The exhibit, “The Language of Abstraction,” on display until June 24 in the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Arts Program Gallery not only treats viewers to a visual feast that is both explosive in color and movement, but also provides them the opportunity to experience three very different approaches to abstract art.
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.
A walk through the exhibition “Joseph Sheppard: Highlights from the UMUC Collection” at the Leroy Merritt Center for the Art of Joseph Sheppard at University of Maryland University College is almost like experiencing a comprehensive articulation of the history of art.
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.
Join the University of Maryland University College community at a new exhibition celebrating the extraordinary work of artist and professor Curlee Raven Holton, a painter and master printmaker whose work asks viewers to carefully examine their humanity.
“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.
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.”
“Order Out of Chaos,” the latest exhibit presented by the University of Maryland University College (UMUC) Arts Program examines the works of artists who live and create in the supportive housing complex, Artists’ Housing Incorporated (AHI) in Baltimore, Maryland. The show is guest curated by Baltimore artist Ruth Channing Middleman, painter, printmaker and wife of fellow artist Raoul Middleman.
When James Phillips saw his acrylic painting on canvas “Sankofa II” (1997-8) installed at the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC), the Baltimore artist and associate art professor at Howard University crossed his arms and carefully inspected it.
Melanee Harvey, an art history Ph.D. candidate who accompanied Phillips on his NMAAHC visit, said she wondered what he was looking for. And Phillips told her, “I’m just making sure I got my lines right.”
When those passing by or browsing the web first set eyes on the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the newest Smithsonian museum that opened Sept. 24, 2016, on the National Mall mere steps from the Washington Monument, they often see echoes of a slave ship in the building’s architecture.
But visitors to the museum learn the real architectural inspiration behind the bronze-colored and tiered layering of the building when they tour its top floor galleries.