From philosophy to musical theatre to economics, Arts and Letters faculty are using technological innovations — as well as creativity, patience, and empathy — to continue the educational experience for their students as the University shifts to online classes in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. The sudden shift has prompted adaptation in the face of adversity — from defending a dissertation via Zoom meeting to posting and analyzing behind-the-scenes clips of rehearsal for a musical that won't be performed — but it has also already helped faculty and students forge new bonds with each other.
Senior Stella Moon has always been passionate about making things, whether through artwork or simple crafts.
Mary Cecilia Mitsch ’10, director at the Marianne Boesky Gallery in New York, works with visual artists represented by the gallery to prepare their works for sale. Understanding and cultivating the emotional connection with the artworks is central to her role at the gallery. “To get to work with these objects that mean something bigger than us or are reflective of humanity is really important to me,” she said.
Robert Randolf Coleman, professor emeritus, Renaissance and Baroque art history, along with Nelda Damiano and Benedetta Spadaccini, curated an exhibition of Italian Renaissance drawings for the Georgia Museum of Art.
As a design major at Notre Dame, I find myself always in search of things that will inspire or inform my projects. This process of enhancing the imagination has taken me to places beyond my wildest dreams but has also brought me closer to home. To me, that ability to study, work, and live in a plethora of places is what makes Notre Dame so priceless. The experiences I have attained have considerably altered my path, as my eyes have now been opened to the possibilities through travel.
Much medieval Italian art from the 13th century is focused on Christianity — paintings and sculptures depicting Jesus, the Virgin Mary, saints, or other Biblical scenes. But murals that were hidden for hundreds of years under layers of whitewash at the Santi Quattro Coronati monastery in Rome are different — in addition to religious iconography, they also depict secular knowledge. Notre Dame art historian Marius Hauknes is fascinated by the significant shift implied by the newly discovered paintings, and he’s spending this year writing a book on the subject after winning a fellowship from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
Braden Kimmel, an industrial design BFA student, interned this summer at Purposeful Design, an Indianapolis-based furniture company that trains and employs formerly homeless men. “There’s so much more experience you can gain from working with professionals in the field,” he said. Kimmel received funding through the Center for Career Development, which grants undergraduates up to $3,500 to cover living expenses during a qualified summer internship.