As a senior, Jenny Wu ’12 opened her first solo photography show at Houghton House as a part of an independent study with Assistant Professor of Art Christine Chin. She is currently pursuing a master of fine arts degree at American University. In the time between graduating from Hobart and William Smith and beginning her studies at American University, Wu traveled around the country presenting her art as a gifted painter and photographer.
The Houghton House show was a unique opportunity for Wu, as it is not often that a student opens a solo exhibition. Previously Wu had been involved in several group exhibits in New York City and in Chautauqua, N.Y., with her paintings. Following graduation, she was accepted to artist residencies across the country, including Woodstock and Troy, N.Y., Peoria, Ill., and Boise, Idaho.
“It’s been exciting to live in new places, meet other artists and create art. Gradually, I’m bringing in more conceptual aspects and presenting a balance of the perceptual and the conceptual in my pieces,” she says. “My HWS education truly helped to prepare me for this next step.”
Wu found art at HWS to be different than she expected and “Color and Composition,” a course she took in her second semester with Professor of Art and Architecture Nick Ruth, reshaped her ideas.
“After spending years before college learning a painting language and building a foundation in art, Nick introduced me to a new level of understanding. Painting is not about recording what I see, it is not about perfection. It’s a challenge to use limited materials to create infinite possibilities,” explains Wu. “That was the moment when I really started to understand what art is. Nick played an important role in my development as an artist. He cares about each student’s progress and encourages them to experiment and explore.”
As a student, Wu majored in studio art and architectural studies, served as a photography lab mentor, student photographer for the Office of Communications, artist assistant and assistant for the Three Dimensional Design class. She had an internship in 2011 at Miles and May Furniture Works in Geneva, and participated in the study abroad program in Rome, Italy.
Wu lived in Johnson, Vt., for another residency before beginning the program at American University. Some of her work can be viewed at her website www.jennycwuart.com.