Phoebe Kalthoff, Art Major

Written by Elizabeth Green

You’ll find more than a couple people double-majoring in English and art at Hillsdale, and Phoebe Kalthoff argues that this happens because English is art with words. Phoebe is a junior at Hillsdale, hailing from the town of Hillsdale. Phoebe’s first love has always been art, and she appreciates art because she can recreate the beauty she sees in the world. When Phoebe studies English, she gets to read verbal descriptions of a scene and imagine the beauty this scene describes.

The faculty members in the Art Department have helped her to see the world from a different perspective; after taking numerous art classes, she appreciates that she can now see the world with depth. One of her favorite professors, Professor Knecht, will demonstrate as he goes, but he never takes the reins from his students in their artwork. Phoebe now teaches an art class for three little girls and better understands how difficult it is to restrain your hand from reaching out to just re-draw the line or smudge the shading, rather than teaching the girls how to make the change. The art faculty is small in number, only seven professors currently, but they are all excellent in their field.

Phoebe’s favorite mediums are more traditional mediums, oil and watercolor painting, but she’s found that the art faculty members at Hillsdale encourage students in any mediums they want to pursue. She appreciates their traditional teaching, rather than being told to “express your feelings through making a teacup an animal.” They push their students to excel in a variety of mediums and encourage students in what they love.

Her plug for new students is to think about joining the Art Honorary when they arrive at Hillsdale. Phoebe serves as the Events Coordinator, and they host fun events like pumpkin carving (the most beautiful pumpkins you’ve ever seen) and bringing in lecturers on specific art areas like book illustration.


Elizabeth Green is a junior from Winchester, Virginia, and is currently pursuing a major in history and a minor in French. She participates in the Honors Program, loves intramural sports, and works as a Student Ambassador for the college.