art faculty

Faculty Art Exhibit

The Marian Graves Mugar Art Gallery hosts five major exhibitions each academic year, including one every fall devoted to works created by Colby-Sawyer Fine and Performing Arts Department faculty.

All faculty members are practicing artists who work closely with students to assist them in developing their own personal style. Our Art faculty members share a teaching philosophy which emphasizes respect for personal expression and individual creativity over pure technical mastery. They value the development of critical thinking and historical perspective as foundational to the problem-solving process. These common beliefs provide the basis for stimulating intellectual and creative inquiry.

Loretta S. Wonacott Barnett

Professor, Fine and Performing Arts
(603) 526-3668 |

Joined faculty 1978. M.F.A., The Ohio State University. Professor Barnett's art works are visual narratives. She has long been interested in concept-based sculpture that incorporates mixed media and melds the intellectual and physical aspects of nature and man. Her current research focus is on the continual breaking down of the barriers between art and the man-made landscape. How we as humans connect with our environment through cultural norms and laws, through our attachment to architecture and through our affection for the natural landscape.

Work included in Virginia Watson-Jones book, Contemporary American Women Sculptors, Oryx Press.

To learn more visit artist website at

Suzanne Delle

Assistant Professor, Fine & Performing Arts

Joined faculty in 2013. B.A., from Connecticut College, M.A., Goucher College and M.F.A. from Catholic University of America. Professor Delle teaches courses in Theatre, focusing on acting and directing.

She is interested in documentary and devised theatre having studied with Anne Bogart, Tectonic Theatre Company, Rinde Eckert, Tim Miller and Ghost Road Theatre. Her students begin this exploration through creating Living Newspaper plays in the spirit of the Federal Theatre Project.

David Ernster

Artist in Residence, Fine and Performing Arts
(603) 526-3460 |

Joined the full-time faculty at Colby-Sawyer in 2011 but he has taught here as an adjunct faculty member since 1999. He received a B.F.A. in Metal-smithing and Jewelry from the University of Iowa and an M.F.A. in Ceramics from West Virginia University. Throughout his career, Professor Ernster has done extensive work professionally as both a goldsmith/designer and ceramic artist. His works are represented in galleries and collections across the United States.

Nicholas Gaffney

Assistant Professor, Fine and Performing Arts
(603) 526-3789 |

Joined faculty in 2008. B.A. from New York University; M.F.A., photography, Pratt Institute, New York, N.Y. Professor Gaffney teaches courses in photography, digital media and senior portfolio development. He is interested in the natural landscape and how it is often interpreted by the manufactured world. His photography is rooted in the straight, documentary tradition and attempts to create smaller worlds out of the larger one.

Jon P. Keenan

Professor, Chair, Fine and Performing Arts
Joyce J. Kolligian Distinguished Professor in the Fine and Performing Arts
Sonja C. Davidow '56 Endowed Chair in the Fine and Performing Arts
(603) 526-3667 |

Joined the Colby-Sawyer College faculty in 1990. Active internationally, he teaches courses in Ceramics, East Asian art history, the Liberal Education and the Honors program. His studio work explores raku and high fired glazed ceramics, along with anagama wood-fired functional and sculptural clay work.

A Fulbright Scholar, Professor Keenan, was named the Joyce J. Kolligian Distinguished Professor of Fine and Performing Arts in October 2009. He is the recipient of awards from organizations including the National Endowment for the Arts, New England Foundation for the Arts, and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. He has exhibited his work and lectured extensively in the U.S. and abroad. | web site

Michael Lovell

Assistant Professor, Fine And Performing Arts
(603) 526-3666 |

Joined Colby-Sawyer in 2000. M.F.A., School of the Art Institute of Chicago; B.F.A., Cornell University. Professor Lovell serves as technical director of the Sawyer Fine Arts Center Theatre, directs theater productions and teaches courses in stagecraft.

Mary Mead

Assistant Professor, Fine and Performing Arts
(603) 526-3662 |

Joined faculty in 2009. B.S. Fine Arts University of Wisconsin/Madison M.F.A. Tufts University/Boston Museum School. Mead has exhibited her work in sculpture and printmaking since 1989 throughout New England including galleries in Boston, at Dartmouth College, the DeCordova Museum and the Chesterwood Museum among many others. Her work is in numerous private and public collections. In 2001 Mead became a charter member of the Two Rivers Printmaking Studio in White River Jct, Vt., where she was developed her interest and broad skill in multiple printmaking processes.

In her teaching Mead is especially interested in supporting students in their effort to work comfortably across artistic disciplines, whether integrating sculpture and drawing, or printmaking and photography. |

Hilary Walrod

Associate Professor, Fine and Performing Arts Department
(603) 526-3669 |

Joined the Colby-Sawyer College faculty in 2012. M.F.A. in Studio Art: Graphic Design, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. B.A. in Studio Art + Environmental Studies, Williams College. Hilary Walrod teaches Graphic Design and Digital Media and works in two-dimensional, three-dimensional and digital realms. Her work in environmental graphics, identity design and editorial design has been recognized and awarded in regional, national, and international design competitions. Drawing on her interdisciplinary background, she is especially interested in intersections between visual communication and environmental consciousness.
portfolio | a fork in the road

Bert Yarborough

Professor, Fine and Performing Arts
Sonja C. Davidow '56 Endowed Chair in the Fine and Performing Arts

(603) 526-3459 |

Joined the faculty in 1997. M.A. and M.F.A., University of Iowa. Areas of teaching include drawing, painting and pathway classes. | web site | gallery


Adjunct Faculty

David Almond

(603) 526-3787 |
M.M., University of Hartford; teaches and conducts the Kearsarge Chorale

Douglas Harp

(603) 526-3663 |
B.A., Harvard University; M.F.A., Yale University.

Jean Liepold

(603) 526-3787 |
M.A.T., Piano, Connecticut College, 1971; B.M., Music Education, Piano, New England Conservatory, 1990. Teaches voice and piano. Director of Colby-Sawyer Singers.

Mary Ann Powers

(603) 526-3786 |
B.A., Assumption College; M.A., Boston University.

Paul Regan

(603) 526-3663 |

Gary Robinson

(603) 526-3787 |
B.A., Franconia College; teaches applied music, guitar.

Laura Shepherd

(603) 526-3069 |
B.A., Smith College; teaches dance and choreography and is artistic director of the Fine and Performing Arts Department's dance show every semester.

Aarne Vesilind

(603) 526-3787 |
Ph.D., University of North Carolina; Chapel Hill; teaches and conducts the Kearsarge Band