Higher Ed Writing

Making a Living as an Artist: Kyle Klein, BFA '09 | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

“I take more than 500,000 photos a year,” Kyle Klein says. If you’re based in the Boston area, you might see his drone flying over the Seaport at sunset, circling until he gets the money shot with the clouds and light just right. To legally capture these aerial vistas, he became certified part 107 drone operator in the state of Massachusetts, because he had a feeling that drone photography was “the next big thing.” And he was right. Images: Kyle Klein

Double-Sided Beauty: JooLee Kang, MFA '11 | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Scrolls of white paper are lined up against the walls of JooLee Kang’s compact studio in Seoul, Korea. One canvas leans suggestively behind her, taking center stage. “That’s my inspiration,” she says, nodding to the delicate work in progress. “Victorian-style wallpaper patterns with animals in utopian nature.” Just underneath JooLee’s soothing, decorative symmetry lies a shrewd examination of the hierarchy, power imbalance, and sometimes cruel dynamics between the human and natural realms.

Artist in Residence: Azita Moradkhani, MFA '15 | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

In the past three years, Azita Moradkhani has completed fourteen back-to-back artist residencies around the United States. “I was a nomad,” she says during an interview with SMFA. Raised in Iran, Azita chose to emigrate to the United States in conjunction with pursuing her MFA at SMFA. When Trump was elected in 2016, she felt a deep need to understand how Americans lived and thought. “I'm a very political person. After election night, I just needed to see a different version of Americans than the one I was watching on social media."

The Creator: Marlon Forrester, BFA '08 | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Marlon Forrester is sitting at a long table in the SMFA library where he used to study as an undergraduate. When he leans in to answer a question, he pulls the sunglasses off his face and really connects. His presence is as electric as the fast-paced games of sidewalk chess he likes to play in the Fenway outside Blick Art Materials, setting down bags of supplies and risking parking tickets to claim checkmate. “As artists, we’re all giving birth to something,” he believes. And at the

Alumni Profile Bernie Goba

“I just went where I was needed,” Bernie Goba* says dismissively, thumbing through an archival stack of Boston Architectural College publications from the 1980’s and 90’s on a recent visit to the College. Bernie is a force— one of the most longstanding, impactful, and recognizable alumni the BAC community has known. But his genuine humility is what is most admirable. He goes on to point out black and white photos of a younger version of himself in his signature bow tie, grinning with his arms f

Invest in Workers to Invest in the Future

As a child, Chike Aguh’s mother, an immigrant from rural Nigeria, cut dress fabric for minimum wage at a shop outside New York City. “My parents came to America because they saw an economy where their kids would not have it as hard as they did,” says Aguh, A05. “The America that they came to was built by the American worker.” Because of his own family’s success, it became Aguh’s personal mission to help others rise, too. He has worked as a second-grade teacher, a lecturer at Columbia University

Alumni Profile Jonathan C. Garland - Building Trust

Jonathan C. Garland, President, and Founder of his rapidly growing Boston-based architecture & real estate development firm, J. Garland Enterprises (JGE), studied at the BAC for more than eight years before graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture in 2009. Despite the endurance needed to complete his education, he says, “I will never forget when I put on that robe for graduation day. I didn’t want the experience to end.” And for Jonathan, it never has. He has been a generous and loyal donor

In the Neighborhood | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Alonso Nichols, MFA '22 and Flor Delgadillo, MFA '22 will never forget being led on a walk to Carson Beach by a group of kids from the South Boston Neighborhood House, a local community center called “The Ollie” for short after its founder Olivia James. Although the kids were unaware of the area’s turbulent past, The South Boston beach was the site of a violent clash in 1975 that coincided with the city’s controversial program of desegregation busing of public school students. The white be

Cycling, Squats, and Endicott

“I’m just rolling with it,” shrugs Emily Skoniecki ’04 gesturing to the ladder, earsplitting drilling, and rows of empty stationary bikes behind her at The Inner Cycle’s newest indoor cycling studio opening soon in Salem, Mass. Skoniecki’s best friend since 9th grade (and co-owner of The Inner Cycle for nearly a decade) Hillary Mandelbaum zips by in leggings, wielding a hammer that she soon takes to a wall. “We’re not afraid to DIY our builds,” explains Skoniecki, who has constructed

Cool Beans

Casey Arnold ’14 was living in Seattle, the coffee capital of the world, but missing Dunkin’ iced coffee from Massachusetts—the extra-large kind that stays cold for hours even on the sweatiest July days. When the pandemic lockdown hit, the cafés shuttered, and the iced coffee challenge lit up TikTok with aspiring millennial baristas shaking up beans, milk, and ice in need of a caffeine fix. “It became my obsession,” Arnold remembered. “I found a new sense of joy and a hobby in figuri

Untangling a Mingo Beach Myth

“As a historian, I always tell my students that one of our greatest responsibilities is to correct the myths of the past because without accurate knowledge of history, the present is chaotic and the future is unclear,” said Elizabeth Matelski, Associate Professor of History. And when it comes to Endicott’s past, arguably the greatest myth is that of Robin Mingo, namesake of Mingo Beach, one of the College’s three picturesque shorelines. A lesser-known, troubling truth is waiting some

Helping Others Gain a Foothold: The James Kukla, B.Arch’85 and Family Scholarship

“I relish the idea of architects helping and giving back to society, whether it’s with time or talents,” says James “Jim” Kukla, B.Arch’85. “Sometimes we get so absorbed in our own lives, whether it’s personal, professional, or otherwise, and it makes it hard to give back. I’ve been lucky because I now have time to give back.” Of late, that has been to The Boston Architectural College (BAC). Jim is semi-retired in Jupiter, Florida and he and his wife Michèle recently donated a generous 5-year s

The Code Breaker

This is one in a series of profiles spotlighting Endicott’s outstanding 2022 graduates. Read about Will Levine '22, Sam FanFan, Fernanda Trevino '21, Colby Yokell '22, and Sarah Horgan '22. Jamyang Tamang ’22 is known simply as “Z” (if you know, you know) by his friends and professors at Endicott. He Zooms into our interview from the lounge inside the Ginger Judge Science Center where he’s pulled plenty of all-nighters—both for computer science classes and as part of the winning team for WHACK,

Fighting On and Off the Field

This is one in a series of profiles spotlighting Endicott’s outstanding 2022 graduates. As an Endicott sophomore, Will Levine ’22 took an introductory philosophy class he’ll never forget. “It made me think more deeply,” he said. “It got me into a stronger mindset, and I think that helped a lot through the 18 months that came next.” At the time, he had never faced real adversity in life—but that was about to change. Although he’d been recruited from Southborough, Mass., to

An Internship at Facebook Opens Doors to Practicing Equitable Design | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Denzel Oduro, BFA ’22, is an artist, graphic designer and a self-taught user experience (UX) designer. Last summer he relocated to New York City, a place that energizes him creatively, and worked virtually as an UX design intern at the social media giant Meta, focusing on product design for Facebook users. “I worked on tools that can help people feel safer using Facebook,” he says simply. It was not the typical art gallery internship experience for an SMFA at Tufts undergraduate, yet it was

Knitting It All Together | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Although Irene Schechter, BFA ’22, came to SMFA at Tufts University identifying as a painter, she has spent most of her time exploring textile arts instead. “I haven’t picked up a paintbrush in a really long time now,” she admits. She first explored fiber arts through an introductory course on the topic taught by Samantha Fields, a multimedia artist and degree program faculty at SMFA. Schechter’s great-grandmother was a painter and potter, and as a result, Schechter grew up with art all around

Monumental Power | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

“I’ve been thinking about monuments since the start of the pandemic,” Felipe Lopez, MFA ’23, said during a Zoom studio visit. His ongoing body of work, “Where is our power?” grapples with the connections between public monuments, memory, iconoclasm, and history. “When Black Lives Matter was taking down monuments here in the US, the same thing was happening in Colombia but for different purposes and reasons. Mostly by indigenous people,” he explained. Lopez, who is from Bogota, scrutinizes

For Hannah Oravec ’14, Home is Where the Art Is

“I always knew I wanted to own an interior design business. However, I thought that would only come with 20- or 30-years’ experience,” Hannah (Cushman) Oravec ’14 admitted. Instead, just two years after graduating from Endicott, she founded her Plymouth, Mass., firm Lawless Design, named to honor her great-grandmother and the legacy of growing up in an artistic family. Just this month, Oravec was named a winner of the 2022 New England Home Magazine “5 Under 40” prize, a prestigious award that ha

He Took a Leap and Applied | School of the Museum of Fine Arts | Tufts University

Geovani Alberto Cruz Alfaro was born in El Salvador but grew up in South Central, Los Angeles, raised by a single mom who showered him with acceptance, love, and encouragement. Museums, galleries, and access to expensive visual art materials weren’t in his orbit as a kid. “Growing up, I never really had the resources to purchase acrylic paints or sketchbooks,” he said. He hadn’t thought about college as within reach, but while attending the Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts
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