Class 2024


The Art and Music Department offers a variety of courses in art history, studio art, digital and web design, music history, music technology and performance. We run a tutorial lab in Bliss 302 and oversee our art, CAMEO and music student clubs.

The department also manages the Hall of Fame Art Gallery and regularly presents art and music events on campus and online.

NEW – Digital Design AAS Online program! For more information click here

We offer two associate degree programs:

Associate in Applied Science (A.A.S.) in Digital Design degree program prepares students to go on to careers in digital, web and graphic design. The program has articulation (transfer) agreements with several colleges.

Liberal Arts & Sciences Associate in Arts (A.A.), Studio Art Option is a fully transferable degree that introduces the visual arts: learn to paint, draw, and select from a wide variety of art classes.

Contact Us

Main Office:

Bliss Hall [BL], Room 303
Phone: 718-289-5341

CUNY Office Assistant:
Jasmina Betances

Music Office:
Guggenheim Hall [GU], Room 203
Phone: 718-289-5252

Prof. Roni Ben-Nun
Bliss Hall [BL], Room 301
Phone: 718-289-5561

Deputy Chairperson:
Dr. Anne Vuagniaux
Bliss Hall [BL], Room 305
Phone: 718-289-5100 Ex. 3047

A.A.S. Digital Design
Program Director:

Prof. Lisa Amowitz
Bliss Hall [BL], Room 311
Phone: 718-289-5344


Department News

Dr. Anne Vuagniaux and Dr. Andrea Ortuño present papers at 2024 Renaissance Society of America Conference in Chicago

Drs. Vuagniaux and Ortuño will present papers at the Annual RSA Conference as part of a panel, “Domestic Dynamics in the Creation, Collection, and Display of European Art, 1350–1650,” which seeks to expand the canon of early-modern artworks that are inextricably connected to the domestic realm. Their research examines home, marriage, and family across various media, from the so-called decorative arts to monumental works that traditionally fall outside of the purview of domestic art. Ceramics and furniture with decoration not typically linked to such concepts will be considered through the lens of domestic dynamics, as will private collections and public monuments from various parts of Western Europe.

Dr. Deborah Lewittes publishes her second book and receives a grant to fund new research 

Shaping the City to Come

Deborah Lewittes (Associate Professor of Art History) published her new book in 2022. Shaping the City to Come: Rethinking Modern Architecture and Town Planning in England, c. 1934-51 (Liverpool University Press) reassesses mid-twentieth-century England, highlighting ideas and debates that were in circulation as continental modernist ideals gradually took root in a new environment. The book reveals an interwar architectural culture that was serious, active, and visionary, with impact that extended into the postwar years. Through close studies of specific works and writings, the book acknowledges the importance of the international context of modern architecture as it intersected with the variety of narratives that defined English modernism, such as national identity, the New Empiricism, and the picturesque, taking into account the large community of émigré architects who settled in England with the approach of World War II, as well as a more general dissemination of international style forms and theories from elsewhere in Europe. The book places familiar figures such as Berthold Lubetkin and Ernö Goldfinger as well as projects such as Tecton’s Penguin Pool and the Festival of Britain’s “Live Architecture” Exhibition in new light, presenting a rich picture of the modern architectural climate in England. The study draws attention to the debates, proposals, and processes that fed into the development of modernist, urban-minded, and forward-looking architectural thought. 

Dr. Lewittes also just received a 2023 PSC-CUNY research grant to support travel to London for her new project on the work of the Berlin-born English sociologist Ruth Lazarus Glass. This project will be the first attempt to link Glass’s writing and thinking to architectural and urban debates in the thirties and forties. Although she is celebrated for having coined the term “gentrification” in the sixties, Glass was active in English sociology circles from the moment she fled Nazi Germany in 1933 and came to London, analyzing housing estates and architectural works in social terms. In Glass, many significant strands come together – she was female, foreign, and Jewish in a culture that was antisemitic, xenophobic, and – at least in the academic environment in which she worked – often misogynistic as well. Glass navigated these waters with an unparalleled intellect, and this new study will analyze the importance of her writing from the angle of art and architectural history. 

Gwyneth Scally completes Purebred, a series of sculptures on the human relationship with the natural world 

In Purebred, her recent series of ceramic sculptures, Gwyneth Scally reflects on the human relationship with nature by considering our history with dogs as a touchstone for the animal world.  

“I genuinely, sincerely, and completely adore dogs, and yet I am fascinated by the human––and especially the English Victorian––concept of the “purebred” and what this says about our manipulation of the natural world as a way to signify our own cultural identity,” says Scally. “In these works, clay––the most natural of materials, as it truly is just dirt––slumps and collapses in a sort of organic decomposition. This formal looseness contrasts with the highly rendered, vital energy of the running, wriggling, struggling shapes of the dogs. The dogs are mostly English bulldogs and lurchers (a medieval hunting dog related to the greyhound). They are highly bred and genetically manipulated, yet these wonderful animals express total agency and unpredictability. Like nature as a whole, they are beyond human control.”  

Prof. Frank D. Blanchard completes series of paintings for solo exhibition at Revelation Gallery  

The Passion of Christ is a series of twenty paintings showing the events of the Passion and Resurrection. It is the second of two such series Frank D. Blanchard has painted. The first was begun in 2001 and completed in 2005. It was comprised of twenty-four wooden panels. This series was seven years in the making, beginning in 2016 and completed this year.  

“I decided to make a slightly shorter series, twenty panels instead of twenty-four,” Blanchard explains. “I painted them on canvas instead of wood panels and made them slightly larger in a square format. I decided to paint the bulk of the series in monochrome, and later parts after the Resurrection in full color. The historic experiences of LGBTQ persons and non-white people in the USA inform this new Passion series. I am a gay man, and like the rest of the LGBTQ+ community, I’ve directly felt the experience of being despised and rejected. Too many in the LGBTQ+ community and too many persons of color in the USA walked a literal Via Dolorosa to its fatal end. Another consideration [of the series] is mortality. I am many years older than I was when I started painting the first series. As years go by, I feel the losses of so many friends and family more keenly. Those issues of mortality and immortality, time and timelessness, death and resurrection at the center of this story have a new resonance for me now. If the new series has a guiding theme, it is that of Emmanuel, God is with us; God in solidarity with us as we suffer misfortune and injustice in the struggles for power that make up mortal life. I hope that a wide variety of people who are not like me (including the differently religious and non-religious) can see themselves and some of their own experiences in this new series.”   

The Passion of Christ will be on display at Revelation Gallery, 224 Waverly Place, New York, NY. The exhibition is open from September 6th through September 30th, 11AM to 3PM Monday through Friday, with an artist’s reception on September 23rd, 6 to 8PM. 

Prof. Florence Tanaka-Kuwashima creates ceramic sculptures inspired by earlier series of exhibited works 

Mebuki (Sprouting), ceramic.

Mebuki (Sprouting), ceramic, h. 16 inches, w. 14 inches, d. 7 inches, 2022.

Throughout 2018, Florence Tanaka-Kuwashima created pieces for a series of works inspired by Tokonoma, the Japanese tradition of providing houses with an art alcove. In this shallow, stage-like space, built of unrefined natural materials and never occupied by people, a work of exquisite pottery (often a flower vase) is set in front of a painted or embroidered scroll hung from a back wall. Tanaka-Kuwashima exhibited her Tokonoma constructions as well as watercolors and other ceramic pieces at a one-woman show at the Hendrick Hudson Library in Montrose, New York. 

While working on thrown and open form vases for her Tokonoma series, the pieces she created led to an unanticipated development. As she experimented with clustered plant motifs and other natural forms, the vases morphed into sculptural work. Tanaka has named these new pieces Mebuki –– the Japanese word for “sprouting,” and hopes to exhibit her Mebuki sculptures when she completes the full series. 


Prof. Roni Ben-Nun wins Bronze Award in Juried Exhibition

Magnolias, Roni Ben-Nun

Magnolias, Digital Photography, 2023

This month, Roni Ben-Nun (Associate Professor and Chair of the Art and Music Department) received the Bronze Award at the Artist Invitational IV, International Juried Visual Arts Exhibition at the Camelback Gallery (Scottsdale, AZ) for his photograph, Magnolias. In this work, which celebrates the end of a long winter and the coming of spring, Prof. Ben-Nun captured the afternoon sun playing on magnolia petals as the day wanes.  


Rosmary Torres

Rosmary TorresClass 2022

Rosmary Torres

Class of 2022

What opportunities at BCC helped you succeed professionally? 

All the resources available through the art department and throughout college helped me get an internship at the BCC design studio, which helped me gain experience as a graphic designer right out of graduation. 

How did BCC influence your personal and professional growth? 

Professionally, BCC allowed me to grow by developing my creativity. It helped me find my professional path and build more goals and objectives I am actively working towards. As for personal growth, I found a free and safe space to be myself and discover myself as an artist, mainly thanks to the wonderful people I proudly call mentors, friends, and colleagues. 

Can you share a transformative experience at BCC? 

My start at BCC coincided with the global Covid19 pandemic, which made my college experience lonely and monotonous because of virtual classes; however, in my last semester, one of my classes was face-to-face (ART 89), where each meeting did not feel like a class but rather like being with a creative design team where we helped each other achieve a joint goal while we inspired each other. The result of this class was a picture book that I am very proud of, and it is a crucial piece in my portfolio as a designer. 

What advice would you give someone considering attending BCC? 

I would tell them to do it. They will have many resources to guide them and help them achieve their career goals and beyond while being in a safe place to develop themselves. 

How has BCC impacted your life beyond education? 

BCC helped convince me to continue my career in design. My professors and advisors helped me find a good job and educational opportunities after graduation. Thanks to all this support, which I still have, I have confidence in myself and my work. 

Can you share a success story achieved with the help of BCC? 

My most personal and successful story involving BCC would be helping me learn the English language. Six years ago, my family gave me the opportunity to live in the United States from my home country of Venezuela, which was in a critical social, economic, and political situation. It all happened so quickly; it was overwhelming and confusing because I didn’t speak English. I knew it would be difficult, considering it had never been a subject I liked at school, but I was convinced and determined to take advantage of the situation. I enrolled in English classes offered at BCC. My teachers knew my story and helped me get into the intensive CLIP program to improve my language skills and get into college. Today, I can proudly show and say to the sixteen-year-old Rosmary that we have a degree in digital arts and can understand/speak English. 

What skills/knowledge acquired at BCC do you use in your profession? 

Much of the knowledge I acquired is present in my work. I use my training and skills in Adobe programs daily. This pushes me to understand design better and innovate my work. I was told in my first class, “Designers are always learning. We must keep up with the changes.” To this day, what this teacher said to me in my first class is confirmed. And honestly, there is beauty in constantly learning about your profession. 

Penelope Almonte

Penelope Almonte

Penelope Almonte

Class of 2018

What opportunities at BCC helped you succeed professionally? 

BCC showed me that it is possible to come from another country, another culture, speak another language, and succeed. Thanks to BCC and my professors, I adapted quickly to my new home and overcame any challenge while completing my BFA at FIT.

How did BCC shape your personal and professional growth? 

One of the ways that BCC shaped me personally and professionally was by molding my character. Today, I’m more resilient and not afraid to ask questions. It also made me realize that I’d become a successful professional anywhere in the world.  

Can you share a transformative experience at BCC? 

It’s incredible the amount of support received from your professors and advisors. When I think about BCC, the first word that comes to mind is “community.”  

What advice would you give to someone considering attending BCC? 

Give your best while you are here. Invest time in learning and perfecting your craft, whatever that may be. Owning what you do and who you are as a professional will open doors for you.  

How has BCC impacted your life beyond education? 

Thanks to BCC, I feel I can become anything. I learned to respect and enjoy the process.  

Can you share a success story achieved with the help of BCC? 

BCC helped me get where I’m today; a Product Designer that enjoys building thoughtful digital experiences.  

What skills/knowledge gained at BCC, do you use in your profession? 

BCC instilled in me the design fundamentals I use daily. I learned that a bad idea is never bad but rather the beginning of something great.

Penelope Almonte 

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