Boston University News Release

3rd November, 2006

Boston University School of Visual Arts Contemporary Perspectives Lecture Series Presents Willie Cole

(Boston) – Boston University School of Visual Arts continues its new visiting artist lecture series with a presentation by artist Willie Cole on Monday, November 6 at 6:00pm in the College of Fine Arts Concert Hall. Conceived by Lynne Allen, the recently appointed Director of the School of Visual Arts, the Contemporary Perspectives Lecture Series is one component in the rich array of concerts, plays, operas, and visual arts exhibitions that the College of Fine Arts will present this year.

Internationally recognized artist Willie Cole transforms ordinary domestic objects such as bicycle parts, irons, and lawn jockeys into powerful works of art, embedded with references to the African-American experience and inspired by West African religion, mythology, and culture. On November 6, he will discuss his work and career in the second of School of Visual Arts’ new Contemporary Perspectives artist lecture series

Born in New Jersey, Cole briefly attended the Boston University School of Visual Arts, then received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Cole has exhibited his work internationally in solo and group exhibitions, including group exhibitions at the Jersey City Museum, San Jose Museum of Art, Dallas Museum of Art, and the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. Two of his most recent one-person exhibitions, Anxious Objects: Willie Cole’s Favorite Brands and Afterburn, have been on display throughout the country. In addition, Mr. Cole served as Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and has been featured in publications including Sculpture, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The New York Times, Art in America, Flash Art, and the Journal of Contemporary African Art. The artist lives and works in Mine Hill, New Jersey.

Allen’s goal in introducing the Contemporary Perspectives Lecture Series was to augment the School of Visual Art’s exemplary studio program with inspiring lectures and intimate discussion with world-renowned artists whose artistic practice expands students’ knowledge and technical base. For these reasons, Allen invited installation artist and photographer Sandy Skoglund as the first artist in the series. “I knew she’d give a lecture that would get these kids thinking differently,” Allen explains of Skoglund. This series will also give graduate students the opportunity to participate in workshops and studio visits with some of the visiting artists.

The School of Visual Arts at the College of Fine Arts was established in 1954 as a professional training school at Boston University. With faculty composed of practicing professional artists, the school offers an intensive program of studio training combined with liberal arts studies leading to the Bachelor’s of Fine Arts (BFA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degrees. Courses prepare students for future study or professional practice in painting, sculpture, graphic design, or art education. Notable alumni include painters Brice Marden and Pat Steir; Ira Yoffe, vice president/creative director of PARADE magazine; and Rick Heinrichs, the production designer whose credits include the “Pirates of the Caribbean” film series, “Fargo,”and “Sleepy Hollow,” for which he received an Oscar for Art Direction in 1999.

The Boston University College of Fine Arts was created in 1954 to bring together the School of Music, the School of Theatre, and the School of Visual Arts. The University’s vision was to create a community of artists in a conservatory-style school offering professional training in the arts to both undergraduate and graduate students, complemented by a liberal arts curriculum for undergraduate students. Since those early days, education at the College of Fine Arts has begun on the BU campus and extended into the city of Boston, a rich center of cultural, artistic and intellectual activity.

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