Nan R. Covert
Department of Art
Prof. Nan Covert said when she first heard she was the recipient of the 2014 Faculty Scholarship Award, “I was shocked and humbled.” Although she was quick to reiterate that she felt many of her colleagues were equally qualified for recognition, she stated that she was gratified the practice of the fine arts is being recognized as scholarship, on par with research, writing and other forms of scholarship that are more widely acknowledged. “My painting is my scholarship, and it’s heartening for visual artists to receive that recognition,” she said.
Covert holds a B.A. in history from the College of Charleston and an M.F.A. in painting from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to teaching at Bridgewater, she was a lecturer in the department of art at UNC Greensboro from 1991-1996 and was also an instructor at Guilford College in 1993.
In her 18th year at Bridgewater College, Covert teaches painting, drawing and art history, while continuing to create her own work as an artist. She said, “My roles as a teacher, artist and scholar all feed each other. They’re my life, and I can’t separate one from the others.” She has served as art department chair from 1997-2014 and was previously recognized by the College with the Martha B. Thornton Faculty Recognition Award in 2005, which honors faculty who show “caring concern for students well beyond the role as teacher.”
Covert believes that it’s essential to be an active practitioner of the arts in order to teach them, and she said the benefit is mutual – she also receives insight from her students as they work in the studio. She said, “I teach to pay it forward; I see it as carrying on the legacy I received from my art teachers, who were so influential in my life and work.”
Her recent exhibitions have included an on-campus exhibition, “Confluences,” featuring her paintings and department colleague Scott Jost’s photography, and a joint exhibition with her son James Covert, “Two Visions,” at the Beverley Street Studio School gallery in Staunton, Va. She received one of three prizes awarded for painting at a Mid-Atlantic juried show in Lexington, Va., in 2013 and took first prize in a Regional Juried Landscape Exhibition at Beverley Street in 2012. Covert has also taught adult painting classes at Beverley Street, including “Charting the Path from Visual Experience to Personal Expression.”