News & Media

August 19, 2015

Donovan '16 Showcases Photos at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

Visual arts + media studies major Colleen Donovan '16 had her photography featured in the exhibition "All Visual Boston" at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston in July.

Donovan '16 with the event program/zine (Photo credit: Juliette Luchini '16)

This July, visual arts + media studies individualized major Colleen Donovan '16 had the opportunity to showcase her work at All Visual Boston, a one-night-only digital slideshow event with a live soundtrack that showcases the work of local and regional image- and lens-based artists, at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston (ICA). 

Donovan learned about the show through an announcement on Facebook and entered five photographs to the show's curator Trevor Powers. Powers e-mailed Donovan the next day with the good news that her work had been accepted and would be featured in the exhibit.

"The inspiration for the work I submitted came from a lot of places. I was interested in the themes of Sally Mann's series 'What Remains,' the Buddhist novel 'The Heart of Understanding' by Thich Nhat Hanh, Jack Kerouac's 'On The Road' and Eadweard Muybridge," Donovan said.

The photos in the show are Donovan's favorites from her Photography II class with Assistant Professor of Art Stephan Jacobs, who introduced Donovan to analog photography. The photos were all shot with a Minolta 35 mm camera. The event was held July 23rd.

"The event was awesome! It was packed," Donovan said. "It was a really cool experience and a privilege to have my work shown at the ICA."

Now a senior, Donovan credits all her art classes at Emmanuel in aiding her development as an artist. With help from her advisor, Professor of Art Kathy Soles, and Department Chair and Associate Professor of Art Cynthia Fowler, Donovan was able to create her own major focused on film and built on 17 studio art courses and five media- or English-based courses, which have provided her a background in the arts, along with theoretical and critical points of view.

"My parents always told me, 'you get what you give out of college.' If you make an effort to do the work and cultivate relationships with your teachers, then you will get the 'results' you want," she said.

Donovan created this individualized major as a way for her to be better prepared for graduate school. Originally, she saw herself attending film school in California immediately following graduation from Emmanuel, but now she thinks she wants to take a couple years off to work before heading back to school.

This summer, Donovan landed a production assistant position at Bearwalk Cinema, a Boston-based filmmaking company whose mission is to create powerful stories to connect strangers and evoke emotion.  At this company, Donovan has filmed behind-the-scenes footage of a TEDx event, as well as two shorts for Beekeepers Natural, a natural bee product company. Right now, she is illustrating story boards for Boston Fashion Week.

"My mindset still remains that the 'final' or 'ending' career goal is to become an art director for movies, which basically means I would be the head of all artistic or visual teams that help put together movies. At the end of the day, I just want to work with others, make things look good and create compelling art [cinema]," Donovan said.

slideshowColleen Donovan '16: Work in Exhibit at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston