Dancing, theatrical performances and hands-on activities are just a few of the highlights which attract thousands to the Boston College Arts Festival. This year's event takes place April 28-30. (File photos by Lee Pellegrini)
Arts Bloom at BC Again
University's annual Arts Festival will be taking root this month
By Rosanne Pellegrini
Trees will be in bloom across the Boston College campus during the next few weeks, heralding not only the arrival of spring but the University's popular Arts Festival.
The seventh annual event, which takes place April 28-30 rain or shine, celebrates the rich tradition of the arts at BC and showcases a diverse range of talents and interests and highlights performing, visual and literary arts programs for all ages.
Some 800 BC students, faculty and administrators - including musicians, actors, dancers, singers, sculptors, painters, photographers, writers, curators, filmmakers, authors and others - will participate in the three-day festival, which draws as many as 12,000 members and neighbors of the University community.
This year's festival will feature a collaborative sculpture project theme, "The Enchanted Forest," as a tribute to acclaimed nature photographer James Balog '74, who is being honored with the third annual BC Arts Council Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement. In advance of the festival, 16 six-foot tall tree sculptures designed by Fine Arts Department faculty member Mark Cooper are being decorated by BC student groups and organizations, and will be placed at sites around campus.
Balog, an author of six books whose innovative photographs have appeared in such magazines as National Geographic, Time, Smithsonian and Audubon, will be on hand for two public events during the festival. On April 28 at 4 p.m. in Fulton 511, he will take part in a live interview with Boston art dealer and gallery owner Robert Klein as part of this year's "Inside the BC Studio" series. The next day, Balog will speak at 7:30 p.m. during the reception celebrating the exhibition of his works, "TREE: A New Vision of the American Forest," on display at BC's McMullen Museum of Art.
University President William P. Leahy, SJ, will present Balog with the Arts Council Award on April 30 as part of the Alumni Evening at the Arts Festival celebration. [Call 1-800-669-8430 for information and reservations.]
A variety of free events comprise the festival schedule, which begins at noon each of the three days. Concerts, dance showcases, poetry readings, theatrical performances, art exhibitions and other activities will take place in the festival's hub, O'Neill Plaza, as well as Gasson and Devlin halls and other adjacent locations.
On April 30, McIntyre Professor of English J. Robert Barth, SJ, will once again lead a Mass for the Arts, a festival tradition which unites the Christian liturgy with visual arts, poetry, music and dance. People of all faiths are welcome to the Mass, which takes place at 4:30 p.m. in O'Neill Plaza.
Other festival favorites include: the participatory swing dance with BC bOp! and the Boston College Swing Kids (April 28, 7:30, O'Neill Plaza); presentation of the Arts Council student and faculty awards (April 29, noon, O'Neill Plaza); and a full range of family and children's activities on Saturday, featuring arts and crafts, an "instrument petting zoo" hosted by the Boston College Symphonic Band and a presentation of "Alice in Wonderland" by the BC Children's Theater.
For more event and schedule information, visit the BC Arts Festival Web site.