Artist Interviews

Contemporary Art Purchasing Program Selections 2010-2011

Posted: August 2, 2011 | Author:  | Filed under: Contemporary Art Purchasing Program (CAPP)Current ExhibitionOpening Reception | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »

Luke Jerram, HIV, 2010, Glass. Courtesy of Heller Gallery

Contemporary Art Purchasing Program Selections 2010-2011

Exhibition from August 29, 2011 through October 15, 2011

Opening Reception September 8, 2011 5:00-8:00 PM

We here at the Stamp Gallery are getting really excited for our upcoming exhibition, opening in just a few short weeks.  This exhibition will be to showcase the selections of the 2010-2011 Contemporary Art Purchasing Program committee.  Seven engaging, beautiful, thought provoking, perspective changing works have just been added to the Stamp’s growing art collection.  These works represent the hard work of the student committee and the awesome dedication of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union-Center for Campus Life to the project of “educating and inspiring by exposing the campus community to challenging art created by contemporary artists.”  (From CAPP’s mission statement).  We hope you’ll join us on September 8th from 5:00-8:00pm for an opening reception.

Here’s what the five 2010-2011 student committee members have to say about the year and their selections:

“During the 2010-2011 academic year, we embarked on an invigorating journey of discovering contemporary art and its place within the university community. The program involved weekly meetings to discuss researched artists and galleries, a contemporary art markets and collecting theory course which served to inform our opinions about art and presentations to an advisory board of professionals involved in various art related careers.  Slowly our individual inquiries and interests evolved into a more interactive and cohesive group. Our identity as a committee representing the student body became our focus and after a semester of intensive research and discussions we were prepared for the next phase of the program: assembling a collection. In what proved to be an exciting and eye opening experience, the committee contacted galleries in Washington DC and New York and scheduled various gallery visits and three artist studio visits to see the work in person. These visits provided clarity and helped us to make informed decisions about which pieces would fit within the campus community.

The result of this combined effort is a cohesive collection we feel confident will engage a wide array of academic areas of the university community both visually and intellectually.  While subject matter and style varies, collectively these pieces explore new territories and unveil layers of meaning for the viewer to be able to have an interactive experience with the work individually and perhaps spark collective discussions.  Discovery, perceptions, identity formation, the visibility of the invisible, dimensionality and process these are themes and ideas that encompass this collection and that we believe are greatly relevant to the University of Maryland community.  We hope you enjoy the presence of these works on our campus as much as we enjoyed picking them out!”

–Michele Briley ’11,  Mara Duvra ’11,  Erin Kim ’11,  David Phelps ’13, and Eldis Sula ’11

The Stamp Gallery is located on the first floor of the Adele H. Stamp Student Union-Center for Campus Life, at the University of Maryland, College Park. The gallery is free and open to the public Mondays-Thursdays 10:00am – 8:00pm; Fridays 10:00am – 6:00am, and Saturdays 11:00am – 5:00pm. For more information call (301) 314-8493 or email

Have you visited the Stamp Gallery recently?  Have something to say?  Click here to complete our online survey!  Thanks for your comments!

T-Shirt Gallery Winners

Posted: April 25, 2011 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »Our three winners of the T-shirt competition have been selected by voters.

-Amanda Chavenson

-Sabrena Sesay

-Victoria McGoogan, “Are you Kitten Me?”

Congratulations to the winners and Thank You to all contestants.

Tee-Shirt Gallery

Posted: April 20, 2011 | Author:  | Filed under: Tee Shirt Gallery | Modify: Edit this | 1 Comment »This past month at the gallery we held a tee-shirt design contest. This was an opportunity for any student to submit an original work of art and to compete for a chance to see their design printed onto fifty tee-shirts. Each contestant was allowed up to two submissions, and the design theme was left completely in their hands.

And so now the time has come to decide: which three designs deserve to be printed? Well, dear bloggers, we are leaving that decision up to you! So choose wisely and the first 125 voters will be rewarded with a free tee-shirt with one of the three winning designs! (unfortunately, only students of University of Maryland College Park are eligible to vote and receive a free tee-shirt, you will be asked to present your UMCP ID upon picking up the shirt)    We had a huge response and we have reached our first 125 voters!   But we are still accepting votes, from students and non-students alike!  So please let us know which you think would make the best tee-shirt!

There are a total of 18 submissions, each with the name of the artist and the artist’s own selected color scheme, so be sure to review all 18. Please also note that the link to vote is at the bottom of this post.

Voting will close on April 24th at midnight or when we reach the 125th voter.   The three design winners will be announced on Monday April 25th here on the blog, and we will email our lucky first 125 voters when the printed tee-shirts are available to be picked up at the Art and Learning Center in the basement of the Stamp Student Union.

Happy voting!

Here’s the link to follow to vote for your favorite Tee Shirt! All voting entries will be kept confidential!  We suggest opening the above link in a new tab or window so you can refer back to the entries while you are voting!

In Response

Posted: February 1, 2011 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »

Come get lost in the light fixtures and backed into the corners of the Stamp Gallery’s new exhibition,In Response, featuring the works of artists Julie Benoit, Leah Cooper, Nicole Herbert and Elena Volkova. These site-specific pieces interact with the physical space of the Stamp Gallery and the University of Maryland to focus our attention to the shifts of light, ambient sounds, cracks in the walls, and architectural details that our eyes and ears commonly edit out, emphasizing the beauty of these ever-present but overlooked qualities.

Join us for the opening reception and gallery talk on Thursday, February 10, 6-9PM. The show will be up in the Stamp Gallery through February 25th.

Social Mobility

Posted: December 3, 2010 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »Perhaps you have wandered by those big windows on the upper level of Stamp and wondered about the colorful stacks of clothing. Maybe you even stopped by and checked out the new exhibit. Either way the eye-catching work of Derick Melander has struck a chord (a cord-uroy?) with the visitors of Stamp. In an attempt to reach out to those who haven’t seen the show and as a cheap form of self promotion gallery staff will be taking one of Derick’s pieces for ‘walks’ around Stamp. It won’t be hard to spot ‘Social Mobility’ being that it is a gigantic stack of clothing on wheels. If you’re interested in seeing a bit more from Derick Melander check out our link, posted below, and come visit us at the Stamp Gallery!

Take a quick tour of Stamp Student Union with Social Mobility, a piece from Derick Melander’s recent solo exhibit in the Stamp Gallery.

Clarina Bezzola’s Structure

Posted: October 6, 2010 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »

This is the final week of the Stamp Gallery’s latest exhibition, Structure, featuring the wearable sculptures of Clarina Bezzola. The show, which opened August 30th, will be closing this Friday, October 8th.

Clarina’s unconventional garments, in her own words, “question and redefine the role of the garment. Wrapping the body to reveal instead of conceal.” Although these pieces cover the body, they confiningly do so. Connector Suit comprises five heavy straight-jacketesque ash-gray fabrics which zip together to connect the five wearers’ arms and cover their heads. Padded Suit not only restricts free movement by wrapping the upper body in long strips of foam-stuffed fabric, but also deliberately inflicts pain on the legs with stones that dangle from the bottom of each strip. The apparel in this collection also reveals the “emotional landscape” of the wearer by suggesting an internal mood, and it does this in part by externalizing aspects of the body’s interior. Teeth, for example, are everywhere in the show; we see irregular, crooked molars and incisors jutting out of headpieces, as in Russian and I Am Rich and Powerful, and long, sharp canines protruding fromToothvest. The visceral Lamentation, pictured above, is an article which, when worn, must drag behind it a steel post and rod connected to a furry, rotating cylindrical appendage. But what connects the main piece to this attachment? Simply the two massive intestinal organs that pour out of the chest, wrap around the legs, and are clasped beneath a metal bar, pulling the structure.

When Clarina performed Lamentation the evening of her September 2 reception, there were a variety of responses. Visitors looked on in awe, in discomfort, in befuddlement, as she slowly dragged the massive piece around the atrium of the Art-Sociology building, her bell twinkling in her hand and her operatic bellows (she is a trained opera singer) echoing off the stone walls. Such a variety of responses to her work has persisted in the Gallery. Over the past month visitors struggled to parse the exhibited pieces. One visitor noticed the sadistic tendency for self-inflicted pain. Another wondered if the works weren’t concerned with the travails of pregnancy and childbirth. Neither of these is a definitive analysis of the show, and this is a good thing. They are a testament to the fact that a number of readings are possible of Clarina’s palpable, imposing, yet elusive wearable sculptures.

Zac Jackson’s What? and that scene from Titanic

Posted: May 3, 2010 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »After an hour or two of sitting in the gallery, the demands of my tasks at the desk can sometimes open up into a feeling of tension and stress.  I feel my muscles becoming tighter and suddenly I hear creaking and shifting.  My mind flashes to the bridge of the Titanic.  I’m standing behind the steering wheel surrounded by walls of cold ocean water screeching to get on my side of the glass.  The moment is still, waiting, breathless, for the next moment to come crashing in.

I then blink a couple times and look up from my desk to see Zac Jackson’s installation, What? The creaking and shifting are coming from the small gears powered to make the latex mouths slowly open and close to create what looks to be a wholly futile conversation.  The movement together with the sounds evokes the frustration and anxiety of certain everyday experiences that Jackson is most interested in.

Jackson’s work seems to be a close relative of my appropriated experience in the Titanic. What?elicits those same anxious feelings of immobility (in communication or in physical space) which can build up like the pressure of ocean waters on glass.  The threat of this pressure ends up breaking down the stressed, just as Jackson has allowed his latex faces to split from the stress of the movement over the time of the installation.

But Jackson is also interested in how people react differently to stress.  Of the three works Jackson has installed in the current MIDPOINT exhibit, I do feel like I relate most closely with What? It seems that the work has not only clarified my own experiences, but has also developed other metaphors in my mind, as with this Hollywood Titanic moment.

I would be interested to hear from others regarding which of Jackson’s works are most psychologically relatable, especially as final exams approach us here at the University of Maryland…  Feel free to share!

Midpoint 2010 Preview

Posted: May 3, 2010 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags:  | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »Featured Artists:

Jesse Burrowes

Zac Jackson

David Knobel

Jonathan Monaghan

Stamp Gallery

Documentation photographs and video edited by Katie Friedgen

MIDPOINT is now showing!

Posted: April 27, 2010 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »


Works from UMCP 2nd Year MFA Candidates

Come view the latest works of Jesse Burrowes, Zac Jackson, David Knobel, and Jonathan Monaghan!

April 15 – May 14, 2010

Contemporary Art Purchasing Program Application Extension

Posted: March 24, 2010 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »The deadline for the Stamp Student Union’s Contemporary Art Purchasing Program (CAPP) application  for the 2010-2011 year has been extended to April 12th, 2010.

You still have time!

If you are a student at the University of Maryland, College Park  (undergraduate or graduate) consider applying!!

No art or art history background is necessary to be considered.  CAPP accepts both undergraduate and graduate students, from any major or discipline.  The only requirement to apply is that you will be enrolled as a student during the full academic year 2010-2011.  In addition to regular group meetings, a trip to visit New York City galleries, and meetings and consultations with artists, curators, and professors in the fields of art and art history, students selected for the program are required to take an Art Theory course in the fall and to register for a one credit course in the spring.  To see what work is involved for the program and read a first-hand account of the 2008-2009 students’ experiences, visit the CAPP

For more information or to apply online visit our website: or contact the Stamp Gallery at 301-314-8493 or

Contemporary Art Purchasing Program Now Accepting Applications

Posted: February 16, 2010 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , | Modify:Edit this | Leave a comment »I just wanted to let our readers know about a really great program at the Stamp Student Union on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park–if you are a student here (undergraduate or graduate) consider applying!!

Have you ever wondered how the artworks displayed around the Stamp Student Union got there?  Have you thought about what it might be like to purchase artwork from top galleries in New York City and Washington, DC?

The Stamp Student Union’s Contemporary Art Purchasing Program (CAPP) is now accepting applications for the 2010-2011 year!

No art or art history background is necessary to be considered.  CAPP accepts both undergraduate and graduate students, from any major or discipline.  The only requirement to apply is that you will be enrolled as a student during the full academic year 2010-2011.  In addition to regular group meetings, a trip to visit New York City galleries, and meetings and consultations with artists, curators, and professors in the fields of art and art history, students selected for the program are required to take an Art Theory course in the fall and to register for a one credit course in the spring.  To see what work is involved for the program and read a first-hand account of the 2008-2009 students’ experiences, visit the CAPP blog:

Applications are due April 5th, so apply today to leave your mark on the Stamp Student Union! For more information or to apply online visit our website: or contact the Stamp Gallery at 301-314-8493 or

Physical Space in Disidentifications

Posted: February 4, 2010 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »It might be obvious to say that Disidentifications–which features four bedframes, a recreation of the Chinese Theatre walkway, and a massive multi-colored vinyl map of Maryland–is an exhibition about physical space. But like all obvious statements, it’s worth repeating, if only to prevent us from getting so used to it that we take it for granted.

It’s important that we don’t; the emphasis the three artists place on physical space is just as important as–in fact, it complements–their emphasis on estrangement. The frames, the walkway, and the map are related because they all give physical form to the harrowing discomfort of cultural disillusionment. If we consider how these three representations of physical space differ, however, it becomes apparent that those who feel this disenchantment feel it in all levels of their lives. It can manifest itself not only socially, as on the walkway of Graugan’s theatre, a simplified American projection of Chinese culture, but personally, as on the intimate scale of the bed, and even topographically, as on the grand abstracted scale of the map. The disconcerting feeling, in a word, can penetrate all aspects of one’s life.

The works of Bishop, Lau, and Mao are not necessarily political statements. They are not protests, or even embittered reactions. But they are reactions, deep-felt ones, that bring attention to the pervasive sense of alienation of minorities in America. Of course everyone is aware that this shared experience exists. But that doesn’t mean it should be ignored; rather, it should be acknowledged, openly confronted and discussed. This, too, is obvious.

Disidentifications – a reflection

Posted: January 27, 2010 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | 1 Comment »When I first saw Information Retrieval 138 (Spectrum Plains) by Geraldine Lau, I reflected on the way it invited me to look at things and people in terms of their multiple facets rather than over-generalizations or mere labels like those specifically of race or culture. The map of Maryland is identifiable, yet upon closer investigation it is not a strictly objective representation. With varying colors and boundaries I was distracted from the whole and began to see different individual shapes and relationships of the parts. It became more difficult to pinpoint where certain places would be on this map. Just like it is hard to pinpoint what defines a person in our multicultural world. We are the sum of our parts and we all bring different parts to the table. That is also where ambiguity generates between the parts we identity or disidentify with and society’s reception of that.   -Danielle

New exhibit: Disidentifications

Posted: January 25, 2010 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »

The Stamp Gallery is pleased to announce its newest exhibit, Disidentifications, featuring works by Kyan Bishop, Geraldine Lau, and Yeni Mao!

Asian-American often experience a sense of estrangement from or reaction against their cultural heritage, and yet, because society reads foreignness into their appearances, they are often asked to be a representative for that culture. Some may accept or embrace this identification, while others may reject it and work against society’s characterization. However, when a minority subject “disidentifies,” when they neither accept nor fully reject society’s given identifications, we are left with a third option: to work within and around dominant cultural ideology towards the creation of new cultural identities and spaces within which minority populations can thrive, and ultimately break down socially accepted ideas of otherness.

Taking a cue from the book of the same name by José Esteban Muñoz, Disidentifications is an exhibition that explores the physical manifestations of artistic disidentificatory practice. This exhibition considers how three artists react or respond to the complex and intricate reality of cultural and physical identification. The works in the show struggle with ideas of perceived foreignness, the fluidity of culture and cultural belongingness, and societal identity, often towards a rejection of any notion of static or quantifiable identity. Unlike exhibitions or works that take the definition of personal or collective identity as their conceptual aim, this exhibition questions the relationship of identity to societal pressures and (mis)conceptions and re-examines the place or foundation of cultural identity and belonging through the lens of three Asian-American artists.

Disidentifications will run from January 25th to April 9, 2010.

Last week for TOPPLED!

Posted: December 15, 2009 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »The two months of Jessica Vaughn’s exhibition is coming to a close, we’re sad to say. We’ve loved hearing thoughts from our visitors. I even had a lovely discussion with a ten-year-old about Jessica’s inventive use of carborundum. All comments are encouraged!

Sitting with this work over the past several weeks has gotten me to think deeply about the complexities of public displays of any sort. In particular, an athletic achievement, especially in the social eye, cannot simply be about the measures of time or points, especially for an athlete such as Jessie Owens.

I’ve read a couple articles in the Diamondback, the University of Maryland newspaper, looking into the impact of the students’ opinions on the athletes who play for the university. Also, talking with some people who know a couple of these athletes personally, I’ve gained an awareness of the penetration of public opinion into these performers’ lives. What had previously appeared to be two untouchable worlds of sports now seems clearly interconnected. What motivates these athletes to perform in these sort of spectator environments? What impact do these seemingly straight-forward personal achievements have?

I have a poster of Steve Prefontaine in my room with the quote, “I’m going to work so that it’s a pure guts race at the end, and if it is, I am the only one who can win it.” Jessie Owens certainly ran that “pure guts race” and, as this exhibition proves, he keeps on winning.


Posted: November 20, 2009 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »STAMP GALLERY

Will be closed 11/25-11/29

Happy Holidays!

Home for the Champion

Posted: November 5, 2009 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | 1 Comment »A brief read of Jesse Owens’s biography gave me a heightened sense of the spiraling, jumbled figures in Vaughn’s work. Cut from the context of the race, Owens is tangled in a knot of his own athletic gift. An image of his famed performance caught mid-action is stripped of meanings as a display of strength and, from being cut and shifted its orientation, takes the connotation of stumbling wildly, “toppled” from the pinnacle.

But the frustration is much more complex! Two pieces of information have completely altered my view on this exhibit.

First, Jesse Owens was apparently quite a popular figure in Germany at the time of the Olympics. Despite the heavy propagandistic messages from the Nazi party, the German public found Owens to be a spectacle, showering him with cheers of “Oh-vens!” and smothering him with autograph requests. Owens himself reflected that he received his greatest reception in Germany, even having been a well-known figure in America before the Olympic year.

Perhaps the most shocking of these was the shear fact that Franklin D. Roosevelt, the acting president at the time of the games, neglected to ever publicly recognize Owens overwhelming accomplishments, particularly at the event hosted by his international political opponent! This immediately breaks the bounds of the works’ concerns of race superiority far beyond the Nazi games. Here, two political nations to battle furiously in two World Wars, were refusing to acknowledge the dominating feats of an African American.

The silence and still in these images seem to be out of commemoration, but also of shock. Almost as if these were the mental images of Hitler and Roosevelt, trying desperately to erase and frustrate the concept of a dominating African American in their modern world.

But how were others moved? What was it like to be in that stadium? On what level did the admiration and inspiration we celebrate today lie in the minds of the world of spectators in 1936?

A closer look at carborundum

Posted: November 5, 2009 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »Carborundum is one of the materials that Jessica Vaughn uses in her series TOPPLED.  It is a compound that consists of silicon and carbon  and that can been used as an abrasive.  In Vaughn’s prints she uses the compound as an additive element  rather than utilizing its destructive characteristic.  The areas of the prints covered in carborundum look dark from a distance, however as you get closer you can see the details concealed by the  sand-like mineral

“Illegitimi non carborundum” was a common Latin slang phrase taken to mean “don’t let the bastards grind you down.” Ironically Vaughn’s series addresses the era of the Nazi Regim which was attempting to suppress multiple groups of people; nonetheless, Jesse Owens defied the notion of race superiority at the 1936 Berlin Olympics as depicted in Vaughn’s works as well.

Toppled Series

Posted: October 29, 2009 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »Jessica Vaughn’s practice as an artist is grounded in the struggles that arise from the use of different materials. Knowing that there is not a predetermined end to what she can do to materials, she manipulates them, not to just make the materials her own but to subvert the conventional use or ownership of the material. She furthers the discussion of representation by using printmaking to explore the boundaries between two and three-dimensional work. Vaughn combines silkscreen, lithography, and digital printing with unconventional materials, such as carborundum, to bring to life images that are often times hidden, and culturally and politically ambiguous. In both her prints and paintings she places together materials and images that don’t conventionally belong to further push the conceptual aspects of her work. Carborundum, a material used to erase an image, Vaughn uses to build images. She also employs garbage bags and tar to provide visual tension and uncertainty. Her methods support her investigations of questionable realities, while creating a dialogue between material and image.

In her current exhibition “Toppled” Jessica Vaughn explores historical and cultural issues through the athletic performance of Jesse Owens at the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games. The 1936 Olympics were meant to support political myth in the promotion of a German state and the cultural myth of the inferiority of black citizens; however, with the unlikely outcomes of the athlete’s performances, these myths were challenged. In appropriating the iconic image of Jesse Owens from Leni Riefenstahl’s 1938 film “Olympia” as well as archival still images from the Games, Vaughn critiques the sporting event as a heightened connection between euphoria and spectacle, between the body and a public space. On her prints she collages additional representations and layers of carborundum so that Owens’ initial image becomes more complicated and more of a metaphor for this political moment. A former competitive athlete herself, Vaughn witnessed the emotion spectators had for an individual within a performative moment. She uses these experiences to challenge conventional representations of public spaces, and minority bodies through material choices.

an exhibition at the Stamp Gallery
October 14th – December 18th, 2009

Hello world!

Posted: October 20, 2009 | Author:  | Filed under: Uncategorized | Modify: Edit this | Leave a comment »Welcome!  We are happy to see you on our blog!  This is a dynamic space for communication about  Stamp Gallery exhibitions and any other art talk.  Feel free to share; we would love to hear from you!  Check out our “About” page to learn more about Stamp Gallery and our mission.

You can look forward to a video post coming soon of artist Jessica Vaughn speaking about her series TOPPLED, our current exhibition.  For an up close look at Vaughn’s provocative prints, come visit us at Stamp Gallery October 14- December 18, 2009.  The gallery website, provides more information about our exhibitions and featured artists.

Check back soon!


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