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Janny Thipphongpraphas '01

The Perfect Balance

By Theresa Kuhlmann

Janny Thipphongpraphas '01Add it all up, and Janny Thipphongpraphas '01 has struck the perfect balance.

She graduated from Knox with a double-major in economics and studio art and then earned an MFA from the New York Studio School in New York in 2006 and an MBA from Columbia University Graduate School of Business in 2007. Still in New York, Thipphongpraphas works as a senior financial analyst, dabbling in debt management, commercial paper for short-term financing, bond deals for long term loans, interest hedging, and foreign exchange. And she paints.

"The plan was to pursue my MBA earlier, but I found that my interest in painting was just as serious, so I decided to spend more time on that," she says.

Her preferred medium is oil on canvas, while she also works with acrylic, oil pastels, sepia ink, water color, and graphite pencil. And, because she relates to her painting with her body, many of her paintings are large. "I'm most comfortable with 5' x 6'. I hang them low so I can reach the tops," she says.
Thipphongpraphas's artwork was on display during Homecoming 2009, when she was the featured artist in the annual Alumni Art Show. "I was invited by the art department to have the exhibition at Knox, and it was definitely an honor."

During her time on campus, she spoke with students and professors and gave a presentation titled "Art Work -- What I've done since leaving Knox," focusing on art and painting and the ideas of form and content, she summarizes.

Balancing her life between working in finance and art, Thipphongpraphas says her painting is another way of expressing herself. "I want to be able to express myself visually," she says. "Recall the memory of feeling from a familiar space, everyday event, or something that has always been on my mind."

Even though she doesn't make her main living with her art, she does view it as work. "I can't think of my art as therapy. It is intellectually demanding and, at times, stressful," she says. "I see logic in the art, as well as in the world of capital market -- the visual logic and the logic of the markets' fundamentals. The two have coexisted in human culture probably since the beginning of time, and they have evolved with us over years."