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Hilary Caraballo
Hilary Caraballo
School of Arts & Sciences
Class of 2013
Major: Art Therapy
Hometown: Cheshire, Connecticut

    It's satisfying just being able to communicate with clients through their work, things that they wouldn't be able to express otherwise. It's great to see them improve.

For Hilary Caraballo SAS'13, studying at The College of New Rochelle has been all about family.

She graduates this May with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Art Therapy, and she says the Art Department has been a home away from home. "We have really great professors, it's really close-knit."

Caraballo says feedback on her art from faculty and fellow students has been valuable in her studies. "You can bounce ideas off each other."

But she has found more than one avenue of expression at The College of New Rochelle. "CNR Drama is another artistic outlet, and also a second family." Caraballo has worked as a stage manager and filled other roles for the long-running theater group at The College of New Rochelle.

Caraballo says that after taking art classes, and because of her interest in psychology, an aptitude test in high school recommended a career in art therapy. So far it has been a good fit.

In addition to the encouraging environment of the Art Department, CNR's proximity to New York City "makes it convenient to get inspiration from professional artists," Caraballo says.

Caraballo recently interned with the Rockland Living Museum, at the Rockland Psychiatric Center. She worked with adults with psychological issues, including schizophrenia and substance abuse. Many were lifelong or long-term residents.

"It's satisfying just being able to communicate with clients through their work, things that they wouldn't be able to express otherwise," she said. "It's great to see them improve."

She's taking a year off after graduation, but plans after that to pursue an MFA in Art Therapy.

Of course, Caraballo also dedicates time to her own art work. She recently completed her solo senior show, "Illuminating Undulation," on display on the second floor of the Mooney Center.

Caraballo proposed the show in the spring, started preparations in the summer, then worked nonstop on the pieces during the fall.

The line drawings, she says, "look just like the name implies," whorling their way all over paper and canvas, some bold and colorful, others fine and delicate. None of the pieces are framed, suspended instead with just nails and thread, "so it's also an installation."

"It's been a lot of work, and I think it shows in the pieces," Caraballo says.