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Art Outside the Classroom at CFA

School of visual arts faculty exhibition opens Friday

Click above to see artwork by the school of visual arts faculty and hear Lynne Allen, the school’s director, describe what it takes to be an artist.


Art students in the College of Fine Arts learn form, color, and contrast every day. But study alone isn’t enough, says Lynne Allen, director of CFA’s school of visual arts and a professor of art. “You can teach someone to draw, but that’s not what makes them an artist,” she says. “There has to be passion behind it.”

Providing a real-life look at the art world outside of the classroom, every three years the Boston University School of Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition gives students a glimpse of a working artist’s life. The opening reception of the show, which runs through January 6 and includes the work of more than 25 artists, is tonight at 6 p.m. at BU’s 808 Gallery.

“All of our faculty members are working artists,” says Allen, who is one of the artists exhibiting. “This is the chance to see what they do as artists, while still teaching their students through experience.”

Each faculty member has an allotted amount of space and can show as many pieces of artwork as they choose. The work covers a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, graphic design, and photography. A mix of genres, from realism to abstraction, is represented in the exhibition, which includes paintings ranging in size from barely a foot high to work that covers the wall.

With sculpture from Sachiko Akiyama and painting from Dana Frankfort, both CFA lecturers, and photography by Stephen Frank, an assistant professor of art, says Allen, there’s something for everyone, and enough variety to spark interest and discussion for the most discerning art critic.

“Artists are enlightened about the world and always have something to say through their work,” she says. “And each artist has their own style. The art that interests you carries with you for the rest of your life.”

This year’s School of Visual Arts Faculty Exhibition will be shown at Boston University’s 808 Gallery, 808 Commonwealth Ave., from Friday, November 9, through Sunday, January 6. The artists will be at the opening reception on Friday, November 9, from 6 to 8 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.  

Kimberly Cornuelle can be reached at kcornuel@bu.edu.