Art, Art History, and Film
at boston college
Your first impression of the two recently retired Art department professors, who have occupied adjacent offices in Devlin for decades, would be how different they are. Andrew Tavarelli creates paintings that, to quote a 1983 review of his work in The Heights, "place a major emphasis on color – rich, bright, showy colors which combine to heighten the sensation of [his work] with a sexual theme." He has lived as exuberantly as he paints, fearlessly seeking new experiences and inspiring students with his passion for his work.
Richard A. Blake is a Jesuit priest who teaches in the Film Studies program. For decades, he served as a film critic for America Magazine, which he eventually helmed as Executive Editor. From 2002 until 2016, he was the chairman of the Seminar on Jesuit Spirituality, as well as editor of the group's journal, Studies in the Spirituality of Jesuits. His presence inspires a feeling of equanimity and the power of common sense, and, although his voice is not loud, when he speaks everyone listens.
And yet, as I canvassed their colleagues and students (current and former) for this story, and reflected upon my many years working with both professors, I came to realize just how much they share – most importantly, their profound understanding of our common humanity and the sense of humor essential to that understanding. It is these qualities that have made them such beloved instructors to generations of students, as well as wonderful colleagues.
I'm pleased to share these memories offered by some of these students and colleagues.
- Andrea Frank
Photo of Andrew Tavarelli at left above by Karl Baden; photo of Richard Blake at right above by Lee Pellegrini.
Senior Jonah Schumer believes his Boston College career has been somewhat unorthodox. He transferred to BC his sophomore year, and here pursued two disparate majors – Finance and Art History, maintaining 4.0 GPAs in both. His summer internships at asset-management companies have alternated with travels to the Far East and a semester abroad studying art in Florence. The "Interests & Skills" section of his resume hints at his wide-ranging passions, including "Ramen," "automobiles" and "Michael Jackson" along with "European and East Asian Artwork" and "Microsoft Excel." Professor Jeffery Howe observes that Jonah's broad interests can lead him to discover unexpected art historical parallels, such as those between Art Nouveau forms and 1970s record album covers. Read more about Jonah – what his other Art History instructors have to say about him, and his own reflections on his experience at BC.
Calls for papers and art, awards and grants, internships and jobs, etc.
The Art, Art History, and Film department welcomes Kyrah Malika Daniels to our faculty. Dr. Daniels comes to us with a fresh Ph.D in African and African American Studies from Harvard University. Starting this fall, she will be an Assistant Professor with a dual appointment in Art History and African and African Diaspora Studies at Boston College. Professor Daniels will bring to our department an interdisciplinary approach to the study of Caribbean and African material culture with a focus on comparative religion and sacred art. She will begin teaching courses in the Art department in the Spring 2018 semester.
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