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College of Arts and Sciences

News 2015

boston college fine arts department

BC students at Skinner tour
Robin Starr, Director of American and European Works of Art at Skinner, hosted Boston College Fine Arts students for an auction-eve tour of Skinner's Boston office in January (see news item below).



Professor Claude Cernuschi presented Oskar Kokoschka and Egon Schiele: Gustav Klimt's Viennese Followers to a packed audience at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts on March 25th. The lecture was part of a course called "A Golden Age in the World of Gustav Klimt," being offered at the MFA in conjunction with its current exhibition Visiting Masterpiece: Gustav Klimt's "Adam and Eve", on view through April 27th.


In its March 26th issue, The Heights profiled Alex Mukherjee '17, a Film Studies major whose short film Love, Ruben has been selected as a finalist for screening in this year's Boston Student Film Festival. The festival's screenings and awards ceremony will be held Saturday, March 28th at the Paramount Theater in Boston.


The Boston College Arts Council has announced its 2015 Student Arts Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to the arts through fostering, expanding, or participating in the arts on campus or in the community. Fine Arts majors and minors receiving awards include Kenya Danino '15 (Studio Art), Adisa Duke '15 (Film Studies minor), Ramsey Khabbaz '17 (Film Studies), and Aryn Pryor '16 (Art History). Keith Lebel '15 (Art History) will receive the Jeffrey Howe Art History Award. The awards ceremony takes place during this spring's Arts Festival, at 4:00 p.m. on Friday, April 24th, in the Stokes Art Tent. A reception will follow.


Annie McEwen '14 reports that she will be pursuing her Ph.D. in Art History at Emory University starting this fall. Annie will be working closely with Dr. Sarah McPhee (who presented the 2013 Von Henneberg lecture at Boston College) investigating issues surrounding Gianlorenzo Bernini's relationship with painting.


Following a year in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago's Post-Baccalaureate program, Meghan Borah '12 (Studio Art) has been accepted into the MFA program at the same institution. Meghan notes that the Post-Bacc program provided her with a better understanding of the MFA program options, and highly recommends that kind of program to graduating seniors seeking to strengthen their portfolios.


As Thomas Trummer's tenure as Director of the Kunsthalle Mainz comes to an end, he has transformed his office into a temporary exhibition of works that "[embellish] the conventional concept of art and [take] a gentle poke at canonized ways of perceiving it." He considers this collection a "trove of souvenirs, thoughts, and stories." One of the pieces he chose is from Professor Mary Sherman's Waiting for Yves/Godot installation: a dispenser of tickets imprinted "I can't go on. I will go on…"  ̶ words that surely resonate with anyone facing the uncertainty of a major life or career change. "Views on Mainz" opens March 23rd.


Two paintings by Professor Mary Armstrong were selected for inclusion in the exhibition The Expressive Voice: Landscape Reimagined, on view at DanforthArt in Framingham, MA through May 17th.


Roseanne Pellegrini of The Boston College Chronicle interviewed Professor Stoney Conley for a feature article in the March 12th edition. Professor Conley outlines his process in creating the "painting/collages" currently on view in Northern Sky, an exhibition on view in O'Neill Library's Level Three Gallery through August. The Library worked with Professor Conley to digitize images of the works in the exhibition to make them available via its new eScholarship@BC portal (search on "conley, alston" as Author/Creator to retrieve the images). A downloadable catalog of the exhibition catalog is also available via the portal.


On March 13th, the Fine Arts Department co-sponsored a lecture Representing the Wondrous Life of the Prophet in Islamic History. Professor Nasser Rabbat, Director of the Aga Khan Program for Islamic Architecture at MIT, discussed historical (12th-19th century) depictions of Mohammed made in many parts of the Islamic world, demonstrating that the "canard" regarding prohibition of such representations is a relatively recent phenomenon.


In an article in the March 12th edition of The Heights Professor John Michalczyk discussed "Legally Blind: Law, Ethics and the Third Reich," a conference that he had organized at BC on March 10th and 11th. Over the course of two days, international scholars explored the impact that Nazi law had on civil law, race, medicine and religion in Germany and western Europe. The Boston College Chronicle also covered the conference in its March 12th edition.   


Kodi Kodi

On February 24th, Professor Khalid Kodi participated in "Survivors Speak" at Tufts University Hillel. Presented by the group Tufts Against Genocide, the event brought together individuals who shared with the audience their experiences in war-torn areas of the world in the 20th and early 21st centuries. Professor Kodi spoke about his work with the Sudan Democracy First Group, for which he traveled to South Sudan during August 2014 to offer workshops on using art therapy to help alleviate the stress of residents living with the threat of daily bombings by hostile government forces. (Photo courtesy of Tufts Hillel.)


Chris Fuller '18, Associate Arts Editor for The Heights, thoughtfully reviewed the B.C. Art Club's Spring Student Show, while advocating for a more appropriate and centrally located venue for the display of student artwork at B.C. The show was also reviewed by Cuilin Chen '17 for the B.C. Arts Council's Arts Insider blog.


The Boston College Libraries feature Professor Jonathan Bloom in the latest edition of Faculty Publication Highlights. In this video, Senior Digital Reference Librarian Nina Bogdanovsky interviews Professor Bloom about his 2013 book The Minaret, in which he provides new insights on the origin, development and meaning of this architectural form.


Boston College awarded Film Studies minor Cai Thomas '16 its 2015 Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Scholarship. The award is presented to a B.C. junior who has demonstrated superior academic achievement, extracurricular leadership, community service and involvement with the African American community and issues. Cai, who majors in Communication, already has a portfolio of completed film projects, including a documentary on 2013 B.C. alumna Blake Bolden, a professional hockey player with the Boston Blades, which will air on New England Sports Network this spring. The March 12th edition of The Heights featured a story on Cai and how she is using her film work and time at B.C. to challenge common misconceptions about gender and race.


Centre College in Danville, KY, named Professors Sheila Blair and Jonathan Bloom its 2015 Humana Scholars. Professors Bloom and Blair, the Norma Jean Calderwood University Professors of Islamic and Asian Art at B.C., ran a senior seminar in Centre College’s Religion Department, and on March 4th presented a public lecture, The Islamic Book: From Paper to Calligraphy, in which they explored how this seemingly humble material was so instrumental in transmitting knowledge and bridging cultures throughout the Islamic world and beyond.


Professor Jeffery Howe presented John LaFarge & the Reinvention of Stained Glass in America at the University of Colorado, Boulder on February 23rd. The talk was based on Professor Howe's research for this upcoming fall's exhibition at the McMullen Museum, "John LaFarge & the Recovery of the Sacred," which he is curating.


In a February 24th post for WBUR's The Artery, Greg Cook interviewed Professor Georgie Friedman about her current video installations at Holy Cross College in Worcester. Professor Friedman describes the (visually, at least) happy confluence of art and actual weather during this month's Under the Icy Sky exhibition. For those of you unable to get to Worcester before the show ends on February 27th—or for those of you unwilling to stand beneath the icy sky to watch the full 27-minute loop of the videos on-site—the Artery post includes a time-lapse video.


The Santa Clara University Library in California is hosting "Crucifixion Meditations," an exhibition of works by Professor Aileen Callahan and retired Professor John Steczynski. The show will be on view through April 5th.


Sammy Chong work

Professor Sammy Chong, S.J., has work in Drawing the Line, on view at the Atlantic Wharf Gallery in Boston through March 20th. There will be an opening reception on Tuesday, February 24th from 5:00 until 7:30 p.m. At left: Epilogue, 2014 (graphite on paper).


In its February 11th edition, LA Weekly featured Gretchen Andrus Andrews '10 (CSOM, Studio Art minor) and her "Alternate Reality" exhibition that opened a week earlier at the De Re Gallery in West Hollywood, CA. Gretchen employed her technical skills for what the gallery claims is the "world's first virtual reality art show." In the gallery, one of Gretchen's paintings, created using very traditional methods, hangs on the wall. Gallery visitors – and, thanks to the magic of VR and the internet, you in the comfort of your snowbound home – can view the complete exhibition, which includes Gretchen's narration and a visualization of the artist's process.


"Imagining New Worlds," which originated at Boston College's McMullen Museum of Art last fall, will open at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta on February 14th and remain on view until May 24th. The High Museum installation augments the show with works by Jose Parla and Fahamu Pecou, and examines how these contemporary artists are responding to Lam's legacy. An excellent reason to head to the (warm) south to see this wonderful exhibition yet again!


In an article in the February 2 edition of The Heights, James Lucey highlights Professor John Michalczyk's recent book Filming the End of the Holocaust: Allied Documentaries, Nuremberg and the Liberation of the Concentration Camps (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2014).

Under the Ice Sky exhibit

Under the Icy Sky, an outdoor exhibit featuring two site-specific video installations by Professor Georgie Friedman, will be on view nightly from February 9 through February 27 at the Integrated Science Complex at College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA. The artist will be present at an opening reception on Monday, February 9 at 5:30 in Holy Cross's Spillane Pavilion, and will also speak about her work in the context of Environmental Studies at an artist talk and panel discussion on Tuesday, February 17 at 5:30 (Room 154, Smith Laboratories, Integrated Science Complex, College of the Holy Cross). At left: digital maquette for Building Storm, 2015 (two-channel video on Science Complex façade).


Professor Stephanie Leone, who is on sabatical this academic year, recently returned from a two-month Paul Mellon Visiting Senior Fellowship at the Center for Advanced Study in the Visual Arts at the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC. Last summer, Professor Leone's essay Il Palazzo Pamphilj: L'interento dei Pamphilj nello sviluppo urbanistico di piazza Navona dal 1615 al 1650 was published in Piazza Navona, ou Place Navone, la plus belle & la plus grande: Du stade de Domitien à la place modern: histoire d'une évolutione urbaine (ed. Jean-Franois Bernard; Rome: L’École française de Rome, 2014, 385-397).


Professor Karl Baden will be among the artists represented in On Photography, an exhibition highlighting the work of Massachusetts photographers. Presented by the Massachusetts Convention Center and The Photographic Resource Center, the show will be on view at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston from February 10th through June 3rd. There will be an opening reception on Thursday, February 18th from 6-8 p.m.

"Waiting for Yves", an exhibition of the work of Professor Mary Sherman, will open at Crafton Hills College (Yucaipa, California) on February 19th. Professor Sherman is the founder and Executive Director of Transcultural Exchange, and in that capacity she had participated in the Cultural Mobility Symposium in New York City on January 7th. A video of Delay, Professor Sherman's recent collaborative installation with sound artist Florian Grond, is now available on Vimeo.


A dozen Fine Arts students were treated to a behind-the-scenes look at the auction world, thanks to a generous offer by Robin Starr, Director of American and European Works of Art at Skinner. M. Starr, a former lecturer in the Fine Arts Department, invited B.C. students to Skinner's Back Bay venue on January 22 to view works of art to be auctioned the following day, observe the auction-eve activities, and to ask questions about working in the auction world. Ms. Starr's perceptive commentary on the artworks, and her colorful anecdotes about her more than 25 years in her career, proved once again why her B.C students loved her classes, and why we miss her so much in the Fine Arts Department.

Professor Ben Sloat was the only U.S. artist selected to show work in the Charlottenborg Fonden's 2015 Spring Exhibition at the Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen, Denmark. The prestigious exhibition opened on January 22. A bit closer to home, Professor Sloat's installation The One in the Center Cannot See the Whole is on view at the Mary S. Byrd Gallery of Art at Georgia Regents University in Augusta through February 5.


Marc Breslin '05 (Art History and Literature) is one of three artists represented in Through Painting, on view at Fondazione Rivoli Due in Milan, Italy through February 21. Based in Los Angeles, Marc worked as an assistant to artists Jenny Holzer and Josephine Meckseper in the years after he graduated from B.C.  Marc has exhibited his work frequently and internationally over the past five years. For the show at Fondazione Rivoli Due, Marc says that he "treated the basement of the foundation as [his] studio." The work ranges across diverse media - painting, scultpure, video and sound - and includes demolished ceramics, paintings on unstretched vinyl, and sculptures that he describes as "thrown paintings." At left Pokey's Painting, 2015, acrylic on vinyl and paper. More of Marc's work at


In January Professor John Michalczyk presented four of his documentaries at the inaugural Cayman Docufest in Camana Bay, Grand Cayman. His frequent collaborator Father Raymond Helmick (Theology) accompanied him to share insights of their efforts together to understand and increase awareness of some of the challenging international political, ideological and religious conflicts of the past 60 years. Professor Michalczyk's recent book Filming the End of the Holocaust was featured as a BC Bookmark on January 14th.


Tim McCool's art

We're All Fine Here Now, an exhibition of recent work by Tim McCool '10 (Studio Art) is on view at the Essex Art Center in Lawrence, MA through March 6. At left: We're Fine, 2014 (acrylic on panel).



In Ten Thousand Faces, an article in the January 2015 issue of Psychology Today, Matt Huston discusses how Professor Karl Baden and others photograph themselves daily to explore the ways in which the passage of time and life events are recorded on the human face.


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