Painter Abi Conklin

Emily Kress

Hailing from Wellington, Ohio, Abi Conklin has been involved in the arts at Colgate on multiple levels. Concentrating in studio art and Japanese, Conklin attributes many of her memories from Colgate to her involvement with the arts. This year, Conklin has spent much of her time working toward and on her senior project.

“[It] stemmed from my personal journey and is literally a depiction of my relationship with myself,” Conklin said of her work currently on display in Little Hall’s Clifford Gallery.

She also founded the Arts!Initiative, a club intended to bring the arts to a wider audience at Colgate, making them accessible at every level of artistic experience.

“I started Arts!Initiative my sophomore year with the hopes of generating more student interest – and there is – but I believe it would have taken somebody with a lot more time than I had to truly make it a successful venture,” she said.

Aside from her involvement with Arts!Initiative, Conklin has found the Art & Art History Department to be one of her favorite parts of her Colgate career.

“I love all the art professors I’ve ever had and their impact on my life and education cannot be understated,” she said. “As well, the friends I’ve found through my arts endeavors have been unspeakably inspiring and motivating for me as a student and as an artist, but most importantly as a human being.”

Despite these highlights, Conklin admits some disappointing aspects she has seen in her experiences.

“It destroys me that while we work on building new athletic facilities – two while I’ve been at Colgate – funding for the arts continues to be cut and the lack of exposure and appreciation and respect by much of the rest of the Colgate community,” Conklin said.

In light of these obstacles, Conklin encourages determination and perseverance for aspiring artists.

“Keep on it. If you really want it to happen, it will. And don’t deny what’s in your gut. It’s where all the best and most thoughtful art comes from,” she said.

Contact Emily Kress at [email protected]