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

“The Camera and Three Lenses” Exhibit: Exploring New Ways of Seeing

The latest exhibition at the U.S. District Courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland, features the photography of William Anderson, Mignonette Dooley, and Bruce McNeil and presents three unique perspectives on the world through the lenses of these diverse and dynamic photographers, who each have used his or her own life experiences and mastery of the camera to produce images that make viewers think, wonder, and smile.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

Mike McConnell’s Extraordinary World of Exploration, Whimsy and Wonder

By Alex Kasten, Special to the Global Media Center

When you walk into the newest exhibit at the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Arts Program Gallery, the first thing that may strike you is the vibrant colors and curious images of a diptych, in which two figures, holding chainsaws, stand in the foreground of a makeshift outdoor workspace.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

Bus Trip Showcases Vibrant ‘Steel City’ Arts Scene

“Andy was more interested in becoming a celebrity than the next Picasso,” explained Quaishawn Whitlock, an artist, and guide at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh. He was leading half of the roughly 45 participants in the mid-June UMUC annual Arts Program trip and he explained that Pittsburgh-native Warhol (Andrew Warhola) grew up in an immigrant family, which had come from present-day Slovakia. The family was working class, but Warhol would go on to epitomize the American dream, Whitlock explained.Continue Reading

Exhibit of Maryland Artists Finds “Order Out of Chaos”

Seated alongside about a dozen other Baltimore artists at a UMUC Art Gallery exhibit opening in May, Donna Rose imagined an alternative reality as only an artist might. “I think that part of the insanity of our species is that we are divorced from nature,” she said. “Maybe we need to bring bears and puma and whatever back into our cities.”

Then, when you leave the house in the morning, she imagined, you might check an “LPS app” on your phone to see which threats registered on the “large predator scan.” It would be, she said, “a kind of rebalancing.”Continue Reading