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


Ama Mills-Robertson, Art History SMP, 2002                Return to SMP Archive Index 
Mentor: Dr. Rebecca Brown

An Analysis of the Growing Spectacle of Coffin Design in Ghana

18th cen. chair

Abstract: AThroughout West Africa, funerals are important events that convey powerful burial practices of using rituals of joy to ease sorrow. In the 1950s, the introduction of a new genre of coffin designs known as fantasy coffins served as a symbolic visual tool that reflected the dynamics of Ghanaian cultures. Coffins shaped like cocoa pod, airplane, chili pepper, and fish honored the career or accomplishments of the deceased. Today, the fantasy coffin is still gaining popularity among the working class in the Ga ethnic group. However, an alienated elite class in Ghana, deem the manner in which the coffin is used as primitive since it suggests indigenous Ghanaian religions and funerary beliefs. On the other hand, the revolutionary coffin reflects a Ga negotiation of their post-colonial identity in relations to the centrality of ancestors and burial rituals to indicate the importance of the site upon which these negotiations occur.

The coffin's ability to be appropriated for different uses and context enables it to be assigned under categorizes such as: "New Functional art," popular, and tourist arts. My project confirms that, the continual production of fantasy coffins is a result of their ability to change, absorb new ideas, and situations. These coffins recall the patrons' lives, but also reflect a positive Ga identity