Alexandra Bowman Animates American Politics
Posted in News Story | Tagged Art & Art History, English Department, Student
Alexandra Bowman (C’22), a double major in English and art, has helped drive the national conversation around politics while sharpening her artistic skills during her undergraduate career at Georgetown.
A political cartoonist, commentator, illustrator and fine artist, Bowman seemingly hasn’t paused to take a breath since stepping foot on the Hilltop. She is perhaps best known for her political cartoons, which skewer American politicians and current events.
“I criticize those in power and illustrate the human impact of their misdeeds,” Bowman says. “To illustrate my points, I use humor and express compassionate empathy for those abused by demagogues who exploit their power.”
Digital Tools for the Digital World
Her coursework at Georgetown has shaped, informed and honed her skill as an artist and critic. Bowman credits a graphic design course with Toni-Lee Sangastiano for broadening her familiarity with the essential digital tools of her trade. Today, Bowman works largely in the digital medium, relying on the programs she learned the ropes of with Sangastiano.
“I learned to wrap my head around new technology and media for creating art, including Adobe Illustrator and InDesign,” reflects Bowman. “I learned how to translate my artistic instinct into new digital programs, which were challenging to learn but necessary for helping me develop hard skills that will make my artistic ability even more palatable for the professional world, especially that of television and public entertainment.”
For a full-time student, Bowman has been a prolific artist. Since 2019, she has worked as an editorial political cartoonist and contributing news writer for Our Daily Planet, an environmental newsletter which merged with World War Zero, an environmental organization founded by John Kerry, last year. During that time, she spent a year working with The Lincoln Project as a cartoonist, satirist and video editor. Her cartoons have been published by BBC News, BBC Books, the satirical presidential candidate Vermin Supreme, the National Wildlife Federation and the political action committee Meidas Touch.
On campus, she founded the Hilltop Show in 2019, a political comedy web series that featured recorded sketches, interviews with prominent figures and humorous punditry. Her work has been published by The Hoya, Georgetown’s Institute of Politics & Public Service and Georgetown’s Office of Communications.
In short, Bowman shows no signs of slowing down.
“Expressive, inviting and confidently-designed characters bursting with personality distinguish my work,” Bowman says. “My illustrations employ touches of realism and classical techniques – natural anatomy, weight, form, texture, caricature cognizant of formal portraiture – that give my work a traditional, elegant flair.”
Art to Set the World on Fire
As a thoughtful creator, Bowman wants her art to exist in and engage with the wider world. Her time at Georgetown has given her the tools to do just that.
“I came to Georgetown hoping to find ways to use entertainment and media to help educate children and wide audiences about political issues and social responsibility,” Bowman says. “I got exactly what I was hoping for and more.”
The apparatus around Bowman’s artwork, which brings it into the world and in front of a wider audience, was an indelible part of her education.
“I have learned specific rhetorical methods and means of persuasion, research procedures, modern outreach strategies and even visual marketing approaches, sometimes through trial and error,” reflects Bowman. “These lessons have been fundamental in helping me understand practical, real-world methods that I can use when developing creative work for social good.”
Bowman has been accepted into Georgetown’s dual AB/MA English Program. After attaining her undergraduate degree this spring, she will finish her master’s in May 2023.
“I can’t wait to continue studying how I can use artwork to inform wider audiences and create social good for years to come,” Bowman says. “Georgetown has given me the best foundation that I could ask for.”
Bowman is one of three graduating seniors whose work is currently on display in the Maria and Alberto de la Cruz Gallery. To stay up-to-date on Bowman’s artwork, follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
Samples of Alex’s Work
–by Hayden Frye (C’17)