Artist Otherwise Known As… Katherine Mooney ’16

September 30, 2015 by Ryan Kelley, Staff Writer

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Katherine Mooney ’16 will present her artwork at a gallery in Princeton, N.J., this November. Photo courtesy of Katherine Mooney.

With charcoal drawings on the left and paintings on the right, Katherine Mooney ’16 works through dinner to shower her family’s exercise room in Princeton, N.J., with artwork. And although Mooney’s parents were happy to reclaim their treadmill at the end of the summer, Mooney returned to Williamstown with an expanded portfolio and plans for her own show at Gallery 353 in Princeton this November.

Mooney has enjoyed art for as long as she can remember. “Throughout childhood, I loved drawing,” she said. “I would always doodle during class and never pay attention. But my interest really developed during my first year of high school when I took my first painting class.”

As a studio art and English double major, Mooney has explored nearly every corner of the art department. “At Williams, I have taken drawing, painting, printmaking, photography and digital sculpture, to name a few. But I think charcoal drawing is my favorite medium to work in because nothing is definite. You can move the charcoal around and make something in something else,” she said.

In addition to her academic work, Mooney has developed computer skills as a graphic designer. Mooney explained the initial draw of graphic design: “I started working in graphic design because of contests on the internet. I would design random logos hoping to win money. And although I never won, I got really into graphic design.”

With this skill set, Mooney has contributed to entrepreneurial projects on campus. “Last year I worked with the creators of Hungry Eph to create their logo, and I also helped design Sound Sync Studio – an app [that] connects musicians to online tutorials – with Nina Kumar [’16],” Mooney said. “This year I am also working with Jessica Fisher of the English department on advertisements for the poetry series. I want to create a website to advertise the series to the local community. We have some incredible poets coming.”

Although Mooney enjoys the unique challenges and financial compensation of her graphic design work, she will present her more traditional work at Gallery 353 in her hometown this November. As it turns out, all she had to do to get the show was ask: “I was extremely bored one morning [this summer] and decided to email a new gallery in Princeton,” she said. “The manager liked my work, and offered me the show when I brought in my portfolio. He said he was looking for new, local artists, so I was in the right place at the right time.”

The show will feature three sculptural pieces, one of which Mooney is still working on, two drawings and one painting. “I want it to be a diverse showing,” she said.

Heading into her final year at the College, Mooney is looking forward to pursuing art at the graduate level and hopes to someday work as a graphic designer. Recognizing the quirks of the industry, Mooney said, “Graphic design makes the most sense for my career. I love drawing and painting, but it’s almost impossible to make money in those mediums.”

Mooney posts all of her artistic projects – ranging from charcoal drawings to animation – on her website, www.madebymooney.wordpress.com. The blog features artwork dating back to March 2013 and highlights her progression as an artist throughout her time at the College. Mooney uses the website both as an archive and to advertise her work to potential clients and gallery managers.

Yet despite her ambitious plans for the future, Mooney aims to enjoy the present moment, her last year at the College, by engaging all her passions, inlcuding snowboarding during Winter Study and continuing to create new work. “My favorite piece [of mine] right now is ‘Cave Constructed,’” she said. “I would describe it as a charcoal drawing of a construction site juxtaposed with an underground cave. I think it’s the most interesting piece so far.”

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