At the Community Engagement Office, we work to foster just and reciprocal relationships with communities through innovative, socially-engaged art and design programs and partnerships that create avenues for you to extend your learning beyond the walls of our school. With a focus on racial equity and social innovation, we develop opportunities for students and communities in Cambridge, Somerville, and Greater Boston to participate in activities ranging from artist lectures and hands-on workshops to collaborative courses and public art projects that stimulate positive social change.
We connect contemporary art and design practice and social justice initiatives by fostering partnerships with nonprofit art organizations, museums, local and regional high schools, institutions and consortia. The Dean’s Community Advisory Council was established in Fall 2015 with the college’s move from Boston’s Kenmore Square to the Lunder Arts Center and new Animation and Visual Effects (VFX) studios in Cambridge’s Porter Square.
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- Agassiz Baldwin Community
- American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA)
- Arts on the Avenue Committee
- Art Association of New England Preparatory Schools
- ArtPlace America
- Asian Community Development Corporation
- Berkeley School of Music
- Boston APP/Lab
- Boston Arts Academy
- Boston Comics Roundtable
- Boston Design Week
- Boston International Kids Film Festival
- Boston LGBT Film Festival
- Boston Society of Architects – Common Boston
- Cambridge Art Association
- Cambridge Arts, City of Cambridge
- Cambridge Creativity Commons
- Cambridge Neighbors
- Cambridge Rindge and Latin School
- Cambridge Public Schools -- Visual & Performing Arts
- Community Art Center, Cambridge’s Teen Media Program
- Community Charter School of Cambridge
- Community Development Department, City of Cambridge
- DIYDS!! National Youth Film Festival
- deCordova Sculpture Park & Museum
- Digital Silver Imaging
- Eastern Bank
- Fenway High School
- Filmmakers Collaborative
- Foundry Consortium
- Friends of Cambridge Rindge and Latin School
- Griffin Museum of Photography
- Harvard Indigenous Design Collective
- Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston
- Lawrence High School’s Abbott Lawrence Academy
- Lemelson-MIT Program
- Lesley STEAM Learning Lab
- Living Well Network, Agassiz Neighborhood Council
- The Loop Lab
- Massachusetts Independent Comics Expo (MICE)
- Massachusetts Production Coalition
- Maud Morgan Arts Center
- Mayor’s Taskforce for the Arts, City of Cambridge
- North American Indian Center of Boston
- North Cambridge Art Association
- Photographic Resource Center
- Porter Square Neighbors Association
- Prospect Hill Academy Charter School
Lesley Art + Design Visiting Artist Series
The Lesley Art and Design Visiting Artist Series invites national and internationally recognized artists to speak about their work and practice. The artists work directly with students through one-on-one and classroom critiques, as well as community-wide workshops or exhibitions. The series bridges the contemporary art world to the greater-Lesley community by fostering dialogue between artists and students. Evening lectures are always free and open to the public.
Past Visiting Artists
Kaz Oomori's highly regarded illustrations have received international attention and a client list that includes Walt Disney Studios, Marvel Studios, Lucas Film Ltd and Warner Brother's Studios. He has made significant contributions to the film industry through his visual approach that challenges the cultural and societal narratives in films and the way they are promoted.
Oomori also teaches at Nara College of Arts in Nara, Japan where Lesley students and faculty have visited and partnered with as part of the Japan travel course. As part of the Visiting Artist Series, Oomori collaborated with illustration alumni and students to create a permanent large-scale mural in University Hall.
Jackson's process has been described by him as, “A mining through historical narratives, Afrodiasporic histories and geographies, science fiction, global modernisms, and a discourse on representation.”
Jackson creates a distinctive tableau of painting figuration and narrative imagery. Recent shows of his include Zevitas Marcus, Los Angeles; Elmhurst Art Museum, Elmhurst, IL; Green Gallery, Yale University; and Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston.
Working at the dynamic intersection of drawing, painting and photography, Milan began as an artist in residence at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture before earning an MFA at Yale University. His three-dimensional dioramas gained considerable recognition and have been exhibited at The Studio Museum in Harlem, and The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh.
As part of the series, Milan visited several fine art senior studios where he looked at final projects and shared some helpful advice. He also collaborated with our community partners at the deCordova museum with an installation piece and outdoor lecture.
JooYoung Choi '12
MFA in Visual Arts alumna, Choi merges fantasy with autobiography in multidisciplinary work that explores a fictional land called the Cosmic Womb. Her work has been exhibited at The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience, The National Museum of Mexican Art, and the Contemporary Art Museum of Houston.
As part of the series, Choi hosted several workshops for Lesley students and participated in classroom critiques. Her work was also exhibited on campus in the Raizes gallery, as part of the "Kith & Kin" show.
Trenton Doyle Hancock
Trenton Doyle Hancock creates prints, drawings and collaged felt paintings which tell the story of his mythical characters called the Mounds. His work is influenced by comics, films and music that convey symbolic meaning through traditional painterly forms. Hancock is one of the youngest artists to ever participate in the Whitney Biennial and was also featured in a major exhibit at Mass MoCA. He has also served as an MFA in Visual Arts faculty mentor over the years for many graduate students and artists.
Participating in classroom critiques and gallery talks, Hancock exhibited work in Raizes during the Artist Series.
Alex Da Corte
Conceptual artist Alex Da Corte works in painting, sculpture, installation and video art. Known for using surreal imagery combined with everyday objects, his work explores ideas of consumerism, pop culture, literature and mythology. Da Corte's work has been shown at La Biennale di Venezia, 2019 and Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia.
As part of the Visiting Artist Series, Da Corte visited senior studios and participated in one-on-one critiques with fine arts and interdisciplinary students.
Design students help to replace state seal, motto
Neon signs light up Lunder Arts Center
Explore different concepts and technologies in art and design, make new connections, or refine skills. Attend our high school workshops during the academic year. Participate in workshops co-presented with the Cambridge Arts Council, City of Cambridge, Cambridge Art Association, Boston International Kids Film Festival, the Rose Kennedy Greenway Conservancy, and other local organizations.
Through our PARTICIPATE initiative, we develop participatory public art projects with community organizations and neighboring schools. Each project is designed to strengthen student learning as informed by community interests. Check out some of the ways we have collaborated with the Porter Square Neighbors Association, Arts on the Avenue Committee, Boston Society of Architects, and the Community Development Department of the City of Cambridge.