About Chloe Harrison '21

We’re often told first impressions mean a lot. Well, in Chloe Harrison’s case, a good first impression determined where she went to college.

That first impression was made by Russell Sage College Professor Matt McElligott, chair of the Art + Design department.

Chloe was a senior in high school in Albany, attending a portfolio review. She was making the rounds, visiting table after table where representatives from different colleges provided feedback on her art.

“Professor McElligott really stood out to me,” Chloe remembers. “I felt like the advice he gave me on my portfolio showed he had a real interest in me and my work. As I said, he just stood out from the others.”

Chloe is entering her senior year as an Art + Extended Media major. She started out her college career thinking she’d be an animator and study graphic design, and while she still may work in the field of animation, she saw her interests grow and expand. The Art + Extended Media major allows her to explore many different types of media. 

You see, Chloe’s Sage experience has been all about growth and expansion.

“When I started out here, I was a shy person,” she says. “Freshman year I kept to myself. But then I began to find my voice and open up.”

This transformation happened, Chloe believes, because Sage encourages students to feel the freedom of self-expression. “Everyone here shares their ideas,” she says. “This is a real community.”

Chloe was particularly moved by a mural painting project called Amplified Voices that she mentored in this past summer. The project brought together Albany youth of color and together they all brainstormed ideas, thought of ways they could include the Black Lives Matter movement, and used all the colors of the rainbow to paint murals on abandoned buildings.

“It was amazing to have the experience of incorporating all the ideas the kids had,” Chloe says. 

As she begins her senior year, Chloe has two primary goals: “To create more art, and to have more conversations with my professors and peers.”

She says her love of art has only grown during her time at Sage. “And I feel like my art has become more personal,” she says. “It’s getting better at creating what I really want to create.”

It seems too that she has also grown in her ability to create the life she wants to create, which includes putting herself out there to make more and more connections. 


“When I started out here, I was a shy person. Freshman year I kept to myself. But then I began to find my voice and open up.”

Chloe Harrison '21