This fall, Wellesley College’s Art Department welcomes a new Professor, Lucia Nhamo ’11 as a visiting lecturer in art. This semester she is teaching three courses, “4D Design Intro to New Media”, “Photography II: The Digital/Analog Rift” and a seminar called “Everything but the Kitchen Sink: Food and Contemporary Art Practice.” Nhamo says her time at Wellesley so far has been “wonderful” and that she felt “a little extra welcome” getting to watch this year’s orientation for the yellow class of 2027, as she is from another yellow class, 2011.
Nhamo took the chance to re-explore campus before the start of classes, and found it was like a stroll through memory lane.
“All of my closest friends, my closest core group friends, are people I met during my time at Wellesley … The place is just littered with wonderful memories. Flashbacks of like oh, I remember like this conversation I had with a good friend on the way to the Ville or when someone’s bike got stolen … It sounds so cliche. It’s funny, you just also have these moments of “I’ve been running trying to catch the commuter rail since 2007,” said Nhamo.
As an alum, Nhamo says she appreciated having a sense of Wellesley going in, but she’s also enjoyed seeing how the school has developed.
“It definitely helps to have a sense of the culture of the place … I had really wonderful professors like Dave and Daniela who are now colleagues. You’re not coming into a totally foreign context. But one of the most exciting things is how so much has evolved. In the department, I think that’s really exciting in terms of the technology, the equipment that’s available, the studio space that’s available. The instructional technology support staff who are amazing and who are available … It’s really exciting to see how different programs have gotten more and more beefed up … CAMS did not look the way it does when I was coming in. And the Media Arts and Sciences program has developed a whole lot as well. It’s great to be part of a place that has so much progress going on,” said Nhamo.
Describing her path to becoming a professor, Nhamo explains that she comes “from a family of educators” and although she doesn’t feel she was directly inspired to follow in their footsteps, she thinks it might have “infused subconsciously.”
Nhamo is passionate about both the practice and teaching of art, and having spent some years on the former, she is excited to spend time in the classroom.
“Teaching and practicing were the two main things motivating me to get an MFA. And for the past eight years since I left Pittsburgh [and] finished grad school work at Carnegie Mellon University, I’ve focused more on the practice side of things and this was a wonderful opportunity to get back into the teaching,” said Nhamo.
Although she had been interested in art throughout middle and high school, Nhamo credits her time as a student at Wellesley as a big reason she decided to pursue it as a career.
“I took ‘Women in Film,’ my first year writing seminar, and that got me interested in film production, which at that time was still very much in the studio art department. And then I did a volunteer opportunity in New Orleans… and they had mural painting as one of the activities there and for me it was this great moment of seeing ‘oh, here’s something I love doing and that I can do that has made such a positive impact on this group of people, I think this is something worth pursuing,’”said Nhamo.
As a Professor, Nhamo describes her favorite moments as the ones where “you just see in a student’s face when the dots connect.” She is also particularly excited about teaching her seminar course, which she got to design.
“It was amazing to be able to weave in elements of my practice with the scientific and theoretical knowledge I wish I had investigated while I was still in school. It’s been wonderful to dream something up and actually get to teach it,” said Nhamo.