Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Learning from the masters

Opera star Dawn Upshaw

Opera star Dawn Upshaw (far right) shares a laugh with student vocalists during a master class.

Tenor Gavin Mackie ’13 finishes singing “A Simple Song,” from Leonard Bernstein’s Mass, then turns to a world-renowned soprano to hear her critique.

“Thank you for bringing this song,” says Dawn Upshaw, who is leading a master class for four student vocalists in the Woolley Room. “It was maybe the first song I sang in public, when I was in high school.”

[Read more...]

Podcasts extend reach of Permanent Collection

“Eve, no. 11 from the Unité Series, 65/130"

Detail from “Eve, no. 11 from the Unité Series, 65/130” by Le Corbusier, a gift of Dr. and Mrs. Harry L. Kozol (Ruth Massell, Class of 1925).

Wheaton’s Permanent Collection for years has been a resource for teaching students, for faculty research and for sharing with a variety of local audiences. Now, the reach of the collection is bigger than ever since the creation of audio podcasts in which students share their insights about the art they are studying in a way that is easily accessible via the World Wide Web.

The series titled “Watson Conversations” is designed to showcase digital interpretations of objects from the collection. Virtual visitors can listen to students talk about the works of art as images are displayed on the screen. Currently, the series features seven works and “conversations” by 12 students, but there are plans to add more in the future.

[Read more...]

Permanent Collection–by the numbers

  • 4,500* items in the Permanent Collection:  Not including coins, postcards and stamps, which number in the hundreds (coins and postcards) and thousands (stamps).
  • 2500–1100 BCE age of oldest item: a Cycladic figure, .
  • 214 paintings
  • 100 objects were exhibited in student-curated mini-exhibitions
  • 175* objects used for class or student teaching/research in the fall 2011 semester
  • 58 sculptures
  • 42 objects were exhibited in the exhibition “The Art of Intellectual Community: Early Modern Objects and Pedagogy.”
  • 66 objects in the Kilham basket collection
  • 54 candlesticks
  • 8 to 12 students who help take care of the collection each semester
  • 3 works by Rembrandt
  • 3 works by Picasso

*approximate number

Professor acts up with alums

Sleeping Weazel

Amanda Weir ’04, Jessica Foster ’05 and Adara Meyers ’08 (standing left to right) with Professor Charlotte Meehan on opening night.

“Dress for mischief. Hats encouraged.”

With a party invitation like that, the unexpected would be expected and appropriate, considering that the party was for the January 11 launch of Professor Charlotte Meehan’s Boston multimedia theater company, Sleeping Weazel.

Opening night featured postmodern 1920s Paris fashions; selections from a play; cabaret singing; and Professor Stephanie Burlington Daniels, in a Victorian costume, playing Frankenstein author Mary Shelley lecturing to imaginary brides-to-be.

Sleeping Weazel is all about artistic surprises and pushing the boundaries of traditional theater, which is classic Meehan. This year, the company will be showcasing a mix of performance styles and genres that often blur the line between art forms, including a puppet performance piece. (The theater’s name is inherited from a multimedia company that her late filmmaker husband originally started in 1998.)

“In today’s economy, with so many theaters closing, we as artists need to find a way to invent our own possibilities for creating and presenting our work,” said Meehan, who started this Sleeping Weazel with three Wheaton alums. “I wanted to have a company that reflects the widest possible range of what I consider theater, to stretch the confines of the physical stage by presenting visual art in a theatrical context, and to create opportunities for artists to gather, collaborate and engage with new audiences who want to be surprised.”

[Read more...]