Career Night for the Arts Alumni Feature: Lauren Pollock ’07, Gallery Director

by Rachel Lee

Meet Lauren Pollock from the BC class of 2007! Pollock is currently the Gallery Director of the Leila Heller Gallery in New York City (read more about the Gallery, with locations in New York and Dubai, here).

Career Night for the Arts 2016! Come join us on Thursday, November 16th between 7:00pm – 8:30pm in the Heights Room to meet tons of BC alumni working in the arts to network, ask questions, and get advice about developing your own creative career! Check out the Arts Council Career Night for the Arts website for more info, or look at the Facebook event page! This event is a collaborative endeavor between the Arts Council, the Career Center, and the Alumni Association, bringing together all of BC’s best resources to help BC students turn their creativity into a career. You can also read the bios of all of the attending alumni here. 

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Lauren Pollock graduated from Boston College in 2007, with a degree in Art History. She continued her graduate studies at Hunter College in New York City, and completed a 6-month internship at The Jewish Museum where she assisted with the exhibition Chagall and the Artists of the Russian Jewish Theater1919-1949. Currently she is Director of Leila Heller Gallery, an art gallery specializing in contemporary international art with locations in New York City and Dubai. There she oversees the gallery’s ambitious exhibition and art fair programme, manages artist relationships, and helps to organize numerous off-site projects. Currently she is serving as the editor of a forthcoming book on the work of Shiva Ahmadi, to be published in 2017.

What is your most memorable art-related experience at BC and could you describe what you learned from it? 

Definitely the many afternoons spent at the MFA [Museum of Fine Arts, Boston]! It is so wonderful that the Art Department at BC takes advantage of having so many amazing museums and institutions at its fingertips. The time I spent engaging directly with works of art for coursework was immensely inspiring and a driving force behind my decision to pursue a career in the arts.

In today’s fast-changing art world, what are some of the biggest changes you have witnessed during your career? 

The accessibility to art, or more specifically to images of art. Art enthusiasts, collectors and the general public now have vast resources for viewing art online and via social media. Already just in the number of years that I have been working in the gallery world, I feel there has been a noticeable change in how art is experienced. While there are many advantages to this of course, I hope that galleries and museums continue to remain spaces of learning, enjoyment and social engagement!

As a director of a contemporary art gallery, what is the most rewarding part of your job? 

Being able to work closely with so many amazing and talented artists. There is a great feeling of fulfillment in seeing a project or exhibition of their work to fruition, especially one that is well received publicly and critically.

Some of our artists have also had really fantastic public installation projects, which are especially exciting to work on…You feel the work is able to have this whole other life outside of the gallery! One of our artists currently has a large-scale outdoor sculpture featured in a public park in the city of Chicago, presented through the Chicago Parks District. Knowing that countless people pass by that work every day is pretty special!

What are some of the qualities or skills that you feel will help a BC student succeed in today’s art museum/gallery field?

Being passionate, driven and curious I think are all very important qualities to have! And definitely being proactive and engaged. For anyone seriously interested in pursuing a career in the arts, my advice is to just get out there: see art, visit museums and galleries, connect with people who are in the field, and ask questions!

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BC Students: Don’t forget to check out all of the amazing artistic alumni attending Career Night for the Arts 2016, and make sure to read our interviews with Maureen Donovan, the Deputy Director of Harvard Art Museums; Eric Butler, Theatre Producer; Erin Dionne, Author; Karen Stein, Art Director and Principal Designer at goodgood; Daron Manoogian, the Communications Director of Harvard Art Museums; and Stephen Zubricki III, Principal Designer for Mystic View Design, Inc.  Meet these alumni and more at Career Night for the Arts, Thursday November 17th, 2016 at 7-8:30pm in the Heights Room!

Career Night for the Arts 2016: Meet Maureen Donovan ’78, Deputy Director of the Harvard Art Museums

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Maureen Donovan graduated from Boston College in 1978 with Bachelor’s degrees in English and Art History. She began working at the Harvard Art Museums as soon as she graduated from Boston College, and hharvard-art-museuns-logoas since worked her way up to the position of Deputy Director of the Harvard Art Museums, consisting of the Fogg Museum, Busch-Reisinger Museum, and Arthur M. Sackler Museum. Maureen Donovan is one of the many alumni visiting BC campus to network with current students and lend them career advice on Thursday, November 17th in the Heights Room at Lower (Corcoran Commons) for Career Night for the Arts 2016. Read some of her pre-Career Night for the Arts advice below to get to know Ms. Donovan, then be sure to come ask her your personal questions on November 17th!

 

Did you always want to study art and pursue a career in the arts?

No, actually. I wanted to major in English when I first started in Boston College. But after taking an Art History course, which was part of the core curriculum, I immediately fell in love and knew that I needed to learn more, so I ended up getting degrees in both disciplines.

How did you end up at the Harvard Art Museums?maureendonovan

During my senior year at BC, I volunteered at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, and worked with the Conservation/Curatorial team. This experience provided me a direction in terms of my future career path.

When I graduated, I decided to take a year off to work before getting a graduate degree in Art History. I worked in Collection Management (then called Registry) at Harvard Art Museums. And I never left!

Art is a field where it can appear difficult to “get started” or “get your foot in the door.” Do you have any advice for students who are interested in building a career in the arts?

BC students and young professionals in general today have all kinds of resources that were unavailable back then. When I studied here, I used to have to take the bus down to Wellesley to find art books, and now we such a well-funded, expansive department. Back then, there were no Museum Studies programs at the graduate level. Now there are three just in the Boston area: at Harvard, Tufts, and BU. What’s great about these programs is that they usually require you to spend 200 hours working in an institution in order to get the degree. It allows you to have actual experiences. I myself hire regularly from these programs.

Reaching outside of your classes and finding volunteer and internship opportunities are also a good place to begin. My experience at the MFA definitely made me more certain that this is a profession I enjoy and want to pursue further in the future. Moreover, it’s important to not only look at the big names, such as the MFA, or the Isabella Stewart Gardener Museum. There are so many small, fantastic collecting agencies in this area that can provide great learning experiences.

Besides, when I majored in art history, I used to think that the two prospective careers in this major were to curate and to teach, but there are so many more aspects to this line of work. There is communication, technology, data visions, and conservation… This is why it’s important to reach out and speak to people from different positions in this profession. This is a multi-dimensional industry, and there are so many different things to do.

Lastly, I believe that it’s always helpful to just sit down with someone in the profession and talk to them. Find me at Career Night for the Arts 2016 on November 17th in the Heights Room and ask me questions! I’d be more than happy to answer them.

Follow Harvard Art Museums on Twitter! : @harvartmuseums

 

BC ARTS INSIDER 2015-2016…

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As a new student to the Boston College community, I can’t help but notice the irony in writing for a blog purporting to be an “Insider” when I still feel like a bit of an outsider. So, I’m looking for a little help. Whether you’re an expert in all things Boston College, or you’re as new to the BC world as I am, we are looking for writer-interns to explore the BC arts scene and write about it for this very blog! The one you’re reading right now!

Come write with us! It can be scholarly or sassy, cynical or comical, short’n’snappy or super in-depth, and it’s a great way to get your voice out there. Nothing is better for a resume than saying you’ve had your writing published on the Internet! The Internet is a pretty popular place, so it’s kindof a big deal.

In the past, this blog has focused mainly on music + theatre reviews, and alumni artist interviews. I like those things; you probably do, too! Let’s keep doing them. Let’s also do think-pieces, poetry, and short fiction. Let’s do listicles, because apparently that’s a thing now, and why should Buzzfeed have all the fun? Let’s do debates. Let’s talk about movies we’ve seen, places we’ve been, and people who inspire us. Let’s discuss controversies in and around the BC art scene.

* Is there an event you’re dying to go to on or off campus that you’re not sure you can afford? If you agree to write about it for this blog, we will compensate for the ticket cost!

* Is your friend an amazing artist but gets shy about sharing their work? Profile them for the blog to promote their art and get them connected to the BC community!

* Are YOU an artist looking to show off your skills and get feedback and support from the BC community? Submit your work with along with some descriptions, and we will post it here!

* Do you want an excuse to talk to that really cool film/fine arts/music/theatre/English professor? Ask them if you can interview them for the BC Arts Insider blog! Samesies if you want to interview or profile a particular club or student group involved in the arts!

Posts can include pictures, videos, links, and/or your brilliant words. The sky’s the limit.

Email lustberg@bc.edu if you have an idea for a blog post, and let us know if you would like to write it yourself (Yes! You can do it! We believe in you!) or if you’d like someone from our Arts Council staff to write it (we’ll take your brilliant idea and run with it!). We’re open to just about anything, because this blog is not just about BC, it’s for BC students. This is the BC Arts Insider blog, and you’ll always be in with us.

I’M LIVING IN THE GREATEST CITY EVER, ATTENDING THE COOLEST SCHOOL IN THE WORLD…NOW WHAT?

As a BC newbie, I find myself completely overwhelmed by all of the various opportunities to get involved with both BC student life and the city of Boston in general. Coming from a smaller town, I love Boston’s vast and varied cultural landscape; it’s all dizzyingly exciting, but I find myself constantly puzzling over the classic conundrum: with so many intriguing options, how is one person supposed to decide where to go, what to do, and how to have fun on any given day? I’ve always said that if I could have one magical item from the world of Harry Potter, it would be Hermione’s time turner:

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It would obviously be used to sneak in extra naps during finals week, but it would also come in handy for all of the events and exhibits happening on and off BC campus every day, because there are so many options! Alas, we are mere muggles, and must figure things out sans magic.

So what’s the secret to never missing out on all the cool art events that match my interests? How can I get involved with the community in ways that are fun, creative, entertaining, and inspiring? How can I be a BC Arts Insider?

Luckily the BC Arts Council works to make everyone feel involved and get connected, and make sure you don’t miss out on anything that’s up your alley! There are tons of ways to keep in touch and make sure you get the most out of your BC experience:

* A good first step is to Like BC Arts Council on Facebook! That’s where it all goes down: posts include auditions and upcoming events, clubs promoting their meetings, shows, and projects, and all the general info you need to stay in the loop.

* The lovely Arts Calendar is also a handy guide to university arts events for the semester. You can download a PDF and plot out your game plan for now through December, making sure to check off all of your bucket-list arts items by planning ahead.

* You can take on our Instagram Challenge, designed for ultimate adventure and exploration! Gram your attendance at all of the places/events listed, tagging @bc_artscouncil for each one, and you win BC swag!

* You can make sure to clear your schedule for the night of Thursday, November 12th for our event Career Night for the Arts! Trying to figure out what to do with the rest of your life can be scary, but you don’t have to go it alone. From 7-9pm that evening you can converse and network with BC alumni who not only have pursued their interest in the arts beyond college, but have made successful careers out of it. Come seek advice and wisdom from these folks, because they know what they’re talking about. (Also, look out for features about specific Career Night alumni on this blog to stay informed on who will be there!)

* Sign up for our email list to get our weekly Eyes on Art newsletter (email arts@bc.edu with the subject line “Add Me to Eyes on Art”), which gives a fun and brief rundown of some can’t-miss art happenings for the current week.

* Fill out this form if you would like to put on an exhibition at the brand-new, state-of-the-art gallery space in Carney Hall. Submit a proposal to reserve the space for your work. The first exhibit will be from Visiting Assistant Professor Sammy Chong, entitled The Pilgrim, from November 2nd through December 4th

* Check out our Twitter for important updates in the BC Arts scene.

COMING UP NEXT WEEK…

BC Arts Council does ITV Fest! We’ll share our experiences with you, and if have any intense FOMO about next year, you can make sure to join in on the action by taking the Independent TV & Film course (THTR225701) in the Fall.

Also next week…

Inspired by some truly amazing BC alumni artists and lots of recent media coverage, I’ll be posting a think-piece about art in the digital world. Is art that’s created and shared digitally essentially different from more traditional forms of creation? How can we use new technologies to push the boundaries of art as we know it? Our generation is one of the first that can truly call ourselves digital natives. We grew up with the Internet, and the ever-increasing infusion of little glowing screens into our lives is undeniable, so what does this mean for the future of the art world?

Have anything you’d like to contribute to this conversation? Email me at lustberg@bc.edu and I’ll incorporate your thoughts into the article (giving you full credit for your ideas, of course). Are there any art events you know of happening in Boston that relate to this topic? We’d love to hear about them!

Stay tuned!

First Time at ArtsFest? Here’s All You Need to Know

By Kristen Mabie

Is this your first year going to ArtsFest and you’re not sure what to expect, or which events to attend? You’ve noticed those white tents that mysteriously appeared while you were cheering on marathoners. But what are they for, and why should you care? Read on, for the in-brief low down of what each ArtsFest venue has to offer and why you should be excited!

From Thursday through Saturday of this week, Boston College will put the spotlight on all forms of art. Though BC has a strong community of talented student-artists they are rarely honored with such a public platform. Over 1,000 students and faculty will share their artistic talents with us, which means you’re almost certain to find something you love. BC students and visitors alike can’t miss the festival tents on O’Neill Plaza and Stokes Lawn, in a central and beautiful part of our campus. Though O’Neill Plaza and the Stokes Lawn are the heart and soul of the festival, events are also held in buildings throughout campus, such as Gasson 100, so remember to check the schedule online for details. Also on the online schedule lists the times of the events, and many are in the evenings so if you are not available during the day you still have the opportunity to experience the festival! It’s truly a three-day non-stop celebration of the arts.

The Irish Studies Music Program will start us off in the main tent at O’Neill Plaza on Thursday at noon. After that, music, theatre, and dance events are held every hour, all throughout the weekend. Following the amazing Showdown dance competition last weekend, many campus dance groups will take the stage in O’Neill plaza and perform. Additionally, a-capella and other musical groups will share this stage throughout the weekend. The stage will rarely be left empty so make sure to stop by often to experience a variety of art forms, cultures, and artists. Each evening, head to the tent on O’Neill for the main event, a three-night billing to cater for all tastes, from the all-out rock fest of BC’s Best and the can’t-stop hip hop of BC Underground to the big band extravaganza of Dancing with bOp!

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Have you ever seen a sketch show in an art gallery? The Stokes Art Tent houses a three-day pop up student exhibition as well as a host of live performances. It’s a very unique experience where you may get the chance to interact with the artist of your favorite piece in the Gallery Opening and Reception. Or hangout with your lunchtime reading and enjoy music, improv comedy, and spoken word in the unique atmosphere of this warm, sunny, indoors-outdoors art gallery. The tent will also hold more formal events such as Artist Talks by the students showing work and Inside the BC Studio, a conversation with professor Sheila Gallagher and our esteemed alumni guest for the year, artist Chris Doyle (’81). Doyle is an internationally exhibited artist whose recent project was an installation for Times Square. The discussion with him on Friday afternoon at 2:15 PM is a can’t miss event! The art doesn’t remain within the bounds of the Stokes tent, however. The Stokes Lawn itself is a hub of arty events going on all weekend. After you’ve soaked in the art exhibition step out onto the lawn to pick up a unique gift at the BC craft fair, get a beautiful henna tattoo at the free henna stand, or create art yourself, with the daily sidewalk chalk masterpiece, a giant reproduction of a famous painting on which the whole BC community can collaborate.

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No matter what days or events you attend at this year’s Arts Festival it is sure to be a highlight of this Boston College Spring. The vibrant energy and inspiring talent the festival has to offer can’t be missed by any fan of Boston College or the arts. And if you still aren’t sure which events are for you, head over the Arts Council website for the full schedule.

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ArtsFest is Finally Here! What Are Your Must-Sees This Year?

By Cuilin Chen

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Acclaimed artist Chris Doyle is this year’s Special Alumni Guest at ArtsFest.

 

It’s set to be a week of joy and spirit on the BC campus: after the long-awaited Boston Marathon today comes the 2015 Boston College Arts Festival, beginning this Thursday and running through Saturday. For three days every year, our campus is home to a wide scope of events including a fine art exhibition, music, dance and theatre performances. The art frenzy is about to begin! Step outside, come to the festival, and enjoy this beautiful season. Spring it is, let your senses be awakened. From Thursday to Sunday, day and night, the Arts Fest will fill you with excitement. Check out the schedule now and find your must-see events.

Besides performances, shows and exhibitions, the Arts Fest also offers more academic alternatives, such as literary readings and performance poetry. And there are always opportunities to get involved: One of the events set to be a highlight this year is “Inside the BC Studio.” BC Art Professor Sheila Gallagher will interview the 2015 ArtsFest Special Alumni Guest, acclaimed multidisciplinary artist Chris Doyle ’81 live on stage, on Friday afternoon. It will be a great opportunity to learn about the artist and his works. I am personally a big fan of the artist and his quirky yet substantial animations. In 2014, Doyle’s installation, “Bright Canyon,” was projected all over Time Square. Hear how Doyle found his way from BC college graduate and made a name for himself in the art world at Inside the BC Studio and The Industry Insider Panel this Friday and Saturday.

If you are feeling uplifted, don’t forget to take part in the Arts Fest tradition, Saturday afternoon’s children’s events. Wouldn’t it be such a sweet dream to be reading stories in the tent, along with the melody of spring, to children’s lovely faces? I consider the children’s program a special and meaningful component of the Arts Fest, as it allows children to experience and appreciate art at a young age, and it is not until later that they would realize how inspiring it is to have art as part of their lives.

You might have a ton of plans for Saturday parties, but what about an artsy “pregame” this weekend? You can catch a movie and a show this Friday night right on campus. Begin at Stokes Art Tent for the premiere screening of Mod of Cards, Episode 5 at 9 PM, then head over to the main tent on O’Neill Plaza for BC Underground, a night of break dancing, hip hop, EDM and other underground artists.

BC Underground

BC Underground

In the end, here are a few tips for you to enjoy the Arts Fest to fullness: Come to Arts Fest, and be part of it! This annual festival provides the best platform to learn from and interact with other artists; and if you are an artist yourself, this is the time of the year where we see you shine, on stage or beside your work; or if you are just looking for entertainment, I am sure you will find pleasure in all that the Arts Fest has to offer. I look forward to seeing you in the festival!

More Than an Amateur Hour: Art Club and Music Guild Co-Host Open Mic Night

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Last Thursday, the BC Art Club and the Music Guild joined forces to present the first in  a series of Open Mic Nights. The event was hosted in the Vandy Cabaret Lounge, one of the more hip spots on campus (next to the Chocolate Bar, of course). Of the twelve acts, only one was a non-musical performance. (For those looking for more poetry, the next Open Mic Night, this Thursday, will also be hosted by the Laughing Medusa, which is bound to draw the BC literati to the stage.) The juxtaposition of serious musicians and amateurs just there to have fun was endearing; the evening was neither too serious nor too casual. Even those performers who missed a few lines, or whose voices were shaky with trepidation, proved that beneath all the pastels and whale-printed shorts there is genuine artistic talent in the BC community.

Despite being a small event, there were more than a few large voices. Alex Dzialo, of My Mother’s Fleabag, took the reins as emcee and the night  started out strong with the Music Guild’s own VP, Chris Paterno. Brandishing a guitar and harmonica, he performed two songs off his EP, Everyday Shadows, which just so happens to drop this week. For those who did not attend, you can see Chris deliver the artistry one would expect of the Vice President of the Music Guild here.

Next up was Seán O’Rourke, who probably stole more than a few hearts with his charming Irish accent. A man of many talents, Seán is not only an actor, but apparently a poet as well. He performed two spoken-word poems, reading them off his phone without any shame. The first was an untitled love letter to a girl named Victoria. The second, titled “To My Love,” was a half-chronicle of a date that could have gone better.

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Dan Lyle’s solo act, Isl∆nd, was certainly the darkest, but it was also the most mesmerizing. Maybe I’m more basic than I thought, but I couldn’t place his song, “Not You,” into one specific genre. Dan describes Isl∆nd as a “sonic world with endless possibilities” and hopes “to create genre bending music where every song exists in its own world.” He certainly succeeded in warping our brains for the few minutes he was on stage. Since Thursday, I haven’t stopped listening to all the trippy and haunting tracks on his Soundcloud—especially the EP ily.ihu.imu.

In the fifth act, Nick Diamondidis missed a few lines of “Dead Sea” by the Lumineers, but laughed it off like it was all part of the act. Next up was Chris Garcia and his solo project, the Proper. Sporting nothing but an acoustic guitar, his quiet and sensitive voice really pulled the audience in. The first song Chris performed was “For That Girl Who’s Kind of Cool” off his album, Opinions/Facts, released last August. The second was “Islands,” from his EP Whatever’nstuff, released last January.

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The last six performances all showcased talented musicians, but were, for the most part, a string of covers, with Taylor Swift emerging as artist most likely to feature in a mashup. The Swift blending began with Meghan and Katie Kelleher’s “Thinking About Forever and Always,” a mix of Frank Ocean and Taylor Swift lyrics. I never thought Frank Ocean and Taylor Swift had much in common, but I was more than pleasantly surprised at how cohesively they came together. Next was Ian, Anna, and Mike with a double-Swift smoothie of “Style” and “Blank Space.”

The show ended with Dan Hwang and David Park playing three unnamed songs on their acoustic guitars. They were calm and relaxing and ended the night on a perfectly mellow note. Walking out of Vandy, I felt an appreciation for BC I hadn’t felt in a while. Events like Open Mic Night are so important because they’re ideal places to rediscover a sense of individuality and artistry in the BC community. Whenever BC begins to feel too big, or Vineyard Vines becomes too overwhelming, it’s events like these that remind us to take an active search for individuality and art. Even the most unsuspecting people have something important to say, something creative to share.

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Something “ArtLifting” For Your Friday: BC Alum Empowers Disadvantaged Boston Artists

By Kristen Mabie

"Blue Moon Over Back Bay" by Dante Gandini

“Blue Moon Over Back Bay” by Dante Gandini

I met Spencer Powers, ’07 and his sister, Liz, at a crowded Cambridge restaurant one evening in November of 2013 to begin my internship at ArtLifting. I had been hired over the phone and never had an internship before so I had no clue what to expect, but it did not take long for me to feel not only comfortable with the Powers siblings but incredibly excited about the future of the Boston-based startup. ArtLifting, a L3C (low-profit limited liability company), seeks to empower homeless, disabled, and other disadvantaged individuals through the celebration and sale of their artwork. I got involved with ArtLifting before the company’s ecommerce platform opened, and at the time, four artists were going to join the program. Though it was a new venture, after seeing just a few pieces of artwork I had total confidence in the Powers’ vision. These four talented artists made me reconsider the stereotypes of homeless and disadvantaged individuals in our Boston community and what it means to be an artist.

Over the course of a few months, I was privileged to be able to see ArtLifting flourish. In January, the first four artists – Dante Gandini, Katie Schulz, Randy Nicholson, and Allen Chamberland – received their first checks, and it was clear the company was destined for success. In the months that followed, more artists from around the city got involved with ArtLifting, one company bought a large amount of artwork to be installed in their office, and ArtLifting was receiving more and more media coverage. Though I no longer work at the company, I regularly check in on what they have been up to and am thrilled to say that now, a year later, the company has expanded nationwide to support 45 artists in 8 cities.

"Mast" by Allen Chamberland

“Mast” by Allen Chamberland

If you are looking for a good cause and are a supporter of the arts in Boston – look no further. The first time I saw pictures of the artwork I was blown away, and to this day every time I check the website I am in awe. These artists, who have faced various challenges in their lives, have found a way to create beauty regardless of their situation. Their artistic mediums and styles are as diverse as their life stories, and the role art plays in each of their lives is unique, but their talent, strength and perseverance unites them as a group of artists who are truly inspiring. As an aspiring artist I can only hope to have the bravery these artists demonstrate by never giving up their creative process no matter what and allowing their powerful work to be seen by the public.

ArtLifting is not only showcasing the importance of art in our lives and breaking stereotypes about homeless or disabled members of our Boston community, but spreading this message nationwide. We have Spencer and Liz Powers to thank for that. The long hours they have spent establishing this company and allowing it to reach its potential are apparent. Whether you look at the website, visit their gallery in Boston, or read any of the media’s praise, you can just feel the enthusiasm shared by the Powers siblings, the artists, and everyone who has helped ArtLifting’s success. Everyone at ArtLifting truly embodies the Boston College slogan, “men and women for others.”

But don’t take it from me: check out the ArtLifting website, whether it is for artistic inspiration or to purchase the perfect gift. Read the stories of the inspirational artists, keep up with the motivated ArtLifting team and find out what ArtLifting is doing right now for the Boston community. You will not be disappointed. Though the artists themselves are not Boston College alumni, I am certainly proud to have interned at such an important organization and be able to say it was co-founded by a Boston College alumnus. The mission may be to empower the artists it features, but I think it is safe to say it has empowered many members of our community!