May 29, 2023

UMW Galleries to Host Exhibitions

The University of Mary Washington Galleries will host two new exhibitions to welcome the new year.

“Part of a Bigger Picture”, featuring the work of Michael Wsol, will run Friday, January 14 through Friday, January 28 in the duPont Gallery. On Thursday, January 13, there will be a gallery talk by the exhibition artist from 4 to 5 p.m. followed by an opening reception with refreshments from 5 to 7 p.m.

Michael Wsol creates artworks inspired by the methods in which people live and function in developed societies.  More specifically, he studies the structural, social, and economic systems that have been developed to create and support contemporary culture.  Wsol looks for systems in the areas in which he lives and works to provide the subject matter of his investigations.  These artworks simplify infrastructural and cultural systems into studies of their specific functions and potential adaptations.

Mr. Wsol teaches Three-dimensional Studies at Georgia State University.  He exhibited in New York, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Chicago, and Miami, among other cities, including the recent “Exit Art Biennial” at the Exit Art Gallery in New York City and “Landscaping” at Fusebox in Washington D.C.  He is represented by the Solomon Projects gallery in Atlanta, Georgia and has work in numerous private collections.  Michael Wsol earned a MArch degree from The University of Virginia, a MFA in sculpture from The University of Georgia, and a MA in sculpture and a BA in sculpture from Eastern Illinois University.

“Shades of Gray: Drawings in Graphite” will run Friday, January 21 through Friday, February 25 in the Ridderhof Martin Gallery.  On Thursday, January 20, there will be an opening reception with refreshments from 5 to 7 p.m.  On Sunday, February 26, at 2 p.m., there will be a gallery talk presented by Joann Moser entitled “Why Draw?” at the Ridderhof Martin Gallery.  Joann Moser is the Senior Curator of Graphic Arts at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.  This is the first lecture of the “2011 Spring Lecture Series.”  Advance registration is required.  Admission is free.

“Shades of Gray” presents the work of six artists from Missouri, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, and Washington, D.C. while exploring a variety of ways that graphite is used by contemporary artists. The artists featured are Lea Anderson, Matthew Ballou, Gianluca Bianchino, Elaine Kaufmann, Darice Polo, Lana Stephens, and Christine Weir.

In the past, graphite was relegated to use as a medium for preparatory studies that would later be reworked into more finished work in other media.  However, due to a renewed interested in drawing among contemporary artists, it is no longer only a means to an end.  As seen in this exhibition, the use of graphite provides a surprisingly common ground for the realization of each artist’s vision despite such diverse inspiration sources as architecture, contradiction, filtered memories, irony, isolation, obsession, phobias, scale, scientific inquiry, and social consciousness.

The University of Mary Washington Galleries (UMWG), composed of the Ridderhof Martin Gallery and the duPont Gallery, is dedicated to advancing the educational goals of the University through the collection, preservation, exhibition, and interpretation of works of art in accordance with the highest professional museum standards. While the primary mission is to promote and enhance student awareness and understanding of the visual arts, UMWG also serves as a significant academic resource contributing to the intellectual and cultural enrichment of the entire University community, the local community, and, in a broader sense, the citizens of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

Admission to the University of Mary Washington Galleries is free.  The UMW Galleries is located on the University of Mary Washington campus at 1301 College Avenue and is open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

For directions and more information, call (540) 654-1013 or visit the gallery website at

About Marty Morrison