34th Annual ART@Sloane

Art@Sloane Exhibit

34th Annual ART@Sloane Exhibition: Celebrating Students’ Creativity & Learning

Since 2005, Dr. Beverly Brown with Christine Wynne and Karen Leonida have worked with leadership in BU College of Fine Arts’ School of Visual Arts to create and curate important ART@Sloane exhibitions. The twice-yearly program is hosted at Sloane House, the beautiful home of President and Dr. Brown. The vibrant ART@Sloane program has featured more than 500 student drawings, prints, paintings, and sculptures over the past 17 years. It is a major BU exhibition program with a real impact on our students, whose work is also now in many local collections due to this program.

Spring 2022 Exhibition

Artwork by AJ Rombach
AJ Rombach (MFA ‘22), “Purple Matter, Purple Madder, Events All!”, 10.5”x15.25”, oil on panel. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi for Boston University

On April 11, 2022, the reception for the 34th ART@Sloane exhibition took place. This show features work from the School of Visual Arts’ Foundation year and senior studios in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, to work from the top-ten ranked MFA Painting program  – with thesis work on view through April 2 in the MFA Painting and Sculpture thesis exhibition at Stone Gallery. At Sloane House SVA students spoke about their motivations, processes, and the transformation of material at the heart of their work.

At Sloane House, the work of our students often functions for guests as a catalyst to conversation due to Beverly Brown’s engagement with sharing both the art and the stories behind the work. It is moving to consider how many students have been welcomed directly into the Presidential home to show their work. ART@Sloane alumni go on to international records of exhibition, including Rebecca Ness, BFA 2015, or recent MFA Painting graduate Hana Yilma Godine (2020).

At the Fall 2021 reception, the role of material inquiry in visual art sparked conversations with faculty from Engineering, and helped share information about the call for work for Hidden HERstories – taking conversation into actual cross-university collaboration. Several students from the reception applied and are working on projects.

“Being around artists and their artwork at the Sloane House truly inspired me and shall be an experience that I will never forget.” -Angelica Trujillo (CFA ’22)

Current BFA senior Angelica Trujillo reflected on her ART@Sloane experience last Fall, “I had the opportunity to present my work to peers and faculty from the School of Visual Arts. Viewing my artwork in conversation with others allowed me to recognize the rigorous work ethic that we SVA students tend to have. Being around artists and their artwork at the Sloane House truly inspired me and shall be an experience that I will never forget.” Seeing their work in a new context, through the eyes of a new audience, students gain the chance to step back to see their work and trajectory with fresh eyes, perhaps even reframing the work due to this dialogue.

Setting the Visual Stage

Ruby Yoo, “Not Maria”, 30″x24″, oil on canvas. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi for Boston University

While the space of Sloane House is formal, the sense of place is welcoming. From the moment one enters the walkway and large door to be welcomed for a special reception with peers and guests from across and beyond the university one feels quite far away from our usual material-filled studios or white-cube gallery spaces just blocks away.

The Sloane House is also the location for so many BUWG presentations and a space of meeting and getting to know new people. ART@Sloane helps create human connections around curiosity, story, and imagination that happen at gathering places like cafés, and galleries, spaces often referred to in the public realm as a third place. These places that spark connection, conversation, and learning about the lived experiences of other people are important for strong community.

Blending Vision & History

Stephen Proski (MFA ‘23), “Bleeder”, 44”x36”, acrylic, sewing on canvas. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi for Boston University

It is important to learn both stories and histories to help us see the world with more depth and with a fresh eye. When artists start their work and plan for a show, they usually engage in research about materials, sites, and history. We teach our students to consider the role of research to help them frame bigger questions with their work, whether these questions be personal, social, or material.

I recently learned in my research about Sloane House that the large, solid, ornate home, which feels so set in stone on the corner of Carlton and Ivy Streets, was in fact moved to that location in the late 19th century to make room for new building in the area. It took great vision and labor to move this large home, and later the same kind of foresight for BU to purchase and renovate it in 1994. This knowledge made me look at the actual Sloane House differently, just as all of the great shifts we’ve been through in the past two years – reframing how we teach and learn and create community – has helped me to deeply appreciate what it means to gather together, and to see and learn about works of art in person.

With Gratitude

I am so grateful for the pivoting and labor that all of those involved in producing ART@Sloane did to keep these important gatherings and presentations of work going without missing one semester or event through this past 17 years. Instead, the program deepened the role of the work to create dialogue by asking students to reflect on working as artists through this challenging time.

View the exhibit

About the Author: Dana Clancy is an artist and the Director and associate professor of art (painting) at the School of Visual Arts in the BU College of Fine Arts. (View her profile)

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