Grad student and Eagleton Fellow creates portraits of female presidential hopefuls

Mason Gross Art & Design graduate student Valerie Suter was raised in New York City and Washington, D.C., on a steady diet of politics and art. She continues to thrive on both.

This semester, Suter plunges into her inquiry of the ways government and art inform one another through the Rutgers University Eagleton Fellowship Program in Politics and Government, a one-year, interdisciplinary fellowship awarded to select graduate students. Suter, who earned a bachelor’s degree in history at Montreal’s McGill University before studying art for a year at Central St. Martins in London, is only the second Mason Gross student—and the first from the Department of Art & Design—to receive this honor. As part of the program, Suter is taking a course on American politics this semester, and in the spring will complete an internship in a government department or agency.

Art and politics intersect in Suter’s latest project, a series of painted portraits of women who have made a run for the U.S. presidency, an idea Suter says began gestating in the months leading up to the 2016 presidential election. She aims to exhibit her completed series in 2020 to mark the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, which granted women the right to vote.

Read more here.

Left, Suter's painting of Victoria Woodhull.
Right, a watercolor study of Shirley Chisholm.


Photos by Keith Muccilli.
Information accurate as of October 2018.