Bringing Art to Life

Our professors are accomplished artists who pursue their own passions in the contemporary art world and bring their experiences home to you.

The Fine and Performing Arts Department faculty is composed of talented animators, ceramic artists, digital media designers, goldsmiths, illustrators, multimedia artists, painters, photographers, printmakers, sculptors, dancers, set designers and sketch artists with works in both private and public collections. Faculty actively study and exhibit internationally, and they have received numerous grants and fellowships from the Fulbright Foundation, the New England Foundation for the Arts, the New Hampshire Council on the Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, and other prestigious organizations.

  • Loretta S. Wonacott Barnett

    Professor, Fine & Performing Arts
    603.526.3668 | lbarnett@colby-sawyer.edu

    Professor Barnett joined the faculty 1978 after earning her M.F.A. from the Ohio State University. She teaches courses in sculpture, drawing and watercolor and guides students toward a clearer sense of self and discovery of the countless combinations of materials and techniques. Professor Barnett challenges students to be brave in studio practices and art making.

    Professor Barnett's artworks are visual narratives that come from her experiences. Questions are created, but the meaning for each work is dependent on perception, vision and memory, allowing an individual's culture, experience and understanding to effect her artwork.

    Professor Barnett has works in private and public collections across the country. She collaborates with other artists on multiple works of art that reveal layers of personal expression and content. Her work is included in Virginia Watson-Jones book, Contemporary American Women Sculptors, Oryx Press.    www.lswbarnett.com

  • Nicholas Gaffney

    Assistant Professor, Fine & Performing Arts
    603.526.3789 | ngaffney@colby-sawyer.edu

    Professor Gaffney joined the faculty in 2008. He holds a B.A. in English from New York University and an M.F.A. in photography from Pratt Institute in New York City. Professor Gaffney teaches courses in photography, digital media and senior portfolio development. He is interested in the natural landscape and how it is often interrupted by the manufactured world. His photography is rooted in the straight, documentary tradition and attempts to create smaller worlds out of the larger one.    read more…

  • Jon P. Keenan

    Professor, Fine & Performing Arts
    603.526.3667 | jkeenan@colby-sawyer.edu

    Professor Keenan joined the faculty in 1990 and teaches ceramics and East Asian art history, First-Year Seminar and Wesson Honors Program courses. Active internationally, his studio work explores raku and high fired glazed ceramics, along with anagama wood-fired functional and sculptural clay work.

    Professor Keenan has led students on earthquake relief and field study trips to Nepal for the Wesson Honors Program and in 2015 was a Fulbright scholar in the craft/ceramics department of the Tokyo University of the Arts.

    Professor Keenan was named the Joyce J. Kolligian Distinguished Professor of Fine and Performing Arts in 2009 and awarded the Sonja C. Davidow’56 Endowed Chair of Fine and Performing Arts in 2015. He is the recipient of numerous awards from the Fulbright Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the New England Foundation for the Arts and the New Hampshire State Council on the Arts. He has presented and exhibited his work widely in the United States and abroad.    read more…

  • Michael Lovell

    Assistant Professor and Technical Director, Fine & Performing Arts
    603.526.3666 | mlovell@colby-sawyer.edu

    Professor Lovell joined the faculty in 2000. He earned an M.F.A. from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a B.F.A. from Cornell University. He serves as technical director of the Sawyer Fine Arts Center Theater and the Niblack Black Box Theater, directs theater productions and teaches courses in stagecraft.

  • Hilary Walrod

    Associate Professor and Chair, Fine & Performing Arts
    603.526.3669 | hilary.walrod@colby-sawyer.edu

    Professor Walrod joined the faculty in 2012 and was awarded the college's highest teaching award, the Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching, in 2016. She earned an M.F.A. in Studio Art, Graphic Design, from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a B.A. in Studio Art and Environmental Studies from Williams College.

    Professor 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. Her independent, freelance, and pro bono projects support the arts, community, education, environment, farms, food, health and place. She helped to develop the college’s major in sustainability studies, a minor in sustainability and the Sustainable Learning Initiative at Franklin Falls.    read more…