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Teaching Imitates Art

October 30, 2006

Professor Anthony Sorce, of Borough of Manhattan Community College’s Art and Music Department, has been selected as the 2007 recipient of the Reverent Anthony J. Lauck Award by the Alumni Association Board of Directors of University of Notre Dame.

This award, given annually, is conferred on an alumnus or alumna who has demonstrated expertise, beauty and performance in the Fine Arts/Visual arts while providing outstanding service to mankind.

Professor Sorce, Notre Dame class of 1961 (BFA) and 1962 (MFA), has described his craft, in the areas of drawing, painting, and sculpture, as “a study of possibilities” within the framework of more formal elements. He won a Guggenheim fellowship award in 1968, for being one of the first Americans to use polyurethane as a medium.

“It was the Guggenheim award that allowed me to come to New York,” Sorce recalls. “Once I got here, I became a part-time adjunct at BMCC.”

Now a full-time faculty member, Sorce has a good overview of how BMCC’s visual arts program has developed over the past three decades.

“Because of the strong multi-media program here, we’ve been getting a very talented core of incoming students,” says Sorce. “The department has also begun to place a larger focus on getting students and their families to make use of the city’s museums. This sort of exposure will help them develop their talents beyond the classroom.”

Sorce, who likes to work on ten art pieces at once, teaches drawing and painting, though recently he has been almost exclusively teaching the art of sculpture at BMCC. Having attended a junior college himself before attending Notre Dame, he understands how limited art departments can be at community colleges.

“Each term I get some very talented students in the classroom,” he says. “Their initial lack of exposure to the arts acts as a double-edged sword. Because most of them have no preconceived notions of what they should be doing, they tend to be very open and quite creative. I do think, however, that basic art history courses would serve to create a solid foundation, from which they’d greatly benefit.”

Professor Sorce places little difference between teaching and creating art. The two processes, he feels, feed one another.

“Continuing to create—and showing my work in galleries—is as important for the students as what I do in the classroom,” says Sorce. “Artists’ personal productivity affects their performance as instructors.”

Professor Anthony Sorce continues to exhibit internationally and in New York’s Lance Fung, Joan Prats and Robert Steele galleries, among others. You may see more of his work at


Thumbnail painting on homepage: Dance, 2005

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