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Social Work Library

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SWL Exhibits

Located on the lower ground floor of McGuinn Hall, the Social Work Library supports the teaching and research needs of the Boston College School of Social Work (BCSSW)

The People's Summit

Exhibit Run Dates: January 16, 2024 - February 29, 2024

Exhibit Statement

On April 21st, 2001, amidst the charged atmosphere of Quebec City, I joined the ranks of the protesters challenging the Summit of the Americas. The exhibit is more than a scrapbook of photographs; it is a narrative of dissent and solidarity, captured through the lens of my film-based Pentax K1000. These images are fragments of a larger story, one that unfolded in the streets and alleys, culminating in the People's Summit the week before.

The exhibit showcases two contrasting trajectories of the protest. The first is a peaceful, 25,000-strong, carnivalesque march, predominantly comprising trade unions and non-government organizations. In contrast, the second path reveals the intensity of the smaller 'direct action' group, comprising mainly 2,000 college students and a contingent from an anti-establishment bloc, as they diverged towards the three-mile barricade and police lines encompassing the summit of world leaders.

My collection of photographs is an invitation to witness the multifaceted nature of this protest. Accompanying the photographs are contemporaneous news articles, providing context and broadening the narrative scope. I invite you to engage with these images and articles, to delve into the two stories they tell – one of collective action and the other of direct confrontation.

Exhibitor Biography

Adam Williams is the Reference and Instruction Librarian at the Boston College Social Work Library. As a hobby, he used to develop his own black and white photos from film. Adam transitioned to digital photography for a short stint and digitized all of his negatives for preservation purposes. Then, like much of the rest of the world, Adam moved on to taking pictures with his phone.

All Our Songs Are Dust

Exhibit Run Dates: September 18, 2023 - November 15, 2023

Artist Statement

During the global quarantine, social spaces that harnessed physical contact, spectacle, and sensation were shut down; the absence of such spaces, specifically music venues, accentuated the chasm between our psychic and physical realities. Feeling ineffectual and small, I reimagined concerts as mythic schemas; as loud, corporeal Elysiums where we could celebrate the fragility of our forms. These paintings depict longing through sincerity, fatalism, and a touch of heavy metal cheesecake. By paralleling the familiar pageantry of Baroque and Rococo fresco ceilings, they act as playful meditations on paradise – and also as critiques of Art History's pearly-gated communities. Clad in their finest merch, my cartoonish moshers mime and mock images of saints in a pristine sky. They are cheeky retorts against a canon that excludes. They are an apotheosis for our shells, a celebration of our dust.

A Place Where They
Only Sing the Chorus
Can’t Keep Good Clouds Made of Curses
A Place Where They Only
Sing the Chorus

Oil on canvas
48in x 36in
2022
Can’t Keep Good
Oil on canvas
48in x 36in
2022
Clouds Made of Curses
Oil on canvas
48in x 36in
2023

Artist Bio

Jordan McGirk is an artist working in Boston, Massachusetts. He received his BFA in Studio Art with a concentration in painting from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and his MFA in Visual Art from Washington University in St. Louis. In previous years, Jordan McGirk’s work explored and critiqued images of western hyper-masculinity. His most recent paintings examine depictions of communal hyperobjects, escapism, and the failing anthropocene.

Jordan McGirk has exhibited work nationally, including Amos Eno Gallery in New York, Lit Gallery in Tennessee, AVC Gallery in California, Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, D.C. and at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport. His work is currently shown by Houska Gallery in St. Louis, MO.

BCSSW Community Quilt Honoring the Memory of Our Elders

Sponsored by Older Adults & Families in partnership with the Spier Fellowship in Aging

Exhibit Run Dates: September 2023- May 2024

Viewing Available During Social Work Library Hours

In honor of those lost to Alzheimer's Globally, approximately 55 million individuals are currently living with Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia (Alzheimer’s Association, 2016). The Alzheimer Association (2023) estimates that 6.7 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s dementia as of 2023. That means that about 1 in 9 individuals age 65 or older, are affected. They also estimate that about 110 of every 100,000 Americans, ages 30-64, have early onset dementia. By 2050, and as the aging population of 65+ grows, the population affected by Alzheimer’s is projected to grow to 12.7 million (Alzheimer’s Association, 2023). In 2021, approximately 121,499 deaths were recorded due to Alzheimer’s dementia in the United States.

Reference
Alzheimer's Association. (2023). Alzheimer's Disease Facts and Figures. https://www.alz.org/media/Documents/alzheimers-facts-and-figures.pdf

The Quilt of Memories—which measures 61 inches by 46 inches and is displayed in the Social Work Library—includes a drawing of a pair of glasses, a painting of a butterfly hovering in the sky, and patchwork

Artist and Contributor Information

The Quilt of Memories was created by BCSSW graduate student, Josue Velasquez Higueros in conjunction with Professor and Older Adults and Family Spier Fellowship Director, Christina Matz.

As part of a community service project, Velasquez Higueros designed a quilt to honor the memory of older adults who have positively impacted BCSSW students. More than a dozen students, including several fellows, decorated pieces of fabric to celebrate the lives of the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, or mentors who have helped shape who they have become and then wrote letters, poems, or vignettes to explain the decorations, which Velasquez Higueros sewed together.

Portraits of Dementia

Exhibit Run Dates: September 2021 - October 2021

An exhibit called "The Day After Yesterday: Portraits of Dementia" was on display at the Social Work Library and in the O'Neill Library Reading Room between September and October 2021. Photographer Joe Wallace met with a diverse group of individuals living with dementia in the hopes of destigmatizing the disease and those who suffer from it. The resulting collection of portraits and stories is powerful and compelling. 

For more information about the project, visit portraitsofdementia.com

Portraits of Dementia Exhibit in the Social Work Library