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Carleton bids farewell to three art professors

Behind the thick glass doors of the Perlman Art Museum is a tribute to three longtime art professors—Fred Hagstrom, Daniel Bruggeman and Linda Rossi—who are retiring from Carleton at the end of this year. The exhibit, “Chronologia,” shows various works from each of their careers and highlights the impact they have had on the Carleton community. It will run through April 25.

The exhibit has pieces in a range of media. Large, colorful woodcut prints from Hagstrom, watercolors of landscapes from Bruggeman, and photographs and startlingly tall tree branch sculptures from Rossi.

Fred Hagstrom, the Rae Schupack Nathan Professor of Art, began as a part-time professor in 1984. Eventually transitioning to a full-time position, he will be finishing out his 37th year. He teaches drawing, printmaking and book arts (like book-binding).

Before coming to Carleton, Hagstrom completed his undergraduate degree at Hamline University, with a year spent at the University of Chicago. He then continued on to graduate school at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. However, two years into school, he decided to spend a year in Paris, working with an established printmaker, Stanley William Hayter.

Explaining his decision, he said, “I felt that if I traveled and met people, had time in museums, I might know better what I was doing.” Upon his return to the United States, he completed his graduate degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After a year of teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Art, he came to Carleton.

Fred Hagstrom, Rae Schupack Nathan Professor of Art.
Photo by Jeremy Fong.

Daniel Bruggeman, Senior Art Lecturer, has taught drawing at Carleton since 2002. He completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Nebraska-Kearney, enrolling originally as an education major, but switching to art in his third year. However, he continued learning about education, doing student-teaching while he earned his degree. He said this was helpful for his later career as an art teacher, because “it helped me think about lesson planning and the arc of the overall term and things like that.”

After finishing college in Nebraska, Bruggeman went to New York with the intention of staying for one year and getting involved with the art scene. However, Bruggeman liked New York so much that he stayed for ten years, meeting his wife and starting his family there. Later, hoping for a quieter life, he and his wife moved out to Northfield where he soon began working at Carleton as a visiting lecturer.

Daniel Bruggeman, Senior Art Lecturer.
Photo courtesy of Carleton College.

Linda Rossi, Professor of Art and Art History, has taught at Carleton since 2001. Although this is her twentieth year at Carleton, she has been teaching for a total of 45 years. Rossi teaches a variety of photography courses focused on darkroom and digital photography. 

Rossi received her undergraduate degree in painting and drawing at the University of Minnesota, and her graduate degree in photography at the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Michigan. She worked as an installation artist and then transitioned to teaching.

She has taught in many different places, including but not limited to London, Philadelphia and Minneapolis. She said she has always “desired to travel and explore the world and have all kinds of subjects ahead of me to research and look at.”

Although art was an important part of the professors’ lives, they didn’t all originally consider teaching. Hagstrom said while in college, he wasn’t thinking in terms of a career; only after did he realize he “had so much appreciation for college that I wanted some way to be a part of a college.”

Rossi originally aspired to be a magician as a child. But when she began photography, “that’s where the marriage of magic and the arts came together in a very interesting way for me.”

Linda Rossi, Professor of Art and Art History.
Photo courtesy of Carleton College.

Along with the contributions they have made on campus, all three professors have led off-campus programs. Hagstrom consistently led a trip to the South Pacific every other year since 1996. Places visited included Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands.

Bruggeman led an off-campus program to New York. Despite having lived there for many years, he said about the trip, “Taking fifteen or eighteen kids to that city especially, is terrifying!”

Similarly, Rossi has led a few off-campus programs. Twice over winter break, she took students to Hawaii and vividly remembered night diving with them to photograph manta rays. She said, “You could hear them [the students] all screaming underwater. It was thrilling.”

Between teaching and off-campus trips, the professors have greatly impacted students. Isabel Arevalo ’21, a studio art major, said of Hagstrom, “He lets students experiment a lot. He emphasizes being very disciplined and exact but he also gives you a lot to explore. He finds a dynamic approach to art in a pretty non-traditional way.”

Likewise, Hagstrom appreciates the time he has spent at Carleton and the people he’s met, saying, “I feel lucky to have been here…I’ve met a lot of very interesting people and had experiences that I would have never thought to have.”

Eleanor Jensen ’01, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art, commented on the special learning environment Bruggeman creates, saying, “He’s a very energetic teacher and I think that that is very engaging for students. He’s very positive and excited and brings that into the classroom.”

Bruggeman noted that he has greatly enjoyed working at Carleton, saying, “I think it’s made me a better teacher and probably a better artist to be here.”

Rossi has enjoyed building relationships with students. She said, “I really like the act of teaching, the sharing of ideas and possibilities, and the work with students and their imaginations.”

Maris Daleo ’21, a senior studio art major, said she really liked taking experimental photography with Rossi because “she wanted you to explore on your own and she was more a form of guidance” and that “she really cultivated a good atmosphere in the classroom where you got to know everyone and work together.”

After retirement, Hagstrom and his wife have plans to move out to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. He plans to set up an art studio and continue his artwork, because, he said, “I think in art you don’t really stop doing it.”

Bruggeman doesn’t like to think of himself as retiring; as he put it, “I’m not really retiring; I’m going to continue to make art.” Besides his artwork, he hopes to travel with his wife to many places, but especially to Costa Rica to see his grandchildren. 

Despite his retirement, Bruggeman will continue to have a presence on Carleton’s campus. He plans on helping out with a summer high school art program at Carleton, and an OCS program in Europe focused on architectural studies.

Rossi plans on continuing to make art, especially some projects focused on family stories and memoirs, but also hopes to travel and see her children more.

Jensen spoke about the future of the Studio Art Department, saying a photography professor has been hired to start next year, and the search for a printmaking professor will be conducted next year with the hope that they will start in the fall of 2022. She also acknowledged the gap these retirements will leave, saying, “All three of these professors have huge legacies.”

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