Professor Dennis McNally, SJ
For many of the students, this course serves as a break from their normal academic routine. Father McNally’s painting I course fulfills the art/lit requirement and while some are Art majors, many of the students hail from different majors ranging from Psychology to Accounting. The students openly appreciate the switch of pace and academia. In a series of interviews, the students all talked about the benefits of the course within a framework of their respective major. Sophomore Psychology major, Matthew Unger, explained that
“This class is unlike the other class I get to take. This one has a lot of freedom that I am not used to, but I really enjoy this. The work and research I put in while creating a piece for this class doesn't even seem like work, and often times I find it very relaxing.”
Many others found an outlet in painting, an opportunity to distress and develop a new skill. Senior Accounting major, Sarah Frawley, shared a similar sentiment:
“This class for me is an elective. It does not fulfill any requirement not already filled, and I am not gaining anything for it other than the credits and the relaxation it brings me… The lack of structure is good for a business major like me; it reminds me that not everything should be taken too seriously. Sometimes you need to do things that you enjoy just for the aspect of enjoyment.”
Unger and Frawley clearly both appreciate the class and the act of painting. They’re able to create something from the stress or emotion or inspiration they feel that day, something tangible. Finally, Senior Chemistry major, Stephanie Schallenhammer, shed some more light on this perspective. She shared,
“My usual classes that I take are Chemistry-related, so painting in an environment that is not in the laboratory is very relaxing and helps me forget about other intensive schoolwork. Painting, for me, is an escape from the outside world as I hone in on my very own thoughts and emotions. “
There’s something to be said for the multidisciplinary make-up of the course. The students almost unanimously praise the distressing and expressive nature of the class, each in his or her own way. Each canvas tells a different story in this regard.
~ Molly Ledbetter, ‘16
Gallery Exhibition Research Assistant
This exhibit is in Boland Hall Gallery on Lapsley Lane through Nov 30, 2015. Hours: Mon - Thurs 8am - 8pm, Friday 8am - 5pm.