Alumna connects with people through art history
Alumna Kathryn Harmon is a people person.
Her favorite way to connect with people: through art history.
“Art history is an interesting way to understand what society was and is like,” said Harmon, ’07. “Majoring in art history clearly shaped the way I communicate with people today.”
Harmon works as admissions representative for post-secondary school The Creative Circus in Atlanta. The two-year school offers education programs in advertising, design, photography and interactive development.
She recently returned to Georgia College to discuss life after college and how she transitioned her fine arts degree into commercial art realms.
“Like the progressive artists I studied while attending Georgia College, my current position motivates prospective students to use art to develop iconic, award-winning work,” Harmon said.
An introductory art course at Georgia College peeked Harmon’s curiosity about majoring in the subject.
“I spent a lot of time on the road as a kid because of my daddy’s job,” she said. “Drawing kept me quiet. However, it wasn’t until that beginning art class at Georgia College I realized the fun in art. My professor was a war veteran who was passionate about painting, so that course was my portal to become creative.”
Harmon’s appreciation for art motivated her to study abroad in Italy through Georgia College’s International Education Center. She wanted to see the artwork her textbooks described.
“I worked three jobs to study abroad,” she said. “The experience was worth seeing artwork by Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci in person and understanding why they are talked about in history books.”
The opportunity also provided a place for Harmon to practice her craft in watercolor painting.
However, studying abroad was just one of the many avenues Harmon pursued to showcase her creativity during her college career.
She developed the International Education Center’s study abroad photography competition, which gives students the chance to highlight, artistically, the people and places they have experienced throughout their travels.
Harmon also served as publication editor for student journal, “The Peacock’s Feet,” and student representative and coordinator for Georgia College’s partnership with nonprofit The Coverdell Institute.
The art history major worked with government and sociology professor Gregg Kaufman on The Coverdell Institute project.
“Through that project, I was able to serve as liaison to The New York Times Knowledge Network, distributing 1,500 newspapers to students and staff of our university,” said Harmon. “I also served as the institute’s student representative where I visited Washington, D.C., to ask for federal support from U.S. senators Saxby Chambliss and Johnny Isakson.”
These experiences developed Harmon’s public speaking and networking skills while connecting her to national and international cultures and issues.
“Georgia College was meant for me,” she said. “It’s part of my family tree. I continued the legacy of the women in my family.”
Harmon’s great-grandmother, Adeline White Harris; great-aunt Carolyn White Williams; and third cousin Mary Anne Williams Hamrick attended Georgia College. Hamrick took classes with famed alumna and author Flannery O’Connor.
“I’m always researching information, whether family history or art history,” Harmon said. “Georgia College gave me many creative outlets to learn a little bit about a lot of subjects. I’m happy I’ve found a job like The Creative Circus that matches my personal and undergraduate experiences.”