BOOTH THEATRE—The end of another academic year is nearly upon us, and with it comes a variety of events and gatherings to honor the best and brightest at Boston University. Even BU’s top brass are in the giving mood. They’re willing and eager to splash their endowment cash to laud the efforts of the diverse student body and all of their “important” achievements.
One of the upcoming celebratory happenings that has generated the most buzz is the CAS Doodle Gallery and Auction. It’s a brand new event that will occur this Saturday evening at the Joan and Edgar Booth Theatre. Preparation for the event began back in September. The Office of the Provost sent a memo to all CAS lecturers and professors instructing every CAS student to turn in three notebook doodles created in class over the course of the year.
“Our impetus for starting this doodle search was to really get into the psyche of a CAS student in today’s social landscape,” said Jean Morrison, the current Provost. “We wanted to know what drives so many of them to not give a rat’s ass about what their professor is saying and focus on pissing away their expensive education. What creativity can we find in the moments where they just straight up don’t give a shit?”
The Office received close to 400,000 in-class drawings, sketches, and assorted doodles from the CAS student body. From there, the entries traveled to the recently acquired Wheelock College. Wheelock “forcefully volunteered” its students to sort, rate, and compile them. Over the course of two frigid, non-sleeping weeks in February, the students whittled the submission pool down to 100. They sent these doodles to the Museum of Fine Arts for further review.
From there, chief artistic curator Lorraine Montague cut the list down to 15. She described the process as “the most difficult decisions I’ve ever had to make regarding art.” Additional consulting from Rhett Terrier and the ghost of Pablo Picasso helped streamline the process.
The upcoming celebration is a two-part evening. The first part is a gala and cocktail hour that will feature a live professional jazz ensemble (not some CFA noobs), catering from the North End’s Aria Trattoria (not any Fresh Food Co. garbage), and a fully-stocked cash bar (what, you thought BU would just give away free booze?). The event, which is black tie only, also has an extremely exclusive guest list. High profile guests include Mayor Martin Walsh, Celtics guard Kyrie Irving, and the elusive Aflac Duck. President Brown will also be in attendance, but sources say it’ll mainly be to eat the Trattoria’s famed spaghetti bolognese.
Most importantly, the cocktail hour is a way for guests to see the honored doodles. The Office of the Provost will frame and display them around the venue for viewing. Beginning at 9 p.m., the attendees, including the 15 doodle artists, will filter into the Tsai Performance Hall. Sotheby’s Auctioneers will oversee the selling of the doodles to the crowd for hefty prices.
Despite their inherent value, people expect that some doodles will sell better than others. Many auctioneer sources believe that freshman Christina Delvecchio’s “Scribble of a Meerkat Cabaret” will begin bidding in the six figures.
“I never really thought of myself as much of an artist,” said Delvecchio, sitting in her Towers double. “But I was hella bored in my Writing 100 class and I just started thinking about how funny it would look if Timon from The Lion King was in fishnets. I had no clue that was desirable in today’s art market. But it’s pretty cool, I guess.”
Delvecchio is far from the only “non-artist” whose work is displayed. 14 of the 15 winning doodles come from non-liberal arts majors. Auctioneers consider the lone Art History doodle, junior Eli Mack’s “portrait of the back of a girl’s head who ghosted me on Tinder,” the least valuable of the bunch. They expect it to sell for over a million less than the next least valuable doodle, sophomore Grace Cho’s “3 Cool Cubes.”
The Office of the Provost intends to donate all of the proceeds to a good cause: providing StuVi housing for all of student athletes who are already on full scholarship. “We don’t think that our athletic programs get enough money,” said Provost Morrison. “It’s time we lean on the arts to send more money their way.”
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