From Minister to Painter, R. Benjamin Jones’ Artistic Vision Is Full of Life

Benjamin Jones’ “Old Green” (2008), an acrylic painting on Masonite board, is perhaps best described as a portrait of a truck. The rusty, vintage pickup truck, which is green—thus the title—sits in the grass in front of a brick house and some trees in the photo-realistic painting. The artist has so attended to every detail of the truck that it’s almost as if he has personified it.

Continue Reading

Maryland First Lady Yumi Hogan’s Paintings Blend East and West

Yumi Hogan’s massive painting “Untitled 50” (2010), which measures four by 14 feet, leaps off the wall from across the gallery. But upon closer inspection, the sumi ink painting on Korean hanji paper, displays intricate details: mountains, trees, grass, and rocks. The work somehow manages to be both large and small, bold and gentle at the same time.Continue Reading

Music and Civil Rights Activism Unite Artists Floyd Coleman and Hayward Oubré

Floyd Coleman’s dad kept quiet about his son’s whereabouts when two Ku Klux Klan members showed up at his Alabama home in 1960. Coleman, then an Alabama State University student, and his roommate were inspired by the Greensboro, North Carolina, sit-ins and decided to organize their own Jim Crow protests at the university. After the Klansmen left, Coleman’s father phoned him at school.

“Don’t stop your activism. Don’t stop the sit-ins,” Coleman’s father told him. “But don’t come home.”Continue Reading

Washington Color School Co-founder Gets Posthumous One-man Show at UMUC

Years ago, Eric Key, director of the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Arts Program, and artist Paul Reed agreed to put on a one-man show of Reed’s work at the university. Key had visited the painter, one of the founders of the Washington Color School, in his Virginia home to discuss the exhibit, and planning for the solo exhibit had begun. Then Reed called to tell Key that, unfortunately, he didn’t have time for the one-man show.Continue Reading

Arts Program Day Trippers Visit ‘Thriving’ Richmond Art Scene

“Richmond has a totally different energy than it did five or six years ago,” said artist Hamilton Glass, who counts about 80 of his murals in the Richmond, Virginia, area. Glass, a Philadelphia native, was standing in the entrance to the new Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) at Virginia Commonwealth University where a group of art lovers participating in a daylong University of Maryland University College (UMUC) art trip became the first adult group to tour the new museum, which opened to the public on April 21.Continue Reading

Exhibit Compares and Contrasts the Work of Three Abstract Painters

When asked to explain abstract painting, the kind of artwork that is often a punching bag for criticism along the lines of “My toddler could paint that,” Eric Key tells people that the work is already achieving its purpose.

“If you’re asking me that question, you’re already beginning to think, and that’s what education is about,” said Key, Arts Program director at University of Maryland University College (UMUC.)

If the person asking persists, Key recommends dwelling on a single painting. “Just stand there and look at one piece. If it triggers you to say why this, or what’s that, or any of those kinds of questions, you’re automatically beginning to understand what abstraction is.”Continue Reading

UMUC Cosponsors the Daylong OER Summit

When organizers from University of Maryland University College (UMUC), University System of Maryland William E. Kirwan Center For Academic Innovation, and MarylandOnline were planning the daylong “Advancing Postsecondary Student Success Through OER” summit, they anticipated that the event would draw, at most, a couple hundred educators. But they soon found themselves capping attendance for the Dec. 8 gathering at 500—the capacity of the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center where the event was held.Continue Reading

Curlee Holton Exhibit Helps Viewers Examine Their Humanity

The image is at once comically absurd and sobering. Three young men sit on plastic patio chairs at a table in a rowboat, drinking through straws from fruit-colored cups. A mango tree grows out of one side of the boat as a packaged loaf of Sunbeam bread floats by. In the distance, other Sunbeam loaves bob on the water’s surface, and two figures also appear semi-submerged. One of them holds a rope tied to the boat, suggesting it won’t go very far.Continue Reading