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.
UMW Studio Art Faculty Exhibition
Exhibition runs September 6 – October 14 in University of Mary Washington’s duPont Gallery
Opening Reception: Thursday, September 6, 5-7pm
An exhibition featuring the UMW Studio Art Faculty:
Sarah Spencer White
All events are free and open to the public
Gallery hours: Tues-Fri 10am- 4pm, Sat/Sun 1-4pm
Additional information at www.umwgalleries.org
Museums as Viewing Machines: Work by Jeffrey Abt
Exhibition runs September 6 – October 14 in University of Mary Washington’s Ridderhof Martin Gallery
Opening Reception: Thursday September 6, 5-7pm
Artist Talk: Friday September 7, noon
This exhibition features Abt’s Wandering Gallery project and Museum series. The Wandering Gallery project explores the behind-the-scenes, never-ending cycle of unpacking and packing, installation and de-installation, documentation, and interpretation associated with changing exhibitions.
Abt’s Museum series focuses on the visual parallels between galleries and sacred spaces, particularly religious sanctuaries. Abt is intrigued by environments created to foster contemplation, whether for the purposes of studying artworks or for spiritual introspection.
All events are free and open to the public
Gallery hours: Tues-Fri 10am- 4pm, Sat/Sun 1-4pm
Additional information at www.umwgalleries.org
UMW Art Community Prepares Sculpture for Celestial Event
It’s a little known fact that the North Star that was overhead when the pyramids were built is not the same star as our North Star now (Polaris). And in about a thousand years, a completely different star will be our North Star. Because of a slight wobble in the Earth’s rotation, the pole star position is not fixed. Our “guiding light” changes. It will take 26,000 years for the wobble in Earth’s rotation to complete one cycle and return our current North Star, Polaris, to its pole position. During this cycle, research indicates there will most likely be 11 stars in the right location and of the right magnitude to serve as Earth’s North Star. We’re curious how a transition on the celestial scale would be marked and celebrated here on Earth. JUMP!STAR is that celebration. It’s an initiative to work with communities to invent the traditions – a thousand years in advance – to be passed down to commemorate the eventual changing of the North Star. Plans for this intergalactic event are underway and Kansas has been chosen to be the home for the premiere of Jump!Star in the summer of 2019. The rural nature of the Flint Hills region nurtures a community of trust. The urban nature of Wichita creates cultural vibrancy. The combined strengths of these forces, in conjunction with satellites in New York, Los Angeles and Berlin, constructs a model of cooperation and collaboration that is the generative foundation of this project (www.jumpstar.love/about).
Twelve large-scale, illuminated paper sculptures comprise a key part of this celestial celebration. Artist George Ferrandi designed these “social sculptures” and concept for the event. Ferrandi utilizes Japanese “Nebuta” techniques to celebrate each of the eventual pole stars. Students, faculty, and community members of UMW helped construct Thuban, a massive sting-ray meets serpent type of creature. Construction and painting of Thuban began in 2016 and was completed during Ferrandi’s visit during the Spring semester 2018. Ferrandi and choreographers are returning to UMW this year to teach students and faculty participating in the festival how to move Thuban during the performance. You can keep up-to-date on all Jump!Star happenings by following on Instagram.
Lost Stories, Found Images Exhibition
Lost Stories, Found Images: Portraits of Jews in Wartime Amsterdam by Annemie Wolf was on display in Ridderhof Martin Gallery from April 5th 2018 until June 28th 2018.
This powerful exhibition presents rarely captured humanity and emotion in its striking depiction of life in Nazi occupied Amsterdam. Annemie Wolff was born in Germany but moved to Amsterdam in 1933 because of the anti-Semitic policies of the new Nazi regime; some of her greatest work comes from the era of the Second World War and the German occupation of Western Europe. This exhibition features never before seen portraits of both Jews and gentiles who lived in South Amsterdam between January and October of 1943–three years into the five-year long German occupation of the Netherlands.
Amazingly, these photographs were not discovered until 2008– some fourteen years after Wolff’s death. A Dutch historian of photography, Simon Kool, discovered 100 rolls of film–which contained the portraits of 434 individuals during the occupation–in the attic of Wolff’s heir. Once the portraits were discovered a search began to locate the people who were pictured or any of their remaining family. To date over half of the people photographed have been identified through research and interviews.
This compelling exhibition includes 26 photographs, as well as didactic materials, which allow one to examine Wolff’s work through not only the lens of the history of photography, but also the lenses of history, religion, and sociology, as well as through one’s own cultural or personal experiences.
Annual Student Art Exhibition Awards
The Annual Student Art Exhibition features a guest-curated exhibition of UMW studio art students’ work. Each year student artwork is purchased from the exhibition to become part of the UMW Galleries permanent art collection through the Melchers Gray Purchase Award. This year’s opening was held on March 21st in duPont Gallery. The following awards were given:
Melchers Gray Purchase Award
When We’re Both Listening, Sophie Brinkley
Emil R. Schnellock Award for Excellence in Painting
Glitch, Rachel Hicks
Anne Elizabeth Collins Memorial Art Award
Bed Womb, Sarah Law
4 Awards of Excellence
Bleach, Jacqueline Crouch
Milk Trio, Megan M. Falzarano
Center, Tara Meeks
ANTICIPATIONS, Chad Mundie
Adjunct Faculty Featured in Virginia Forests Magazine
Origin, Celebrating UMW Studio Art Alumni Exhibition
The Origin, Celebrating UMW Studio Art Alumni Exhibition was on view in duPont Gallery from January 25th -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, abernathyart.blogspot.com.
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 Exhibition
The Mid Atlantic New Painting Exhibition was on view in Ridderhof Martin Gallery from January 25th – March 18th, 2018.
The UMW Galleries were proud to host the eleventh Mid-Atlantic New Painting biennial exhibition! The competition was 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 were eligible.
The MANP 2018 juror is Kimberli Gant, McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum, Norfolk, VA
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
Jon McMillan Serves as Guest Critic
for MFA Student Reviews
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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?
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
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!
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
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
CURRENT Art Fair
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
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
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
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.