Alumni artwork is currently being displayed outside of the studios on the first floor of Meneely Hall. The featured artists include Ellen Llewellyn ’04, Cynthia L. Rodday ’92 and Evan Morse ’09.
The improvement of these artists contributes to an expansive list of Wheaton graduates’ accomplishments. Take Llewellyn, for example, who graduated from a dual degree program through Wheaton and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. After she spent time teaching, Llewellyn converted to a full-time painter. She was nominated for “New England’s Best Fine Artist of the Year” by The Boston Harbor Picayune, and her work has appeared in the Larkin Gallery and the First Street Gallery’s 2014 “Pop Up” show.
Similarly, Rodday graduated from Wheaton with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio Art before earning a Master of Fine Arts from Georgia Southern University. After college, Rodday worked for a couple of years as a graphic designer in Boston. “While it wasn’t fine arts, it was a way to be creative making brochures, flyers and websites visually pleasing while reaching our target audience,” said Rodday.
Currently, Rodday works at an art supply store in Concord, Mass. “I use my arts background at work and learn new skills regarding mediums I haven’t pursued. In my spare time, I create my charcoals and pastels, take classes and enter exhibitions and juried competitions,” Rodday said.
Morse, on the other hand, traveled after graduation — visiting Italy, China, Vermont and Jamaica in order to continue his study of sculpture. In 2015, Morse resumed his education, earning a Master of Fine Arts from Boston University. He now continues his practice of clay-molding, plaster-casting and stone-carving.
“Pursuing a career as a visual artist is to make an absurd leap of faith. You must commit years of your life toward an uncertain outcome. I think I must owe Wheaton some credit for giving me the nerve to try,” said Morse.
At the same time, Morse offered words of encouragement to those nearing the end of their time at Wheaton and wishing to continue artistic lives. “After you leave Wheaton, keep making art by any means available to you. Even if the only way you can make art is by drawing in a sketchbook, draw every day,” said Morse.
On your next walk through Meneely’s first floor, take a moment to appreciate Llewellyn’s paintings, the subtle detail of Rodday’s pastel landscapes, or the unique perspective of Morse’s sculptures.