Mary Helena Clark is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Art and Art History Department. This semester, she is teaching Video Art and Introduction to Studio Art. Her friend and colleague, Professor of Art and Art History Penny Lane, was happy to hear that Clark would be stepping in during
Clark hails from Santee, South Carolina. She received her Bachelor’s Degree from Emerson College in Boston, and went on to receive her Masters of Fine Arts from University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to living in Central New York, she called Berkeley, California her home. She was a consultant for a film nonprofit in Berkeley before making the move in the fall of 2015 with her partner, Josh. She also partook in freelance film editing.
While a professor, Clark maintains a positive energy and receptive attitude through all of her interactions with students. Her fun-loving personality is clear from the hobbies that she enjoys in her new hometown of Central New York.
“For entertainment in Hamilton, I’m a big fan of Thrift Hunters and – this should come as no surprise – I like to go to the movies,” Clark said.
Clark’s love of film and art goes beyond the classroom, as she pursues her passions in independent projects that she works on in her free time. She recently showcased her most recent set of new media works of art in December at Document, an art space in Chicago. In the past, her films have been shown at the National Gallery for Art in D.C., the BFI London Film Festival and the New York Film Festival. Her independent short films such as And the Sun Flowers (2008), While You Were Sleeping (2010) and The Dragon is the Frame (2014) have made quite the impression in the eyes of critics. Phil Coldiron of Cinema Scope magazine had high praises for Clark’s latter film.
“The result is a film of tremendous visual pleasures…an ecstasy free from deaths, big and little,” Coldiron wrote.
Clark’s love for creating film leads her to travel and create as much as she can.
“I spend most of my time away from school developing new projects. I’ve just started a new film and am working on pre-production for a shoot this summer in South Carolina. Many of my interests like traveling tie back to art. I will be in London over spring break to visit family and show work,”
Clark also helped to curate the Colgate Alternative Cinema Film Series that screens every Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Golden Auditorium in Little Hall. This series showcases a number of different experimental films and also features many filmmakers in person. When filmmakers come to campus, Clark always facilitates discussion and gets the conversation about the
film started. Clark plans to return to Hamilton for the fall semester. There is even a possibility that she brings her dog, Little John, along for the experience.