Nevin Mercede


Former Professor of Visual Arts, Antioch College

Nevin’s own creative work travels back and forth across the traditional boundaries of the materials employed and often integrates texts as sound or image. Her manuscript, Seeing Painting, (currently under publication review) explores Painting’s position amidst our visually explosive and fast paced era of computer images and other popular visual media. Further, it delineates painting’s visual language and the demands of its practice toward closing the literacy gap between maker and audience. A twenty-year retrospective of Nevin’s work was on view in Antioch College’s Herndon Gallery during the spring of 2008.

Believing that the liberal arts environment best stimulates the creation of art that can make a difference to the larger world, Nevin’s teaching situates visual literacy at its center. Her courses offer students means for visually exploring compelling social issues or other academic interests. Nevin views the Nonstop Liberal Arts Institute as an opportunity for its community to refocus on the interrelationships that move amidst varied disciplinary knowledge and lived experience. An education of this kind ultimately leads to a citizenry equipped with the lifelong tools required to analyze the diversity of fact and opinion on subjects both local and global in importance, informing their generation as well as those to come.

Nevin’s studio courses weave together the multiple elements that manifest intentional, effective, and evocatively expressive communication. Continual practice exploring appropriate formal and material options is supported by attention to physical, conceptual and historical visual models. Course work is more often thematic, rather than media specific, enabling each student to select their own materials, along with the choice of whether or not to reinforce and improve on previous skills or to develop new ones. This fall term Nevin joins Isabella Winkler in teaching Culture & Interpretation (aimed at improving writing and visual imaging skills and their effective use as socio-political action) and in co-facilitating Good Books Club. Additionally, Nevin offers the on-going workshop Drawing in Community that collectively explores ways that creative practices rely on, and contribute to, community interactions. Spring semester courses might include Approaches to Installation Art and a creative nonfiction workshop. She also works with students in developing their individual artistic interests.