News and Events

Welcome to our News and Events page! There are always exciting things going on with our students, faculty, and alumni. Check this page regularly to see what our art community is up to.








Origin, Celebrating UMW Studio Art Alumni


Abernathy Bland, The far side of the sea, even there., 2017. Oil on Canvas, 24 x 24”
Abernathy Bland, The far side of the sea, even there., 2017. Oil on Canvas, 24 x 24”

duPont Gallery

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 25th 2018, 5-7pm
Exhibition on view: January 25-March 1st

About Abernathy Bland:

Abernathy Bland is an artist, educator, designer, and writer. She is a teacher and the Art Director for SPARC Theater’s Live Art, a collaborative theater arts program for students with and without disabilities. She works as an artist mentor with Milk River Arts, a studio providing career-focused support for adult artists with disabilities.

Some of her design projects include Old Kent Road Theater and Piper McKenzie Productions in NY and Richmond Ballet in VA.  She presented work in Puppet BloK! at Dixon Place with OKRT’s Make it Work! Keep Going. Her work can also be seen in the dining room design of Richmond restaurant Foo Dog. Her piece, go for it. all, is part of the Richmond mural scene. She is also an American Sign Language Interpreter.

Painting, illustration, and sculpture are all important avenues for her message. See more from her creature studio and follow her blog about her creative journey and the importance of community, authenticity, and kindness at Riding Bareback Beside a Train,


Anna Prezioso, Past Your Limit, 2016. Mixed Media, 10×10”

Anna Prezioso, Past Your Limit, 2016. Mixed Media, 10×10”

About Anna Prezioso:

As a trauma survivor, I am interested in making work that questions and readdresses the
development of identity after a traumatic event. Working primarily in sculpture, sound, image
and installation, I investigate how the mind adapts from a traumatic experience by changing the
way memory perceives and comprehends an event. Through the use of functionality, mnemonic
translations, connectors and transformations, my work simultaneously references the
development of my identity as a survivor and the new relationship created between survivor and
society. This constellation of mediums constructs an ongoing map that leads through my
obsessive and continual exploration of how trauma attempts to define survivors.

Anna Presioso is best known for her multimedia discipline, creating works that evoke a sensual
and encompassing atmosphere that dictates an experience. Currently living and working in the
District of Columbia, her practice continues to capture remnants of memory with fervor. Her
large scale installations and mixed media work displays an overwhelming repetition of harvested
mediums. This expression of vocabulary rapidly develops into the form of collage and
embroidery to sounds and fragmented imagery. These all become stitched together to give the
viewer a cohesive narrative from a collection of a decomposed life. Prezioso’s artwork has been
exhibited in group and individual shows, such as Vilnius Academy of Arts; Forum Art Space;
and Katzen Museum; as well as GlogaurAIR studios in Berlin, where she also attended as a
residencident. She’s been selected for several publications, including a feature for the “Artist of
the Week” by ArtSee DC .

Mid Atlantic New Painting 2018


Image shows two women standing next to a table covered in different materials

Miles Hall, Deconstructing the Apocalypse in her Own Image, 2017. oil on panel, 86 x 62

Opening Reception: Thursday, January 25th 2018, 5-7pm, Ridderhof Martin Gallery

Juror’s Talk: Friday, January 26th 2018, 12 pm
Exhibition on view: January 25- March 18th, 2018

The UMW Galleries are proud to host the eleventh Mid-Atlantic New Painting biennial exhibition! The competition is open to artists 18 years of age and older, living in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and West Virginia. Entries must have been completed within two years of the application deadline. Paintings in any painting medium are eligible.


The MANP 2018 juror is Kimberli GantMcKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA

Participating Artists:
David Barr, Katie Barrie, Michael Benevenia, Nick Candela, Sabine Carlson, Pamela Crockett, Constance Culpepper, Daniel Dias, Colleen Garibaldi, Steve Griffin, Nicole Gunning, Miles Hall, Elizabeth Heller, Sue Johnson, Allan Jones, Chee Kung, J. Li, Cameron Limbrick, Diane Lorio, Edmond Praybe, William Ruller, Jane Sangerman, Bill Santelli, Linda Schmidt, Roberta Tucci, Naijun Zhang




Assistant Professor of Painting & Drawing, Chris Musina, will be showing work at Blue Spiral 1 Gallery in Asheville, NC in the 5 person show “Animalia”. The show is centered on the theme of animal, each artist exploring the subject in different media. Musina will have 8 paintings in this show, and it is open from Jan 4th thru Feb 23rd. The opening is January 4th from 5-8pm.






Synthesis Exhibition


A solo exhibition of ceramic sculpture by Associate Professor Jon McMillan was on view at the Cleo Miller Driver Gallery at Bridgewater College from January 8th- January 31st.  This exhibition featured 12 new sculptures from the artist, and began with a reception and gallery lecture on January 8th.







Jon McMillan Serves as Guest Critic
for MFA Student Reviews


Image shows building with glass windows and 4 columns

Duke Hall is the home of the Art Department at James Madison University.

On December 8, Associate Professor Jon McMillan was invited by the faculty at James Madison University to serve as the outside reviewer and guest critic for their MFA student reviews.  Professor McMillan spent two days in Harrisonburg meeting with faculty and students, touring the school’s newly renovated art building, and participating in a day-long critique of MFA candidates’ artwork.  McMillan is an alumnus of JMU, having earned his BFA in Studio Art and a minor in Art History there in 1998.



Community Club Visits Gallery


a group of people stand in front of a grey wall with framed photos hung behind them

Rosemary Jesionowski with the Fredericksburg Photography Club in Ridderhof Martin Gallery.

On November 28th Gallery Specialist and Studio Art Professor Rosemary Jesionowski gave a guided tour of the Lightworks exhibit in Ridderhof Martin Gallery to the Fredericksburg Photography Club. From their site: “The club is open to anyone interested in photography. Membership includes photographers at all skill levels from beginners to advanced using digital and/or film. Club members work cooperatively to raise the level of excellence for all and to promote an awareness of photography in the community. The club has a growing roster of 70 active members.”



All But Ordinary Exhibition


Image shows tree stumps made from pencils on top and a colorful collage of strips of paper and resin on the buttom

Travis Childers, Stumps, 2016, pencils, glue. Large stump: 19 x 22 x 24” Small stump: 19 x 16 x 13”
Karen Fitzgerald, We Never Even Know We Have the Key, 2017, mail order catalogs – on wood, finished with resin, 36 x 36”

All But Ordinary was on display in the duPont Gallery from October 26th through December 3rd. The exhibition featured work by two artists, Travis Childers and Karen Fitzgerald. Both artists’ works utilized everyday materials. About his piece, Stumps, Childers explained, “With this piece I took number two pencils and made them into tree stumps, referencing the action that required a tree to eventually become a pencil. The tree as a pencil is further decimated by the user sharpening it to use. There are simple gestures we do to use nature to our own will and make it a disposable commodity.” In regards to her use of re-purposed materials Fitzgerald said, “I create art out of common, everyday things. From discarded clothing to junk mail, I’m motivated by the context of a material– its original purpose and place in our lives as well as the  many hands and ideas involved in its creation. I ‘make paint’ by breaking these materials  down, seeking out color and shape, and putting them back together in ways that celebrate what we value and why it matters.”






Light Works Exhibition


Image is black and white and shows a woman sitting with her hand to her face with a child in her arms and a child leaning on her shoulder

Dorothea Lange, Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936, gelatin silver print.
Collection of the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts; Gift of the Photo Guild


Light Works: A Century of Photography was on display in the Ridderhof Martin Gallery from October 26th through December 3rd. “From Eadweard Muybridge’s 19th-century photographic studies of animal locomotion to Richard Misrach’s contemporary chromogenic prints, this exhibition spans the history of photography. Works by Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Curtis, Ansel Adams, Dorothea Lange, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon and many other celebrated photographers are included.”










Department Hosted Annual Pottery Jam Event


image shows three artists throwing pottery on pottery wheels while students sit and observe

Ceramics artists Samantha Henneke, Michael Kline, and Bruce Gholson gave demonstrations at Pottery Jam 2017.


The Department of Art and Art History recently hosted visiting artists Samantha Henneke, Bruce Gholson, and Michael Kline for Pottery Jam 2017!  The three artists, collectively known as “Cousins in Clay” spent a full day in UMW’s ceramics studio demonstrating their techniques and discussing fine craft, pottery theory, small business ownership, and much more.





image shows three artists throwing pottery on wheels

Over 50 UMW students, faculty, and community members attended the event.


Over 50 UMW students and faculty, as well as guests from both the local community and regional universities took part in the event, which kicked off the evening before the demos with a slide night at Libertytown Arts Workshop.








Alumna Published in Renaissance Quarterly


Photo shows woman standing in front of red wall with circular, gold-framed piece of art hanging behind her

Alumna Emily Lovins Fenichel standing in front of Michelangelo, Doni Tondo, 1504-06 (Florence, Uffizi)


Emily Lovins Fenichel ’06 has published “Michelangelo’s Pietà as Tomb Monument: Patronage, Liturgy, and Mourning.” The article appears in the current issue of the Renaissance Quarterly, vol. 70 (2017): 862-96. This is an outstanding accomplishment…and a very interesting article. Who said there’s nothing new to learn about Michelangelo?







Image show's famous sculpture by Michelangelo of Jesus laying in Mary's lap.

Michelangelo, Pietà, 1498-99 (Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica)



About her work, Emily writes: In focusing on Michelangelo’s signature, recent scholarship on his Pietà has separated his sculpture fro its spiritual intent. In contrast, this article will consider how the sculpture group spoke to its original religious context, principally as the funerary monument of Michelangelo’spowerful French patron, Cardinal Lagraulas. The Rome Pietà was an important part of the funeral rites for the cardinal that mirrors and amplifies the liturgy surrounding death, particularly the hour of vespers. Reconstructing the sculpture’s relationship to its liturgical and funerary ensemble will highlight Michelangelo’s iconographic and artistic ingenuity in the service of religion and his patron.”





Fox 5 News College Tour


Image shows students sketching while news anchors interview UMW professor

On October 20, 2017 Fox 5 News came to UMW for their “College Campus Tour” segment. They interviewed Studio Art Professor, Rosemary Jesionowski, about the different opportunities the Arts programs on campus have to offer. Students were featured sketching a horse provided by the Equestrian Team to showcase the collaborative nature of UMW’s campus programs. Check out the “Campus Sketching” segment on Fox 5’s site!



Faculty Exhibition


Image shows 9 circles with different pieces of art in each

All of our Studio Art faculty displayed their work in duPont Gallery from September 7th through October 13th. The show featured art from Deb Balestreri, Carole Garmon, Larry Hinkle, Rosemary Jesionowski, Ashe Laughlin, Jon McMillan, Chris Musina, Jason Robinson, and Sarah Spencer White.











 Pulped Under Pressure Exhibition


Image shows two green circles overlapping with a black turtle in the right one

Marilyn Propp, Ghost Divers, relief print on handmade cotton paper with pulp painting, 2014

Pulped Under Pressure was on display in Ridderhof Martin Gallery from September 7th through October 13th.
“With traditional hand papermaking at its core, Pulped Under Pressure underscores important contemporary issues steeped in history and craft.  Enticed through touch, these works encourage a contemplative slowing down even as they urge acknowledgement of some of the most pressing issues (environmental crisis to global marginalization) facing civilization today. Each of the artists, Jillian Bruschera, Julia Goodman, Reni Gower, Trisha Martin, Melissa Potter, Marilyn Propp, and Maggie Puckett, starts simply with a foundation of pulp made from natural fibers.  Their multifaceted results incorporate a rich range of printmaking, letterpress, papercutting, and installation.” -Reni Gower and Melissa Potter





Painting shows Romulus and Remus and the wolf with a piece of pizza over its face

Painting by Chris Musina

Assistant Professor, Chris Musina, had work on display in CURRENT Art Fair with Ada Gallery in Richmond September 28th-October 1st. In the fall of 2015, several local gallery owners and directors, from 1708 Gallery, ADA gallery, Candela Books + Gallery, Glave Kocen Gallery, Page Bond Gallery, Quirk Gallery, and Reynolds Gallery, joined together to establish Richmond’s first contemporary art fair. Coined CURRENT (a nod to the nearby James River, the idea of the new, and the notion of an electric spark), the fair is held yearly in the fall. CURRENT emphasizes accessible opportunities to collect art and features works from local, national and internationally recognized artists. CURRENT presents art for collectors of all levels, from new to seasoned, and features special access to many of the areas gallerists and curators.



Dr. Och Travels to Rome


Image shows the Madonna with red hair and a red and blue robe

Anonymous, Madonna of Charity, 1510s, detail of Vittoria Colonna (Ischia)

Dr. Marjorie Och spent the summer of 2017 in Rome. She was a Visiting Faculty Fellow at the Rome campus of Richmond, The American International University in London; her work was also supported by a grant from UMW’s Wendy Shadwell ’63 Program Endowment. Dr. Och continued her research on Vittoria Colonna, the Roman poet and friend of Michelangelo.











Students Create Mural for Cycle Studio


Image shows student painting a wall with drawings of buildings around Fredericksburg

Photo Credit: Hilary Kanter

Over the summer Assistant Professor, Chris Musina, and his ARTS 105 students collaborated with Campus Recreation to create a mural for the Cycle Studio. Students spent a week drawing and painting buildings, symbols, and quotes that represent UMW and the surrounding Fredericksburg community. Stop by the Cycle Studio in the Fitness Center to see the colorful display!







Faculty Attend Summer Institute


Image shows group of people standing in front of a tree in matching white t-shirts

Photo Credit: Emma Anderson, COPLAC

This past June, the University of Mary Washington was very well represented at the Council of Public Liberal Arts Colleges (COPLAC) Summer Institute for faculty.  The Institute, which this summer targeted faculty at departments of art, art history, and graphic design, was proposed by Carole Garmon and Julia DeLancey (then at Truman State University) and developed by those two faculty together with staff at the COPLAC national office.  The Institute brought together close to forty faculty from institutions around the country and met on the campus of the University of North Carolina-Asheville, a COPLAC member.  In addition to Profs. Garmon and DeLancey, the group also included UMW Art & Art History faculty Rosemary Jesionowski, Chris Musina, and Jason Robinson.  The Institute gave participants a chance to discuss issues relevant to their work in arts and humanities education, develop strong working relationships across COPLAC campuses, and to determine goals and best practices in their area which were shared with the COPLAC Board at their July meeting.  To read the perspective of an Institute participant, please click here.