Faculty Spotlights in the Art Department

Riana Lum

When Art and Art History Professor Lynette Stephenson enters the classroom, most eyes are drawn to her shoes. Boots, clogs, wedges, heels – she has them all. Rarely does she wear the same shoe two days in a row.

Stephenson brings a fresh style to the classroom, in regards to both fashion

and teaching.

Stephenson received her BA from Northwestern State University and her MFA from Georgia State University. She began teaching at Colgate in 1998 after having taught at Jackson State University.

“I lived in the South for a number of years, from graduate school on, and I wanted to move to the Northeast after 13 years of teaching in Mississippi,” Stephenson said, describing what attracted her to Colgate. “I liked the idea of moving to a small town. Although, I do think I’m a city person at heart. It was just so quaint in Hamilton. I really did like the smaller, community environment – where students are here all the time.”

While drawing and painting are her specialties, Stephenson also teaches Practice and Theory, a studio class focusing on the basics of art.

“[My favorite part about being a professor is] when I see students who get it. Who I know really have it – those that by the time they graduate they almost feel like fellow artists. It’s working with a student on that level. The best thing is working with colleagues to get students to that point. We know we can brag about them! To even art school colleagues or artists – they’re amazed,”

Stephenson said.

In the fall semester, Stephenson was on sabbatical and held two artist residencies. One was with the Golden Foundation and the other with the Horned Dorset Colony, both located in central

New York.

“[It] was a really interesting experience to work, to live in a place where you’re given studio space and you get up, and everyday your only concern is painting. I listened to audio books and just painted all day. It was an interesting experience to just be concerned about your work … it really gave me a chance to flesh out ideas I had been thinking about,”

Stephenson said.

Not only is Stephenson focused on her own practice as a painter, she also cares a great deal about her students.

“They always pop in my head: I should tell such and such this and this, thinking of different things I should tell them,” she said.

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