Higher Ed Writing

Design Visionaries

Boston College doesn’t offer a design degree. Still, there must be something stylish about the Heights: Four of Boston’s leading interior designers—Lisa Tharp ’84, Cecilia Walker ’90, Katie Rosenfeld ’90, and Dee Elms ’95—graduated from BC. Interior designers source everything from flooring to window treatments and collaborate with architects and tradespeople to conceive and create spaces that are tailored to a client’s needs. Image: Tony Luong

The Moment Where You Push Yourself: Jorge Gomez-Gonzalez, MFA ’22 | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Jorge Gomez-Gonzalez arrived at SMFA at Tufts University in 2020, outspoken about their identity as a gay-Mexican activist artist and how it guides their practice. “All my work is about how trauma looks and changes and how it can appear differently from one person to another,” they said. Their photography and performances center around the aftershocks—the scars, bruises, and weighty burdens that marginalized individuals carry as a result. Image: Jorge Gomez-Gonzalez

Fostering Community Access to the Arts: Andrew Cain, MFA ’22 | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

A native Californian, Andrew Cain shivered in his boots and coat one winter 2021 night, tinkering with his projector in a snow-covered baseball field in Jamaica Plain, MA near his apartment. “I find ways to introduce myself to people through weird, fun projects and this was one of them. I invited some other students to bring their work out that night to experiment with projecting it onto the snow,” he said. Image: Courtesy of Andrew Cain

How to Tell a Fortune: Rebecca Wakim, MFA '22 | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Born in the United States but growing up in the village of Edde El Batroun in Lebanon, Rebecca Wakim, MFA ’22, threw herself into painting, but never considered seriously pursuing the visual arts. “I always convinced myself that art should be a hobby—because that's what everyone tells you in many parts of the Middle East where it’s regarded as more of a craft than a field,” she explained. Image: Courtesy of Rebecca Wakim

The Determining Factor

Judy Nitsch has been newly elected and installed as Chair of the Boston Architectural College (BAC) Board of Trustees, succeeding Richard Martini, B.Arch ’84. Marilyn Swartz-Lloyd was appointed Vice Chair. “Both Richard and Judy have been deeply committed to seeing the BAC evolve and flourish,” says BAC President Mahesh Daas, acknowledging how nimbly the College has navigated major leadership transitions and the pandemic in recent years—all with the Board’s close support and guidance. Although

North Bennet St. School Portrait Project

Despite the pandemic, North Bennet Street School (NBSS) Retail & Exhibit Manager Kristen Odle couldn’t stand to cancel the Annual Celebration of Craft: Student & Alumni Exhibit, a favorite tradition in which students and alumni display and sell their strongest work from the past year. Instead, she ambitiously reshaped the exhibition into a series of unique studio portraits of NBSS students, staff, and faculty.

In The Making: Global Craft Conversations Reimagined for All

When Kristen Odle, the Retail & Exhibit Manager at North Bennet St School (NBSS) logged onto Zoom to be interviewed about her latest project she confessed, "I actually feel nervous this morning." For a second, she flashed back to preparing to take the stage to perform solo cello concerts as a teenager and feeling "all red and itchy." The tables had turned, and the one who usually poses the questions was now being asked to answer.

Harvard Celebrates the Bauhaus Centennial with Performances and a Landmark Exhibition

Mark Lee, principal and founding partner of the Los Angeles–based architecture firm Johnston Marklee, is completing his first year as chair of the department of architecture at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design (GSD). Final exams loom, and to reach his office, one has to scramble up steep stairs past students’ desks—"trays" in GSD speak—at Gund Hall, a five-story open-plan beehive where bodies hunch over cutting mats and rulers with equally palpable panic and pleasure. A word play on Bauhaus,

For Sarah Whiting, Harvard GSD’s New Commander-in-Chief, Business As Usual Isn’t Enough

As Sarah Whiting, the new dean of Harvard’s Graduate School of Design, prepares to publicly meet her community for the first time, her chosen anthem, Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” blasts through the school’s Piper Auditorium. Students and professors pour in through the doors, a sea of black jeans and Moleskine notebooks. Whiting takes the stage with her old friend architectural historian K. Michael Hays—a virtual fireplace video crackling behind them—and the muscular banter begins. A stage

The Collective Futures Fund Calls for Grant Applications: Boston-area SMFA Alumni, local artists and curators are encouraged to submit proposals

The Collective Futures Fund, a grantmaking initiative bent on directly supporting artists and incubating experimental, artist-run activities throughout the greater Boston area, is currently accepting submissions for the first round of grant applications for project funding, due by June 15, 2021. Artists, curators, and collectives based in Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, and Middlesex counties are eligible to submit applications. SMFA alumni are encouraged to apply. However, those at all career stages w