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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!

Week of Dance Spotlight: Meet the Golden Eagles Dance Team!

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by Rachel Vishanoff

The Golden Eagles Dance Team spends most of the fall season performing along side the Screaming Eagles Marching Band half time and throughout BC Game Days. But they also like to showcase student choreography in a wide variety of styles at events like Week of Dance and Arts Fest, and they spend their whole spring season exploring and celebrating the many diverse talents of the team.

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Julia McTigue (MCAS ’20), a ballet dancer all her life, joined the Golden Eagles Dance Team this year to continue dancing in college and stay in shape, while also experiencing a new pace and style of dance. If she’s learned anything this season, she says that it’s “the importance of the whole rather than the individual.” To put on a good halftime show, everyone has to contribute equally with the final product in view—and that’s what gives the performance its impact. “What I like about the Dance Team is that we all have different backgrounds and talents and we all contribute in our own way.” For Julia, this goes far beyond the final product on the field. She already felt at home when she moved to campus and found a GEDT sign on her door to welcome her, and she loves that she was able to come to campus early and establish herself and make friends. “The upperclassmen have really taken me under their wing”—yet one more reason why she feels like the Golden Eagles have given her a home here at BC.

Rachel Vishanoff (MCAS ’18) is one of the student leaders for the Golden Eagles this year, and is most excited to be able to watch the team become such an important home at BC for the freshmen this year just like it has been for her. “Little things like the name plates on the doors of all our dancers’ rooms, and game-day sticky notes in everyone’s lockers have been special to me the past three years and it’s been wonderful to be on the other side of that this year and actually be helping to make those things happen for the team.” Her favorite game-day tradition is reciting Psalm 150 with everyone before taking the field. “It’s a reminder that who we are while no one is watching us is just as important, if not more, than what we put on the field that day, and that’s what makes the team special.”

The Golden Eagles Dance Team will be performing during the Week of Dance at the BC Dance Showcase! The Dance Showcase will perform twice, on Friday December 2nd at 7:00pm, and on Saturday December 3rd at 7:00pm, and features 12 different BC dance groups! Tickets on sale through the Robsham Theater Arts Center Box Office starting November 21st.

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Meet the Dancers of Week of Dance: Emily Durkin, Dance Ensemble

What happens when you put together about 30 amazing dancers who also choreograph their own dances? You get Boston College’s Dance Ensemble. According to BCDE’s own website, “All the proceeds that BCDE generates from performances benefit the Boston College Campus School, a non-profit special education day school for students ages 3-21 with multiple disabilities.”

In order to kick off Week of Dance, we have begun to explore the stories of the students that form Boston College’s various dance groups, starting with BCDE’s Director Emily Durkin.

Emily is currently a senior at Boston College pursuing a major in Economics and Philosophy. Not only is Durkin the current director of BCDE, but she was also formerly the Vice Chair of the Student Organization Funding Committee at BC.

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We had a chance to sit down to ask her a few questions about her dance experience:

What inspires you to dance? How has it impacted your life? 

Dance Ensemble at BC has given me my best friends and most special memories. I auditioned for the team at the last minute my freshman year, and I am so glad I did. We feel so lucky that we get to spend time in our beautiful rehearsal space sharing our passion with one another through our choreography each semester. I am consistently blown away by the creativity of my peers.

What is your favorite dance memory at BC? 

I love the entire week leading up to our Week of Dance show in Robsham. It’s hard work – we are at the theater for upwards of 6 hours a day for the entire week – but it is also rewarding as we finally get to perform for an audience at the end of the week.

What makes Dance Ensemble “Dance Ensemble”? 

Everyone on DE truly is the luckiest. We get to learn about ourselves and each other throughout our four years together. DE’s emphasis on technique with weekly ballet classes makes it truly unique.

What are you looking forward to at Boston College with dance?

Our show is always the highlight of the year, it is the culmination of hundreds (maybe even thousands) of hours of hard work, but the opportunity to share our dance with the BC community on the Robsham Theater Arts Center stage is truly special and one that we do not take for granted.

Come out to support Boston College Dance Ensemble during the 2016 Week of Dance hosted by the Boston College Arts Council and the Robsham Theater Arts Center!

Check out the BCDE Facebook Page! BCDE will be teaching a FREE workshop on Tuesday November 29th at 7:30pm in Brighton Dance Studio! And be sure to pick up tickets through the Robsham Theater Arts Center for Week of Dance performance tickets!

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Career Night for the Arts 2016: Meet Theatre Producer Eric Butler from CSOM ’12

Meet Eric Butler! Eric is a theatre enthusiast and business aficionado, proving you can combine your interests in both management and the arts in building your very own career! Eric is one of our incredible BC arts alumni guests attending….

Career Night for the Arts 2016! Come join us on Thursday, November 16th between 7:00pm – 8:30pm in the Heightscareer-night-final-1 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.

 

 

Eric Butler is the founder of Final Bow Productions, a commercial production company that invests in live entertainment, specifically Broadway and touring theatrical productions. He has served as a professional fundraiser in the not-for-profit sector since 2006, and his passion for education and the arts has helped him raise several millions of dollars for private institutions in his home state of Massachusetts. With substantial professional experience in fundraising and investor/donor relations, and an educational background in business and theatre arts, Eric is able to utilize these skill sets as he explores opportunities to produce and invest in works for the commercial stage. In the corporate sector, he has served as a consultant for Brown Brothers Harriman and an MBA Associate/Project Manager at Liberty Mutual, both with headquarters in Boston, MA.ericbutler.jpg

Eric is a graduate of the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA where he received degrees in Psychology and Theater. Following his graduation from Holy Cross, Eric served as a production assistant on the Broadway musical High Fidelity. In 2012, he received his M.B.A. (specializations in Marketing Informatics and Brand & Product Management) from the Carroll School of Management at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, MA. Eric is also an alumnus of the Commercial Theater Institute in New York City, NY.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/finalbowproductions3

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ButlerEric

  1. You have worked extensively in the art world, specifically in the theater arts, and your career has progressed along. How would you describe this journey? 

My career in the arts, like everything else, is a work in progress. The learning never ends. I’m blessed to be able to balance my work in commercial theater investing/producing with a more than full-time career in educational management. I do have to say that I have been overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness shown to me by the Broadway community. I have been very fortunate to have received advice and mentoring from some of Broadway’s most successful producers. There is a tremendous level of support and opportunity out there for those who seek to network with and learn from the best.

  1. What made you decide to start your own company and what was the most fun part and the most frustrating part about starting your own company?

At Boston College, mostly through Professor Gallaugher’s Graduate Tech Trek, I developed a love of entrepreneurship. Starting Final Bow Productions was a way for me to begin to apply the skills developed in graduate school on a very practical level. It has been a blast for me to combine my love of theater with my interest in business. In my life, I always strive for balance. Investing and producing allows me to think analytically, yet be surrounded by great creativity.

In this industry, you need patience. It can take a very long time for a project to come your way that you think has strong commercial viability, but still possesses artistic integrity. The good ones are worth the wait.

  1. Your past/current work experiences involve being a fundraiser in the non-profit sector and also a consultant and an MBA Associate/Project Manager in the corporate sector. Could you describe and talk about your involvement in both non-profit sector and corporate sector and how it impacted your career? 

In many ways, my past and current experiences have served as a ‘perfect storm’ for producing. As an undergraduate psychology and theater double major at the College of the Holy Cross (the other Massachusetts Jesuit school!), I was exposed to many of the Western world’s best classic and contemporary dramatic works through theater history, dramatic literature, acting, and production courses. These classes gave me the ability to think critically about dramatic structure and recognize and appreciate strong, quality work.

My experiences in business school and in the corporate sector have given me the skill set to recognize investment potential in the arts. Broadway is a business and when evaluating investment opportunities you need to be comfortable dissecting contracts, capitalization and operating budgets, and recoupment schedules. There isn’t a project that crosses my desk where I don’t apply Porter’s Five Forces as part of my analysis!

And the last piece is the ability to raise funds. Obviously, theatre can’t be produced without the necessary resources. There are certainly many similarities between fundraising for a non-profit and raising capital for commercial theatre. Both philanthropists and investors want to see their funds treated with the utmost fiscal responsibility and to hopefully see an impactful return from their support.

  1. What during your time at BC do you feel was the most helpful advice or experience on your path to your career?

The best piece of advice I received in grad school might have come from Professor Bob Radin during the first week of class in his Managing People and Organizations course. He told a group of wide-eyed MBA candidates, “If you’re not good at something at this point in your life, you’ll probably never be good at it. Find something you’re good at and be the best you can be at that.” In a society that hands out ‘participation’ trophies left and right – this type of direct advice really brought focus and direction to the type of discernment that should be a part of your graduate school experience.

Given my unconventional background, the Boston College MBA program also put me out of my comfort zone. Having never taken a business course previously, I was forced into intense, academically rigorous accounting, finance, marketing, and management courses during our first semester. This fish-out-of-water/underdog experience (genres that almost always work) proved to me that natural competence combined with hard work can lead to unbridled satisfaction amid risk.

Also check out our interview with the Deputy Director of the Harvard Art Museums, Maureen Donovan!

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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

 

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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!

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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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