doors to conversations with other alumni and local artists, she said. — Ball State Athletics