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NH Institute of Art grads told world needs their visions

New Hampshire Union Leader

May 18. 2014 8:23PM
After receiving her diploma, graduate Colleen Vaillancourt gets a fist bump from Illustration Department Chairman Jim Burke during the New Hampshire Institute of Arts Commencement Sunday at the Palace Theatre in Manchester. (JOSH GIBNEY/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — Work. Work hard. Tackle the toughest things first. Engage your harshest critics. Expect failure, it only will make you better. In the end, putting your full measure of devotion into creating good art will help illuminate a darkened world and inspire generations to come, New Hampshire Institute of Art graduates were told Sunday.

“You really have to look at your inner, fearless tiger ... to create that space for making,” media artist and professor of fine arts Deb Todd Wheeler said in her keynote address.

“We are living in a time of great darkness and change. The world needs your visions,” added Wheeler, who is on the faculty of Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass., and the Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.

An estimated 117 visual artists, illustrators, designers and writers received degrees at the Palace Theatre.

Celebratory strains of bagpipes opened commencement ceremonies, which also included a “doo-wop” performance by a student vocal group and an improvisational skit by a student troupe.

Emma Moreman, who graduated magna cum laude in interdisciplinary studies, recalled having to learn how to draw “all over again” when she first arrived at the institute.

Rather than working close to the paper, Moreman said she had to master holding her hand at arm’s length so she could see the total picture and not get lost in the details. Moreman said this became a valuable lesson in her life and encouraged classmates to adopt it as they move forward in life.

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