ORDER OUT OF
CHAOS U N IVE R S ITY OF MARYLAN D U N IVE R S ITY COLLEG E / ARTS PROG RAM
ORDER OUT OF
CHAOS Celebrating the power of art to transform communities Arts Program University of Maryland University College April 30â€“July 30, 2017
ÂŠ 2017 University of Maryland University College. All rights reserved. Copyright credits and attribution for certain illustrations are cited internally proximate to the illustrations. ISBN: 13:978-0-9842265-0-4 ISBN: 10:0-98442265-0-8
Javier Miyares President University of Maryland University College
As president of University of Maryland University College (UMUC), I am especially honored to introduce the exhibition Order Out of Chaos, which features artists who have been based at the Artists’ Housing Incorporated development in the Washington Hill area of Baltimore, Maryland.
As I have often said, art serves to sharpen our vision, deepen our understanding, enrich our experience of the world, and celebrate the creativity in each of us. That creativity in turn fires imagination, nurtures innovation, and drives us to learn and to grow.
Our university has a long history of offering a quality education to adults in the military and the workforce in Maryland and around the world, and our Arts Program supports that mission. By displaying works of art and hosting public exhibitions, free of charge, it serves our local communities while introducing new and established artists to broader audiences.
I know I speak on behalf of all at UMUC when I say how proud we are to showcase the many and varied voices and visions represented in Order Out of Chaos. I hope you enjoy the exhibition and find it as engaging and thought-provoking as I do.
Eric Key Director, Arts Program University of Maryland University College
In many communities, artists’ collectives are a natural segue to neighborhood transformation. Generally the purpose for such collectives is for artists to have a place to create art and make it accessible. Even though artists’ collectives are established mainly so artists can create, they become places where artists can commune with one another, share ideas and techniques, and as a result often revitalize their neighborhoods. Artists’ Housing Incorporated in Baltimore, Maryland, was established to accomplish this goal. It opened in 1987 with the mission of providing affordable housing for artists in a “supportive cooperative environment” and is one of the oldest artist housing communities in Baltimore. In artist lodgings like this, as well as those found in the Highlandtown and Station North art districts, visual artists, performance artists, and musicians find
both living and gallery space. The artist residents of Artists’ Housing Inc. and Baltimore’s other art districts are engaged in their communities and immersed in their art. The Arts Program at UMUC, with the help of artist and guest curator Ruth Channing Middleman, decided to examine the art from the Artists’ Housing complex. This exhibition is not designed to pass judgment on the validity of such a complex but rather to look at the works of artists living in such an environment. I would like to thank the many artists who agreed to participate in this project and Ruth Channing Middleman for serving as guest curator. The Arts Program is delighted to provide a space for these artists to showcase their works and to present the works to our audience.
ORDER OUT OF CHAOS By Ruth Channing Middleman Guest Curator
Has any society throughout history really loved and appreciated its artists? From Plato onward, there has been an element of skepticism and mistrust toward visual representation. Thinking people want to know what is real and what isn’t. Many religions forbid the graven image and the imitation of nature, and without religion we cling to science, which has no place for the intuitive and the fanciful. Where does the artist—shabby, shiftless, iconoclastic—fit into this scheme of things? Why should a society embrace someone who makes no money, does nothing for the economy, and also wishes to expose the soft underbelly and corruption of the very society of which the artist is taking economic advantage? Yet when one peers back through the obscurity of former centuries, the names that emerge out of the darkness are often those of artists. Real artwork is appreciated late—it takes time, sometimes many lifetimes, to be genuinely understood. What should we do in the meantime? Well, give art the benefit of the doubt, at least! Give it room to grow and the circumstances that it needs to be created. Artists’ Housing Incorporated (AHI) of Baltimore was, and is, a valiant attempt to provide affordable studio and living space for artists. The units are small, but they have the necessities, and each artist has done something different with his or her space. Some thrive on clutter and even collect it expressly for their work; others have an everything-in-its-place approach reminiscent of a ship’s cabin (which the units resemble, in a way).
Some artists thrive on order, then, and some on chaos. But this exhibition’s title, Order Out of Chaos, refers to the city surrounding AHI. Situated in the Washington Hill area of Baltimore, AHI is entirely surrounded by “the projects.” Gentrification passed it by. It’s not an obvious destination for folks with the means to buy art. Anyone living and working in this part of town has to be extremely dedicated. These artists are not in it for the money. Sales are made (there are some very intrepid collectors), but retail is not the primary concern here. Out of this challenging locale comes an amazing variety, a kind of cornucopia, of artwork. The artists seem to be affected by the external chaos in various ways. Some are visually inspired by the neighborhood and surrounding city. Greg Fletcher, for instance, grew up in Washington Hill. What buildings remain Ashley Milburn, Partnership, 2016, acrylic on paper, 36 x 30 inches there are often in the process of being torn down (or simply falling down), and story of the tragic death of black groom Jocko they furnish the subject matter for Greg’s Graves and relates it to the dignity and beauty of luminous paintings. He lovingly renders the play the horses he died caring for. Although these of light and atmosphere on the decaying surfaces. drawings are aesthetically beautiful, they are a You don’t look at abandoned buildings the same response to injustice. way after seeing Greg’s paintings—he shows you their beauty. Maria-Theresa Fernandes is a former AHI resident Ashley Milburn responds to the city, too, but with anger at its inequities. He is an activist-artist well known for his protest sculpture. In his latest series of drawings, he uses the image of the horse— Baltimore still has many of them. With a strong, fluid drawing style, he abstracts the qualities of power and gentleness embodied by the horse. Milburn’s work normally centers around race relations. In these drawings, he references the
whose work is also a reply to injustice, specifically to the recent violent deaths of young men in cities, especially Baltimore, and the ensuing riots. She tells their stories in large fabric constructions she calls books, some of which are taller than a person. For the books in this exhibition, she uses an industrial sewing machine to stitch in the poetry of Stephen Pohl, her collaborator on the project. Then she adds a combination of felting and photographs of the city, which she prints onto
the cloth. Although constructed of fabric, these pieces don’t present a soft representation. They evoke a grim reality. “Paper sculpture” might sound like an oxymoron. But paper fibers, fragile by themselves, change when they cohere, becoming durable and resilient. Dirk Joseph pressed paper pulp into a mold to create his wall sculpture Kiini Ujuzi, which means “knowing from the heart” in Kiswahili (also known as Swahili). The figure is serene yet imposing, and the intense blue of this piece evokes a deep spirituality. Joseph’s work stresses symmetry and seems to be a call to restore balance. Christina McCleary makes ceramic sculpture utilizing the female form as a means of self-expression. Her expertise, both with the figure and with her medium, is such that she can use it to express whatever she wishes. Thus McCleary can work intuitively. Her insights and reflections on gender and race are embodied in her work. They spring from her own experience and are inseparable from the form. Janice Crum’s figures are also constructed from ceramic. They are doll-like, with articulated limbs and pretty faces, like intelligent Barbies. Crum
deconstructs her creations, then rebuilds them into sculptural pieces reminiscent of the reliquaries and statues of saints one encounters in old Catholic churches. Baltimore is, or was, a Catholic city; interestingly, Crum is one of the few artists in the show whose work refers overtly to religion. Lauren Case responds to the city by prowling around it, bringing home objects others have discarded. Retrieved from alleys and dumpsters of Washington Hill, these forlorn items are transformed into totemic sculpture in Case’s hands. Like Greg Fletcher, Noelle Zeltzman paints directly from observation; perhaps not coincidentally, she also grew up nearby. She uses her family and friends for models and poses them in the angular, high-ceilinged rooms of her townhouse in Butchers’ Hill (one of her connections with AHI is as a longtime member of the life drawing group). Zeltzman’s style is painterly realism. She employs an unusual pre-Raphaelite glazing technique to make her colors exceptionally luminous. LuAnn Zubak’s large mixed-media drawings invoke history in their way. In a powerful, freehand style, she draws wistful and mysterious infants in the christening dresses of long ago. They’re drawn on collages of old wallpaper, wrapping paper, and fabrics that Zubak collects. These antiquated and faded materials add to the feeling of uneasy nostalgia that the pictures convey. At the same time, the interplay of textures, patterns, and assured drawing is gorgeous. Many other AHI artists, however, look inward for their inspiration. They seem to block out their surroundings, seeking to create another reality.
Maria-Theresa Fernandes, Community 2016, mixed media, 14 x 20 inches
Bill Hoke works in a basement unit that evokes visions of Dostoevsky. It’s dramatically spartan— you really feel that he’s given up the world for his art. In this space, Hoke crafts his large wood
Dirk Joseph, Kiini Ujuzi, 2014, cast paper, 14 x 10 inches
panels with infinite care. Their preparation is an essential part of the paintings, which are then patiently constructed from layer upon layer of paint. In these paintings, each layer in a given painting is the same color, and the superposition gradually reveals subtle variations. Desert, worked in yellow, immerses you in a crucible of light and heat. In Fogbank, Hoke tries something even more extreme, limiting the palette to layers of white— a color that arrests the eye—to create the baffling, disorienting effect of fog. Fidel Carey-Realmo’s paintings are also nonobjective but turn inner feelings outward. His paintings expose deep emotions about his subjects. Carey-Realmo utilizes carefully controlled chaos in his technique of pouring and dripping the paint. In Something Out of Nothing, hot, visceral colors are poured over contrasting cool ones, creating deep space and a sense of emotional conflict.
Kini Collins is another former resident, a nonfigurative painter who nevertheless sometimes uses a figure, an object, or a bird in an iconic way to express states of being. Her paintings are wonderfully tactile. In Empty Bowl 1 and Stations of the Cross, she almost flays the canvas, scraping deeply into paint so thick that the work leans toward the sculptural. They’re monochromatic, yet rich. Empty Bowl 1 refers to a Zen idea of the open mind, Stations of the Cross to an acute awareness of one’s body, referencing the artist’s own experience with spinal pain.
Suzan Rouse’s monotypes and etchings deal with the theme of the restaurant kitchen. Cooks and waiters interact in a Chagall-like ballet, untethered from gravity. Her ceramics carry this approach into three dimensions. Like Rouse’s graphic work, her plates, bowls, and cups are made in a style that is childlike and sophisticated at the same time; her ceramic forms and glazes derive from the deceptively simple work of Japanese potter-farmers.
Joseph Germershausen presides over weekly life drawing sessions at AHI. His work reflects his familiarity with the human form. In the charcoal drawings shown in this exhibition, he cheerfully deconstructs, rebuilds, combines, and compresses the figure into a celebration of the body.
Ben Hoke, Someday, 2014, mixed media on canvas 96 x 72 inches
Ben Hoke’s Someday breathes new life into the abstract-expressionist idiom. He is a painters’ painter—his willingness to take risks is inspiring. Undaunted by the huge size of his canvas, he leaps in with a dizzying variety of marks that set the pictorial space spinning and pull the viewer into its vortex. Leslie Schwing’s biomorphic abstractions are drawn in ink on quantities of four-by-four-inch panels. In spite of its small size, each panel suggests a world. Seen together, the panels imply a universe, probably before the Big Bang, where pods, sacs, pupae, and fluids are still forming and dissolving. Schwing has a seemingly inexhaustible variety of marks at her disposal, endlessly entertaining to the eye, suggesting awe at the infinite variety of the natural world.
Dan Brown paints the female nude in a frankly erotic way. In his beautifully executed oil painting Fabric Lens, he shows the whole female figure, but she is behind a transparent veil that actually enhances her nudity. In his other works, such as his needlepoints, he focuses tightly on one part or another of the female anatomy: the eyes, the lips, often the belly and crotch. These works are a cheerful celebration of lust and an appreciative homage to the feminine. The needlepoints are rich in color and texture, adding dimension and giving these small-format works additional erotic power. The supreme example of order being made from the chaos of Baltimore City might be the work of Ruri Yi. She paints the most rigorous of minimalist abstractions, creating a world of absolute serenity— abstract art at its most pure. Still another response to the chaotic environment is a kind of magical realism, evidenced particularly by printmaking and sculpture. Kini Collins, Stations of the Cross, 2013, oil on canvas 55 x 30 inches
Rouse handles the difficult etching and other print techniques equally well. She rejects the mundane with a magical and whimsical response to the everyday. Valerie Potrzuski puts magic into a box, lights it, and hangs it on the wall. Rumi’s Guest House Is Serving Jungian Tea is actually a tiny house where a two-inch-high demon in polka dots is having tea with the lady of the house. The attached poem advises us to let our demons in, confront them, and even welcome them as providing helpful self-knowledge. Interchangeable talk balloons allow the viewer to interact with this piece. The interior is fully decorated, its walls hung with miniature versions of the artist’s own paintings. The photography in this show isn’t what you might expect, given the theme. Far from reporting on a disadvantaged urban environment, these photographers take the long view, one informed by architectural and cultural history.
Carole Nadeau has spent countless hours over the years drawing animals from life. Nadeau paints the human figure, but she generally uses animals for her sculpture. Giraffe, while only 24 inches high, nevertheless conveys perfectly the outlandish yet dignified tallness of this creature. Nadeau’s work has a trace of whimsy, just enough to endow the animals with spirit. Ronald R. Russell, too, draws his creatures with a touch of charm. Known best for his rather surreal sports pictures, he brings the same lively energy to his animals, who are shown flying. Russell draws with caulk in a satisfying impasto technique. Donna Rose makes ceramic portraits of some less-seen animals. She calls these pieces Habitants, a title with connotations of both habitat and haunting. And indeed, these pieces carry a subtle
menace. You ignore us at your peril, they seem to say. Her works are convincingly accurate portrayals of these beasts, but with distinctly surreal overtones. They are animals as the Other. Behind AHI is a beautiful garden that runs the length of the housing. What used to be an alley has been transformed by AHI residents, led by Greg Fletcher, into a pleasing maze of flowers and flowering trees. There’s no gate—anyone can stroll through. Benches have been placed here and there, affording different views and a surprising amount of privacy. It’s a place for resident artists to meet or to sit alone and reflect. To me, the garden embodies the AHI spirit of making something out of chaos—not necessarily order, but something better than order: the infinite possibilities that art provides to express the glorious disorder of the human spirit.
Carole Nadeau, Giraffe 2015, papier mâché 24 x 13 x 8 inches
For instance, rather than painting cityscapes, Beverly Eisenberg skillfully creates Cloisterscape III and Palaisscape. They are hyper-real visions— personal worlds—with elements of old European places, real and imagined. These photographs are beautiful yet disorienting, like old Grimms’ fairy tales. Laura Vernon Russell’s photographs are complex abstractions of nature. They delight the eye as much as they horrify it. In particular, the pictures of the storm-wracked North Point Beach of Baltimore that she photographed after Hurricane Irene find beauty in the aftermath of chaos itself. In the midst of the city, there are animals. Mostly they are teeming behind the scenes—whether in the zoo or behind a cupboard or in a city park at night. For some artists at AHI, there are times when animal forms serve their purposes best.
Valerie Potrzuski Rumi’s Guest House Is Serving Jungian Tea 2015, mixed media on cigar box, 20 x 16 x 3½ inches
THE ORIGINS OF ARTISTS’ HOUSING IN BALTIMORE Dan Rodricks Columnist, Baltimore Sun
It’s because of all the senseless death—more than 300 homicides in a year’s time, and many of them on the east side of the city—that we should give thanks and praise for the colony of artists in the 1400 block of East Baltimore Street. That might seem like an odd perspective, a journalist’s preoccupation with the macabre. But the killings, and the dreary pathologies they represent, weigh on the minds of all Baltimoreans who’ve waited decades for the city to reach its postindustrial potential. Frustrated with the ongoing violence but somehow still committed, we console ourselves with the great places, large and small, that affirm life and inspire hope. We take comfort in the people who stay through it all, who never stop believing in themselves or their city. Such a place—an oasis, really—is Artists’ Housing, with its colorful facades and long rear balconies evoking a blue-collar tenement, anchored at Caroline Street by the Fletcher-Schwing studio and gallery and, across an alley, a yard generously shaded by sweet gums. Most Baltimoreans coming and going through the city between downtown and Fells Point hardly notice, and unless invited, never see the artists at work inside. Considering its origins in the struggling Baltimore of 30 years ago, it’s remarkable that such a place came to be. It was on a Friday in May 1986 when William Donald Schaefer, in his 15th and final year as
Above: Printmaker Suzan Rouse in her studio working on her Immigrant series Left: Local art enthusiasts gather outside AHI for a community art event
mayor, presided over a ceremony marking the start of construction of a housing cooperative for artists—10 row houses along East Baltimore Street to be converted into 32 affordable units for men and women who create paintings and pottery, jewelry and costumes, music and movies, poetry and prose. Schaefer, bullish on Baltimore during a long period of white flight, was not known as a patron of the arts. His efforts to counter the loss of population and tax base focused mainly on downtown redevelopment. Many thought he was crazy for championing the city’s old waterfront as a potential tourist destination. Schaefer measured Baltimore’s progress in yards of concrete and foot traffic at Harborplace. He and his deputies leveraged every bit of federal money to rebuild the city from the inside out. Within a year, Schaefer would be gover-
nor of Maryland, bringing new sports stadiums to the west side of downtown Baltimore, along with a light rail line from the suburbs. The redevelopment of the Inner Harbor and the stadiums are the hallmarks of the Schaefer era. Looking back 30 years, it’s wholly remarkable that the Schaefer administration went as far as it did in supporting the artists’ cooperative with a $1.25 million investment of grants and loans from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The idea was to give artists the space they needed to create at affordable monthly rates and to encourage others to consider living in Baltimore. On those counts, it worked. Artists’ Housing Inc. has been in place all these years. Its raison d’etre has not changed. It has not given way to gentrifi-
While Baltimore started to see some success with the arts in other areas of the city—most notably the growth in the Station North district—Artists’ Housing remained isolated in Washington Hill. “The city sort of forgot about us,” says Leslie Schwing, who has lived in the co-op since it opened. “But that may be part of why we survived. It is written into law that this block will always be for artists. But how we do it is no longer mandated by our HUD loan. Recently we have had an influx of new members that are committed artists. So, as long as we hold to that covenant, it looks good for our future.” Greg Fletcher believes the cooperative quietly became a model for communal sustainability and self-governance. Those who once lived there talk about the wonders of being among other artists,
of having to collaborate on everything from house rules to a shared evening meal. “It was great having neighbors who were artists as well,” says photographer Steve Parke. “I wish this sort of thing happened more often. The price was so affordable that you could literally focus on your art instead of worrying about making money at another job.” The affordability was a big factor for Fletcher, too. It made possible a return to his old neighborhood and a chance to focus on his art in a part of the city—some of it now decrepit and abandoned—he knew as a boy. “My artist motifs are within walking distance; a few are even visible from my studio window,” he says. Those motifs include Spring Street, on the west side of the cooperative. Fletcher’s oil-on-panel painting of that alley street—snowdrifts in afternoon light, grayish winter sky, a boarded-up building in the foreground— evokes melancholy; to some eyes, desolation. But it takes Fletcher back to the day of his birth 64 years ago, when Mildred Dickerson, a practical nurse, midwife, and something of a mystic, hurried down Spring Street to help deliver Fletcher into this world. And that’s as life-affirming as it gets.
cation, and it survived the crack cocaine epidemic that fueled an already thriving narcotics trade and accelerated violence just blocks away. The city saw more population loss well into the 1990s and the start of the 21st century.
Colors of AHI Buildings Memorialize Member The colors of the buildings’ facades are a memorial to Scott Kelly, one of the original members of the community. Kelly was the associate dean of graduate admissions at Maryland Institute College of Art when he died at the age of 52. To honor his memory, the other residents selected the color palette from one of his ties.
Right: Resident artists Leslie Schwing (left) and Laura Vernon Russell (right) paint en plein air in the AHI gardens Far right: A community arts day at AHI
James “Buzz” Cusack, who was a co-owner of the construction company that renovated the buildings for AHI in 1986, says, “The idea of economical housing for artists was a new idea at the time. The architect, Walter Schamu, created a simple, clean design” for the artists’ housing.
Architectural rendering by Beverly Eisenberg
FEATURED ARTISTS Dan Brown • Fidel Carey-Realmo • Lauren Case • Kini Collins • Janice Crum • Beverly Eisenberg Maria-Theresa Fernandes • Greg Fletcher • Joseph Germershausen • Ben Hoke • Bill Hoke • Dirk Joseph Christina McCleary • Ashley Milburn • Carole Nadeau • Valerie Potrzuski • Donna Rose • Suzan Rouse Laura Vernon Russell • Ronald R. Russell • Leslie Schwing • Ruri Yi • Noelle Zeltzman • LuAnn Zubak
Dan Brown The interplay between scale and intimacy has been a driving force behind my work. I find that small formats have a gemlike quality, enticing the viewer to come closer and communicate one-on-one with the image. I work primarily from photosâ€”ones that have been studied so much that they are less of a depiction and more of a memory. Approaching color through the medium of thread has allowed me to discover contrasts on a minute scale and gauge the way hues pull back and forth as they contrast with one another.
FABRIC LENS 2007, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 72 X 48 INCHES
Left to right: IN THE MIST 2014, NEEDLEPOINT 7 X 5 INCHES HELIOTROPE 2016, NEEDLEPOINT 7 X 5 INCHES
Left to right: LURE 2014, NEEDLEPOINT 2 X 1 INCHES IN STITCHES 2014, NEEDLEPOINT 7 X 7 INCHES
Fidel Carey-Realmo I am focused on the artistâ€™s journey of self-discovery rather than the FIDEL CAREY-REALMO destination of being an established artist. Integrating my multicultural background and experiences has led me to the tentative conclusion that this life is an illusion and that all humans are ultimately eternal and connected at the deepest level.
A DREAM 2016, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 24 X 36 INCHES
SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING 2016, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 36 x 48 INCHES
Portrait by the artist
Lauren Case Our society is heavily inundated with messages and products emphasizing physical appearance and material consumption. I collect tossed-away remnants from this barrage and put them in my work. When otherwise unrelated objects are melded together, symbolic forms emerge, uniting thought and physical perception and leading us beyond the material realm. Once captured in art, these objects begin to reveal truths and absurdities about ourselves and our values. It is through art that I am able to make sense of life as we know it and imagine life beyond what we know.
UNTITLED (MAN ON TV) 2016, MIXED MEDIA 9Âź x 4Â˝ x 1 INCHES
UNTITLED (FUTURE MAN CHARACTER) 2016, MIXED MEDIA 12 x 6 x 3Â½ INCHES
Kini Collins I work primarily in two dimensions, using highly abstracted imagery to represent a metaphor or paradox. The emptiness of the bowl, the space inside, is what makes the bowl useful. A spine, a backbone, is a power center, a source of strength, but also a source of pain and vulnerability.
EMPTY BOWL 1 2016, OIL ON BOARD 48 X 24 INCHES
STATIONS OF THE CROSS 2013, OIL ON CANVAS 55 X 30 INCHES
Janice Crum Can I empower myself outside of the reality of my circumstances or must I embrace the objectification of my body to understand my worth? I am challenged by the desperate need to be consumed and desired as well as admired for the qualities I possess that fall outside the purview of physical appearance. The values of purity, generosity, and compassion are inexorably linked with the contrasted judgements of prudishness, martyrdom, and weakness. Iâ€™m struggling to thrive in a cultural environment that promotes predation through attitudes of infantilization and entitlement. What must I wear to avoid victimization and blame? How must I act to avoid vitriolic diatribes? I find myself torn between playing along just to gain at least some scrap of validation and rejecting the mediocre platform from which I am expected to exalt myself.
WHEN THE TIME COMES 2016, CERAMIC, 24 X 11 X 8 INCHES
CASSANDRA 2013, CERAMIC AND MIXED MEDIA 12 X 5Â½ X 2 INCHES
Beverly Eisenberg I value the ways that we enliven and influence our environments and how they inform our lives, beliefs, and actions. I work with iPhone photographs, drawings, and paintings by layering multiple images with generic cues of the natural and built worlds we inhabit to merge time and space. Iâ€™ve let go of trying to make something specific and practice allowing the process to evolve the work. This is a helpful lesson in many aspects of my life. I blend related images by content, place, and time. A compilation of a collective reality, these abstracted composites of images tell a story and evoke a feeling in each piece. I welcome feedback from people viewing my work through their unique experiences and perspectives, honing in on different cues, effects, and meaning.
CLOISTERSCAPE III 2016, DIGITAL COLLAGE ON ALUMINUM 11 X 14 INCHES
PALAISSCAPE 2016, DIGITAL COLLAGE ON ALUMINUM 11 X 14 INCHES
Maria-Theresa Fernandes Travel and social landscapes have served to build the solid repository from which I draw my inspiration. The process depends on embracing life experiences and immersing myself in the seemingly endless kaleidoscope of cultures that have helped me realize that “being there” and taking part trumps any artificial portrayals that I could conjure. My work is mixed media with a strong reliance on hand and machine embroidery, incorporating collage, digital photography, and handmade felt. The recent unrest in Baltimore has evoked works that relate to the city and the disparities between the neighborhoods, the striking contrasts between rich and poor, etc. Recent work includes a collaborative project with poet Stephen Pohl in which book covers have been created using poetry, stitching, and digital photography on handmade felt and paper. Included in the works is a large folding book/screen showing the back view in which Pohl’s poem “Inequality” portrays the contrasts in the various neighborhoods of Baltimore.
Above: NAKED TREES (COVER) 2015, MIXED MEDIA 8 X 11 INCHES Right: NAKED TREES (REVERSE)
Above, left to right: OASES OF WEALTH— DESERTS OF DESPAIR 2016, MIXED MEDIA 108 X 80 INCHES OASES OF WEALTH—DESERTS OF DESPAIR (DETAILS)
Left: FAT LADY BLUES (COVER) 2015, MIXED MEDIA 21 X 20 INCHES Below: FAT LADY BLUES (REVERSE)
COMMUNITY 2016, MIXED MEDIA 14 X 20 INCHES
Greg Fletcher I have been painting urban landscapes for the past 40 years. I am most interested in the way light plays on my subject matter and how light uplifts the spirit.
AFTER THE FIRE, FELLS POINT INNER HARBOR EAST 1987, OIL ON LINEN 16 X 18 INCHES Below: SPRING STREET SNOWâ€” BIRTHPLACE OF THE ARTIST 1986, OIL ON PANEL 13 X 17 INCHES
CADILLAC IN HEAVEN, FIRST PRESBYTERIAN 1987, OIL ON BELGIAN LINEN 17Â½ X 16 INCHES
DOZER TALK 2014, OIL ON PANEL 23 X 29 INCHES
SNOWY LANE, GREENMOUNT CEMETERY 1980, OIL ON PANEL 17 X 15 INCHES
Joseph Germershausen I canâ€™t remember a time when I didnâ€™t draw or consider myself an artist. I have been drawing the figure for more than 25 years through Creative Alliance and my own studio practice. I tend to base my paintings and larger works on the figure but have worked in several styles through the years.
FIGURE IN MOTION 2016, CHARCOAL ON PAPER 30 X 24 INCHES
DRAWING OF TWO FIGURES 2016, CHARCOAL ON PAPER 36 X 26 INCHES
Ben Hoke My art celebrates creativity, inspiration, and dreams. I mostly work with photography and painting but the materials are always changing to fit the idea, and I continue to explore new media and methods. Each medium has a different feeling and requires a different process, but there remains a consistent perspective throughout my artâ€”one of joy and hope.
UNTITLED 2014, MIXED MEDIA ON CANVAS 16 X 20 INCHES
SOMEDAY 2014, MIXED MEDIA ON CANVAS 96 X 72 INCHES
Bill Hoke I live and paint at Artistsâ€™ Housing. My paintings are about nature.
FOGBANK 2016, OIL ON PANEL 60 X 60 INCHES
DESERT 2014, OIL ON PANEL 60 X 60 INCHES
Dirk Joseph I make art to record dreams and experience. I make art to create dreams and experience.
KIINI UJUZI 2014, CAST PAPER 14 X 10 INCHES
SANKOFA 2012, CAST PAPER 20 X 16 INCHES
Christina McCleary The human condition is that of perpetual discovery. My sculpture is an expression of all the thoughts, judgments, and feelings that drive me. My artistic drive stems from a deeply personal narrative but extends into the abstract, allowing and encouraging viewer participation and interpretation. Our feelings and perceptions about people or events depend to a great extent on our relationship to them. It is by contemplating our past at different times in our lives that we can fully appreciate and understand it. My work challenges the different and often opposing views we hold of ourselves, our history, and our future. I approach my subject matter and media with a primal and innocent sense of experimentation, intentionally bypassing my critical intellect, to excavate the intuitive and hidden meaning of the self.
AFFECTATION NOT DATED, CERAMIC 15 X 8 X 10 INCHES
Right: PROVIDENCE NOT DATED, CERAMIC 15 X 8 X 9 INCHES Below: PROVIDENCE (SIDE)
Ashley Milburn The horse is a visual for power and gentleness. My work seeks to explore the nature of this power. My work is heavily influenced by the Chinese and Japanese Sumi-e painting techniques. At the same time, I’ve tried to push through to a contemporary approach. The use of wet paper towel as a brush does several things: it keeps me from being too precious, it mimics well the large Japanese brush stroke, and it restricts the traditional mindset one uses when approaching the work. The works are not meant to be portraits of the horse. I want to capture more of the spirit of the horse. I’ve tried to push past what I know about painting the horse to seek more. For me, its power lies within its torso and head—the intellect and the heart.
STEEL HORSE 2016, ACRYLIC ON PAPER 34 X 28 INCHES
PARTNERSHIP 2016, ACRYLIC ON PAPER 36 X 30 INCHES
Ruth Channing Middleman
Carole Nadeau I enrolled at MICA in 1972. While working as a life model to pay for school, I noticed that I learned more while posing than I ever did by attending classes. Before long, I quit school to model full-time. I modeled for many of Baltimore’s top artists, including Raoul Middleman, Paul Moscatt, and Reuben Kramer. Taking the poses myself helped me when I would draw from the model by giving me insight into both sides of the process. Animals are a favorite subject of mine as well. I’m concerned with the delicate balance between predators and prey, which is essential to the balance of nature and the preservation of life on the planet.
ALL DOG 2015, PAPIER MÂCHÉ 18 X 12 X 11 INCHES
GIRAFFE 2015, PAPIER MÂCHÉ 24 X 13 X 8 INCHES
Valerie Potrzuski Metaphysics, mysticism, nature, Jungian psychology, and the professional beauty industry are themes seen running through my several styles of work. I see art as having the potential to be a transformational tool, both for artist and viewer. Since I joined Artists’ Housing in 2013, my art has developed more of a sense of the inner child, bringing frivolity into the typically serious work of selfexamination, particularly through my dioramas.
RUMI’S GUEST HOUSE IS SERVING JUNGIAN TEA 2015, MIXED MEDIA ON CIGAR BOX 20 X 16 X 3½ INCHES
Clockwise from top left: AN EXOTIC MOMENT TO BE STILL 2015, MIXED MEDIA ON CIGAR BOX 12 X 8 X 4 INCHES THE PROPITIOUS FOOL 2015, MIXED MEDIA ON CIGAR BOX 14 X 13 X 3 INCHES AN EXOTIC MOMENT TO BE STILL (INTERIOR)
Donna Rose Car stalls along a tree-lined highway. Step out of the car. Notice yours is the only car. You are alone. All you can see through the trees are more trees and maybe some open land. All is quiet. You have left the safety-rated interior of your car and are now experiencing a somewhat exposed feeling of uncertainty. Of course itâ€™s your imagination, but you have a sense of sudden silence on your accountâ€”a feeling of being regarded. Eldritch forms slide between your thoughts, coloring the experience while you construct a reasonable explanation. Archetypes wait for you to consider an alternative. Choose now to overlay this encounter with reason . . . or not.
HABITANT 4 2016, CERAMIC 16 X 8 X 8 INCHES
HABITANT 3 2016, CERAMIC 13 X 12 X 9 INCHES
Suzan Rouse Both my ceramic work and my monoprints and paintings have to do with time in the kitchen, cooking and serving food in two restaurants, the Brass Elephant and Martickâ€™s. I do my ceramics with simple and irregular forms and Shino glazes. The unique simple forms of Japanese ceramicist Kitaoji Rosanjin are one of my biggest influences. I print both monoprints and intaglio in my studio on a Takach press.
THE CHEF NOT DATED, SERIGRAPH ON PAPER 25 X 19 INCHES
Clockwise from top left:
SQUARE PLATE 2015, CERAMIC 8 X 8 X 1 INCHES
PITCHER 2015, CERAMIC 6 X 10 X 4 INCHES
ROUND PLATE 2 2015, CERAMIC 11 X 11 X 1 INCHES
CUP AND SQUARE SAUCER 2015, CERAMIC 4 X 7 X 8 INCHES
Laura Vernon Russell The natural world has always been my inspiration and obsession. My painting, photography, and fiber work serves to further my investigations into the mysteries of nature and the energies of life. The cacophony of the urban landscape has created a kind of hyperfocus on the mechanisms and spiritual properties of nature. Tuning out one enables me to tune in to the other.
ROOT SKIN 2004, SILVER GELATIN PRINT 8 X 10 INCHES
PREY AND PREDATOR 2010, SILVER GELATIN PRINT 16 X 20 INCHES
Laura Vernon Russell
Ronald R. Russell Growing up in farm country and then moving to the city was an environmental 180-degree turn. Idylls of the pastoral landscape gave way to flying animals reacting to a sudden loss of gravity and unfamiliar spaces.
FLYING ANIMAL 4 1984, MIXED MEDIA ON PAPER 36 X 24 INCHES
FLYING ANIMAL 1 1984, MIXED MEDIA ON PAPER 36 X 24 INCHES
Leslie Schwing These images represent elements of our psyche as reflected in the world around us. They are about spirit, place, and fractal memory. We are more connected to place through memory than through our direct experience. We all share the dream. Each square is a complete painting. When combined in multiples, or as in this presentation, a large grid, the squares become a larger complete entity. Thus I call them â€œfractal.â€? In this piece, 49 of the 80 original squares are arranged. This piece was originally displayed as moveable objects on a magnetic board. Viewers could arrange them in multiples however they liked. The originals have been photographed as high-resolution files and can be reproduced in any size as singles or multiples.
ELEMENTALS 2007â€“2016, INK AND OIL ON CLAYBOARD 49 PIECES EACH 6 X 6 INCHES
Ruri Yi My paintings depict static, abstracted images of the urban landscape and its in-between spaces through the use of hard-edged lines, minimalist compositions, symbolic figures, and balanced color, producing a simplified version of how I see the world. I like to create pieces with a vivid variety of color and diverse forms on various surfaces and explore how color, form, and arrangements affect human emotion. I often choose wood panels for the natural beauty and texture of the wood grain. The patterns found in cut wood are as myriad as the lives we live as human beings. When the painted elements of the pieces are combined and carefully arranged with the complex and unique patterns found in nature, they form a language all their own. I do not intend to convey any deep or hidden messages through the images I create, but I would like viewers to be stimulated by the images, have fun imagining what they see and feel there, and come up with their own interpretations.
KEENNESS 2016, ACRYLIC ON LINEN 24 X 24 INCHES
UNTITLED 2016, ACRYLIC ON CANVAS 42 X 42 INCHES
Portrait by Maude O’Brian
Noelle Zeltzman Ruth Channing Middleman writes, “For many years, Noelle and I used to run a women’s life painting group in my living room. All of us pooled our resources. We used to take turns modeling, babysitting, feeding the babies, making coffee. A lot of really good painting came out of those chaotic sessions. Noelle was demanding to pose for. She was interested in depicting the psychology and soul of the sitter, as well as their surroundings, and she would work until she was absolutely satisfied that she had included everything and in a way that was absolutely and exhaustively true.”
DOMINIQUE AND AURELIA 2006, OIL ON CANVAS 48 X 24 INCHES
RUTH 1997, OIL ON CANVAS 41 X 41 INCHES
LuAnn Zubak My artwork is based on my collection of antique and vintage photographs that have been discarded by families to be sold at junk shops and auctions. I use them as source material and sometimes as collage elements in a bigger picture. I like to make the children larger than life to represent the importance of how the past shapes the future. Working with mixed media and collage, I can make connections between seemingly random elements, and in this way I strive to make order out of the chaos of living a life.
ANNUNCIATION 1986, ACRYLIC COLLAGE ON CANVAS 72 X 48 INCHES
LOOKING BACK 1991, ACRYLIC COLLAGE ON CANVAS 72 X 48 INCHES
EXHIBITION LIST Dan Brown Fabric Lens 2007, acrylic on canvas 72 x 48 inches Heliotrope 2016, needlepoint 7 x 5 inches In Stitches 2014, needlepoint 7 x 7 inches In the Mist 2014, needlepoint 7 x 5 inches Lure 2014, needlepoint 2 x 1 inches Fidel Carey-Realmo A Dream 2016, acrylic on canvas 24 x 36 inches Something Out of Nothing 2016, acrylic on canvas 36 x 48 inches Lauren Case Untitled (Future Man Character) 2016, mixed media 12 x 6 x 3½ inches Untitled (Man on TV) 2016, mixed media 9¼ x 4½ x 1 inches
Empty Bowl 1 2016, oil on board 48 x 24 inches
After the Fire, Fells Point Inner Harbor East 1987, oil on linen 16 x 18 inches
Stations of the Cross 2013, oil on canvas 55 x 30 inches Janice Crum Cassandra 2013, ceramic and mixed media 12 x 5½ x 2 inches When the Time Comes 2016, ceramic 24 x 11 x 8 inches Beverly Eisenberg Cloisterscape III 2016, digital collage on aluminum 11 x 14 inches Palaisscape 2016, digital collage on aluminum 11 x 14 inches Maria-Theresa Fernandes Community 2016, mixed media 14 x 20 inches Fat Lady Blues 2015, mixed media 21 x 20 inches Naked Trees 2015, mixed media 8 x 11 inches Oases of Wealth— Deserts of Despair 2016, mixed media 108 x 80 inches
Cadillac in Heaven, First Presbyterian 1987, oil on Belgian linen 17½ x 16 inches Dozer Talk 2014, oil on panel 23 x 29 inches Snowy Lane, Greenmount Cemetery 1980, oil on panel 17 x 15 inches Spring Street Snow— Birthplace of the Artist 1986, oil on panel 13 x 17 inches Joseph Germershausen Drawing of Two Figures 2016, charcoal on paper 36 x 26 inches Figure in Motion 2016, charcoal on paper 30 x 24 inches Ben Hoke Someday 2014, mixed media on canvas 96 x 72 inches Untitled 2014, mixed media on canvas 16 x 20 inches Bill Hoke Desert 2014, oil on panel 60 x 60 inches
Fogbank 2016, oil on panel 60 x 60 inches
The Propitious Fool 2015, mixed media on cigar box 14 x 13 x 3 inches
Rumi’s Guest House Is Serving Jungian Tea 2015, mixed media on cigar box 20 x 16 x 3½ inches
Kiini Ujuzi 2014, cast paper 14 x 10 inches Sankofa 2012, cast paper 20 x 16 inches Christina McCleary Affectation not dated, ceramic 15 x 8 x 10 inches Providence not dated, ceramic 15 x 8 x 9 inches Ashley Milburn Partnership 2016, acrylic on paper 36 x 30 inches Steel Horse 2016, acrylic on paper 34 x 28 inches Carole Nadeau All Dog 2015, papier mâché 18 x 12 x 11 inches Giraffe 2015, papier mâché 24 x 13 x 8 inches Valerie Potrzuski An Exotic Moment to Be Still 2015, mixed media on cigar box 12 x 8 x 4 inches
Ronald R. Russell Flying Animal 1 1984, mixed media on paper 36 x 24 inches Flying Animal 4 1984, mixed media on paper 36 x 24 inches
Habitant 3 2016, ceramic 13 x 12 x 9 inches
Elementals 2007–2016, ink and oil on clayboard 49 pieces, each 6 x 6 inches
Habitant 4 2016, ceramic 16 x 8 x 8 inches Suzan Rouse The Chef not dated, serigraph on paper 25 x 19 inches Cup and Square Saucer 2015, ceramic 4 x 7 x 8 inches Pitcher 2015, ceramic 6 x 10 x 4 inches Round Plate 2 2015, ceramic 11 x 11 x 1 inches Square Plate 2015, ceramic 8 x 8 x 1 inches Laura Vernon Russell Prey and Predator 2010, silver gelatin print 16 x 20 inches
Ruri Yi Keenness 2016, acrylic on linen 24 x 24 inches Untitled 2016, acrylic on canvas 42 x 42 inches Noelle Zeltzman Dominique and Aurelia 2006, oil on canvas 48 x 24 inches Ruth 1997, oil on canvas 41 x 41 inches LuAnn Zubak Annunciation 1986, acrylic collage on canvas 72 x 48 inches Looking Back 1991, acrylic collage on canvas 72 x 48 inches
Root Skin 2004, silver gelatin print 8 x 10 inches 65
UMUC Art Advisory Board Javier Miyares President University of Maryland University College Anne V. Maher, Esq., Chair Attorney at Law Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker, LLP Eva J. Allen, PhD, Honorary Member Art Historian Myrtis Bedolla, Vice Chair Owner and Founding Director Galerie Myrtis Joan Bevelaqua Artist, Collegiate Professor University of Maryland University College Schroeder Cherry, EdD Artist, Adjunct Professor of Museum Studies Morgan State University I-Ling Chow, Honorary Member Regional President and Managing Director, Ret. Asia Bank, N.A. Nina C. Dwyer Artist, Adjunct Professor of Art Montgomery College Karin Goldstein, Honorary Member Collector and Patron of the Arts Juanita Boyd Hardy, Honorary Member Executive Director CulturalDC Sharon Smith Holston, Honorary Member Artistâ€™s Representative and Co-Owner Holston Originals Pamela G. Holt Consultant Public Affairs and Cultural Policy Administration
Eric Key Director, Arts Program University of Maryland University College Thomas Li, Honorary Member Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Ret. Biotech Research Labs, Inc. David Maril, Honorary Member Journalist President, Herman Maril Foundation Terrie S. Rouse President, Rouse Consulting Christopher Shields Director, Business Operations NASDAQ.com Barbara Stephanic, PhD, Honorary Member Professor Emerita of Art History College of Southern Maryland Dianne A. Whitfield-Locke, DDS Collector and Patron of the Arts Owner, Dianne Whitfield-Locke Dentistry Sharon Wolpoff Artist and Owner Wolpoff Studios Elizabeth Zoltan, PhD Collector and Patron of the Arts
UMUC Board of Visitors Mark J. Gerencser, Chair Chairman of the Board CyberSpa, LLC Evelyn J. Bata, PhD Professor Emerita University of Maryland University College Richard F. Blewitt, Member Emeritus Managing Partner, R&B Associates, and President, The Blewitt Foundation
Joseph V. Bowen Jr. Senior Vice President, Operations, and Managing Principal, Ret. McKissack & McKissack David W. Bower Chief Executive Officer Data Computer Corporation of America Karl R. Gumtow Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer CyberPoint International, LLC Anne V. Maher, Esq. Attorney at Law Kleinfeld, Kaplan & Becker, LLP Lt. Gen. Emmett Paige Jr., U.S. Army, Ret. Vice President of Operations, Ret. Department of Defense/Intelligence Services Lockheed Martin Information Technology Sharon R. Pinder President and Chief Executive Officer Capital Region Minority Supplier Development Council Brig. Gen. Velma L. Richardson, U.S. Army, Ret. President, VLR Consulting William T. (Bill) Wood, JD Founder Wood Law Offices, LLC Joyce M. Wright Senior Consultant Fitzgerald Consulting
About UMUC Serving Busy Professionals Worldwide University of Maryland University College (UMUC) specializes in high-quality academic programs that are convenient for busy professionals. Our undergraduate and graduate programs are specifically tailored to fit into the demanding lives of those who wish to pursue a respected degree that can advance them personally and grow their careers. UMUC has earned a worldwide reputation for excellence as a comprehensive virtual university and, through a combination of classroom and distance-learning formats, provides educational opportunities to more than 80,000 students. The university is proud to offer a distinguished faculty of scholar-practitioners and world-class student services to educate students online, throughout Maryland, across the United States, and in more than 20 countries and territories around the world. For more information regarding UMUC and its programs, visit umuc.edu.
About the Arts Program at UMUC Since 1978, UMUC has proudly shown works from a large collection of international and Maryland artists at its headquarters in Adelphi, Maryland, a few miles from the nation’s capital. Through its Arts Program, the university provides a prestigious and wide-ranging forum for emerging and established artists and brings art to the community through special exhibitions and its own collections, which have grown to include more than 2,800 pieces of art.
Artworks are on display throughout the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center at UMUC and the Administration Building in Adelphi as well as at the UMUC Academic Center at Largo. The main, lower-level gallery in Adelphi is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week, and the Leroy Merritt Center for the Art of Joseph Sheppard is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week. More than 75,000 students, scholars, and visitors come to the Adelphi facilities each year. Exhibitions at the UMUC Academic Center at Largo are open to visitors from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Arts Program Mission Statement
Contributors Director, Arts Program: Eric Key Curators: Eric Key, Jon West-Bey Guest Curator: Ruth Channing Middleman Assistant Guest Curator: Dominique Zeltzman Editors: Sandy Bernstein, Beth Butler, Barbara Reed Director, Institutional Projects: Cynthia Friedman Designer: Jennifer Norris Project Manager: Laurie Bushkoff Production Manager: Scott Eury Fine Arts Technician: René A. Sanjines Artwork photography by John Woo AHI photos by Greg Fletcher Artist photos courtesy of the artist unless noted otherwise.
The Arts Program at UMUC creates an environment in which its diverse constituents, including members of the university community and the general public, can study and learn about art by directly experiencing it. The Arts Program seeks to promote the university’s core values and to provide educational opportunities for lifelong learning. From the research and study of works of art to the teaching applications of each of our exhibitions, the Arts Program will play an increasing role in academic life at the university. With a regional and national focus, the Arts Program is dedicated to the acquisition, preservation, study, exhibition, and interpretation of works of art of the highest quality in a variety of media that represent its constituents and to continuing its historic dedication to Maryland and Asian art.
ON THE COVERS: Front: Artistsâ€™ Housing Incorporated (AHI) Baltimore, Maryland Photo by Jon West-Bey Back: AHI artist Christine McCleary creating pottery Photo by Leslie Schwing Funding for this project was provided by the Wolpoff Family Foundation, Maryland State Arts Council, and Friends of the Arts Program.