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

Exhibit Celebrates the Transformative Power of Art

“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.Continue Reading

UMUC Exhibit Evokes Jazz and African Symbolism

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.”Continue Reading