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About the Arts Program

Learn about the mission and history of the UMGC Arts Program.

The UMGC collections are free and open to the public at UMGC locations and other venues in the state of Maryland. Highlights from the UMGC collections include works by Andy Warhol, Herman Maril, Grace Hartigan, Joyce Scott, Gladys Goldstein, Raoul Middleman, Joseph Sheppard, Jacob Lawrence, Sam Gilliam, Paul Reed, Alma Thomas, Samella Lewis, and David Driskell. The UMGC collections also comprise outstanding works of Asian art from virtually all Chinese dynasties.

Arts Program Mission Statement

The UMGC Arts Program is dedicated to furthering the university's objectives by creating a dynamic environment in which our diverse constituents, including students and the general public, can study and learn from direct exposure to our art collections, exhibitions, and educational programs.

Arts Program Goals

  • Develop one of the largest art collections of works by Maryland artists in various mediums, including painting, drawing, work on paper, sculpture, and mixed media.
  • Present a collection of traditional and contemporary Asian art including the Art of China Collection.
  • Preserve and enhance the UMGC collections.
  • Promote and publicize the UMGC collections regionally, nationally, and internationally.
  • Feature the works of emerging and established artists locally in UMGC exhibition spaces and other venues and globally through technology.
  • Promote and interpret works of art in a variety of education settings, including K–12 classes and the community.

Arts Program History

The Arts Program was established in 1978 by Bylee Massey, the wife of former President T. Benjamin Massey. Her first project included purchasing original prints for the two VIP suites at the UMGC Inn and Conference Center* (now the College Park Marriott Hotel & Conference Center) and acquiring a collection of modern Japanese woodblock prints for the Mt. Clare Café. Looking at the bare walls of the conference center, Bylee Massey thought it would be an ideal place to showcase works of Maryland artists. Having just arrived in Maryland after a long stay overseas, she had an interest in art but few connections in the Maryland artists community. She contacted several people, including Doris Patz and Herman Maril, who solicited donations from artists and collectors throughout the state. The new collection focused on works by established and emerging artists who were born or trained in Maryland or who lived, taught, or worked in the state. The collection was first put on public display in 1981. As new works were added, the Maryland Artist Collection—with more than 2,900 paintings, sculptures, prints, and photographs from the 1920s to the present—became one of the largest of its kind on permanent exhibition in the state.