The Arts and Culture at Wellesley Calendar Spotlights an Exceptional Semester

January 21, 2015
Parviz Tanavoli's Poet Turning into Heech

Wellesley has long welcomed artists, authors, performers, and scholars to campus to enrich and enliven the liberal arts experience of our community, and to connect with guests from the general public who are welcome to join us for the quality programming.  This semester’s schedule, previewed in the Arts and Culture at Wellesley Spring 2015 Calendar, offers a diverse line-up of topics and means of exploring them.

The College’s many visual and performing arts programs, lectures and symposia include the following highlights:

Parviz Tanavoli, on view February 10 through June 7 at the Davis

The Davis Museum is pleased to host the first U.S. museum retrospective of Parviz Tanavoli, the renowned artist who is widely acknowledged as “the father of modern Iranian sculpture.” Tanavoli will participate in a roundtable discussion at the Davis Museum Spring Celebration that will open the season on February 10.

Guests are also invited to explore Tanavoli’s work through the film Poetry in Bronze, which will screen with director Terrence Turner in attendance on April 17 to kick off the April 18 symposium Art & Reality: Middle Eastern Art in Context. Those interested in the arts in the Middle East are also encouraged to attend a discussion with authors Salar Abdoh and Gina B. Nahai as part of the Distinguished Writers Series hosted by the Susan and Donald Newhouse Center for the Humanities.

Benny Golson and Friends: Jazz Legend, March 14

The Wellesley College Concert Series’ programs include Artist in Residence Geoffrey Burleson on piano, The Cantata Singers performing Rachmaninoff, and a week-long celebration of 30 years of Jazz-World Music at Wellesley, among others. The Concert Series will also collaborate with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life’s Art & Soul program to present Tari Aceh: Music and Dance from the Tip of Sumatra.

One of the Concert Series’ most anticipated events will be a concert with Benny Golson, a legendary composer, arranger, lyricist and producer who has helped redefine jazz over the course of his prestigious career. Golson has played in the bands of Benny Goodman, Dizzy Gillespie, Lionel Hampton and Art Blakely, among others. He has written well over 300 compositions, and is the only living jazz artist to have written eight standards for jazz repertoire. Golson’s work will be honored in a Wellesley faculty concert in February preceding his own performance in March.

The Wilson Lecture: Michael Ondaatje in Conversation with Pico Iyer, May 1

Michael Ondaatje is the award-winning author of four collections of poetry and six works of fiction, and his novel The English Patient was made into an Academy Award-winning film. Ondaatje will be joined for The Wilson Lecture, which is hosted by the Office of the President in cooperation with the Newhouse this year, by fellow author and speaker Pico Iyer. The Wilson Lecture will be featured as the keynote address for the Newhouse Center’s House and Home Conference on May 1-2.

…and there’s more

Examine greed, lust, power, and other orientations to money through Filthy Lucre, Cinema and Media Studies’ Cinéphile Sundays film series. See a new twist on a classic or catch the premiere of an original World War I story in a production created by Sarah Barton '02 and Nora Hussey, chair of the Department of Theatre Studies. Delve into discourse and unity, both personal and political, with one of the many topical lectures offered throughout the semester. All of the events included in the Calendar are open to the public, and unless indicated, are free of charge.

For a more detailed overview of this semester’s programming, please visit our online calendar at We also invite you visit the Events pages of our web site frequently for the most current event campus event information.