Minh Nguyen '17 is seated in front of a display of his art in the Kennedy Center for Theatre and the Studio Arts.

Premed student Minh Nguyen ’17 intended to major in biology, and he took a figure-drawing class because he thought it would be a great way to learn anatomy.

“I remember first walking into my first day of figure drawing. It was in the old List building, and there was some amazing artwork up, and I was like, ‘Wow, I want to be one of those people,’” says Nguyen, who ended up majoring in art and neuroscience.

He’s done independent study in erbu, a Turkish art style in which paint is floated on the surface of water and then transferred to paper. He wants to take some time after Hamilton and before medical school to do art, ideally through a fellowship that would allow him to work and travel abroad.

Neuroscience and art complement one another well, from Nguyen’s perspective – what he learns in neuroscience informs his art and vice-verse. He’s thinking about doing his neuroscience senior thesis on how the brain construes beauty. He says Hamilton College’s liberal arts curriculum enabled him to explore interests and not stay stuck on his initial script. It’s fine to set a goal, Nguyen says, but you may develop an even better one.

“And the faculty is always there to push you to discover something new,” he says.

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