As an art major, you will work in a new, cutting-edge studio arts center that will be completed in July 2014. At The Wellin Museum of Art, a new and acclaimed facility, you will experience exhibits by professionals and perhaps show your own work. Faculty members will help you become an independent, critical thinker who continues to create and discuss art beyond college.

Kate Bickmore '15 paints a local resident's face during the annual Hamilton student activities Fall Fest in the Village Green.
Kate Bickmore '15 paints a child's face at the Hamilton student activities Fall Fest.

A student engaged: art, research and independent study

Katherine Bickmore ’15 says Hamilton College and its art department offer incredible support and opportunities to art majors who are willing to look for them. She spent a summer working with Katharine Kuharic, the Kevin Kennedy Professor of Art, to create a series of paintings that explores the relationships between women and the destructive and fertile qualities of the natural environment. A college grant funded her work.

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Bickmore is doing independent study with Kuharic that draws from the summer project. In broad terms, Bickmore is exploring identity, feminism and physicality through self-portraiture.

During a semester in the Hamilton in New York City Program, Bickmore interned with artist Dannielle Tegeder; when Tegeder had a show at Hamilton’s Wellin Museum of Art, Bickmore helped her install it.

Bickmore opted for liberal arts at Hamilton rather than study at an arts conservatory because she wanted to learn about much more than art.

“It’s great to be surrounded by people who are passionate about art, and I have that here with the wonderful faculty and art majors, but it’s also really amazing to have friends that are passionate about other subjects and to have those conversations with them as well,” she says.

Jackie Brown '04 and one of her works.

A graduate’s progress: making, studying, teaching art

Jackie Brown ’04 is a working artist who earned a master’s of fine arts degree from Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of the Arts and is an assistant professor of art in sculpture at Bowdoin College. She works in drawing and sculptural installation.

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Her art major from Hamilton College, she says, helped provide the foundation for her studio practice and career. Brown minored in anthropology and took a range of courses from discrete mathematics to Islamic thought, and it all informed her work.

“That’s what is great about pursuing art within a liberal arts context. I had so much fodder from my other courses, and I could bring those interests into my creative work,” Brown says.

In 2009, she filled in at Hamilton for a professor on sabbatical. She says Hamilton faculty members clearly are invested in the program and in students, which is evident in the senior experience and visiting artists program. The art major provides a framework that allows a student to take risks and experiment, Brown says: “If you’re willing to put yourself out there, and you’re open to critical feedback, then you can really maximize the experience.”