Alum returns as artist in residence

Bláithín Haddad ’19 works on her art installation at Wheaton. (Photo by Keith Nordstrom)

Bláithín Haddad ’19 selected for Wheaton’s inaugural artists in residence program

Bláithín Haddad ’19, a Wheaton visiting assistant professor of art, was one of two creatives to kick off Wheaton’s inaugural artists in residence program in the Beard and Weil Galleries during the fall semester.

From August 30 through Oct. 14, 2023, Haddad spent time working on printmaking, papermaking and a sculptural installation that featured light and hand-blown glass. The artist also led a workshop and talked with senior visual art and design majors who visited the galleries.

In 2022 Haddad, who majored in visual art at Wheaton, received an M.F.A. in printmaking and a certificate in collegiate teaching in art and design from Rhode Island School of Design in Providence. Her work has been exhibited at the Root Division Gallery in San Francisco and the Sol Koffler Gallery, Gelman Gallery and Dye House in Providence.

Bláithín Haddad ’19 stands with her art installation at Wheaton. (Photo by Keith Nordstrom)

“I am constantly longing to feel that I belong to the cultures that my parents and grandparents represent, and as time goes on, I am fearful that I will be less a part of the two cultures that make me the person I am,” the daughter of two immigrants wrote about her work. “‘Third culture’ individuals seem to be straddling two or more cultures, occupying multiple valences simultaneously and none at the same time. In making paper and giving the fiber another form, I hope to represent the opportunities they gave me to create anew. I want to demonstrate a mindfulness toward the significance of the material, layering and the context of the work. Paper and glass transform through alchemy, changing into something completely different. Paper, much like glass, transforms while holding memory.”

Adjua Gargi Nzinga Greaves, a multi-disciplinary artist and writer from New York, held the other artist in residence and was often in galleries with Haddad.

“The six-week opportunity is designed for artists to develop new work, visit with classes, hold open studio hours to discuss their practices with students, engage in collaboration and offer a public workshop open to the Wheaton and surrounding community,” said Elizabeth Hoy, the galleries director.

The residencies were funded by the Evelyn Danzig Haas ’39 Visiting Artists Program. Hoy is hoping this initiative will become a biannual program.

“It supports the artistic development of professional artists while advancing creative and artistic excellence within the Wheaton community,” she said.