Jamie Boyle Studio Arts and History of Art & Architecture Double Major, April 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 Art and the History of Art and Architecture.
Before arriving at Pitt, I had been studying dance on a sort of midwestern tour of universities—studied ballet at Indiana University in Bloomington for my freshman year, then transferred to The Ohio State University to participate in a contemporary dance program. Due to illness, which primarily and suddenly affected my joints making simple tasks like walking and dressing quite painful, dance felt physically and, perhaps more potently, emotionally like a remote possibility to me at the time, and so I returned to Pittsburgh, my hometown, and shortly thereafter began classes at Pitt. Coming from a family of artists, I was encouraged to translate my focus on dance to a visual art practice. I spent my four years at Pitt exploring art practices and histories in a general way, while developing a foundation of questions about how these practices and forms relate to the body, muscle memory and performance. This remains the foundation on which I focus my art practice.
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?
Currently, I freelance, and therefore I don’t have a steady job title. This past year, I have been a rehearsal assistant, writer, editor, embroiderer, project assistant, object wrangler, and my most favorite to-date, integrated archives designer. The short of it is: I help artists creatively and administratively with their productions, primarily working within the performing arts.
I was a project manager in Ann Hamilton’s studio from 2008-2011. After moving to New York in 2011, I joined the programming team at Park Avenue Armory, where I assisted with large-scale Drill Hall productions, including Hamilton's the event of a thread, and coordinated the Under Construction works-in-progress series until 2013. Some recent projects include a collaboration, as performer, with choreographer Ursula Eagly on an iteration of Self Made Man Man Made Land; Some Begins an exhibition of sculptures with LA-based artist, Meg Shevenock (2014, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust);  Integrated Archives Design for Geoff Sobelle's The Object Lesson; and Project Assistant on Ann Hamilton and SITI Company’s the theater is a blank page (2015, Wexner Center for the Arts).
What part of the country do you live in?
Brooklyn, NY (in a studio apartment with my husband Cormac Slevin and our 2 cats)
Are you currently working on any independent creative projects?
My current research is focused on the processes and histories of magic, miracles, and theatrical illusions, and the ways in which these processes can frame an investigation of the ordinary. I am interested in and amazed by the grand amounts of practice, repetition, stories, administration, and effort—the cumulative hours and strengths—necessary to create one spectacular moment. Following this, I believe that any object or movement of the body can be seen as a magic trick, a theatrical illusion, a miracle, when attention is also drawn to the multitude of systems, procedures and timing that create it.
I am creating a body of sculptural work, which alludes to these precarious systems and mammoth efforts lying beneath the every thing of our ordinary lives.  These sculptures are handmade facsimiles of mass-produced objects, trash, and mementos—sometimes only a fragment— made from disparate materials imbued with their own assumptive qualities of history and common use.
Additionally, LA-based artist, Meg Shevenock and I maintain a long-distance, collaborative practice. www.somebegins.com
What personal hobbies / activities do you enjoy?
I love walking and looking around the city, especially boardwalks and city beaches when the weather is warm.  I also knit (after 4 attempts, I made a sweater that fits!). Oh, and I love junk stores and stoop sales (though the capacity of our small apartment edits my purchases before I make them!).
Why did you decide to attend the University of Pittsburgh for your undergraduate work? Did you enter knowing that you would pursue Studio Arts?
Initially, it was circumstance (my illness causing me to return to my hometown) that led me to Pitt. I wasn’t, at first, certain that I would pursue Studio Arts. Though with the openness of the program, and a profound experience in Foundations Design class, along with the encouragement and guidance of my older brother, Jeremy, it wasn’t long into my first winter at Pitt that I decided to make Studio Arts my home.  
How has your Studio Arts experience affected or influenced your professional path?
The opportunity to share the studio and conversation with students from disciplines across the university through all levels of coursework was really special. The openness of the program gave me the permission to be in it, to explore possibilities, and it also created the foundation upon which I continue to base my art practice.
Do you have any advice you would like to share with our Studio Arts majors?
Go to as many talks and lectures as you can, all over the university. Don’t forget that there is a museum that is only yards away from your studio!
Don’t quit.