December 6, 2023

McMillan Interviewed in Free Lance-Star About Finnegan Retrospective

Department of Art and Art History Professor and Chair Jon McMillan

Department of Art and Art History Professor and Chair Jon McMillan

Department of Art and Art History Chair Jon McMillan was interviewed by The Free Lance-Star’s Weekender about UMW Galleries’ current retrospective of potter Dan Finnegan’s work. McMillan is the show’s curator. Read more.

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:

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.


McMillan Receives VMFA Fellowship

Ceramic sculpture by Jon McMillan

Associate Professor Jon McMillan was recently awarded one of twelve Professional Visual Art Fellowships from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts for 2019-20.  The statewide award, which includes exhibition opportunities and funding for artistic research and creation, is highly competitive, with 753 applicants for 28 fellowships in three categories. Recipients are selected through a blind jury process, with decisions based solely on the artwork submitted. The VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship Program celebrates its 80thanniversary next year.

For images of this year’s Fellows, visit:

More information on the program and this year’s awards can be found here:

Two New Exhibitions Coming to UMW Galleries

UMW Galleries announces two new exhibitions opening Oct. 25 – Ready-Made Dream by Sue Johnson in the Ridderhof Martin Gallery and Crowns, a collection of ceramic works curated by Jessica Gardner in duPont Gallery.

Ready-Made Dream features floor-to-ceiling vinyl panels and decals that the artist has designed—transforming the gallery into the interior of an ideal, modern home. As the exhibition title suggests, Johnson envisions a world in which the home is nostalgic and familiar, yet, also reduced to an empty space existing simply to house various things.

Crowns seeks to explore women’s specific experience in motherhood. Each of the artists represent a different stage in the experience of motherhood and discusses her role as a mother and the impact motherhood has on her studio practice, whether it be direct collaborations with her child/children or shifts in the body of work created.

Both exhibitions begin with an opening reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Oct. 25. Read-Made Dream will feature an artist talk on Oct. 26 at noon.

All events are free and open to the public. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 4 p.m. For more information, visit

McMillan Exhibits at Bridgewater, Guest Art Reviewer at JMU

detail image of the sculpture "Dissipate" by Jon McMillan

Detail image of the sculpture “Dissipate” by Jon McMillan

“Synthesis,” a solo exhibition of ceramic sculpture by Associate Professor Jon McMillan, will be on view at the Cleo Miller Driver Gallery at Bridgewater College from January 8- January 31.  This exhibition features 12 new sculptures by the artist, and will begin with a reception and gallery lecture on Monday January 8 at 5 p.m.

For more info, visit:​.

 A news article about his exhibit also appears in the Augusta Free Press. To view the link,  visit

In addition, McMillan was invited by the art faculty at James Madison University to serve as the outside reviewer and guest critic for the MFA student reviews.  Professor McMillan spent two days in Harrisonburg in December meeting with faculty and students, touring the school’s newly renovated art building, and participating in a day-long critique of the Masters of Fine Arts candidates’ artwork.  McMillan is an alumnus of JMU, having earned his BFA in Studio Art and a minor in Art History there in 1998.


Fredericksburg artist Jon McMillan exhibits work at Bridgewater College (Augusta Free Press)

McMillan Has Solo Exhibition in NYC

Assistant Professor of Ceramics Jon McMillan has been invited to show eight new sculptures at Hunter College in New York City. His solo exhibition at the Hunter Project Space, titled “Converge,” runs from Oct. 30 to Nov. 18, with a closing reception on the 18th from 6-8 p.m.

Confluence by Assistant Professor Jon McMillan in duPont Gallery

Confluence, on view Sept. 1- Oct. 9, 2016, in DuPont Gallery

Confluence features new ceramic work by UMW Assistant Professor Jon McMillan. The sculptures in this series address the concept of duality by bringing together disparate parts in a variety of relationships. The idea of confluence informs the work through the physical reference to processes and materials, and through a metaphorical examination of diverging thoughts, traits, sources and forms. As the meeting point of two rivers, a confluence is often the place where clay collects over millions of years of erosion. By using this material to join seemingly disconnected objects and ideas, McMillan hopes to engage viewers, drawing them into a dialogue that pulls from universal inferences as well as deeply personal reactions.

About the Artist

Jon McMillan is an artist and educator residing in Fredericksburg, Va., where he is an Assistant Professor of Ceramics at the University of Mary Washington. He holds an MFA from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, and a BFA from James Madison University, where he also earned a minor in Art History. After undergraduate school, Jon worked for seven years as a full-time studio potter before pursuing his master’s degree. Currently, he makes functional and sculptural ceramic artwork, both of which are exhibited widely. Highlights include recent solo shows at Tennessee Tech University, Mary Baldwin College, and Luniverre Gallery in Cordes Sur Ciel, France. Jon was a finalist for the Zanesville Prize for Contemporary Ceramics and was awarded “Best In Show” at the 2013 Strictly Functional Pottery National Exhibition, among other honors.


Opening Reception: Sept. 1, 5-7 p.m.

duPont Gallery

Artist’s Talk by Jon McMillan: Sept. 15, 4 p.m.

duPont Gallery

McMillan Featured in Tennessee Tech Exhibition

"Elevate"  Ceramic Sculpture by Jon McMillan

Ceramic Sculpture by Jon McMillan

Assistant Professor of Ceramics Jon McMillan is currently showing 15 ceramic sculptures in a solo exhibition at Tennessee Tech University’s Joan Derryberry Gallery.  The show features work from McMillan’s Bioforms series, and will run from now until March 6.  McMillan will also travel to the gallery in early March to give a visiting artist lecture on his work.

For more information:

Joan Derryberry Gallery-

For more images of the artwork:

UMW Galleries To Present Studio Art Faculty Show

The duPont Gallery will host UMW Studio Art Faculty Show, one of the first two exhibitions of the Fall 2011 season, from September 2 – October 7, 2011. This exhibition includes the work of three members of the University’s Art Department: Joseph DiBella, Rosemary Jesionowski, and Jonathon McMillan.

An opening reception will be held on Thursday, September 1, 2011 from 5 – 7 p.m. in the duPont Gallery. The opening is free and open to the public.

Free street parking is available near duPont Hall, as well as designated parking spaces for gallery visitors. Check the Galleries’ website at for hours. If you have any questions, contact the Galleries at (540) 654-1013.

Joseph DiBella, MPI #2, 2011, watercolor, 22 x 30 inches