• Art and Design
Stuart Robertson ’11 Selected as Lawrenceville’s First Artist-in-Residence
Christina Conner

Lawrenceville is pleased to welcome Stuart Robertson ’11 as its premier Artist-in-Residence for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 school years. In this position, he will have studio space in the Gruss Center for Art and Design (GCAD) and time to produce his own work, maintain and develop outside gallery connections, and run co-curricular programs for Lawrentians. Robertson (an honorary member of the Class of 2018) will work to ignite community interest in, engagement with, and understanding of the visual arts through programming, presentations, and workshops, as well as his own on-going work.

“Perhaps most exciting, Stewy will be a visible presence in his open studio, working on his own work--serving as both a model and mentor for our student artists,” said assistant head of school/dean of faculty Chris Cunningham.

Robertson is a mixed media artist with an interest in representing life within the African Diaspora. His current work explores reclaimed objects as vessels for the untold human narratives molded by histories of production and consumption.

Robertson embraces figuration and abstraction across painting, drawing, collage, sculpture, and installation. “Each artwork engages my fragmented existence between my home in Kingston, Jamaica, and the United States,” he explained. “Through those lens, I create images of Black life that reject the distortion, misrepresentation, and erasure of the African Diaspora’s history typically centered on degradation and suffering. I embrace light, color, and non-traditional materials to create opportunities for witnessing, not occupying, scenes of Black life in its splendor and ordinariness.”

Robertson recently completed his MFA in art practice in Stanford University, where he taught classes and mentored undergraduate art honors students in the University’s department of art and art history. From 2016-18, he was a teaching fellow at Lawrenceville as he earned his master’s degree in education through the University of Pennsylvania Independent School Teaching Residency program. Robertson received a B.A. in studio art from Davidson College.

“As Lawrenceville’s Artist-in-Residence, I hope I can help to build a more robust and self-sustaining culture around the Visual Arts similarly to the amazing work done by the Performing Arts program,” said Robertson. “As a student and Fellow, I witnessed Lawrentians volunteer their time and energy to stage serious productions all year. I plan to facilitate students’ discovery of new options for creating, archiving, and sharing traditional artworks and contemporary visual media.”

His work has been exhibited around the world, including in his native Jamaica, the Czech Republic, California, New Jersey, and North Carolina. Some of Robertson’s most recent awards are the Headlands Center for the Arts Graduate Fellowship Residency (Sausalito, Calif.), Kala Art Institute Honorary Artist in Residence (Berkeley, Calif.), and the Anita Squires Fowler Memorial Award in Photography (Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.).

"I cannot think of a better honoree for our first Artist-in-Residence than Stewy; as former student and teaching fellow, he has proven himself an effective mentor, inspiring role model and collaborative colleague. Stewy leverages his youth and big personal presence to hook students of all levels of experience," said Visual Arts Department Chair Brian Daniell. "He is a scholar, a provocateur and a gifted artist, and the nature of his own work on aspects of the many faceted Black experience is at once timely and timeless. It will be exciting for all of us to see him at work in the next couple of years as he displays and explains the artistic process."

For additional information, please contact Lisa M. Gillard Hanson, director of Public Relations, at lgillard@lawrenceville.org.

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