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


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



Student Artist Feature: Sanjay Pamaar

Meet Sanjay! As a 2015 Arts Award Recipient and an active member of the Boston College music scene, he has plenty of art stories to share. Read on as he reflects upon his BC art experiences. Spoiler Alert: you may spot Sanjay on stage with bOp! a couple of times during the 2016 Arts Festival! Don’t miss BC bOp!’s free performance on Friday, April 29th at 12:00pm in the O’Neill Plaza, and definitely don’t miss the                                                swirled-dance-and-music-extravanganza that is…

Dancing with bOp! 2016, this Saturday, April 30th, at 8:00pm in the O’Neill Plaza. All Students get in for FREE with your Eagle ID, and tickets are available at the door for the general public ($15, or $10 for senior citizens).

In what ways have you been involved in the arts at Boston College?

I’ve heavily involved myself with music here at BC. Since my freshman year, I’ve been heavily involved in the BC Bands program here as a percussionist. I’ve been an Executive Board Member and Percussion Section Leader of the Symphonic Band (affectionately known as SymBa), Drumline Section Leader in the BC Marching Band, and a drum set player in both BC bOp! and the Pep Band.

Lately, however, I’ve also been taking classical music composition very seriously, studying with Professor Ralf Gawlick, which eventually led to my Senior Composition Thesis – a work for Symphonic Band, which was premiered on April 12th.

I’ve also been doing some music teaching around BC. I currently volunteer as a Student Mentor at St. Columbkille through the BC Bands Service Group and assist our percussion instructors in teaching the Percussion Tech class, or winter drumline. I also love to attend other concerts with groups I’m not involved in, keeping my ears filled with the music made by my friends.

What has participating in the arts meant to you during your time at BC?

Well, in January I decided to leave my pre-medical studies behind to pursue graduate school in music composition. So perhaps being so engrossed in music at BC caused an entire career change for me! Musical and artistic processes also require me to pour 100% of myself into them. My time at BC has definitely taught me a lot about my weaknesses and strengths as an artist, leader, and teacher. Speaking with all of my teachers, professors, and directors about musical leadership has also helped me become more aware of my role as a musician.

Studying composition, in particular, has kept me engaged in the artistic process. I really like being around artists at BC too, because they are so well-rounded and willing to discuss their art. For example, I compose more modern classical music, but my friend likes to write music for musical theater, and my roommate writes screenplays, short stories, television scripts, and comedy. The three of us really enjoy speaking to each other about our work, and discussing different problems in the creative process.

Who or what inspires you and why?

My teachers and mentors have definitely been huge role models for me, encouraging me to keep working hard in music, whether with composition, conducting, or teaching. The work that they all do is fascinating, and they greatly influence me. My family has also been so supportive, and they keep me motivated to continue in my musical path. Other than that, my friends and I who are involved in the arts help push each other, and keep each other in check. I really enjoy our lively discussions about art.

What is your most memorable arts experience and what did you learn from it?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016 is a day that I’ll never forget. That night was the premiere of my senior composition thesis with Symphonic Band. This 15-minute piece for wind band is titled Visions of Marian Rose, and it’s a reflection and meditation on conflicting emotions that occur during my involvement in my family’s medical mission work on our home island of Iloilo in the Philippines. Marian Rose World Mission has teamed with LIG Global Foundation to bring our volunteer services to Iloilo each January for the past four years, focusing on women’s health and well-being issues, providing medical and surgical services to less fortunate women and young girls with limited access to necessary health assistance.

The premiere itself was emotional to say the least – the energy in that room was incredibly spiritual. It was really scary to share and conduct this extremely personal work with so many people in the audience and Symphonic Band, but I felt the love and support of the people in Trinity Chapel that night. My family and some of the mission workers were also there to experience that special moment. I’m still processing all of it a few days later, but it’s something for which I’m eternally grateful to everyone involved – audience, mission workers, teachers and musicians alike. That night really taught me that so many people go into art, including the source of inspiration, parents, teachers, friends, supporters, and performers.

What are you most looking forward to for this year’s Arts Festival?

I’m looking forward to seeing my fellow seniors perform all over BC – I really appreciate their camaraderie and friendship over the past four years. We all love to see each other’s events and works, and this Arts Fest is a great culmination of our work. Although SymBa is not performing at Arts Fest this year, I’ll be playing with BC bOp! on Friday, April 29th at 12:00 PM and at Dancing with bOp! on Saturday, April 30th at 8:00 PM.

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Student Artist Feature: Meet Parker!


Meet Parker Aubin! This accomplished musician shares his art story with BC Arts Insider: a four-year love affair with music, BC Bands, and all things bOp!

Don’t miss Dancing with bOp! 2016, this Saturday, April 30th, at 8:00pm in the O’Neill Plaza. Students get in for free with your Eagle ID, and tickets are available at the door for the general public ($15).

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In what ways have you been involved in the arts at Boston College?
Of all of the opportunities in the arts that BC provides, I have felt most at home in the performing musical arts. I have been a member of several ensembles in the BC Bands program in my four years here. Without downplaying the merits of the other groups in which I have played, I have undoubtedly had some of the greatest musical (and otherwise) experiences as a member of BC bOp!. I have also grown the most as a musician and artist in the atmosphere of high-caliber playing and friendly camaraderie that is bOp!.

What has participating in the arts meant to you during your time at BC?
I found my second family as a member of BC bOp!. The tight social bond that we have in bOp! stems from the common goal of creating art through quality music on various stages across New England (and once in Idaho). We each bring something different to the ensemble, and playing together, we forge a sound greater than the sum of the individual components.

Who or what inspires you and why?
With any college group, there is the unique property of member rotation as veteran members graduate and underclassmen join. In my first two years of the ensemble, I was fortunate to have the guidance of two upperclassmen in my section, Dave Bonaiuto and Terry Peng, who were a great source of inspiration to my playing and understanding of our media, jazz. In my last two years, I took on the role of section leader with their influence in mind as I tried my best to impart some of the same wisdom on the other members of my section and the ensemble. I am humbled by the tradition that we uphold in BC bOp! and remember that a portion of our present musical success is owed to the players who came before me. I am inspired not only by my contemporaries in the ensemble, but by the bOp! alumni who set the scene for us.

What is your most memorable arts experience and what did you learn from it?
I have always gotten a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from our annual Dancing With bOp! show during Arts Fest. This performance is unique for us because we work with the dance groups on campus to provide live musical accompaniment to their routines – which is hardly ever our usual style. It is fun music to play, and the environment of the performance is unparalleled. Each dance group has a different flavor and style and it is a real joy to play with each of them throughout the night. The atmosphere of the audience is also different from most of our other shows. Because of the individual fan clubs from each group coming together with our fans and spectators interested in the show as a whole, the audience is always vibrant and supportive. I love the opportunity that the Dancing With bOp! provides us with to collaborate with various dance groups combining visual and musical arts in a captivating event.

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Student Artist Feature: Anne Wilder of BC bOp! and The Golden Eagles

Meet Anne Wilder! A natural perfomer, Anne has fond memories of her time with BC bOp!, the Golden Eagles dance team, and the Arts Festival! Read on as Anne shares her art history and lets us know what is so special about the Festival’s featured event Dancing with bOp!

Don’t miss Dancing with bOp! 2016, this Saturday, April 30th, at 8:00pm in the O’Neill Plaza. Students get in for free with your Eagle ID, and tickets are available at the door for the general public ($15).



In what ways have you been involved in the arts at Boston College?

I am a vocalist and Student Executive Board member of BC bOp!. In addition to that, I also am the Section Leader of the Golden Eagles Dance Team. I have been performing with both these groups since I was a freshman at Boston College, so performing has been of my life here at BC.

What has participating in the arts meant to you during your time at BC?

The arts have been a huge part of my college experience. The arts have not only provided me with great opportunities but it also allowed for me to meet some of my closest friends! It has been so much to have such great creative outlets where I can express myself and still have a lot of fun in the process.

Who or what inspires you and why?

I am inspired by all different types of art forms. Boston College has such rich and diverse art forms on campus that it allows for us to be continuously surrounded by such great creative inspiration.
What is your most memorable arts experience and what did you learn from it?

My most memorable arts experiences are whenever I have an opportunity to perform. One of my favorite performances of the year is Dancing With bOp! during Arts Fest. It allows me to collaborate my love of dance and music into one show!

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playwriting extravaganza

Student Artists Feature: Danny Quinones!!


Meet Danny Quinones! As a featured BC student artist, we have invited him to share his art story! This talented theatre and writing enthusiast has a short play being performed in this year’s BC Arts Festival as part of..

Contemporary Theatre’s Playwriting Extravaganza on

Saturday, April 30th, at 3:30pm in the Stokes Art Tent! Don’t miss it! (It’s free and open to the public!)

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In what ways have you been involved in the arts at Boston College?

I have participated as an actor in a number of shows with the Boston College Theater Department, namely Big Love, Almost, Maine, and with this Art’s Fest, The Servant of Two Masters. Additionally, I am a member of the student theater board Contemporary Theatre. Last semester I took the class Dramatic Structure and the Theatrical Process with Scott T. Cummings, a class which culminated with a presentation of original short scenes; I wrote a scene, and acted in another for this event. And lastly, I am participating in CT’s Playwriting Extravaganza, in which I am excited to say another of my original scenes will be featured.

What has participating in the arts meant to you during your time at BC?

For me participating in the arts here at BC has been about finding a place to belong. In the BC theater department I have found good friends, whom I care for, and on whom I can count on. They accept me for who I am, and appreciate me for what I have to offer.

Who or what inspires you and why?

I am an inspired by my audience, and I don’t mean that it an “oh, look at me!” kind of way. By that I mean, I am inspired by having someone to make feel something through my art. Even if that something is only a few laughs, it inspires me to know that I had some kind of an impact. This is what inspires me to write, and this is what inspires me to act, and in this way there is very little difference between the two for me.

What is your most memorable arts experience and what did you learn from it?

It’s tough to say for certain, because there have been quite a few moments worthy of being called memorable, but if I had to choose only one… I’d say it was when I wrote one of my first plays with my cousin, and standing on stage I heard the audience hard laugh at our jokes for the first time, and could see they were entertained by what we had made. This moment for me was big, because it made me realize that writing was something that I could actually do. Writing wasn’t some unattainable goal for people who were smarter, or more talented than me. As long as I worked hard and practiced, I could make art too.

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s Arts Festival?

I am looking forward to the Playwriting Extravaganza! Not only because my play will be put on (yay!) but also because a lot of other exciting original works will be performed, and we’ll get to see the hard work of a whole bunch of people pay off.





Student Award Recipient: Meet Benjamin Flythe!

Meet Benjamin Flythe! A talented artist/photographer in his own right, he was selected this year to receive the distinguished Jeffery Howe Art History Award for his achievements as an Art History major in his time at BC. This award will be presented as part of the BC Arts Festival, and we were fortunate enough for Benjamin to share his story with us, and what kinds of art there is to be found in BC, Boston, and beyond, if you’re just brave enough to create it.

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What has participating in the arts meant to you during your time at BC? 

My participation in the arts at BC has been incredibly formative for me! I made it a point to study art history (as opposed to studio art) so that I would have some foundation on which to base my own art. I think it’s incredibly important to have a firm understanding of what’s come before you so that you, as an artist, know your place in the grand scheme of things. That being said, I also made it a point to practice my own art as much as possible and I took on projects whenever I could (both personal and to help out other people/organizations)!

How has your work in the arts informed your next steps after graduation?

I’m hoping to continue working in a creative capacity in any way that I can! I’ll obviously continue working on my personal photography, producing art more often (with a little more free time from no school!)—but I’m also applying for Art Director and Visual Designer positions in various companies in the Boston area. I have to confess that I’ve thought a little less about it, but I’m also hopefully going to continue working towards some further research in art history; in particular, I’d love to dive a bit deeper into the work I started on Roy Lichtenstein’s art with Professor Cernuschi since I feel like there’s more to be said on that topic.

If you could give some advice to younger students about the arts at BC and beyond, what would it be? 

Make as many connections as possible. I transferred to BC from Parsons School of Design in NYC and while I’ve loved my time at BC more than I can say, the one regret I have is the number of “hands-on” related art connections I could have made there, had I stayed. That being said, I feel as if the relationships I’ve built with the professors in the Art History department here at BC are some that I value immensely. I never hesitate to reach out to previous professors, especially if my current research overlaps with something I’ve done with them in the past. Get to know them; they’re your best resources and they really want to see you succeed!

What is your most memorable arts experience and what did you learn from it?

My most memorable arts experience at BC has to be my collaboration with the Women’s Center on the “Embodied Stories” exhibition for their annual Love Your Body Week. I had the incredible opportunity to create a series of portraits of a wide variety of students, helping them share their lived experiences and the physical aspects of their bodies that help to shape their sense of self. These photos were coupled with interviews I conducted with each of the participants and shared in the level one gallery in O’Neill Library for the duration of Love Your Body Week. One of the participants, during our interview, asked how felt about the whole project and that’s when it really hit me; any one of us could have been represented—myself included—because we all share in these stories. We have an incredible opportunity to get to know each other on a really fundamental level, and I hope that even one person was effected by the project as much as I was!

Honestly, just have fun! Art is different for everybody, but that’s what makes it so great. Go to a museum. Check out some local galleries. Bring some paper and charcoal to the Commons and sit and draw. Carry a camera around. Make it what you want and it’ll give something back to you (that’s so cheesy, and I can hardly believe I wrote it, but it’s very true!). Don’t think that because you’re “not an artist” or “don’t understand art” doesn’t mean you shouldn’t participate in it—that’s even more of a reason to just dive right in!

The 2016 Art Awards Ceremony and Reception will be held on Friday April 29th, in the Stokes Art Tent at 3pm. The event is free and open to the public, with no registration necessary. The Awards Ceremony will be from 3-4pm, and a reception with hors d’oeuvres and drinks will follow shortly from 4-5pm. See you there!



Share Your Story! Featured Student Artist Abigail Kopek

studentartistspicAs part of our 2016 Arts Festival theme of “Share Your Story!” we will be featuring student artists from Boston College and asking about what makes the arts so meaningful for them, and how getting involved with the BC art scene has shaped their lives and their futures!

First up, meet Abigail Kopek! Abigail plays the trumpet in the BC University Wind Ensemble, and she decided to share her “art history” with us and let us know what makes BC music so special!

In what ways have you been involved in the arts at Boston College?

I have been very involved with music at BC. Although I am graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Physics, I am minoring in Music and play trumpet and sing. My primary ensemble is the University Wind Ensemble (UWE) and I’m on its Student Executive Board in addition to being the Trumpet Section Leader. Beyond UWE, I’ve participated in the Marching Band, Symphonic Band, Pep Band, University Chorale, the Chamber Singers of the University Chorale, and the Music Department’s Music Outreach Program.

What has participating in the arts meant to you during your time at BC?

Music is my main method of social interaction. I have met so many wonderful people and feel privileged that they’ve let me into their lives. I probably would have far fewer friends and be incredibly unhappy if I didn’t make music with familiar people on a regular basis.

Who or what inspires you and why?

The best thing about the BC music groups I’ve joined is the fantastic support I’ve received from everyone in them. We inspire each other so that, regardless of skill level, we strive for our best and to always improve. When I got into UWE as a freshman, there was one trumpet player, a senior, who was so good that he was rather intimidating. Yet he was also a great guy and I was inspired to become better so that the UWE would not suffer from his loss. Also, the directors and teachers put so much care and effort into us which inspires me to give at least as much back in appreciation.

What is your most memorable arts experience and what did you learn from it?

Where to start? Freshman year, the Sesquicentennial concert at Boston’s actual SYMPHONY HALL!!! I sang with the Chorale and played with UWE. I felt so honored to share my passion for music in a place world-renowned for that art. By that point in my first year, I had already sung with the Boston Pops, performed in the halftime show for the Canadian Allouettes Football team in Montreal, sang mass in St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, and screamed my head off at the Men’s Basketball Team in Greensboro, NC. Symphony Hall was a realization point of how fortunate I was to go to Boston College and be a part of groups that can offer such incredible, once in a lifetime opportunities.

Make sure to check out all of the amazing music events at the 2016 BC Arts Festival for even more arts stories and to support students like Abigail!

Click here for the full schedule of Arts Festival events!