Spring 2014

Art and Art History Event Calendar


Life Model Sessions

Every Tuesday Starting February 4

8:30-10:00 PM, Montgomery Hall

Visiting Artist Talk: Kathleen Hall

February 26th, 4:45 PM, Library 321

Alumni Spotlight: Sarah Sachs 


Sarah received her BA in Studio Art from St. Mary's College of Maryland in 2006. In 2008, she received her Masters of Art in Digital Art from Maryland Institute College of Art, and in 2009 she received her Masters of Fine Art in Photography and Digital Imaging, also from Maryland Institute College of Art. Through her fine art work, Sarah explores the dichotomy between human and digital memory, how the two influence one another, and how they are affected by natural and technological elements of decay. She hopes to create a dialogue about the relationships between personal memory, society’s collective memory, and collective cultural identity. 

Sarah Sachs Photography


Erica Maust, Art History SMP, 2009                Return to SMP archives
Mentor: Dr. Cristin Cash

Lo que es de todos, es de nadie: An Examination of UNESCO World Heritage and the Ancient Maya Cities of Palenque and Calakmul, Mexico


Abstract: The natural and built environments serve as physical and perceptible representations of the activities, rituals, and events that are performed within their boundaries. Humans designate spaces for the actions that are performed within them, and this designation of meaning creates place. Over time, however, the meaning of a place changes depending on who uses or inhabits it, or on what activities are performed within it. Through the World Heritage Programme, UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) is one institution that has the capacity to shape and change the meaning of a place. UNESCO designates sites throughout the world as “culturally and naturally significant” and bestows upon these places the title of “World Heritage site.” When this happens, sites that were once meaningful and culturally significant to members of the surrounding indigenous populations become internationally significant.  This study approaches the pre-Columbian cities of Palenque and Calakmul in Mexico as two places representative of ancient Maya culture that have achieved World Heritage Status through the efforts of the Mexican government and UNESCO. Through this process, a cultural heritage that was once accessible to very few has become very public. As the sites of Palenque and Calakmul have achieved World Heritage Status, accessibility to these once sacred and privileged places for members of the surrounding indigenous populations has changed. This study examines the impact of UNESCO and the World Heritage Programme on these indigenous peoples who reside among or near the ruins of these once thriving Maya centers. It asks the questions, “What happens to a community when private places representative of their cultural heritage are transformed into public spaces through the World Heritage Programme?” As the World Heritage Programme designates sites as internationally significant, it also imbues them with new meanings, and cultural heritage that once belonged to very few becomes the property of all peoples of the world.