Contact Us

Carrie Patterson, Chair
Associate Professor of Art
Phone: (240) 895-4252

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Office Staff: (240) 895-4225


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


ARTH 440: Advanced Topics in Applied Art Theory

Selected topics in art theory studied at an advanced level in an applied, experiential context. Individual course topics will vary with the instructor, but will generally focus on curatorial issues, the relationship between theory and studio practice, exhibition development and design, object research, or museum and collections ethics. Seminar format, readings, discussion and fieldwork. This course may be repeated for credit where the topic is not repetitive. For a description of each course and its prerequisites, consult the current online “Schedule of Classes.”

Return to Courses Index.

Past topics include: 

Advanced Topics in Applied Art Theory: Curatorial Studies Practicum                   
Cristin Cash

CurationThis museum studies practicum explores curatorial theory and practice through critical reading and writing, hands-on work with the collection and staff of the Boyden Gallery and Historic St. Mary's City, field trips, and interaction with guest artists, curators and museum professionals. Students will study the history and theory of collections as well as develop an understanding of the basics of curatorial practice. Group discussion and written assignments will develop student ability to read and write critically about art in context, collection and exhibition policy and the development and evaluation of exhibitions. Students will learn the basic principles of collections management, curatorial research, and exhibition preparation through hands-on work with available collections.


Advanced Topics in Applied Art Theory:  Photography, Memory, and Desire 
Joe Lucchesi & Colby Caldwell

 This course explores photography's intrinsic relationship to memory and desire. At its invention, photography was hailed as the "pencil of nature" for its perceived ability to capture the world exactly and to fix time in a tangible form. Because of this perfect mimesis and unique reference to past and present moments, photography quickly became the favored medium to record the world, remember the dead, and project erotic fantasies. Artists, historians, and theorists continue to exploit the photograph as an expressive and philosophical site that privileges desire and memory. Students explore this ongoing concern from both historical and production perspectives, with possible topics including individual portraits and family photographs, landscape and cultural imagery, and the erotics of the fetish. Class meetings alternate between lecture and discussions centered on writings by artists, art historians and critics, and studio projects that explore photographic memory and desire.


Advanced Topics in Applied Art Theory: Painting & Photography
Colby Caldwell & Sue Johnson

Gerhard Richter

This course explores contemporary artistic practice that links painting and photography and also explores how and why artists choose to integrate these two media. A central course goal is to investigate the diverse ways that artists since the 14th century have engaged lens-based practices in the creation of original works of art. Recent scholarship proposes that many important painters used lens-based techniques in the past, while many influential 20th century and contemporary artists continue to explore and expand photography's vital role in our perception (and exploration) of reality.


Among the issues this course investigates is why, even in this technological age, the use of photography or other lens-based techniques (e.g., tracing) is considered "cheating" in relationship to producing paintings. We will also examine how photography throughout its history referred to, and appropriated, certain developments in its visual language from painting. Class meetings will alternate between lecture and discussions centered on writings by artists, art historians, and critics, and studio projects that explore lens-based artistic practice. No previous art experience needed.


Advanced Topics in Applied Theory: Curatorial Initiatives: Theory & Practice
Jayme McClellan

This course will examine the multi-faceted role of the curator in the field of contemporary art. Alongside traditional forms of exhibition making, the course will explore artist-led initiatives, public art projects, site-specific commissions, and other such experimental endeavors from the perspective of the curator/organizer. Students will participate in lectures on the topic of curatorial research and gain hands-on experience in exhibition preparation, managing art, and collaborating with artists. The course will include two field trips to the museums and galleries of Washington, D.C. where students will meet with and learn from curators in various institutions. Group discussion and written assignments will develop the students ability to think critically through the process of organizing collections and exhibitions. Direct work with objects and ideas will allow students to apply learned theory to creating an exhibition in a laboratory setting. This course satisfies a MUST requirement. Prerequisite is one of the following: one previous ART course, one previous ARTH course, MUST 200, or permission of instructor.