Arts, On Campus

Arts Walk Displays the Essence of Student Art on Campus

When walking through Robsham Theater, one would not normally expect to experience art beyond theatrical performances. Nevertheless, during Arts Festival each year, a variety of paintings, photographs, and sculptures decorate Robsham and other buildings across campus—not unlike displays in the Museum of Modern Art. 

Throughout the weekend of Arts Fest, Boston College Art Council opened up the opportunity for students to share their artistic side with dance and music performances, film screenings, and art displays. 

The entrance of Robsham Theater was adorned with students’ and alumni’s artwork on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, ranging from small agricultural sculptures to thought-provoking literary writing.

The first section for viewers to engage with at the Arts Walk galleries in Robsham featured a 3D-like painting with burnt-out frames, black-and-white photography, and sculptures of pink pastries. The creative diversity of BC students was immediately recognizable in the eclectic selection of displays. 

“The Sandman,” a black-and-white photograph taken by Lauren Foster, MCAS ’23, captures a little boy playing in the vast landscape of an empty beach. The composition and the colorless pigment of the photography—and perhaps the large picture frame—makes the photograph stand out in the room.

“Piano Lessons” by Emma Colby, MCAS ’25, stuck out as one of the literary works on display. Whereas many viewers are often stopped in their tracks by large, radiant paintings, “The Piano Lesson” catches artistic eyes because of its complex language, yet simple story.  

Walking through each section, there seemed to be a motif of naturalistic paintings. “Bubble Earth” by Katelyn Flynne, LSEHD ’26, is a realistic, yet original depiction of Earth that may have a deeper meaning. Flynne may have been showing how the Earth is surrounded by a big bubble, capturing the irony of the world’s perfection and safety. 

“Lungs,” a painting by Cina He, LSEHD ’25, captures the beauty of a growing tree with a blended background of a pink sunset.   

“Oh, the branches look like lungs,” Jadon Lee, a viewer of Arts Walk and CSOM ’26, said. 

Lee’s comment connects the meaning of the art with its title—-lungs are delicate and decayable like the growth and deterioration of branches. 

Another artwork by He at the Arts Walk was a photograph of a blue-filtered upside down road. 

“Coming from China and having spent my teenage years in Argentina, the constant moving trained me to grab onto slippery moments before I leave for the next destination,” He said. 

The photography is a naturalistic insight into the industrialized world, but with a twist of artistic skill to perhaps make viewers question the picture’s realistic features. 

“With the color edit, I wanted to explore the idea of transience,the moment I did not see by taking the photo,and archival memory, the process of editing and creating a sort of ‘tangible’ memory I guess,” He said. “These two pictures made me ask myself how much of what I remember is what I want to remember and how that added value and emotions can feel so saturated at the moment while it is fresh.”

Toward the right of the art stands was a collection of ceramic bowls, which gave viewers of the Arts Walk a completely different viewing experience. “Sahara” is a captivating and utilitarian ceramic collection—the bowls’ bizarre shell-like shape and spots and bumps are fitting for IKEA’s fall furniture accessories. 

April 30, 2023