Artist Josephine Halvorson is Getting Up Close and Personal for Annual University Lecture
CFA professor to speak about the importance of making space for wonder in one’s life
This article was first published in BU Today on November 8, 2022. By Molly Callahan | Photo by Jackie Ricciardi
After two-plus years when being in person and up-close with one another was prohibited—dangerous, even, during the COVID-19 pandemic—Josephine Halvorson is celebrating their return.
Halvorson, an artist who knows what it is to spend real time with the ephemera of life, says that being up close and personal with the world around us is an important way to cultivate a sense of wonderment about it. Paying attention, she says, can be a way of caring.
“There are a lot of problems in the world,” says Halvorson, a College of Fine Arts professor of art and chair of the School of Visual Arts graduate studies in painting program. “How can you insist on wondering about life in the face of all that?
“It’s hard to make a case for that today without it being a rejection of action to solve problems in the world. At the same time, I really do feel that paying attention to one another, to the small things in life, to the proximate things in our environment—through observation, through curiosity, through chance encounters and openness, without fear—is a way to cultivate care,” she says.
It’s a theme that Halvorson will explore in the annual University Lecture, aptly titled “Making Space for Wonder: In Person and Up Close,” which she’ll deliver Wednesday, November 9. The (yes, in-person) lecture will be held at the Tsai Performance Center at 7 pm. The event is free, and those who would like to attend should RSVP here.
Established in 1950, the University Lecture honors members of the Boston University faculty engaged in outstanding research. Faculty tapped to deliver the lecture over the years have represented the full spectrum of disciplines at BU and share a common commitment to excellence in scholarly inquiry and discovery.
“This is a really exciting opportunity,” says Halvorson, who joined BU in 2016. “I’m very honored to have the chance to share what it is that I’ve been working on.”
Under her leadership, the University’s graduate painting program has risen to No. 1 in Massachusetts and No. 6 in the country, according to the 2020 U.S. News & World Report rankings, the most recent year fine art programs were ranked.