Mariah Reading ’16, an eco-artist and professional naturalist who cycles through homes and jobs with the seasons, embodies Bowdoin’s interdisciplinary teaching between work and her art. Preserving parklands in the summer and finding work in the winter, Reading’s seasonal lifestyle is one of the biggest influences on her art.
When Bianca Allende Boyd ’21 arrived at Bowdoin, she did not intend to take more than one art course. But after taking Printmaking I during her first semester, her plans changed. Now, Boyd is a visual arts and education coordinate major.
Whether inside or outside of the classroom, Blythe Chace ’23 has always felt connected to visual art of all media. Even as she pursues other academic and extracurricular interests, she has always deliberately crafted her schedule to allow time for making art.
What is art worth without people to experience it? In what has been close to a 12-month period where Brunswick-based art galleries and local independent artists have been forced to curtail and restructure their operations, those in the industry have grappled with just that question—and found creative solutions to operate their businesses and safely bring their work to the world, even during the pandemic.
Ava Jackson ’20 believes that artists are examiners. Artists are constantly taking in the world around them, watching how it works and determining how it could be reflected in art. During a pandemic, though, options for watching the outside world have been limited.
On Wednesday, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) hosted Justin Randolph Thompson for a Zoom presentation, titled: “On Being Present: Recovering Blackness in the Uffizi Galleries.” Thompson, an American artist and the co-founder of Black History Month Florence, has spent the last two decades in Florence, Italy.
During her senior year at Bowdoin, Amie Sillah ’20 created Black Lady Art Group: an art class and artist collective where she, Amani Hite ’20 and Destiny Kearney ’21 could focus entirely on creating a safe space for producing and exploring artistic practices as Black women.
The Bowdoin visual arts department hopes to showcase student artwork and spark conversation through their new Instagram account. The account, which has been in operation since October, is administered by Colleen Kinsella, visual arts technician, along with Teaching Assistants Sarah Flanagan ’21, Lizzy Gracey ’22 and Abby Wang ’23.
Because the Bowdoin Craft Center, with its sewing machines, pottery wheels and student art displays, is too constrictive to accommodate COVID-19 restrictions this semester, the student managers of the Center have had to find creative ways to involve the community in artistic programming.
This past March, during the initial spike in COVID-19 cases, Bowdoin alumna Amanda Newman ’19 launched Miss Manda Pet Portraits. Since then, she has listed over 300 products for sale on her website and has painted and drawn countless custom pet portraits.
The Bowdoin Animation Society (BAS) continues to virtually watch and critique animation through online platforms in an effort to maintain their tight-knit community during the mostly remote fall semester. The members of BAS hope to simulate the social experience of gathering together and discussing animation by using a variety of messengers and servers.
Last Friday, the visual arts department hosted printmaker Taro Takizawa for a public lecture during which he shared his artwork and spoke about his artistic journey. The event was part of the Marvin Bileck Printmaking Project at Bowdoin, which traditionally involves a weeklong, intensive workshop with a guest artist.
Over the last eight months of preventative isolation and social distancing, Shane Araujo ’23 has done more than simply pick up a hobby—he has reignited his passion for making art and taken to Instagram to share his work.
On Wednesday, Visiting Assistant Professor of Art History Kate Gerry gave two talks about her recent exhibition on the Wyvern Collection—one of the most important privately owned medieval art collections in the world. The Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) secured a long-term loan of 100 of its objects through an anonymous lender.
On Wednesday, the Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) hosted the first installment of “Art Up Close”—a five-part series where students, staff and faculty come together to discuss art. The first webinar brought together 20 community members to discuss “Protest Art and Black Lives Matter.” Claire Traum ’21 and Lucy Siegel ’22, two members of the Bowdoin College Museum of Art Advisory Council, developed the idea after gaining experience with webinars during summer opportunities.
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art (BCMA) must abide by the College’s color-coded campus status levels. Currently, at “yellow” status, first-year writing seminar students and their accompanying faculty members can enter the BCMA for a class visit; at “orange” status, only faculty and staff may enter; at “red” status, only essential staff members may enter the building.
This semester, without the ability to gather in the studio or rehearse on stage, faculty in the visual and performing arts have had to come up with creative approaches to remote instruction and artistic community-building. Despite these challenges, students have begun the semester with great enthusiasm, filling introductory courses and, in some cases, becoming part of long waitlists.
Visual Arts major Tala Glass ’20 held up a watermelon-sized model of the final project she had in mind for her advanced studio class. It’s a wood frame structure of a room she intends to make life-size, so that viewers can walk in or around it.
Using artwork to depict the transatlantic slave trade can both resurface trauma and make vivid the resistance of culture and sprituality. Portland-based artist Daniel Minter grapples with both of these realities, using physical forms and patterns of West African motifs as a means to connect the past and present.
Like many visual art students, Maddie Squibb ’20 went into the semester choosing between a couple of courses. “Printmaking II or an advanced painting independent study?” she wondered. “And then I got the email about the Kaempfer Fund running out and it made me think, ‘Oh, I guess I won’t pursue an independent study,’” said Squibb, who is a visual arts minor.
With help from Visiting Artist Claudia Fieo P’21, and inspiration from the collections at the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum, printmaking students created an artist’s book. The Visual Arts department, Bowdoin Libraries, and the Peary MacMillan Arctic Museum came together to celebrate the book’s completion at a launch on Wednesday.
At the Bedford Park Boulevard-Lehman College subway station in the Bronx, a stunning glass mosaic mural covers the entire mezzanine wall. Entitled “Community Garden,” it depicts large, colorful fruit, insects, flowers and animals. For this work, Andrea Dezsö was awarded the best American Public Art Prize in 2007.
Filling a dimly lit room in The Edwards Center for Art and Dance with shining images of wood veneer and brightly toned paintings, 11 Bowdoin students presented their summer artwork in a series of Pecha Kucha presentations on Wednesday night.
Over a century after its emergence, modern art is more relevant than ever. The movement often thought of in a strictly historical context is apparently less removed from our contemporary world than it appears. In a presentation entitled “The Transnational Framework of Modernism’s Many Emergences, 1900-1950,” author and collector Laurette McCarthy and former Executive Editor of MIT Press Roger Conover ’72 discussed the history and impact of the exhibition, which was curated by the museum’s co-director, Anne Goodyear.
After traveling between the same four buildings across one main quad for the first two weeks of school, it’s easy to forget that there’s a town beyond Bowdoin. Brunswick is home to over 20,000 residents who live, work and, sometimes, make art here.
The Bowdoin College Museum of Art and the Peary-MacMillan Arctic Museum were awarded a $239,344 federal grant from The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) last week. The IMLS award description says the museums will use the funds to “improve both physical and digital access to the collections of its two museums.” The College matched the federal fund with an additional $249,000 to support the project.
From monumental murals in neon colors to life castings molded out of earth and clay, this year’s senior art show dazzles the eye and excites the mind. On Wednesday night, the exhibition titled “Changeover” transformed the Edwards Center for Art and Dance into an active ground of artistic vision and reflection.
Walking into Reed House basement on Thursday night, you might have been pleasantly surprised—gone are the toppled red solo cups and sticky beer pong table. The space has been scrubbed anew, with colored lights and works of art adorning the walls.
You may not think of downtown Brunswick as the hub for cutting-edge contemporary art. Yet tucked away in a former furniture shop, just mere steps from Gelato Fiasco, the Frank Brockman Gallery is filled with colors, energy, vision and creative expression.
Whether it’s trekking up the ramp to get to the Hubbard Stacks, staring into the windows of Lamarche Gallery while working on a problem set or sinking into a couch right in the middle of the Blue Box, Bowdoin students can easily find art in their surroundings.
Bright colors, wheels and an endless amount of materials can feed anyone’s artistic hunger in a small, white building tucked away behind the Office of Admissions. Bowdoin’s Craft Center offers a range of creative activities beloved by students, from knitting to sewing to jewelry-making.
Darius Riley is a senior visual arts major and photographer from East Palo Alto, California, who also co-founded Bowdoin’s creative and fashion magazine, Avant-Garb Magazine. The following interview has been edited for length and clarity. The Bowdoin Orient: How would you describe yourself as an artist?
When visitors walk into the exhibition “Heavy Water” in the Telfair Museum in Savannah, Georgia, they are absorbed in a lush soundscape, accompanied by screens depicting wild dogs weaving through the woods. The question that follows is: what am I looking at?
Coiling forms, spatial fantasies and abstracted bodies—boundaries between the real and the imagined become indistinguishable in the vibrant canvases and eerie motifs of Sascha Braunig’s work. Originally from Canada, the Portland-based artist came to Edwards Center for Art and Dance on Tuesday afternoon, decoding her pictorial puzzles through a glimpse into her creative evolution.
Black and white lines converge and juxtapose to form patterns—chaotic, dynamic and full of movement; the artwork of Frank Mauceri, senior lecturer in music, presents a touch of novelty and surprise. Viewers would never guess that behind the complex mark-making of Mauceri’s artwork lie algorithms generated by careful computer programming.
Members of the Bowdoin Art Society have studied masterpieces of art in the context of the classroom, and now that cultivated lens is turned towards work of a slightly different nature, as student curators transform Ladd House with art created by their peers.
Seductive, playful, spectacle—these are words artist Stephanie Rothenberg uses to describe her work. As the inaugural Roux Scholar, she will work with a group of students to create a Bowdoin-specific installation of that nature later this year.
On October 3, Joel Babb, a renowned landscape painter based in Sumner, Maine, presented his art and creative process in the Edwards Center for Art and Dance. Referencing Roman monuments and Baroque landscapes, he guided his audience through his decades-long journey in capturing nature and culture.
Camille Farradas is a member of the Bowdoin Class of 2019 and a visual arts major. She received two Bowdoin grants to work on her art this past summer and will be featured in the Kaempfer Grant show on October 10.
Upon walking into the Lamarche Gallery in David Saul Smith Union, it’s hard to not be immediately absorbed by the creative world of Evelyn Beliveau ’19. Titled “Presence,” the exhibit is filled with charcoal and pastel portraits, sculptures and line drawings that explore the dynamism of color and form.
Isaac Jaegerman is a 2016 Bowdoin graduate who majored in visual arts. He was recently selected as one of 10 Emerging New England Artists by Art New England magazine and currently works as a technician in the visual arts department.
Every piece on display in a new exhibit by Amani Hite ’20, opening this Friday, fulfills the promise of the show’s title: “…And She’s a Black Woman.” “[The] ellipsis in the beginning [represents] that there is something else before that,” said Hite.
Jeonguk Choi ’18 is a visual arts and computer science double major from South Korea, who primarily works with “time-based media.” His installation, “the gaps were filled with water that soon evaporated,” is currently on display in the Blue Gallery.
Blanche Froelich ’19 wanted a unique, year-long study abroad experience. She looked for two criteria when selecting where to travel: first, she wanted to study studio art; second, she wanted to live in a Spanish-speaking country.
Inside a well-lit warehouse somewhere between Portland’s East and West ends, five friends create. They make gestures on canvas, develop film, produce sound and cut video content. Sometimes they lie on the couch and scroll through Instagram, at others they gather around to critique one another’s art, like they did in college.
Bowdoin alumna Susan Coyne’s ’07 picture book “The ABCs of Subverting the Patriarchy” pays homage to a diverse range of provocative and inspiring people—among them, Joan of Arc and Ida B. Wells—who challenged deeply entrenched beliefs about gender, sexuality and race.
Currently on display in Larmarche Gallery is an exhibit both by and about six incarcerated men at the Maine Coastal Regional Reentry Center, a minimum security facility in Belfast. Curator Charlotte Borden ’19 wanted to bring the men’s voices directly into the exhibit by displaying their art and her portraits of them.
“What happened last October?” Tatana Kellner asked students gathered at the popup show for her printmaking installation “Please Exit, Doors are Closing” on Tuesday in the Edwards Center for Art and Dance. Answer: the 2016 presidential debates, a time during which Kellner was working and reflecting on questions surrounding immigration policy in America.
David Saul Smith Union’s Lamarche Gallery offers a unique space for student work curated exclusively by students. This Tuesday, the gallery opened an exhibition that gave students the opportunity to display their photography, painting, drawing and poetry from their Kent Island fellowships over the summer.
In his lecture on Wednesday, Jonathan Katz argued that pop art is an inherently queer form of self-expression, an idea originally censored in a now fully-published interview with Andy Warhol. Katz—founder of the Harvey Milk Institute and director of the visual culture studies doctoral program at the State University of New York at Buffalo—presented his interpretation of Andy Warhol’s pop artwork through a unique lens of queer studies and censorship in his lecture, “The Unknown Queer Warhol.” Flowing from an analysis of a resurrected version of this formerly censored interview with Warhol, Katz argued that Warhol’s pop imagery provided no less commentary on modern homosexuality than his blatantly queer early works.
Jude Marx ’18 is an English and education coordinate major who has worked at Bowdoin and beyond to carry out creative projects, mainly through portraiture and creative writing. Her work focuses on the themes of memory and queer identities, as well as other intersecting marginalized identities.
For painter and animator Matt Bollinger, art is all about self-expression. Even the pieces that seem outside the realm of possibility are in some way reflective of his experiences. This is especially true of “Apartment 6F,” the animation Bollinger showed at his talk on campus last Monday, which portrays an alternate reality; a neighbor invites the artist to a housewarming party where he is drugged for use as a sacrifice in a satanic ritual.
Death is far from the minds of most college students. With its newest exhibition, “The Ivory Mirror,” the College Museum of Art attempts to show just how relevant questions of mortality are to the lives of Bowdoin students.
The first image visitors see when they enter the Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s newest exhibition, “Why Draw? 500 Years of Drawings and Watercolor,” is a seven-foot-tall portrait of pop culture icon Pharrell Williams, created with techniques that date back to the Renaissance-era drawings that are displayed alongside it.
Senior visual arts majors presented their final exhibitions on Monday evening in an eclectic display of video monitors, sound art, photography and large oil portraits on canvas. In the culmination of their Senior Studio class, many students utilized both traditional and non-traditional mediums to reflect on their personal experiences at Bowdoin and at home.