Carrie Patterson, Chair
Associate Professor of Art
Office Staff: 240-895-4225
Alumni Where are they now?
Matthew Fishel (studio art, 2001) completed an MFA at Maryland Institute College of Art in 2010. Originally interested in painting, Matthew has expanded his practice to include animation, video, installation, and digital imaging. He is a frequent contributor to RedStarKGB, an ongoing collaboration of filmmakers in Baltimore. His own film, "A Short Film Regarding Possibilities", was selected by the Maryland Film Festival in 2006. See his work at http://www.matthewfishel.com
Student Artwork of St. Mary’s College: Curricular Change and Curatorial Practice
Art is not created in a vacuum. Any artwork is a balance between individual vision and contextual influence. The student works included in the St. Mary’s College Teaching Collection of Art offer insight into environmental influence on the object, as well as the relationship between art-making and the Art and Art History Department’s priorities throughout the years. When included in the Teaching Collection, this work provides a visual history of how changes within the college, the Art and Art History Department, and broader philosophies of art education in higher education institutions have shaped the student art.
How students existed in the environment of the Art and Art History Department’s evolving curriculum is surely present in their artwork. The context of a piece, materials used, and subject of a student’s artwork is often influenced by topics taught in class, learning about a past artist’s intentions, or faculty guidance and instruction. While no single piece in the collection encompasses all of the department’s changes, several pieces offer insight into the relationship between the Art and Art History curriculum and the work produced by art students.
The individual artworks in this exhibit were created in the Art and Art History Department’s dynamic environment, shifting from a skill-based learning environment to an educational setting that emphasizes the individual and critical thinking; and while development in skill is still important, it is now seen as a platform for greater emphasis in concept and expression. The department has expanded its curriculum to include a variety of focuses, including Photography, Painting, Drawing, Printmaking, and Digital Media, and has blurred the line between studio art and art history classes. The works included in this exhibit may be connected in several ways- they are all work done by students, they are all pieces from the Teaching Collection, and they all represent the identity and educational priorities of the college and department at particular moments in their history.
The presence of so many student works in the Teaching Collection demonstrates the values that St. Mary’s College places on the work of its students. The Collection brings together student work from the past 40 years to today, and the objects were primarily acquired through alumni donations and purchases, as well as from the multiple art shows held in the college’s Boyden Gallery, including the Annual All Student Art Exhibition and the Senior Capstone/St. Mary’s Project Art Exhibition. At both of these shows, the college purchases a student-made artwork that is entered permanently into the Teaching Collection. The breadth of the student artwork is vast; there are sculptures, paintings, prints and drawings included, as well as mixed media objects and digital artwork. The works range from non-representational abstract pieces to naturalistic renderings of figures, places, and ideas. For the art students at St. Mary’s College of Maryland, their work is created inside the college environment, and is therefore influenced at least partially by the classes they take, the professors who taught them, and their experiences at St. Mary’s College. The viewer is invited to consider the possible connections between the artworks and the environment in which they are created.