Jeanne Hyland ’71 is an award-winning artist whose still lifes, nudes, and portraits are currently on display at City of Brea Art Gallery and EXPO New Mexico in Albuquerque. She received a BFA (magna cum laude) in figure sculpture and watercolor from the University of New Hampshire and studied at École des Beaux Arts, St. Etienne, France. As someone who has enjoyed making and creating since grade school, Ms. Hyland says she has a constantly evolving style that is heavily influenced by her teaching. And to all those budding artists out there, Ms. Hyland notes that watercolor paintings are not as hard as they seem.
“Watercolor is SUCH a flexible painting medium,” she notes. “I’ve developed a way to keep the watercolor “workable” for hours, and you can also then rehydrate the paint later on to make changes.”
1. You have been teaching art workshops all over the world. Can you tell us how you first got interested in art and how did your career in art begin? How much does your teaching influence your own art?
It seems that I just naturally was good at it right from the start. I was very good at all the hand manipulation “intelligence” tests in early nursery school! And I enjoyed fiddling with paints, pencils, arranging flowers…very quiet and self-directed activities. And I had a fabulous art teacher in grade school and beyond. I can see now that she had great projects and entered us in Scholastic Art Awards. I got lots of attention early on for being good at it—that certainly encouraged me to continue and I enjoy making things. I got terrible marks in handwriting in grade school… guess my cursive was a little too wild. I still like to “make stuff.”
When Blythe Berube Rowan ’92 and her husband, Christopher, decided to travel the world for a year with their two young sons, age three and eight, they put everything they owned in storage and left home with no real plan or itinerary. Ms. Rowan, who has always had what she describes as a “deep and unyielding wanderlust” was excited to embrace the experience of traveling with her children, who were open to every experience. “Life just makes more sense to me out here in the greater landscape,” she wrote in an email for our interview series. Read more below about the family’s experience abroad, with all the joys and challenges that came with their decision.
What made you and your husband decide to put everything into storage and travel the world for the past year?
Ahh, a question with many answers. There were a host of reasons and life events that led up to this decision, but I’ll offer just a couple here.
I’d spent years longing to travel the world with my children. It was important to me to get to see the world through their eyes and hearts. People often wait until their children are older or feel that their children can just travel when they are adults…but then, like me, they are traveling with years of indoctrination and bias about the world and its people. I wanted to see the world from their innocent perspectives, and I wanted that to be their first experience with seeing the world too. I wanted them to cultivate a sense of wonder and easy curiosity within themselves about culture and people and the planet that would carry them through their lives. This was something I wanted to share with my children rather than waiting for them to be out of the house and on their own. It was the way I wanted to experience the world as well.
Editor’s note: We love interviewing alumni and hearing the great stories you tell us, so we’ve expanded our Five Questions to a longer format. If you have stories for us, or class notes for the Bulletin, please submit them here.
“Other-worldy”–that’s how Ali Mulford ’06 describes New Zealand, her home of three years. Since her Williston days, Ali has traveled the world working with wildlife, and now works at the Wellington Zoo. In our interview series, Ali talks about what it’s like to wrestle boa constrictors with skin problems, nap with baboons, and play peekaboo with macaws.
What is your current position and what are your responsibilities?
I am the Visitor Experience Coordinator for Wellington Zoo. My day-to-day includes coordinating programmes like events and sleepovers, conditioning animals that will be a part of our contact programme, and designing and delivering new talks and other visitor products. The role is a really great one for me because I love working with both people and animals. I love being able to connect people to wildlife conservation and encourage them to make small changes in their lives that can make a big difference.
She considers herself an artist and a humanitarian. However, when Kinda Hibrawi ’96 began Zeitouna, she became a woman of all trades.
In 2013, after a Greek museum made budgetary cuts and cancelled an exhibit of her paintings, Ms. Hibrawi co-founded Zeitouna, a program of creative workshops for refugee children in Syria and Turkey. During these weeklong periods, she and her team use art, sports, and creative writing to help these children heal from the wounds of being torn away from their homes and forced to grow up in a refugee camp.
How and when did you come up with the idea for Zeitouna?
It’s an interesting story where, out of despair, comes hope. I came across a documentary on HBO called “Sing your Song,” a biography of Harry Belafonte. I had no idea of his philanthropic work, the things he did for Africa, and the awareness he brought. I remember being so inspired at the end of it and thinking, “Why isn’t anyone bringing this awareness to Syria?”
Jim Bayles ’70, a Masters World Championship swimmer, has swum across the English Channel, around Manhattan, and through the tumultuous current from Cape Cod to Nantucket. A competitive athlete at Williston, and later at Dartmouth College, Mr. Bayles now swims to raise money for charity, namely the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Epilepsy Foundation of Connecticut.
What is your first memory of being in the water?
It was either at a country club or out in a lake in Northern Michigan. Swimming has always been something I enjoyed, even when I wasn’t very good. I just love being in the water.