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2015 Alumni Guest

boston college arts council

Artist Chris Doyle '81

Recipient of 2015 Arts Council Alumni Award



Chris Doyle '81 is the special Alumni Guest for ArtsFest 2015. Doyle is an interdisciplinary artist who has exhibited widely at venues across the U.S. and internationally. Previous exhibition venues include the Brooklyn Museum of Art, Queens Museum of Art, P.S.1 Museum of Contemporary Art, MassMoCA, The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, The Tang Teaching Museum, The Wellin Museum of Art, Sculpture Center, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, the New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center, and the Melbourne International Arts Festival.


In 2014, Doyle unveiled "Bright Canyon," an installation that was projected all over Times Square. Watch the video here to see how Doyle created this stunning piece of video art.

For more on Chris Doyle, visit

His work includes temporary and permanent projects in the public sphere including Leap, presented by Creative Time; Commutable, presented by the Public Art Fund, and 50,000 Beds, a large-scale collaborative video installation involving 45 artists presented simultaneously at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum (Ridgefield), Artspace (New Haven), and Real Art Ways (Hartford). His work has been supported by grants from the New York Foundation for the Arts and NYSCA.  In 2007, he completed The Moons, an outdoor three-screen video piece for the new Sprint Arena in Kansas City, MO. He is an artist leader in Creative Capital’s Professional Development Program.

Doyle's recent work explores the cultural construction of landscape. His urban projects include commissions for the U.S. Embassy in Sarajevo, Bosnia, the U.S. Ambassador's residence in Stockholm, Sweden, as well as for Melbourne, Australia, and Edmonton, Canada.  Within the U.S., he has received commissions from Culver City, California; Kansas City, Missouri; Tampa, Florida; Louisville, Kentucky; Austin, Texas; and, most recently, for Times Square in New York City.

In Chris Doyle’s installation art, watercolors, and projections, the ordinary is transformed into legend. His work monumentalizes people and places that often go unnoticed, bringing attention to elements essential to the vitality of a site. From the janitor he painted on the ceiling of a courthouse to the unknown cleaners he pays tribute to in his hotel pieces, Doyle is aware of the need to celebrate those who make the city sparkle for others. Doyle relies on the momentary transformation of the forgotten or disregarded into civic hero and explores themes of human aspiration through jumping, flying and transformation. His work honors, elevates, and restores a sense of possibility.

        -- The Artist Pension Trust

In September 2014, Mr. Doyle was selected to receive The Borusan Contemporary Art Collection Prize, created to fund the acquisition of an artwork exhibited at Moving Image Istanbul Art Fair for The Borusan Contemporary Art Collection. The prize was awarded for the first time to Doyle, whose artwork Waste_Generation (2011) was shown at the fair through September 28, 2014, and is described as follows: "Doyle’s video is both a mesmerizing metamorphosis of form and color, as well as a meditation on contemporary collapse. Long inspired by Thomas Cole’s The Course of Empire series (1833-36), Waste_Generation is the second piece in a larger project in which Doyle reinterprets Cole’s paintings into modern-era tales of ecological degradation and renewal.”

He received his Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from Boston College and his Master’s in Architecture from Harvard University. 

Other awards and residencies include:

  • 2014 John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship
  • 2010 MAP Fund, Collaboration with Headlong Dance Theater
  • 2005 Fellow, McDowell Colony, Peterborough, NH (also 2001, 1998, 1996, 1991)
  • 2003 Percent for Art Commission, Glen Oaks Public Schools, Queens, NY
  • 2002 New York State Council for the Arts Grant, Film and Video
  • 2001 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Multidisciplinary Work
  • 2000 Creative Capital Foundation Grant, Visual Art
  • 1998 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship, Architecture
  • 1997 Wheelwright Fellowship, Travel Grant from the Harvard Graduate School of Design
  • 1996 Public Art Fund, In the Public Realm, Open Competition