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Catching Up with Mengting Yu '07


By Evangeline Delgado '11, Alumni Association Chair & Director of Summer Student Life

September at Walnut Hill brings in the new academic year, new students, and new opportunities to look forward. For one alumna, though, this September was a time to look back. Mengting Yu returned to Walnut Hill last month to connect with our current visual art students and share some of her experiences in art education and the professional world since her training in the Visual Art Department.

After graduating from Walnut Hill, Mengting earned her B.F.A. from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University, where she majored in drawing and fine arts. Her education has continued to keep her within the arts field as both an artist and a teacher.

This year, Mengting received her Ph.D. in art and art history from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) in Singapore after presenting her dissertation, "A Talented and Decorative Group: A Re-examination of London's Women Artists, c. 1900–1914." In this study, she re-examines the role, output, and contribution of London's women artists between 1900 and 1914, and challenges the widely held view that female artists were less significant than their male contemporaries. Mengting argues that women artists inhabited and contributed to London's vibrant art scene. They were influential, high-profile, and widely critiqued in the opening decades of the twentieth century. Mengting's next project will be to turn her thesis into a manuscript for publication.

Her career has been marked with success and support, including twice receiving research grants from the Yale University–Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art as well as a dissertation fellowship from the Harry Ransom Center at the University of Texas at Austin. But not far from her heart and mind are the connections she made while she was a student at Walnut Hill. In particular, she has a deep gratitude to Director of Visual Art Jim Woodside, whose interest and consistent encouragement helped make a difficult senior year worthwhile. Visual Art Department faculty member Ken Tighe made a lasting impact on her life as well, always giving generously of his creativity, profound knowledge in painting, and passion for teaching.  "I have met some great people with marvelous minds and great hearts here at Walnut Hill," Mengting says.

For those fellow alums who live in the Boston area, please consider lending your own support to Mengting, whose artwork is currently on view in a group exhibition entitled "Violence Transformed: Stay Together" at Tufts University's Slater Concourse Gallery. The exhibition will be up until November 4.