Name: Sheila Gallagher
Department: Fine Arts department
Classes that you teach: Senior Majors project, Issues and Approaches to Studio Art (the “capstone” and “cornerstone”)
How long have you been at BC? 13 years! I came to BC in Fall 2003.
What activities do you enjoy outside of your job at BC?
Making arts, doing yoga (favorite yoga studio is Blissful Monkey in Jamaica Plain), horseback riding, reading and gardening- I design my own gardens. One thing is that there is a lot of shades at my house, so what I do is pushing the flowers that need more sun to grow in the shade. This is a perfect analogy to being an artist and growing in less ideal conditions!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Being a mother.
Who are your heroes in real life?
Sister Corita Kent. She was a fabulous artist and a nun who mixed the highest levels of art with social activism, in a way that was incredibly beautiful and potent. She mostly worked with silk screens, but she was best known for a huge painting that embellished the Boston Gas containers.
Another favorite artist of mine would be Mathew Ritchie. He tackles some of the largest existential questions in a variety of media, and that honors the complexity of the universe that we live in. These two artists are definitely an inspiration to me.
What is your own artistic focus as an artist?
I focus on addressing the relationship between belief and representation. A lot my works use castoff materials and garbage of everyday, in a way that I hope is transformative. For example, I take melted plastic trash, and turn it into very large garden landscapes.
(On Sep.22th Prof. Gallagher is going to LA to do give an animated talk- “Twinsome Minds”- with Prof. Richard Kearney, a philosophy professor here at BC)
How do you came to your subject matters?
You don’t come to your subject matter, because it’s always in you and you just uncover it. You don’t bump into it- you recognize it.
Bad art is when people try to escape from what they are supposed to be doing. And I think every one should take an art class because art helps you grow your self-awareness and recognize what you are truly interest in.
Do you have any suggestions to students who are interested in fine arts?
Be fearless; nobody can make your art but you. Somebody has to get paid to make art, why not you?