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A student’s choice: the liberal arts in pursuit of art


As a rising Hamilton College sophomore, Lily Johnston ’16 spent the summer doing research on a fish parasite with a team of students and a biology professor, and the work was published in a scientific journal. The next summer she secured an internship, funded through the College, to work in New York City at the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts, where she promoted contemporary artists and met more than a few of them. Now, heading into her senior year, supported by a Hamilton Emerson grant, she’s doing a summer research project about color theory. With her penchant for academic exploring and pushing herself to try new things, Johnston says she’s certain she made the right choice when she picked Hamilton over an art school. She’s majoring in art and minoring in biology. “I’m really happy I go to Hamilton; I don’t think there’s a better place for me, honestly, ” Johnston says.

She considers painting to be her strongest medium but she’s discovered a passion for sculpture and is combing both in the Emerson project. In painting, Johnston says, you decide which color goes where. “That’s something I’m comfortable with, so I like stepping out of my comfort zone in getting more into sculpture, where I have an idea and by the end of the project I’ve made something completely different out of completely different material,” she says.

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