New UMGC Curator’s Path Took Him from Nursing to Museums

When he started studying nursing at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro, Treston Sanders figured he would be joining an occupation that was the family business for a great many of his relatives. Every woman on his mother’s side—including his maternal great-great-grandmother—was or had been a nurse. “It made sense,” he said.

Until it did not.Continue Reading

Upcoming UMGC Exhibit Will Explore Light’s Effect on the World Around Us

The exhibition Sharon Wolpoff: Wherever I Turn I See Light and its opening reception have been postponed until further notice.

UMGC Galleries and Exhibitions Temporarily Closed

To protect the health of the University of Maryland Global Campus community and visitors, the Arts Program galleries and exhibitions are temporarily closed to support the university’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus disease. Updates will be posted on the UMGC Arts Program webpage as they become available.

 Realist painter Sharon Wolpoff experiments with illumination to accentuate her oil paintings, giving them a geometrical quality.  In the upcoming University of Maryland Global Campus Arts program exhibition “Wherever I Turn I see Light,” viewers can explore for themselves the effect of light on the world around us and gain a better understanding of the artist who has traveled the world to take advantage of the sun’s magnificent rays in the execution of her work.Continue Reading

UMGC Exhibit Features Joseph Sheppard Works on African American Experience

Galleries and Exhibitions Temporarily Closed

To protect the health of the University of Maryland Global Campus community and visitors, the Arts Program galleries and exhibitions are temporarily closed to support the university’s efforts to contain the spread of coronavirus disease. Updates will be posted on the UMGC Arts Program webpage as they become available.

The University of Maryland Global Campus Arts Program celebrates the extraordinary work of renowned artist Joseph Sheppard and his efforts to capture scenes of everyday life and culture with its latest exhibition, “Joseph Sheppard: An African American Experience.”

Continue Reading

Cuba and Art: The Shaman and the Boxer

Last April, the University of Maryland Global Campus Arts Program organized a trip to Havana, Cuba, for that country’s 13th art biennial—the XIII Bienal de La Habana. This, the second of three stories that reflect on that experience, is a companion piece to the in-depth feature article and photo spread, “Art. Freedom. Cuba,” in the just-published Winter 2020 issue of Achiever Magazine.

The Chinese-made tour bus cruised along Cuba’s A-1 motorway, the Autopista Nacional, a toll-free multi-lane divided national highway. The road, built in sections during the 1980s, is supposed to traverse the distance between Havana and Guantanamo, about 570 miles to the southeast.

Continue Reading

Maryland Transportation Department Unveils Design Concept for Adelphi Road-UMGC Purple Line Station

Soon after construction on the station is complete, a work of art by Shane Allbritton and Norman Lee will be installed at the new Adelphi Road-UMGC-UMD Purple Line stop. The artists, co-founding partners of the Houston-based studio, RE: site, told University of Maryland Global Campus that while their data-based design has evolved during the lengthy submission and review process for the Purple Line Art-in-Transit Program, their concept has mostly remained the same.

Allbritton has connections to the national capital region. She was a senior graphic designer at Gallagher & Associates in Washington from 2006 to 2010. Years ago, well before the Purple Line project materialized, she and Lee had been selected to work on a project for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s Red Line. But that Metro project was scrapped.

Their involvement in the Purple Line project began six years ago when they responded in 2014—along with more than 700 others—to the Maryland Transportation Department’s call for art. They were among the 80 artists chosen to submit design concept proposals by a selection committee that included members of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration (MDOT MTA) and the Purple Line team; art professionals, representatives from the arts councils in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties and other communities across Maryland, representatives from the University of Maryland, and community members along the 16.2 mile project corridor.

The multi-stage selection process included opportunities for community members to attend public meetings where they could meet some of the artists and view and comment on their proposals, and designs were uploaded to a public website for further comment. The committee made its final selections in  May 2017..

 An Idea Takes Root                                                                                            

To begin concept development, the RE site duo took data they received from UMGC on the university’s student demographics, including headcounts by location in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Allbritton and Lee then used that information to craft a data visualization.

Detail showing the relationship between panels, sprouts and leaves scaled according to the student headcount by location, and the primary and secondary network of “roots” that connects students, UMGC locations and loosely defines continents

The concept behind the resulting graphic, titled “Germination: Global Campus + Growing Minds,” is literal and figurative—on one level an artistic presentation of the university’s size and scope, on another, an “organic” representation of UMGC’s import. The design consists of a series of glass panels covered with circles and dots depicting the volume of students at a given UMGC location.

But the focus of each panel is one “sprout” that connects UMGC locations through a primary “root” visualization. A secondary network of lines resembling thinner, fibrous roots connects UMGC student locations and loosely defines continents. There are also metal “leaf” structures, which are scaled relative to the headcount of students connected in each geographic location, according to the Re: site proposal. The organic whole of sprouts, circles, roots and leaves “reinforce the global community theme of the design,” the artists told UMGC.

Allbritton and Lee said their design is mostly finalized. They are working on the next phase—producing the files for future fabrication.

The Metro Authority created the purple line Art-In-Transit program to “make public art an integral part of the transit project,” according to literature provided to UMGC by Gary Witherspoon, a MDOT spokesperson. A wide variety of art is being incorporated into the features of Purple Line stations, too—fencing, canopies, windscreens, wayfinding, and platforms. The overall effect is designed  to “enrich the aesthetics of the light rail system and support neighborhood identities.”

As described in the literature, the typical cost of the artwork is between $100,000 and just over $400,000, “The concepts were finalized at the end of 2018, although some are still being refined. We think that what we came up with reflects the best-of-the-best artists.”

About the cover image: This approximated visualization was composed for conceptual purposes only and accurate data is being developed for the final design. It is shown here by permission of the Maryland Department of Transportation Maryland Transit Administration.

 

 

 

 

 

UMGC Exhibit Culled from ‘Extremely Strong’ Entries Shows More Art than Expected

Two men—one with a rainbow button pinned to his denim shirt—stand in an unusual pose, set before a blindingly bright background. The man on the right rests his chin on his left fist, almost a dead ringer for Rodin’s “Thinker,” although his fist rests on the other man’s left shoulder. The latter, who wears his long hair in a beaded braid, dangles his left arm at his side, while his right cradles his black bag. The two are clearly a couple, although their posture suggests the kind of informality and unsmiling expression that rarely is the stuff of posed selfies these days.Continue Reading

Cuba and Art: Giraffes and Ladders and Books, Oh My!

As 2019 draws to a close, the Global Media Center takes a look back at an extraordinary trip to Havana, Cuba, organized by the UMGC Arts Program. The 17 art lovers who traveled there in April for the county’s 13th art biennial—the XIII Bienal de La Habana—soon learned Cuban art offers a good bit of the unexpected. This is the first of three stories that reflect on that experience and preview the in-depth feature article and photo spread, “Art. Freedom. Cuba.” in the upcoming Winter 2020 issue of Achiever Magazine.

It appears that little in Cuba is “as usual.” Take, for instance, the name of the well-known arts festival that the island nation hosts—the Havana art biennial. It’s a misnomer.Continue Reading

‘Family Album’ Is Subject of UMGC Joint Exhibition at US District Courthouse

The enormous, four-story lobby of the U.S. District Courthouse in Greenbelt, Maryland, isn’t the kind of place where one would expect to find art exhibitions. Walking by rooms identified on plaques as bankruptcy courts, one is even more surprised to see bright, colorful paintings. But that’s kind-of the point, said Peter J. Messitte, a senior U.S. district judge.Continue Reading

In His Art, Steven Dobbin Recycles Found Objects to Tease Out Heavy Meaning

EDITOR’S NOTE:  We officially changed our name from University of Maryland University College (UMUC) to University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) on July 1, 2019. News stories posted on the Global Media Center are now using the new UMGC name. However, because the transition to the university’s new name will take several months to complete, you may still see the UMUC name, logo and look on our website and other materials through early 2020.

For an artist’s talk that had an academic, ho-hum title like “Conceptualism to Meaning,” Steven Dobbin drew a lot of laughs.Continue Reading