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SMCM Artist-in-Residence to Talk about Relationship between Psychology and Art Feb. 22

February 4, 2010
Press Release #10-011


The works of Susan Petry, St. Mary's College of Maryland (SMCM) artist-in-residence, are greatly influenced by her life as a psychologist. "The relationship between art, imagination, and psychology is fascinating and still largely mysterious." she explained. Petry will describe the psychological motives underlying art, a relatively new field of study, on Monday, February 22, 2010, at 4:45 p.m., in Room 321 of the college's library. The talk is free and open to the public.

As a young artist, Petry studied with Lillian Lane, student of Baltimore realist Frank Redelius of the Maroger Maryland Art Institute group, and went on to study with sculptors Harvey Weiss and Tom McAnulty. Currently a psychology professor at the Derner Institute for Advanced Psychological Studies of Adelphi University in New York, Petry has published extensively on the illusions of object qualities - the properties of the visual world that enable and disable the structuring of sensations, and has researched the perception of faces which she presented in "Where is the Self in Self-Portraits?" to the Association for Psychological Science in 2007.  Petry regularly gives guest lectures to art students on psychology and on woodcarving. 

Petry received her bachelor's degree in psychology from the University of Maryland and earned her Ph.D. in psychology from Columbia University. Her doctoral work was in visual perception, a field in which she continues to specialize.

SMCM's Artist House is an artist-in-residence program for artists and writers to visit campus with two goals: 1) to offer them time and space to create new work, and 2) to develop programming so they can share their work with the campus and local community.

St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report, Kiplinger's, and The Princeton Review. Founded in 1840 as Maryland's "monument school" commemorating the state's first capital, SMCM is the state's only public honors college.

More than 2,000 students attend the college, which has the highest graduation rate for all Maryland public colleges and universities, and an SAT average for student admissions of 1848. The school's waterfront campus along the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland is home to the 2009 National Intercollegiate Sailing Association Co-ed champions.