Professors in the Arts

Almost anyone who has taken an art class at Colgate is familiar with Professor of Art & Art History and Director of Film & Media Studies Lynn Schwarzer. Schwarzer, who teaches drawing and printmaking, was in charge of this year’s group of senior studio art concentrators.

“It was wonderful. I had a great time,” Schwarzer said of teaching senior projects. “They were a great group, and they really congealed and helped each other become better studio practitioners. It was very exciting to see them take hold of their own work and take it to places that neither they nor I expected it to go. They just made me very proud.”

In addition to teaching at Colgate, Schwarzer is also pursuing her own studio work.

“I just completed a piece at the Munson Williams Proctor Museum of Art in Utica that is part of an ongoing series titled ‘Field Notes,'” she said. “It’s a very eclectic research project that examines the history of knowledge. I research historical encyclopedias, anatomy books and the history of communications technology, and then I select images that I redraw in the vernacular of their original, so some look like 1950s encyclopedia entries and some look like fourteenth century engravings. Then I put those back together again in a digitally printed 17-foot-long mural.”

As a longtime member of Colgate’s Art & Art History department, Schwarzer also has strong opinions as to how the arts have the power to influence the campus community, as well as how they are received.

“Always bigger and always better, I think,” Schwarzer said regarding the arts’ reach on campus. “There’s optimism, but on the more troubling side, there’s been some vandalism of art here. The state of the arts at Colgate has tremendous

promise, but it has to have the respect of

the campus.”

Schwarzer also added that there is room for the department to grow, as well as to collaborate with other disciplines.

“We now have exciting plans for a new center for the visual arts – we also need a creative and performing arts center and we should have a dance program,” she said. “We should have better support and physical spaces for our musicians and performers.”

In the meantime, Schwarzer is optimistic not only for her own work, but that of all the artists at Colgate, for whom she has high hopes.

“Artists are always pushing envelopes, and sometimes society catches up later. That’s the nature of being an artist,” Schwarzer said with a smile.

Contact Alanna Weissman at