Professor of Art
At Knox Since: 1990
Lynette Lombard joined the Knox faculty in 1990. She received her MFA
from the Yale University School of Art in 1989. Her teaching interests include
painting, interpreting landscape, drawing, and Knox in New York.
Why did you decide to become a professor?
I’ve always liked talking about ideas, and I think there are important visual issues students should know about. More particularly the part of teaching that engages me is the process of thinking on your feet, immediately responding to student work, and helping students realize their potential. The studio/ classroom is an arena of possibilities and unpredictability -- my job is always interesting.
I like the academic freedom Knox offers, and being part of the small but ambitious studio art program here has always been exciting. I like the way art can be considered from a variety of cultural, socio-political, ethical, of course visual, and environmental perspectives within a liberal arts curriculum.
What are your interests and hobbies?
I paint as often as possible. I swim, read fiction and non-fiction, like to travel, especially to New York, like to see and be with stimulating friends.
What are your current scholarly interests?
I’m currently making paintings about the night. The night is full of activity, enveloping and terrifying. Every summer I paint in southern Spain where the night landscape, without light pollution, takes on a massive scale and presence. Light slowly reveals forms, so both time and space slow down. In Galesburg, I paint a more urban, albeit spooky, night light/life.
What are the essential qualities of a Knox student?
In general, Knox students are serious, earnest, and inquisitive. They are genuinely engaged in learning and have a strong desire to make the world a better place.
What surprises you about Knox students?
Their openness, their willingness to engage in discussion, but more often I am amazed at what complicated and sometimes difficult lives they have and how they pour that energy into their work. In critiques, students have made astute perceptions about their peers’ work.
How has interacting with students affected your own academic interests and research?
Interacting with students has in some ways broadened the lens through which I consider my work. Being a landscape painter, environmental issues, for example, have added a layer of complexities in my work. Some students pursue research that truly compels me and opens new doors of thought and perception.
Do you have any advice for students who are considering studying at Knox?
I would say that they should be open to taking courses that challenge them -- courses that perhaps they never imagined they would pursue.
Can you give an example of a Knox grad who has gone on to do interesting things?
Gwynneth Van Laven (studio art major) teaches art as social practice at George Mason University and is part of the Floating Lab Interactive Arts Collective in Washington, D.C. Jason Eisner (studio art major) is a maker of visual forms and site specific installation/street art who has shown in Korea, New York, and Michigan. Gaia Nardie Warner (studio art major) makes paintings that churn your insides and that’s a compliment. Jenny Hager '95 and Katie Bell '08 -- these artists are pushing the envelope of painting and making visual form today.