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Friday, Mar 31, 2023

Mercer Artist: Vanae Hatcher

Photo courtesy of Vanae Hatcher
Photo courtesy of Vanae Hatcher

When she came to Mercer her freshman year, junior Vanae Hatcher had a goal—she wanted to get a degree that would allow her to get a job helping people. Hatcher decided she would major in biology and minor in chemistry with the hopes of being a pediatrician. After her first semester, that all changed.

“It wasn’t for me,” Hatcher said. “I was looking for something that could incorporate my talent and what I really love to do.”

Hatcher said her creativity couldn’t shine as a biology major, so she decided to look into art.

“Ever since I was a little girl, I have always been interested in art,” Hatcher said.

Hatcher's favorite drawing. Photo courtesy of Vanae Hatcher

Hatcher grew up taking art classes, from painting to sculpting. Her favorite, she said, was drawing. She took a class with art professor Hazel Caldwell to see if this was the best change for her.

Caldwell introduced her to art psychotherapy, the use of creativity to help people express themselves and their emotions through art.

“I fell in love immediately,” Hatcher said. "I learned that there are other ways to help people."

With her heart set on pursuing art psychotherapy, Hatcher decided to continue taking art classes and change her major to psychology with a minor in art. Hatcher said this will allow her to do the two things she loves most—express her creativity and help others.

After graduation, Hatcher plans to attend graduate school to get a degree in art psychotherapy. After graduate school, she wants to open up her own travel practice and bring art psychotherapy to prisons, mental institutions and other areas where people don’t have access to art psychotherapy.

“I feel like I finally found my place,” Hatcher said. “Everyone else knew what they wanted to be, knew what they wanted to do immediately. I wasn’t like that when I came to college, but now I really feel like I found my niche and can really, truly help people.”


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