Citation to the 2016 Honorary Degree recipient

Linda Kooluris Dobbs ’68

Presented by the Interim President of Pine Manor College,
Rosemary G. Ashby, Ph.D.

May 15th, 2016

When you graduated from Pine Manor in 1968, Graham Teller, your Visual Arts Professor, gave you some words of advice:  “If you find someone whose work moves you, ask that person to teach you.”  With an Associate’s Degree in Visual Arts from Pine Manor and a Bachelor’s Degree in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in hand, you went to Paris to study at the Sorbonne. Then your big opportunity came. The work of Bulgarian artist Nicolas Manev had struck you like lightning when you saw it. By chance, you met Manev in a Paris studio, and dared to ask to study drawing with him privately. He agreed. Today Manev is considered one of Bulgaria’s greatest painters and you are an internationally known artist, photographer and portrait painter.

Your portraits, landscapes and photographs are found in private and corporate collections worldwide and you are counted among Canada’s most respected contemporary artists. The subjects of your portraits include statesmen, writers, judges, professors, performing artists and at least one College President. A critic wrote of one of your portraits:  “A piercing study of a man in his world.  Kooluris Dobbs’ portraits are timeless, perceptive and sometimes prophetic.”

In your photographs, viewers are struck by the movement, feeling and passion that is captured by your lens.  You and your late husband, poet Kildare Dobbs, together produced the book Gardens of the Vatican, in which your photographs capture every detail of the gardens. A critic writes: “With her camera Linda has transformed a burst of water from a fountain into a glorious canopy of innumerable stars.”  In your paintings, you have become recognized as a genius of atmosphere.  And somehow you find time to teach, lecture and illustrate and indulge your love for music, dance and poetry.

You are a person of great generosity and sweetness.  You embody the motto on Pine Manor’s seal: “Love Loyalty.”  How proud we are to think that Pine Manor played some part in your education almost fifty years ago and that you in turn are teaching others who will see your work and be struck by lightning.