Kyle Monhollen ’95 didn’t experience the full benefit of his William T. Young Scholarship until after graduating from Transy. With his college tuition paid, Monhollen was able to use the money his family saved for his education to attend graduate school. He spent a year in Boston expanding his portfolio and then began work on an MFA in painting and sculpture at the San Francisco Art Institute.
A career in art wasn’t what Monhollen, a Boone County, Ky., native, had envisioned when he first came to Transylvania’s campus. Although he’d taken many art classes in high school, he’d planned to become a doctor or perhaps an architect, but with support from art professors Jack Girard and Dan Selter, his viewpoint began to change. “That’s one of the wonderful things about a liberal arts education,” Monhollen said. “You’re exposed to all these other subjects that you might have had some interest in. I realized art could be more than just an activity. It could be a career.”
Since earning his MFA, Monhollen has completed a post-graduate sculpture residency and held a research associate position at the University of California, Davis. He also served as senior preparator at the UC Davis Richard L. Nelson Gallery and Fine Art Collection. Currently Monhollen is vice president of the Davis School Arts Foundation and a co-founder of the Davis Live Music Collective.
The insights concerning art that Monhollen gained at Transylvania now benefit his students. “I was being supported academically and financially to make that decision, to realize artists were an important part of our society, as much as people who would be doctors, lawyers, or economists,” he said. “I’m able to tell my students this is a valid part of our culture and it should be supported any way you can.”
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