Art, Art History, and Film
at boston college
In a 1986 BC Magazine profile of Professor Michael Mulhern, the artist said, "I really want [people] to stop and look and think about what they see, to wonder about the structures they see and the underlying rationality of the world around them."
As I read the reminiscences his colleagues and former students have sent me in advance of Professor Mulhern's retirement at the end of the spring 2016 semester, it became clear to me that over the course of his 40-year teaching career at Boston College he has succeeded in doing just that. Moreover, the quote encapsulates so much of what I've come to know about Professor Mulhern: that he is insatiably curious about what he sees and the science of how we see; that it's important to him to understand just how things work; and that his generous spirit sparks in others the same joy he experiences as, in the process of creating, he explores and makes discoveries about the world around him.
Albert Einstein observed, "It is the supreme art of the teacher to awaken joy in creative expression and knowledge." Please join the Art Department in celebrating Professor Michael Mulhern's teaching career at Boston College, and the professional legacy he leaves in the form of all the students in whom he has awakened that joy—many of whom will pass it along in their own teaching careers or in their own artwork. Read more
In looking at what Cai Thomas '16 has accomplished over the past three years, it's hard to imagine when she slept. Since declaring a Film Studies minor in her sophomore year, she has energetically pursued seemingly every opportunity available to develop her skills and experience as a filmmaker. A Communications major, Cai is a natural story-teller, and her documentary films reflect that strength. In 2014 she produced an eight-part series of videos profiling the cast members of a production of the play "For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf" at the Robsham Theater. The following year she made a documentary about Boston College alumna Blake Bolden '13, a professional hockey player for the Boston Blades; the film was chosen by NESN as a finalist for the network's "Next Producer" series, and aired on April 6, 2015. Most recently Cai teamed with Professors John and Susan Michalczyk, serving as Associate Producer and film editor for Lou Montgomery: Legacy Restored, a documentary about the first African-American football player at BC.
Cai's film work, and the commitment to social justice evident in her documentaries, has not gone unrecognized. In February 2015 she received BC's Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship Award, presented annually to a junior who has demonstrated superior academic achievement, extracurricular leadership, community service and involvement with the African American community and issues. And last September Cai attended the Telluride Film Festival Student Symposium, having been chosen as one of just 50 student applicants from all over the world to win this prestigious opportunity to meet and learn from highly regarded filmmakers, actors and producers. Professor John Hoover, one of the Film Studies faculty members with whom Cai has worked closely at BC, describes her as "an excellent student who brought a base of experience from a Rule/Boston Camera internship to cinematography class. She was a student who displayed confidence and pleasure in working with all the essential tools."
Read Cai's reflections on how her time at BC, and the instructors in the Fine Arts Department, contributed to her formation as an accomplished filmmaker.
We're delighted to welcome Hartmut Austen to Boston College! Professor Austen will be teaching classes in our Studio Art program starting this fall. After completing his Meisterschüler degree (M.F.A. equivalent) at the Hochschule der Künste (University of the Arts) Berlin in 1997, the painter moved to the U.S. and began his teaching career and has since exhibited nationally and internationally. Currently at the University of Minnesota, Professor Austen looks forward to coming to BC "prepared to contribute through artistic research, teaching, practice and collaboration to the mission" of our department. We look forward to the energy we know he will bring to his new students and colleagues.
Art & Digital Technology
May 2 – 16, 2016
Level One Gallery,
Excerpts of final projects from the class of that name, in which students learn to use Photoshop and Illustrator software to combine text and image, creating book and magazine spreads, posters, advertisements and CD covers.
We've compiled current student opportunities – calls for papers and art, awards and grants, internships and jobs, etc. – on our new Current Opportunities page. Bookmark it and visit often!