Fred Hagstrom, the Carleton College Rae Schupack Nathan Professor of Art, presented the college’s annual “Argument & Inquiry Seminar” convocation on September 21 in the Skinner Memorial Chapel. Designed to stimulate reflection on the nature of liberal arts and a liberal approach to learning, Hagstrom posed such questions as, “What are the challenges, opportunities, and responsibilities inherent in a liberal arts education? How will liberal learning benefit graduates and their communities in the future?” The title of his presentation was “Deepening the Habit of Learning, Fostering Curiosity and Imagination for a Lifetime.”
A faculty member at Carleton since 1984, Hagstrom teaches printmaking, drawing, art and narrative, and artist’s books, and is most interested in art that touches on social issues. Hagstrom describes his artistic inspiration as, “Seeing our modern society’s flawed relationship with nature as the root of our ecological crisis, the issue of how our art and culture reflect our relationship with the natural world.”
After working figuratively for over twenty years, Hagstrom began working in a more abstract style. He wants to see the art world become more concerned with passionately held beliefs and beauty, and less concerned with irony or market based strategies. He believes that art should be a part of people’s lives, and that it has the power to change the way we view the world.
Hagstrom works in a variety of media, with an emphasis on intaglio and woodblock prints. Examples of his work can be found in the Groveland Gallery, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, and the Walker Art Center. He has exhibited both nationally and internationally, and is the recipient of McKnight and Blandin Foundation Fellowships.