University of Pittsburgh
Studio Arts

Alumni Profile

Jamie Boyle (SA/HAA double major, Apr 2003)

When did you graduate from Pitt? Did you pursue any specific creative research projects?
I graduated in Spring 2003 with a BA in Studio Arts and History of Art and Architecture. In the summer of 2002, I participated in the Brackenridge Summer Fellowship program, during which I worked on a sound installation based on research about Antonin Artaud and the Theatre of Cruelty.

What degrees do you now hold?
In the spring of 2007, I received an MFA in Art with an emphasis in sculpture from The Ohio State University.

What is your current job title and the nature of your employment?
Presently I work for Ann Hamilton as her studio manager. The work varies from project administration (which means keeping track of a whirlwind schedule and a lot of email writing) to hands-on studio work, as Ann is currently in the midst of several large-scale public art projects and upcoming exhibitions.

What part of the country/world do you live in?
I live in Columbus, OH (which is the home to the best ice cream that you will ever try!)

Are you currently working on any independent creative projects?
Most of the work that I have done over the past year has taken its form in proposal writing, which I have learned can be a real form of making, and the work becomes more and more real each time it fits itself into writing and goes out into the world. Additionally, I am working consistently – writing, reading, video taping, collecting – I am slow, often, to come to form. Though I can list a few more concrete projects and threads here:

For the past year, along with four fellow artists, I ran a project/studio space, 13 East Tulane Road, which is an experimental lab that curates and produces art exhibitions, performance, and other ephemeral events and happenings.

This past spring, I coordinated Video Support Group Film School which was a series of workshops, lectures and screenings about the process and theory of film and video production.

I collaborate with Pittsburgh-based artist and writer, Meg Shevenock, on a series of performances that take as their theatrical site the interior of a Mercury Sable and/or the sidewalk itself. We also completed a series of dishes, each with texts that set up their use as a performative gesture.

I am in the very early stages of working on a film project that explores the body’s complicated relationship to money, particularly how it is that we are made of it.

This summer I assisted filmmaker Jennifer Reeder on two short films, both of which are in post-production now. I have worked with her on several projects over the past few years, having met her and assisted her in 2007 on the production of her first feature length film, Accidents at Home and How They Happen shot with support from the Wexner Center.

What personal hobbies/activities do you enjoy?
I shop a lot in antique stores, though this activity is an extension of my studio practice, as searching and paying attention to hopefully spot miracles of objects, text and image, is the exercise that makes up the primary work of my art. I also read quite a bit – all sorts. And, I have been continuing my education in films, slowly working through a vast history of films recommended to me over the years. Plus, I love going to the movie theater!

Why did you decide to attend the University of Pittsburgh for your undergraduate work? Did you enter knowing that you would pursue Studio Arts? If not, how did this interest develop?
I was in a contemporary dance program at another university when I became ill and unable to continue in the program. I moved back to Pittsburgh, my hometown, to become well, and decided to attend the University of Pittsburgh to begin my transition into a new mode of work/study.

I had my suspicion that the Studio Arts program would be where I found my new home, though it was during an introduction to design class, where the instructor led us through the careful and open consideration and conversation of and about the lines of idea that we put on paper that I quickly learned that the same language used in the dance studio also described composition on the page. It was easy, then, to realize that Studio Arts would indeed be my place.

How has your Studio Arts experience affected or influenced your professional path?
The remarkable teaching in the department, coupled with the opportunity to share art classes with students from any discipline in the university helped and continues to help me contextualize an art practice within a broad culture of making and thinking. And, while I am forever trying to figure out what exactly an art practice is, I know that it began during my time at Pitt and that I am forever going to be in it.

Do you have any advice you would like to share with our Studio Arts majors?
Presently, I highly recommend reading Anne Bogart's book, and then, you act: making art in an unpredictable world. There is not an exact path to follow (except maybe the “trust yourself and the process” path) when developing an art practice; however, if there could be a manual, Anne Bogart’s book might be it.

And, you are in a great place to follow all sorts of threads of research and interest that can feed your work at Pitt; don’t forget about that huge university outside of the Frick Fine Arts basement classrooms (though those are great too!).