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Bernadine Franco, MA

Faculty Adjunct

MA, Trinity College; BA, CCSU

Bernadine is an art historian and educator who engages students and the public in the story of Western Art. Her love affair with the visual arts began with repeated visits to the Wadsworth Atheneum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. At the time, she was a young mother looking for things to do, and the museum offered free admission on Thursday afternoons. It was there that she realized she didn’t just “see” art, she experienced it. It was through her experiences at the New Britain Museum of American Art in New Britain, Connecticut, that her passion crystalized. In that beautiful space, she found herself seeing deeply into the art, discovering the visual expressions by women artists and makers. Through these depictions of and by women, she began to think, see, and speak in new and daring ways. Female artists tugged at her, pulling her from her traditional ideas about women and the limitations of domestic life and into a new life filled with work she loves. An English major, those works of art influenced her to change her major to Art History, and then progress towards a graduate degree in American Studies.

Bernadine's goal is to introduce and engage students and the public to the landscape of female visual artists through works that expose the astonishing beauty of women’s inner lives. Outside of the classroom, her media are writing, speaking (in-person and through her podcast, Beyond the Paint with Bernadine, recently recognized by National Museum of Women in the Arts to listen to about women artists ) and thoughtfully designed, personalized tours of collections at local art museums and galleries. Whether an artist is anonymous, or well-known and bold, she gives these women makers and artists a voice and sets them in their rightful place in the canon of Western Art.