Art students show works in national exhibits

September 08, 2009

Several students from McDaniel’s Art Department are making their marks on the national art scene by having their works accepted into juried exhibitions.

Tyler Mullan ’10, a senior Studio Art and Biology double major, recently was accepted into her first National Juried Exhibition at the Allegheny Arts Council in Cumberland, Md. Mullan’s exhibit, “It’s Not Easy Being Green: Environmentally-based Deformities in Frogs,” will be featured in the 10th Annual Will’s Creek Survey (in the Allegany Arts Council’s Saville Gallery in Downtown Cumberland’s Arts & Entertainment District), a juried art exhibition that is open to visual artists from across the United States.

Tyler’s work will be showcased among artists from nearly 20 states, including Florida, New Mexico, Oregon, New York and Alabama.

Tyler credits McDaniel’s art program – which included opportunities ranging from exposure to campus-held exhibits and artists, encouragement from professors and peers, and the chance to develop personal artwork through classes such as Advanced Studio Art – with preparing her for art exhibits.

“Before taking art classes at McDaniel, I was oblivious as to what getting involved in the artistic community meant, and I never would have had the confidence or motivation to inquire about entering juried art exhibits,” she said.

“Through Advanced Studio, the opportunity to cultivate one’s own ideas and media – rather than some generic assignment – allows the production of work that reflects a personal statement or message, work that is very appropriate for a ‘professional’ exhibit,” Mullan added. “Class critiques are also very influential and establish a community of artists that prove to be very inspirational.”

David Ross ’10, a Studio Art major, was accepted into Chromatose, a National Juried Painting Exhibition at the Nudashank Gallery in Baltimore, an independent, artist-run gallery space whose mission is to showcase young artists.

The exhibition was juried by Erik Parker, a German-born, New York-based painter whose work has been featured in Artforum, Beautiful Decay and The New Yorker.

Ross’ work will be on display through Sept. 19. More information about the show can be found at

Earlier this summer, Studio Art major Rachel Held ’10, and recent alumna Rachel Bishop ’09, were both accepted into the Delaplaine Visual Arts and Education Center’s 2009 Regional Juried Art Exhibition. The juror was Annet Couwenberg, a professor in the Fiber Department at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore.

“Being in an outside show helped me to better understand what it means to be a professional artist,” Held said.

All of the work accepted into the juried shows was created in the Advanced Studio class, according to Steven Pearson, associate professor and director of the Esther Prangley Rice Gallery at McDaniel.

“I am very proud when I see the hard work my students do in the Advanced Studio class pay off,” Pearson said. “This is especially true when their work is recognized by art professionals that jury these very competitive, peer-reviewed exhibitions. These exhibitions were not mere student shows. Our students were competing with not only professionally recognized and established artists with graduate degrees, but artists from all over the country.”

Advanced Studio focuses on learning how to develop a consistent body of work that focuses on a concept or idea. This, Pearson said, instills in students both the skill and confidence to competitively apply to both art exhibitions and highly regarded graduate schools for their Master of Fine Arts degrees.

“In the past three years we have had the good fortune of sending fourteen students to top level and very competitive M.F.A. programs,” Pearson added.

Held said the opportunity to have her work displayed in a professional setting would not have been possible if Pearson hadn’t impressed upon his students how important it is for artists to submit work to shows.

“He taught his students how to create a proper application and gave us personal advice on which of our pieces would be best to submit, and to which shows,” she said. “Every artwork made in Steve Pearson’s Advanced Studio class undergoes his critical analysis from the point of view of the modern art world.”