October 17, 2021

UMW Presents a Palette of Pandemic-Era Arts

Soon after the University of Mary Washington Chamber Choir performed live in the James Farmer Hall atrium last March, UMW went totally online, and singing was deemed a “super-spreader” activity.

Last fall, UMW Choirs sang together again – virtually – performing In Te Domine Speravi. The new piece by composer Sarah McDonald focuses on isolation, sickness and loneliness, forming an acrostic spelling the word “quarantine.”

“Our students said it was a very real expression of how they were feeling,” said Associate Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities Christopher Ryder.

With the arts a more critical part of our lives now than ever, the Mary Washington departments of theatre, art and music have spent the last year discovering fresh ways to create, collaborate and learn while socially distanced. New technologies and classes, private lessons and virtual visits by professional artists take center stage as UMW moves forward with early-stage plans for a state-of-the-art theatre complex and an update to Pollard, Melchers and duPont halls. Read more. 


UMW Presents a Palette of Pandemic-Era Arts

Soon after the University of Mary Washington Chamber Choir performed live in the James Farmer Hall atrium last March, UMW went totally online, and singing was deemed a “super-spreader” activity. Last fall, UMW Choirs sang together again – virtually – performing In Te Domine Speravi. The new piece by composer Sarah McDonald focuses on isolation, […]

Och Pens Editorial on Artemisia Gentileschi for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och

Professor of Art History Marjorie Och penned an editorial on painter Artemisia Gentileschi in The Free Lance-Star in advance of her “Great Lives” lecture on March 16. The lecture can be viewed at umw.edu/greatlives.


“You will find the spirit of Caesar in the soul of a woman.”

—Artemisia Gentileschi, 1649

IN Fredericksburg today, one can find many women artists who work in every media: painting, sculpture, printmaking, and ceramics, but also paper and book arts, mosaic, jewelry, weaving and textiles, photography, neon, video, and calligraphy, as well as architecture, interior design, and urban planning.

But women’s presence in these fields is recent in the history of Western art.

The life of acclaimed painter Artemisia Gentileschi (1593–1654) allows us to consider how artists were trained in early modern Europe and why a woman might enter the profession in the 17th century, a time when such accomplishments by a woman were rare indeed. Read more.

Kim Pens Editorial on Architect I.M. Pei for ‘Great Lives’ Lecture

I.M. Pei

I.M. Pei

Assistant Professor of Art History Suzie Kim wrote an editorial on iconic architect I.M. Pei in advance of her lecture this evening, at 7:30 p.m. All Great Lives lectures can be accessed via Zoom at umw.edu/greatlives/.

CHINESE-born American architect I.M. Pei (leoh Ming Pei, 1917–2019) was one of the most acclaimed architects of the 20th and 21st centuries.

Two years ago, on May 16, 2019, Pei passed away at the age of 102. In its obituary, the New York Times named him as the “Master Architect Whose Buildings Dazzled the World.”

Pei understood how to convey the relationship between human and nature, modern and postmodern, and the old and new in his modern designs. Read more.

Kim Featured in Korea Daily Article about Book on Artist Park Dae-sung

Assistant Professor of Art History Suzie Kim

Assistant Professor of Art History Suzie Kim

Assistant Professor of Art History Suzie Kim was featured in an article in Korea Daily about her participation in a book with five other authors about the work of artist Park Dae-sung.

Professor Kim Soo-ji, who is conducting interviews and data collection for the recent visit to Korea for writing, said, “There has been an introduction to Korean painting exhibitions and Korean art, but it was produced mainly in catalogs.” She expressed his expectation that it will have the meaning of providing data necessary for research on Korean painting abroad.”

Kim also appeared in an article in Yonhap News, “Book on Korean art master of traditional painting to be released in the U.S. this year.”

Visualizing a Virus: Alum’s Art Captures Emotions of a Pandemic

Hadrian Mendoza isn’t glorifying the novel coronavirus at the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic. But in images of the tiny particle, he sees more than fear, suffering, loss and grief. To Mendoza, a 1996 Mary Washington graduate and internationally known fine-arts potter, viruses have long represented a fascinating intersection of danger and beauty. Starting in […]

McMillan Solo Exhibition at VMFA

Jon McMillan with his work, “Stratos” at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Jon McMillan, Associate Professor of Studio Art and Chair of the Department of Art and Art History, has a solo show of ceramic sculpture titled Cloudseeds at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, VA. The exhibition is part of McMillan’s VMFA Fellowship award, and is on view in the museum’s Pauley Center Galleries from now until August 16, 2020.

For more information, visit: https://www.vmfa.museum/exhibitions/exhibitions/fellowship-exhibitions/

Images and videos from the show can be viewed online at:



Statement for Cloudseeds

Cloudseeds is a new body of work that explores the relationship between the natural and built environments through the integration of forms and surfaces abstracted from multiple sources. Bits of visual and contextual information from plant life, the human body, geographic phenomena and mechanical artifacts are brought together to create works that are suggestive yet ambiguous.

For each piece, earthenware clay is formed through wheel throwing and hand building processes, and finished with multiple glaze firings to build engaging surfaces. The objects begin with only a vague idea in mind, developing as they are constructed through an intuitive process that requires a continual back and forth between thought and action.

While humans and the natural world are inherently connected, rapidly developing cultural shifts, technologies and industrial growth continue to divide our species from the rest of the planet. These pieces seek to explore the grey area that characterizes this relationship through the combination of disparate parts. The resulting objects are rich with connotations, bringing viewers own experiences and ideas to bear in the ensuing dialogue. If the work is successful, it creates more questions than answers.


Jesionowski Among Virginia Women Artists in JMU Gallery Exhibition

Associate Professor of Art Rosemary Jesionowski

Associate Professor of Art Rosemary Jesionowski will have her work on display in two galleries in the School of Art, Design and Art History at James Madison University. Titled Murmuration, the show, which opens Jan. 29, will have three variations, each adding to the previous, reshaping and building in complexity as the series evolves, creating a harmony of imagery and narrative from nine Virginia women artists. Jesionowski, who works in multiple imaging – photography, printmaking and digital media – will have work in the show starting on March 18.

“Last summer, while I was watching the senate hearings, I started to think about ways that women are not heard or, by choice, stay silent and wait,” said Rebecca Silberman, one of the featured artists and a professor of art at JMU who is curating Murmuration. “I wanted to put together a project that would build into a kind of chorus of collective ideas and voices to counteract the moment of hopelessness. Days later, I fortuitously discovered the book ‘When Women Were Birds’ by Terry Tempest Williams. The opening passages are blank, an invitation to imagine/reimagine the words left unspoken or the stories that can be told moving forward.” Read more.

UMW Galleries Highlight Alumni and Faculty Artists Past and Present


A retrospective of artwork from Mary Washington alumni and faculty past and present will be featured in one of two exhibitions hosted by the UMW Galleries, beginning on Thursday, Feb. 6. The other will honor the legacy of a former professor who was instrumental in cultivating the University’s art collection.

The exhibits, Origins: UMW Ceramics Faculty and Alumni in the duPont Gallery, and Julien Binford: A Legacy of Inspiration & Enterprise in the Ridderhof Martin Gallery, will open with receptions from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday.

Origins, which will be on display through March 29, showcases the diverse artwork of faculty and alumni from the University of Mary Washington’s ceramics program over the past 50 years. It is also a concurrent exhibition for this year’s National Conference on Education for the Ceramic Arts (NCECA), to be held in Richmond Virginia in late March.

Julien Binford

By bringing together a variety of expressions, techniques and processes, the exhibition highlights the success of our former students and the strength of our department while illustrating the range and depth of contemporary ceramic art.  From sculptural objects and installations to functional pottery, Origins celebrates our community, and reiterates Mary Washington’s identity as an institution grounded in the liberal arts.

Julien Binford, on display through March 15, honors the legacy of former Mary Washington Professor of Art, Julien Binford. The show presents preparatory drawings that Binford created during the 1940s and early 1950s for important commissions he received from LIFE Magazine and The Greenwich Savings Bank. These works were graciously loaned by Maureen Paige (UMW, Class of 1970), a former student of Julien Binford. Also on display are artworks acquired by Binford during his tenure at Mary Washington.

DeLancey Talks ‘Disability Justice’ on ‘With Good Reason’ Radio

University of Mary Washington Art History Professor Julia DeLancey will be featured on the With Good Reason public radio show. The episode, “Disability Justice,” will air daily beginning today, Jan. 10, and continuing through Jan. 16. Coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the show examines how disabled people have advocated […]