Utility NavTop NavContentLeft NavSite SearchSite SearchSite Search


Mark Burns Designs Shirt to Benefit Clay Club

Every year the Hartford Art School's clay club, Dirty For a Reason, makes shirts to promote itself and HAS. This year's design is special because it was crafted by Koopman Chair, Mark Burns! For every shirt sold, a portion of the money goes to the club to fund visiting artists.

These will sell out quickly, so get your Dirty For a Reason shirt as soon as you can!


ceramics sweatshirt

Ellen Carey Named One of World's 100 Best Women Photographers

The Royal Photographic Society named photography professor Ellen Carey to its Hundred Heroines list this week. The international campaign celebrates women and their innumerable contributions to the photography field.


To celebrate the centenary year of women’s suffrage, Hundred Heroines called upon the general public to nominate, alongside leading photography industry figures, their own modern day photography heroines and to increase awareness of the impact women have on this most universal and accessible of visual media.

Through Hundred Heroines, The Royal Photographic Society strives to highlight and promote the overlooked abundance of contemporary female photographic talent in what remains a traditionally male dominated world.

About the campaign, Del Barrett, Vice-President, The Royal Photographic Society, said, “I come across so many amazing women in photography, and yet their voice is nowhere near as powerful as their male counterparts. We are working to ensure that there are no barriers in photography. Hundred Heroines is a major step towards this, raising public awareness of the excellent work being created by women globally.”

Congratulations to Ellen Carey!

"Shadows and Traces: The Photography of John Reuter" Opens at the Griffen Museum of Photography

"Rendering" by John Reuter
Rendering by John Reuter

A retrospective of photography professor John Reuter's Polaroid work will be on view at the Griffen Museum of Photography in Wincester, Massachusetts, opening on January 10, 2019. The reception will be held from 7–8:30 p.m. on January 17, 2019 at the Griffen Museum. It is free and open to the public.

The show, "Shadows & Traces: The Photography of John Reuter," is curated by Barbara Hitchcock, former Director of Corporate Cultural Affairs at Polaroid and current co-curator of “The Polaroid Project.” 

Message from Dean Stuart | December 2018

We began the 2018/2019 academic year with a 12% increase in enrollment over last year. At census (October 15) our headcount was 313 undergraduate students and 52 graduate students. I’ve always felt that our size was an advantage – small enough to know everyone but large enough to have fantastic facilities and faculty! The faculty members teaching in the first-year Foundation Program are already reporting a high level of talent and dedication among the incoming students. The recent Foundation Program Exhibition in the Silpe Gallery (November 6–21) certainly reinforced this perception.

Assistant Professor Marisa Williamson joined the Foundation faculty this fall. Professor Williamson earned her BA in Visual and Environmental Studies from Harvard University and her MFA in Art from the California Institute of The Arts. She leads the 4D studio requirement (motion/media) and a new spring semester course, “Century of the Selfie.”

"To be critical, honest, specific and detailed is important to me," Williamson writes. "I’ve been an athletic coach, a teacher of young children, and a museum guide for those struggling with Alzheimer’s. In all capacities, flexibility and receptiveness: the ability to adjust my performance as instructor to accommodate different learning styles, proficiencies, and points of entry has been the most valuable and rewarding part of my pedagogical skill set to cultivate.”

David Calabrese was appointed Associate Professor of Illustration. He earned his BFA from the Hartford Art School and an MFA in Interactive Design and Game Development from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He has taught for the previous seven years at Manchester Community College and brings extensive experience in art asset development for studios in various industries.

A previous colleague stated, “David has shown himself to be an excellent teacher in the classroom as well as a professional standard to which students can look up to for their own growth. David has repeatedly shown a desire to better our program with new courses, new techniques, and bringing his professional experience into the classroom setting.”

Also, new to campus this fall is our Jackie McLean Fellow, Boeun Billie Lee. Billie is an Asian-American artist, educator and critical theorist. She earned her MFA in Painting from Yale University and is a Ph.D. candidate through the University of Hawai’i at Mãnoa. Her dissertation compares the ways that race and regional politics shape collective identity for three artists and art groups: a Hawaiian collective, the visual artist Simone Leigh, and a Chicano collective in Los Angeles.

Billie taught the junior level painting majors this fall and will teach “Unmaking Self, Unmaking Art” through the Art History Department this spring.

New HAS staff members include Jared Holt, Sculpture and 3D Foundation Technician; Michelle Nugent, Applied Arts Technician; and Roxy Ryan, Assistant Coordinator of Admissions. Welcome all!


If you were visit to the Hartford Art School today you would enter through a renovated lobby now known as the “Admissions Atrium.” The open and airy space provides a central community space just outside the Silpe Gallery. The Japanese Garden, created by the late Professor Chris Horton, has been restored under the direction of Professor Hiro Fukawa. Considered a meditative landscape, it is now visible from the inside. The lobby currently features two paintings of HAS alumni by the late Professor Stephen Brown. The admissions office suite was created from storage space and now houses flexible work space for five professionals including our new Marketing and Communications Manager.


The project took six months to complete and the $1.4 million dollar cost was raised through generous donations. I am grateful to the Hartford Art School Endowment, Inc. Board of Trustees, the Koopman Foundation of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and all the individual donors who made this capital improvement possible.


VCD Seniors Workforce Ready

The real world waits for no one, so seniors in the visual communication design (VCD) program make the most of their time at the Hartford Art School by working with real clients long before Commencement. This fall, Alyssa Petrancosta ‘18 of Franklin Square, New York, and David Todd ‘18 of Simsbury, Connecticut, teamed up in their Civic Design class to help a client create a brand that’s more inclusive and inviting to diverse identities: First Presbyterian Church of Hartford.

“We based [our designs] on the idea of Pride, and it came together pretty organically,” says Alyssa. In the ad design, she photoshopped a Pride flag onto the side of the building. “They liked it so much that they’re going to make a real banner to display the way it looks on the ad, and do a series of ads based on that same piece,” she adds.

Whereas large teams can catalyze competition between designers, who pitch their concepts against those of their teammates, Alyssa and David found that collaboration came naturally.

“Competition breeds good design,” David explains. “But collaboration is better for some projects, and this was one of those projects.”

The church’s branding project included creating print ads, a letterhead, business cards, and most challenging of all, updating its website–which was on a management system neither of the seniors had worked with before. Alyssa felt that the VCD program groomed her and David to think critically about the challenges the project presented.

First Presbyterian Church ad

“We’ve learned how to turn something that doesn't work into something that’s a really effective piece,” David says. “This program teaches you how to take the key information out of a project and bring it to where it should be, from a design standpoint. We can help a client update without losing the brand’s integrity, which we weren't able to do in our first year.”

Working feels different to the seniors now after pitching to real clients. Their program’s environment creates a safe space for them to learn to ask the right questions and to master the communication skills professionals need. Alyssa is already putting these skills to use by working for the University of Hartford’s Office of Marketing and Communication and supporting its graphic design team.

By the time [this program] is over, we have it down and we’re ready to go out into the workforce,” says Alyssa.