Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Rocking and rolling in success

Beach Avenue faces the American’s Got Talent judges. Left to right: Ryan Zipp, Nick Fradiani ’08, Nick Abraham

Beach Avenue faces the American’s Got Talent judges. Left to right: Ryan Zipp, Nick Fradiani ’08, Nick Abraham

The rock ‘n’ roll life is more than just an ideal for Nick Fradiani ’08. The West Haven, Conn.-based musician performed regularly with his multi-instrumentalist father at the age of 5, in talent shows at 10, and—last July on America’s Got Talent to an audience of 3,500 with Beach Avenue, his five-piece rock group.

“It was surreal. I remember walking on stage at the Dolby Theatre for the first time and thinking the judges almost looked like holograms,” says Fradiani, as he rattles off the roster of celebrity judges: Heidi Klum, Howie Mandel, Howard Stern and Mel B.

“I was more nervous to answer their questions than starting the performance itself.”

The anticipation transformed into single-minded focus: Beach Avenue garnered a standing ovation from the audience and several judges, which launched them into “judgment week,” the semifinal round (and the band’s last), at the end of the month. [Read more...]

Art meets science

Exhibitions explore interdisciplinary connections

Artist Nathalie Miebach (right) talks with a student in front of her sculpture “To Hear an Ocean in a Whisper.”

Artist Nathalie Miebach (right) talks with a student in front of her sculpture “To Hear an Ocean in a Whisper.”

Michele L’Heureux ’88 is a constant observer. As a professional visual artist and gallery director of Wheaton’s Beard and Weil Galleries, she approaches art with the eye of a lifelong learner. So when the college’s Mars Center for Science and Technology opened, inspiration for a fruitful curatorial opportunity took hold.

“I’ve had a long-standing interest in the intersection of art and science,” said L’Heureux. “It’s really fascinating territory, and the presupposition of many people is that artists and scientists are different ‘animals’ that don’t engage in the same kinds of practices and questions.”

In 2012, she invited faculty across all disciplines to bring their students to the galleries and got a great response.

Computer science professors Mark LeBlanc and Tom Armstrong coordinated with L’Heureux to have artist Chris Abrams lead an interactive lecture for students (particularly those interested in computer science and engineering) as part of the galleries’ “New England Animation All-Stars” exhibition. Professor of Chemistry Elita Pastra-Landis took her “Advanced Organic Chemistry” students to “Sitelines,” a nature- and landscape-themed group exhibition that included a drawing by Kysa Johnson utilizing pollutants’ molecular structures.

[Read more...]

Out of Wheaton, into the world of work

The members of the Class of 2013 left the campus headed for various opportunities, including internships and graduate studies. Many of them headed straight into full-time jobs. [Read more...]

Transcending time, place through art

Craig Mooney ’92

Craig Mooney ’92

A bustling schedule filled with international gallery exhibitions is coveted by most working artists. For Craig Mooney ’92, that dream is reality.

The Stowe, Vt., representational oil painter will have his work exhibited in several galleries this fall, including at Enid Lawson Gallery in London; Shain Gallery in Charlotte, N.C.; and Jules Place in Boston.

Mooney’s atmospheric works, which feature elements of science found in the natural world, renderings of human silhouettes, and imagined cityscapes, offer a glimpse into his formative years. Growing up in Manhattan, he was heavily inspired by his father, a physician and amateur artist, as well as by a book about Leonardo da Vinci.

“I was fascinated with da Vinci’s explorations of the human form, and scientific renderings,” recalls Mooney. [Read more...]