Under the headline You Are What You Make an article in Brown Alumni Magazine DECEMBER 2009 ISSUE By Charlotte Bruce Harvey ’78 begins
If you spend enough time among Brown alumni, one fact is indisputable: they have very interesting minds. That simple truth hit home when I called a few of the two dozen alumni who contributed to this year’s annual gift guide. d I asked them how they came to make the products you see on these pages, and, while their sensibilities and skills are different, their stories have a distinctive accent. As they explained how their years on College Hill led, directly or in hindsight, to their self-made careers, I felt privileged to listen. Barbara Ensor ’76 arrived at Brown from a highly structured British boarding school, and she says college felt like running free in a candy shop. She studied comparative literature and anthropology at Brown and illustration at RISD. “I loved myths and archetypes,” she says. At the time she feared she was flitting among unrelated interests, but all of those roots are visible in the art she produces today. Drawing with scissors, she creates intricate paper-cuts with a primordial power that’s sometimes calming, sometimes creepy. She wrote and illustrated versions of Cinderella and Thumbelina that go straight to the emotional heart of those fairy tales.