This article is the product of a series of investigations, undercover spying, focus groups, phone taps, ethnographies, and every imaginable type of profiling. It is our first report on the role of “art,” an “art,” the “arts” on campus. Our team has been working arduously on providing results that accurately portray creative inclinations at Boston College, where art is liberal. In order to provide this report, my team and I have all been trained many times in a field that is too obscure to understand, that has given us access to the truth, which in turn makes us reliable and objective, also sponsored by MailChimp. (The report is also fictitious.)
“The first time I saw art was pretty cool.” recalls Cory Fitzgerald, CSOM ’16, as he squints off to the distance, looking as if he’s about to sneeze. “I had to go to this museum on the T, and I wrote a paper on a statue that had to do with colonialism.”
He explained it was part of what his history teacher calls an “OA,” short for “Outside Activity,” which includes trips to a specific wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, movies that are either black and white or in a foreign language, and lectures that wouldn’t garner attendance otherwise.
“It really made me feel out of my comfort zone you know?” Fitzgerald lays a fist on the table, “It’s important to have activities of this type.” After a series of interviews with random students, we can confirm that most students echoed Fitzgerald’s transient epiphany.
One of the sections in the interviews had to do with man’s attraction to beauty. The question was relatively open ended, meant to be more of an association game that prompted a visceral reaction. The subjects were asked what they find beautiful and where they go in search of beauty.
Many of them pull out their phones to show their “Instagram,” a popular gallery-type app that allows users to add an effect or “filter” to a picture to instantly make it old/nostalgic or make a white person look really tan. They talked about Gasson, and their friend’s dance shows, especially a group called “Sexual Chocolate.”
“You don’t have to look too far to find beauty here,” explains Casey Connors, A&S ’15. “It’s in the perfectly aligned symmetry of the tables in Bapst and in watching the sunset while running around the res.”
One of the most exciting times for the students is something they call “Arts Fest.” The festival take place in the spring, and coincides with the arrival of warm weather and eccentric clothing.
“It’s really your opportunity to reconnect with yourself and do those things you’ve always wanted,” Sally Sullivan, A&S ’17, explains, “Last time I got a henna tattoo and I wore my funky glasses from Urban Outfitters. It was so nice to be out sharing this artistic experience with everyone.”
The school provides the students with burgers that they can purchase with their dining hall money and snacks that they can discount from their Eagle Bucks. It’s the only time and space that artists on campus—painters, filmmakers, sculptors— have to showcase their work, unless they reserve the small pushpin gallery on the first floor of O’neill (near the vending machines).
These conversations surrounding the topic of “art” are not limited to the public sphere. A lot of students display their passion for different artists on their dorm room walls. There is a limit to the amount of posters students can display, depending on the poster tent in front of Lower Live at the beginning of the year. Said one proprietor, who oddly asked us to conceal his name: “We have all the great, alt posters you need: Fight Club, The Beatles on Abbey Road, The Beatles in black and white, Audrey Hepburn, The “We Can Do it” Rosie Riveter, Great Wave and Thousands of Candles posters.”
Lucy Murphy talks about how she “had to go to CVS to get a special sticky material in order to hang her Starry Night poster and her poster of the two bicycles leaning against a colorful wall somewhere in Europe or Latin America.”
This was very telling of the students’ need to be exposed to “art” they find beautiful, shocking or compelling in some way. We can conclude that students at BC are able to find “art” and beauty in all things, especially the same things.
Over and out.
Featured Image by Breck Wills / Heights Graphics