Mission and Values
The Mary L. Fifield Art Gallery aims to enrich and expand the intellectual, creative and academic lives of BHCC students and the campus community. The Gallery draws upon and celebrates our students’ shared experience and perspectives with relevant, artistically excellent, and culturally significant exhibitions, events, workshops, lectures and other programming. Under the banner of “Art Leads the Way,” the Gallery showcases a multitude of creative expressions that serve as teaching tools across the College curriculum to enhance knowledge, critical thinking, and self-reflection. The Gallery strives to embody a spirit of inquiry, inclusive excellence, and lifelong learning. Gallery programs and events also encompass the College’s performing arts programs, creating mutually supportive links among the spectrum of arts, culture and humanities.
“BHCC’s ever-expanding roster of arts curriculum, programs and events enhances the cultural education of our students and prepares them for meaningful participation in the burgeoning creative economy,’’ said BHCC President Pam Eddinger. “The Gallery is a focal point of our learning.”
The Mary L. Fifield Art Gallery, located in the A Building at Bunker Hill Community College, features revolving exhibits of paintings, photographs, videos, sculptures, and other multimedia in a broad range of subjects by local, national, and international artists, as well as, BHCC faculty, staff and students.
The Gallery hosts special events such as poetry readings, film screenings, musical and dance performances, and artist receptions. Exhibits are held throughout the year and are aligned with the College’s commitment to equity and the cultural wealth of our student body. The Gallery also hosts a Distinguished Artist Scholar in Residence program, which allows students to have meaningful interactions with practicing artists.
Past exhibits have been remarkable for their depth, creativity, and relevance. Artists have included painter and activist Maddu Huacuja, public artist Wen-ti Tsen, ceramicist Yary Livan, Boston Globe photographer Bill Brett, fiber artist and educator L’Merchie Frazier, Jamaican-born painter Kofi Kayiga, and renowned quilter and multimedia artist Susan Thompson. Themes have included African-American male identity, immigration and displacement, indigenous and undocumented populations, Fenway Park's 100th anniversary, and the conundrum of kitsch.
In 2004, Bunker Hill Community College set aside space for an art gallery on the third floor lobby of the campus A Building. The new space offered dramatic lighting and a 30-foot expanse of glass panels to provide for self-contained viewing. Then-BHCC President Mary L. Fifield – who had been a practicing artist – envisioned the Gallery as a place to nurture both emerging and established artists. In 2013, the Gallery was officially named The Mary L. Fifield Art Gallery, following a unanimous vote by the BHCC Board of Trustees.
Throughout the last decade, the Gallery’s mission has expanded to encompass greater integration of the arts and visual literacy across the curriculum. Beginning in the fall of 2019, the Gallery served as a classroom, becoming a focal point for teaching and learning in alignment with the College’s curriculum. In 2018, a Distinguished Artist Scholar in Residence program was created, and a permanent “teaching and learning” collection was established. Additionally, exhibition space has been expanded throughout the campus, including displays in the College Library, as well as hallways and other common areas.
“We have pushed beyond the walls of the Gallery to bring art, artifacts, photography and paintings right into the daily landscape of our students,” said College President Pam Eddinger. “This aligns with our mission to reflect and celebrate the cultural wealth of our community.”