Professor of Art Sue Johnson has been awarded a fully funded summer residency fellowship by the Catwalk Institute, which is a retreat for art making, collaborative projects and scholarly discourse in New York State’s Upper Hudson Valley. Resident fellows are selected through a highly competitive process from among the alumni and faculty of four academic institutions: Columbia University School of the Arts, NYU Tisch, Vassar College, and School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Catwalk was originally the home of Hudson River School painter Charles Herbert Moore. While in residence, Johnson will continue work on an illustrated book project focused on women and consumer culture for which she began background research in summer 2021 at the Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library in Delaware.
The SMCM Southern Maryland Folklife Center received another important grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), funding activity and growth of the center in Fiscal Year 2021-22. The Southern Maryland Folklife Center is co-directed by three faculty members at SMCM: Assistant Professor of English, Jerry Gabriel; Director of the Boyden Gallery, Erin Peters; and Associate Librarian, Kent Randell. The $38,540 award will be used primarily for the 2022 version of the center’s signature event: an annual set of folklife summer workshops to be held June 3-5, 2022 on the SMCM campus.
The SMCM Southern Maryland Folklife Center was established in 2021 as part of the statewide Folklife Network. These organizations, in the words of MSAC’s Maryland Traditions Program, “support folklife, or community-based living cultural traditions handed down by example or word of mouth.” In summer 2021, the Southern Maryland Folklife Center offered a set of workshops over three days, including making stuffed ham, running a small farm, painting the Southern Maryland landscape, and making wampum pendants. The Southern Maryland Folklife Center is partnering with the arts associations of St. Mary’s, Calvert, and Charles counties, Historic St. Mary’s City, Trinity Episcopal Church, Southern Maryland Traditional Music and Dance, and the Southern Maryland Heritage Area to host the 2022 summer workshops. Serving as a hub for the region, the SMCM-based team is excited to continue to expand partnerships.
SMCM alumna and adjunct instructor Rie Moore ’19 was recently awarded a Creativity Grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC) for her project titled “Decaying”. The funding will cover expenses associated with creating a prerecorded audio-visual program for piano and violin on the theme of finding beauty in what is decaying. The filmed program will be made available virtually to the public for free via Moore’s YouTube channel as well as embedded on her website.
Inspired by her experience at the Piano Festival by the River at SMCM, Moore began studying with Brian Ganz, a member of the piano faculty at the College, which eventually led to completing a degree in music through SMCM’s second bachelor’s degree program in 2019. She was awarded Alice Fleury Zamanakos and Arthur S. Zamanakos Prize in Music upon graduation. In 2020, she received the Regional Independent Artist Award from Maryland State Arts Council for her program “As if heard from within” and was selected as one of the 48 competitors to perform at the Cliburn International Amateur Piano Competition in 2022. Her latest project “Beyond Darkness”, a prerecorded program sponsored by St. Mary’s County Arts Council, was made available online in March 2021.
In “Decaying”, Moore will explore beauty in what is decaying in a setting that communicates the theme through effective filming to reach audience members in a way that is different from the standard recital experience. Her desire to pursue the theme of finding beauty in what is decaying stems from her Japanese heritage as well as a wish to create a space that invites audience members to appreciate beauty beneath the surface and the process and journey of our living. The 45-minute program consists of pieces for piano and violin and poetry reading, categorized into three sections: Scenery, Thoughts, and Physical Existence. Prior to the premiere of the program, Moore will launch “Project Decaying”, an initiative to invite artwork that expresses beauty in what is decaying from the community to create a space for contemplation on the theme as part of the community engagement.
The following collaborators will participate in essential program components:
- Eliza Garth, a member of the piano faculty at SMCM (piano and poetry reading)
- Beatrice Baker (violin)
- Nick Hughes ‘12 (filming and video editing)
- Sean Mercer (audio engineering, mixing, and editing)
Moore hopes to generate interest for her project during a TED talk titled “More Than Music: A New Approach to Concert Programming” at TEDxGreatMills on September 18, 2021.
The Southern Maryland Folklife Center will present the first annual Southern Maryland Folklife Summer Workshops at St. Mary’s College of Maryland this June 23-25, 2021. Attendance registration is required by visiting https://www.somdfolklife.org/.
During the three-day event, workshops will be offered celebrating and supporting community-based living cultural traditions of Southern Maryland. The workshops will culminate in a public exhibition and celebration event at the College’s Boyden Gallery. Workshops will take place from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. and from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m. each day. Registration costs are $10 for one workshop, $20 for two workshops and $30 for four workshops. A separate music and dance performance and Historic St. Mary’s City excursion are also available for $10 each.
Choose from an array of folklife workshops:
- SOMD genealogy
- History of wampum
- Contra dance
- History of bluegrass
- Small farm entrepreneurship
- Stuffed ham two-day event
- Landscape painting
- African American hair
- Learn a folksong
This year, the Southern Maryland Folklife Summer Workshops will maintain a hybrid approach with both virtual and in-person offerings. The latter will adhere to the State of Maryland’s guidelines, including face coverings and social distancing. In person workshops will take place at the Jamie L. Roberts Stadium, River Center, Goodpaster Hall and Montgomery Hall on the St. Mary’s College campus, along with Trinity Church Parish Hall.
The summer workshops will be the backbone of the newly formed Southern Maryland Folklife Center, which is part of the Maryland State Arts Council’s (MSAC) Folklife Network. This summer’s event is funded by the MSAC’s “Maryland Traditions” program.
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Professor of Art Sue Johnson will be in residence for one-month to carry out collection research for her project, Woman, As Advertised, which focuses on 19th and early 20th century material culture sources for the creation of new works for her on-going project, Hall of Portraits from The History of Machines. She explains the importance of the process of research that informs her creative work that “mining the archive is like building a time machine; I look at the material culture of the past as a way of understanding what has come into being in our contemporary times.“
The Maker-Creator Fellowships are designed for artists, writers, filmmakers, horticulturalists, craftspeople, and others who wish to examine, study, and immerse themselves in Winterthur’s vast collections in order to inspire creative and artistic works. Fellowships include a research award of 1750.00 per month and access to Winterthur’s museum, garden, and library collections that focus on American life from the 17th through the 20th centuries. Fellows share their work by giving a public lecture and gain new perspectives from others on site, including librarians, curators, conservators, students, and other fellows.
About Winterthur Museum, Garden and Library: http://www.winterthur.org
According to the website, “Almost 60 years ago, collector and horticulturist Henry Francis du Pont (1880–1969) opened his childhood home, Winterthur, to the public. Today, Winterthur (pronounced “winter-tour”) is the premier museum of American decorative arts, with an unparalleled collection of nearly 90,000 objects made or used in America between about 1640 and 1860. The collection is displayed in the 175-room house, much as it was when the du Pont family lived there, as well as in permanent and changing exhibition galleries.”
Image: Sue Johnson, exhibition view of Briinng and Western Electric Sculptura ‘doughnut” telephone, Hall of Portraits from The History of Machines, 2021, Workhouse Arts Center.
Professor of Art Carrie Patterson and Assistant Professor of Photography Tristan Cai are 2021 recipients of the Independent Arts Awards presented by the Maryland State Arts Council. In addition to the recognition, both will receive grants to support their continued artistic growth. Patterson will receive a regional grant of $2,000 to recognize promise, and Cai will receive an award of $10,000 to recognize notable artistic achievement.
“As an artist and educator, I am always in the practice of communicating ideas, both visual and verbal. And it feels really good when the objects I make have a positive impact on other people,” said Patterson. “This award affirms my commitment to continue making work in Maryland and it feels good to be recognized by my peers as a Maryland artist.”
“The award encourages me to take more creative risks in my art practice and to dive deeper into the research-based works that I have been creating. I also want to thank MSAC and my colleagues for all their support,” said Cai.
This year’s awardees were chosen from a pool of 540 applicants through a public panel process. With this year’s awards focused on visual and media arts, 2021 awardees represent a wide range of artistic talents from all across the state, from painting, ceramics, and works on paper to digital media, film, and installation. Click here for the full list of winners.
Awardees will be highlighted during the virtual Maryland Arts Awards event at 6 p.m. on Friday, April 16. Visit marylandartscouncil.eventbrite.com for more details.
St. Mary’s College of Maryland was recently awarded a Maryland State Arts Council Folklife Network grant totaling $40,500 to represent Southern Maryland as a Maryland Regional Folklife Center in the Maryland State Arts Council’s Folklife Network. Regional folklife centers serve to continue “programmatic or educational efforts made by an organization to support folklife, or community-based living cultural traditions handed down by example or word of mouth.”
The College will create a Southern Maryland Folklife Summer Institute as the key feature of the Regional Folklife Center. The annual summer institute will be held at St. Mary’s College and will add unique opportunities to the rich and vibrant array of folklife events already operating in the region by celebrating and supporting community-based living cultural traditions of Southern Maryland (St. Mary’s, Calvert and Charles Counties). The institute will achieve this goal by offering a raft of workshops centered around broad folklife activities and their Southern Maryland components. Some proposed workshops will be specific to Southern Maryland (genealogy, cuisines such as stuffed ham and soul food), while others will reflect activities of Marylanders (landscape painting, beekeeping, oral history), while broader workshops will focus on the Mid-Atlantic region (bluegrass folk music, small farm entrepreneurship).
In preparing the grant, the team collaborated with the arts councils and organizations of the tri-county region in a community survey to learn about regional folklife needs and the kind of programming the community would like represented in a folklife institute.
The institute will pilot in June of 2021 with two days of exciting workshops and will close with a public exhibition and celebration event in the SMCM Boyden Gallery (pandemic permitting). The gallery event will allow participants to display their work and efforts learned in the workshops and may include such elements as short readings of oral histories, displays of family genealogies, landscape paintings, live folk music, and samples of culinary dishes. Campus residential housing will be available to participants. The institute will dovetail with the widely popular, community-centered Southern Maryland River Concert Series that draws thousands of people from the region for weekly outdoor summer concerts and the prestigious Chesapeake Writers’ Conference, therefore providing additional visibility and extra-curricular activities for participants.
In addition to the College’s Boyden Gallery, the SlackWater Center will also be a key participant in the folklife center as the institute’s activities will be featured in, and may also produce content for, the SlackWater journal. In addition to the journal, the SlackWater Center also provides students and community members with opportunities to conduct oral histories, hundreds of which are transcribed and available online on the Archive’s website as the SlackWater Oral History Collection. The activities of the institute may produce writing features, images (art and photography), oral history interviews, genealogies, and recordings of lectures that will then be added to the SMCM Archive.
Over the coming years, the College aims to incrementally build upon annual institute offerings and community engagement, by soliciting candid assessment and suggestions from all participants of the pilot and subsequent institutes.
St. Mary’s College alumna Rie Moore ’19 and Professor of Music David Froom have each been awarded Maryland Individual Artist Awards. They were among the 50 award winners (the only two from St. Mary’s County) chosen from more than 250 applicants. Moore was awarded for “promise and innovation” in piano performance, Froom for “notable artistic achievement” in musical composition.
The full press release from the Maryland State Arts Council can be found here.
The full list of this year’s awardees can be found here.
Assistant Professor in Art History Emily Casey has received a short-term fellowship from the Program in Early American Economy and Society at the Library Company of Philadelphia to conduct research for her book project, “Hydrographic Vision: Imagining the Sea and British America, 1750-1800.”
The Library Company, founded in 1731 by Benjamin Franklin, is the first successful lending library in the United States and the nation’s oldest cultural institution. Today, it is a research library with a special focus on historic books and cultural artifacts related to the transatlantic British empire and early United States. During the fellowship, Casey will make use of the Library’s collection of maps, navigational pilots, and geographic treatises published in both England and America in the eighteenth century. She hopes to take the fellowship at some point this summer.
Sue Johnson, professor of art, is one of ten artists who have been awarded a VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship in the professional category for 2020-21. This is an $8,000 award to be used by the artist to support their creative practice, and also includes opportunities for fellowship recipients to exhibit their work at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and other museum sites. Veronica Roberts, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas was the juror for the professional fellowship entries. A private reception honoring this year’s fellows will be held on March 6, 2020 at the museum.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Program is a vital source of funding for the visual arts and art history in Virginia. The VMFA is committed to supporting professional artists as well as art and art history students who demonstrate exceptional creative ability in their chosen discipline and, as such, has awarded nearly $5.8 million in Fellowships to Virginians. “The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Program is proud to support student and professional artists working across the Commonwealth,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA director and CEO. “We offer one of the largest fellowship programs of its kind in the United States and recognize this effort as a core part of our mission.” The Fellowship Program was established in 1940 through a generous contribution made by the late John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg. Offered through VMFA Statewide, Fellowships are still largely funded through the Pratt endowment, supplemented by gifts from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation and the J. Warwick McClintock Jr. Scholarship Fund.
Johnson plans to use the award to support material expenses needed to create new works, pursue new exhibition opportunities, and hire a studio assistant.