Maurine Fan: Art In and Out of the Classroom

Sivi Colberg, Staff Writer

Junior Maurine Fan has always been interested in art. Having taken two AP art courses in high school, Fan sought to continue art in college and is currently an art and art history minor. According to Fan, who is on the premedical track, art courses are a creative complement to her molecular biology concentration. Throughout her time at Colgate, Fan has experimented with a variety of art forms. 

“I’ve taken a bunch of art classes which is really interesting because going into Colgate I thought I was just going to do some drawing,” Fan said. “The first art class I took was ‘Digital Media,’ which was really cool because we worked a lot on different locations around Hamilton. We were using photoshop and were each given different coordinates of a different place in Hamilton. We went to our respective sites and took pictures of the interaction between nature and architecture.” 

According to Fan, art and art history courses have offered a unique opportunity to blend contemporary events with historical pieces. 

“One of the classes I’m currently taking is called ‘Borderlands’ and it is about the Polish-Lithuanian borderlands and how art has shaped their culture in a neglected region,” Fan said. “I’ve been thinking about it a lot because it’s really connected to the war in Ukraine, so it’s interesting that current news is always tied to the art history of these regions. Art is something that connects to news and what’s going on in the world.”

Fan has also used art classes as opportunities to explore new techniques and broaden her artistic skill set. 

“I’ve taken ‘Painting’ with Professor [Sam] Guy and that really pushed me a lot because I’m not a big painter,” Fan said. “Last year in ‘Painting’ I made a huge portrait of myself based on a historical figure or celebrity, so I drew Angus Young from ACDC. This semester I’m taking ‘Advanced Drawing’ with Professor [Lynette] Stevenson and that is also pushing me out of my comfort zone.” 

Beyond her engagement with art in the classroom, Fan incorporates art into her extracurriculars. 

“I’m the vice president of Colgate Painting and Drawing,” Fan said. “We’re really committed to bringing a space to students who enjoy art, so every Saturday we have a free drawing event. Last weekend [it] was ‘drawing in the style of Van Gogh.’ We’re also partnering with the Arab Culture Club to do a coloring event, so we’re trying to create a place for anyone who enjoys art to do it. We supply all of the materials and meet in Little [Hall] on Saturdays.”

Although she plans to pursue a medical career in the future, Fan hopes to continue with her art down the road, assuming time permits. 

“I’m thinking of art as more of a hobby in the future, but it would be really cool if I had time to do it on the side. I haven’t really thought about what I’m going to do with it yet, but it’s a passion of mine.”