Reid Brechner '15 ( Studio Art)
Reid Brechner is an Assistant Director of the McNair Scholars Program at Castleton University, Castleton, Vermont. Reid, who is from Belgrade, Maine, received his bachelor’s degree in Art & Art History and Mathematics from St. Lawrence in 2015 and earned his MFA in Painting & Drawing from the Lamar Dodd School of Art, at University of Georgia in 2017. You can check him out at: https://reidbrechner.com/
My interest in the arts came to me at an odd moment in life and I was very fortunate to have the resources at St. Lawrence to develop it into the passion I have today. Some of my most distinct memories of St. Lawrence are of long nights in the painting studio. I became so involved in my art there that in some ways, it was the loneliest time in my entire life, but it was also the happiest and my most exciting moment of intellectual development to date.
I began in the Art History department and slowly moved to focus more on Studio Art, but I have strong feelings for both and have always felt my art to be heavily influence by my historical interests. It is my personal belief that all artists, art historians, and students of the arts should be well-appraised of both fields, and I am very glad that St. Lawrence provided the resources necessary to let me grow in both disciplines.
Since leaving St. Lawrence, I have gone on to complete my M.F.A. in Painting & Drawing from the University of Georgia (Go Dawgs!). While there, my art underwent dramatic changes, along with my life and career goals. Where I previously thought that my main goal was to teach in the arts, I have adjusted to an interest in college administration and lobbying for the power of art in an academic environment. I am currently working in a university administrative setting, and plan to embark on a Ph.D in Higher Education Administration in the short-term. Farther into the future, I aspire to be a leading figure in university art departments and to work to drive the continued importance of the arts in education and society.
To current students in the arts, don’t be afraid to let your own artistic interests pull you to where you need to be. The beautiful thing about art is the freedom it provides to express yourself in whichever way you choose. An art class asks you to complete a specific assignment, with specific stipulations. Always, there are many ways, many topics, many media, from which to approach whatever topic you are asked to address. You are doing yourself a disservice, however, if you simply consider one particular way to complete that assignment, even if it is an entirely unique approach. When you think about how to complete a particular assignment, think about ways to push its boundaries. Do not be afraid to push your work beyond 2-dimensions, especially when it seems impossible or impractical to do so. Can you can push your work even further, beyond 3-dimensions? Are there ways to answer the same question multiple times in the same space? Have no fear of boundaries when you consider your work and eventually you may discover that you have cultivated a greater understanding of yourself.