ARTsee: The Revival

Welcome to ARTsee: The Revival!

My name is Gabrielle Linnell and I work in the Communications & Public Affairs office here on campus.

I’m a young alumna and a devotee of the Wellesley arts scene, having written about Wellesley cultural events for The Huffington Post and USA Today. While a student, I majored in Medieval & Renaissance Studies, raced up and down the Jewett steps to practice harp, and followed my friends to Yanvalou performances, Actors from the London Stage, and the Newhouse Distinguished Visitors Series, among many others.

While I can’t fill Jennifer’s delightful shoes, I hope to follow in her footsteps through blogging about the goings-on of the Wellesley art scene from my perspective. Look for posts each Monday, and join the conversation through the comments and social media.

Talk to you soon!

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Wellesley Mourns Emerita Professor of Art History

An announcement from President H. Kim Bottomly today shared some sad news.

She wrote:

I am saddened to let you know that Professor Emerita Miranda Marvin died earlier this week in her home. Miranda was a longtime member of the Wellesley faculty, having taught here since 1969 in the art and classics departments. She retired in 2010.

Miranda was much beloved by generations of Wellesley women, and was known for attracting students to art history and the study of the classical world through her mesmerizing and memorable lectures. She gave selflessly of her time on behalf of the College—speaking to alumnae at club events around the country and always drawing a crowd during her lectures at Reunion Weekend. In 2000, the Alumnae Association recognized Miranda with its Faculty Service Award.

Miranda Marvin was also a notable scholar. Her 2008 book, The Language of the Muses: The Dialogue Between Roman and Greek Sculpture, was hailed as an important landmark in her field. An alumna of Bryn Mawr and Harvard, she served twice—in 1985 and 2007—as the Robert Sterling Clark Visiting Professor of Art History at the Williams College Graduate Program in the History of Art, and was a Resident in Classical Studies and later a Trustee of the American Academy in Rome.

We will miss this esteemed and generous colleague, and I hope you will join me in keeping her family and close friends in your thoughts.

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WC and the MCC

I didn’t need confirmation that the studio art faculty at Wellesley are rock stars; the Calculated Risks exhibition at the Davis last fall was proof enough (by the way, I still miss seeing Dave Olsen’s multimedia whale swimming around the Davis lobby screens on my morning coffee trips to Collins Cafe).

However, I was thrilled to find out that four members of the studio art faculty just received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council. Not only are they talented artists, they are lovely people, and excellent teachers. Congrats all!!

Andrew Mowbray, Drawing

Andrea Evans, Drawing

Daniela Rivera, Painting

Elaine Spatz-Rabinowitz, Painting

PS: I’m a sucker for blog posts that rhyme or are alliterations (if you haven’t noticed by now), but my inclination is particularly strong on Friday afternoons 🙂

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Pico Iyer unplugged

It seems like everywhere I look these days I see Pico Iyer.

My second favorite NPR interviewer Tom Ashbrook (no offense, you are SO great, but my heart belongs to Terry Gross) just spent an hour with him last week. Iyer lives in rural Japan, cell-phone free and “off the grid.” Seems to have sparked quite the discussion chain on NPR’s website.

I also came across Amy Sutherland’s great profile in the Globe’s Bibliophile column on Sunday.

He’s coming to Wellesley February 2 to kick off the Spring 2012 Distinguished Writers Series, reading from his new book The Man Within My Head. In my opinion, the best remedy to combat dreary winter weather in New England is planning summer vacation, so having arguably the world’s best travel writer at Wellesley on February 2 at 4:30 pm at the Newhouse Center couldn’t be better.

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Spring has sprung


There’s nothing better than the smell of fresh ink on paper; it makes me nostalgic for the first day of school.

I got that feeling just the other day when I opened up a hot off the press copy of the spring 2012 arts calendar. The cover is a detail from Notes from Elmina III by Radcliffe Bailey. I love the way that the piece combines painting with found objects and sheet paper.

A friend’s copy arrived in the mail today; I guess the Brookline post office is more efficient than Boston.

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Let it snow!

I love love love the holidays. Don’t hate me, but I am the person who can’t wait for the Friday after Thanksgiving, not because of Black Friday shopping deals and steals, but because Oldies 103.3 starts playing holiday music (and yes, I am also one of the few folks under thirty who still listens to the radio). Marcus, my extremely patient husband, has been subjected to the HD Yule Log during dinner for the last month straight. His theory for my obsession is that because I am Jewish, I have not yet become jaded by all things holidays (this is my fourth Christmas married to a goyim and having a tree in my home, right next to the menorah).

As a self-appointed champion of the holiday spirit, here are a few recommendations:

Best Corny Christmas Carol: running favorite for the past few years is the always classy classic Dominick the Italian Christmas Donkey.

Best FREE holiday concert: the Boston Pops are lovely, but tickets can easily go into the triple digits. This past Saturday I attended Trinity Church’s Candlelight Carols. The performance is free, the choirs are incredible, and the space is just gorgeous. When I arrived at 3pm for a 4pm performance, there was a line around the perimeter of Copley Plaza, easily a thousand people. The program is lovely, and ends with a tradition that moved me to tears. The choir lights candles and spreads throughout the space. Then the entire audience sings Silent Night in candlelight.

Best holiday video: Wellesley’s snowflake. I can’t stop watching it, it’s so darn adorable! If you haven’t seen it yet, you must. I happen to know May-Elise Martinsen, the student (she’s a senior!) who wrote the music that accompanied the video. The video on the site explains how May-Elise was inspired by the College’s Alma Mater to write a holiday-inspired theme and variations. It sounds like Peter and the Wolf decided to go a-caroling and happened to play the handbells. I hope I can download it as my ringtone.

Jess Wheelock, Wellesley’s amazing video content producer, showed me this picture from when she was shooting Wellesley president Kim Bottomly’s close-up.

Everyone looks so cute in those little white hats. Happy holidays everyone!!

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A Sensible Solution

Wellesley’s orchestra conductor Neal Hampton told me some great news the other day. His new musical adaptation of Sense and Sensibility is going to be presented at the 2012 Colorado New Play Summit!

I had the chance to see this wonderful musical last spring, when Wellesley mounted the first staged presentation of the piece. Neal (music/lyrics) and Jeffrey Haddow (book/lyrics) have created a work that is both charming, and manages to capture the spirit of Jane Austen’s wit. I cannot imagine the challenges Austen’s prose pose to a lyricist; how to conceptualize reducing her words to stanzas? They manage to pull it off with aplomb. I still find myself humming We Must Have Sense every now and again. The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote a great article about the performance at Wellesley as an example of interdisciplinary collaboration at a liberal arts college.

He also told about the amazing new addition they have made to their creative team. Marcia Milgrom Dodge will be directing! She most recently was the director/choreography for the Broadway revival of Ragtime, which was nominated for seven Tony awards. I can’t wait to hear about what she will bring to the production.

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