As a visual arts major, Molly Rider ’15 has pursued everything from film to making her own furniture. She dedicates much of her time at Bowdoin to the visual arts, and plans to pursue a career in this field after graduation.

In her sophomore year, Rider began to get involved in the arts as a part of Bowdoin Artist Activists, through which she did art projects with local elementary schools.

The next year, while taking her junior year off from Bowdoin on medical leave, Rider was able to take art classes in industrial design at the University of Minnesota. She is currently working on her senior studio project.

“I am doing woodworking and photography and printmaking for my senior studio,” she said. “I have really enjoyed printing photos on wood.”
This project also includes making her own furniture.

“I just made a coffee table and some side tables,” she said. “I also made a lamp that hangs from the ceiling, which I definitely will include in my room in the future.”

Students in the senior studio class will present a project at the end of the semester.

“It is like an independent study because you make your own schedule and stick to it,” she said. “It’s great because the art department as well as local artists come critique your work so you get a lot of feedback.”

Rider has also been involved in film throughout her time at Bowdoin. She interned at a film company called By Kids the summer after her freshman year.

“They get filmmakers to go all over the world and make documentaries about kids’ lives,” she said. “They tell stories about their lives to bring relevant issues to the public that are not in the mainstream media. I did a lot of grant writing for them and met a lot of filmmakers.”

On campus, Rider is a leader of the Bowdoin Outing Club.

“I love kayaking, skiing, and rafting,” she said. 
Rider’s favorite art class at Bowdoin was landscape painting with Associate Professor of Art James Mullen.

“Our assignments were more open, which pushed my painting skills and encouraged me to paint a different way,” she said. “I also got to paint more of what I liked to do.”

The projects Rider is most proud of include her Landscape Painting final project and her senior studio project. 

“For Landscape Painting, I made fifteen paintings and they were fun because they were quick and very colorful,” she said. “What I am working on now, specifically bending wood, has also been really fun.”

Rider’s mother is a children’s book editor, and she loves the artwork of many illustrators her mother has worked with.

“Melissa Sweet is a local artist who is great,” she said.
In addition, Rider finds inspiration in printmaker Rick Allen’s work.
“I love his work because of the level of detail he puts into it,” she said. “He uses beautiful landscapes and includes the natural world, which I am drawn to.”  
Rider plans to go abroad to New Zealand this summer to complete her last semester.
“I am taking two industrial design classes there and then considering going to graduate school for industrial design after that,” she said. 

To suggest an artist for Portrait of an Artist, email Arts & Entertainment Editor Emily Weyrauch at