Alumni Profiles


Rob Finn '92

Owner, Rob Finn Fine Painting & Design

Home state: California Rob Finn
Senior project: Immortalizing the Auditorium
Internship: Assistant to Town Planner, Bar Harbor Town Planning Office, Bar Harbor, ME

For two years after graduating, Rob designed T-shirts and created murals in Bar Harbor and Boston. He later worked on restoration and painting projects in the San Francisco area, and in 1996 started Rob Finn Fine Painting & Design which uses the most environmentally healthy paints and materials available.

Why did you choose to attend COA, and what kept you here?
I choose to attend COA because I wanted a well-rounded education and to be involved in the self-governance process. I transferred from an art school in New York City and wanted to learn more about science and public policy while studying art at a high level.

What was the most valuable skill you gained while at COA, and how does it influence your career today?
The most valuable skill I learned was how to formulate and execute self-directed study.

What was your favorite class at COA?
My favorite class was painting with Ernie McMullen.

Please describe one of your most meaningful experiences at COA.
My most meaningful experience was my senior project. I documented the auditorium which was being replaced on campus in a series of murals which expanded to include the original Kaelber Hall. These murals are currently installed in the entry to the new auditorium.

Why is a COA education still relevant—both in your own career and for current students?
The interdisciplinary approach to projects that I learned at COA has been an important part of learning new skills and finding new design and construction ideas and techniques. Adapting to changes is probably the most important skill for anyone in life.

Is there anything else you want to make sure others know about COA?
COA is a truly unique place to learn skills and meet people that will impact the rest of your life in a wonderful way.