Stuart Robertson: The Man, The Myth, and The Artist

Nichole Jin ’24 and Louis Park ’26 in News | April 21, 2023

Artist-in-Residence Stuart Robertson ’11 H ’18 graduated from Lawrenceville in 2011 and recently returned to the School as a visual arts teacher. Robertson had collaborated with the NBA G League Ignite basketball team to create art for the 2022 NBA Draft. 
Robertson first came to Lawrenceville as a III Former. His art teacher at the time, Jaime Greenfield, “encouraged [him] to push his limits.” “If I had a good drawing, she told me to try painting, and if I drew a good face, she asked me to draw a hand…She was the good mentor that I needed,” Robertson said. Greenfield inspired Robertson to try using different materials in his art, including graphite and colored pencils. During his time at Lawrenceville, Robertson was also a Varsity athlete, House President, and prefect, helping him “improve his self-management and prioritization skills.”
Returning to Lawrenceville as a teacher, Robertson noted that many aspects of campus life were different from when he was a student. “There has been a change in student interests and priorities…I knew I had to let go of my past picture of the school,” he said. Though it was an adjustment, Robertson feels that he has “learned a lot” from young artists at Lawrenceville.
Robertson received the opportunity to work with NBA G League Ignite on their art through one of his wife’s connections. Specifically, they hired him to create a unique basketball with artistic flair that the team could use in their photos for the 2022 NBA Draft. Robertson aimed to vary the textures he used in his art by “attaching snake skins, cutting the ball, and using unique objects together.” At the draft event, Robertson noted that it was “fascinating to watch people interact with the ball [he] made.” “The players were excited to have something tangible rather than something like a video to make their experience unique,” he added. Overall, Robertson was “very excited” to have been a part of the event. 
Robertson hopes to become a more “influential artist” through these outside opportunities. “I want to be able to have an impact on both students and other people who identify with me, to show them that they can overcome the obstacles in their way and come back stronger,” he said. Next year, Robertson will present his art at an upcoming exhibition at the Heines Gallery in San Francisco.
A piece of advice Robertson wants to leave for Lawrentians is to “do what they genuinely enjoy.” Reflecting on his experience as a teacher and an artist, he said, “There’s no rush to try and be the best…in the end, it is always worth it to invest in people and experiences because there’s always something to learn and appreciate.”