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Department of Visual Arts and Design

2018– 2019 Resident Artists

Fall Semester

Alex Braden

Alex Braden, August–December 2018
Alex Braden is a Sound Artist, Sculptor, Composer, Multi-instrumentalist with a BFA in Sound Art from George Mason University School of Art with studies at Rhode Island College School of Music and Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School. Alex uses sound, installation, and performance to enable the release of control. He creates sonic environments and interactive installations that scrutinize rituals and challenge power structures by embracing randomness, coincidence, and human collaboration.

Jun Lee

Jun Lee, August–December 2018
Jun Lee is a Printmaker with a MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. The body of Jun Lee's work attempts to evoke the different moments of our competitive lives; pieces that express the spectrum of competition from hiding away 
to preparing for a fight.  

Spring Semester

Julia Betts

Julia Betts, January–May 2019
Julia Betts work explores the intersection of sculpture, installation, and performance. She has a BA from the University of Pittsburgh, and an MFA from RISD.

2017– 2018 Resident Artists

Fall Semester

Heloisa Escudero

Heloisa Escudero, August–December 2017
Heloisa Escudero grew up in São Paulo, Brazil, but relocated to the United States in 1987 where her interest in Fine Arts developed. She obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Massachusetts College of Art and a Master of Fine Arts from the San Francisco Art Institute. She holds American, Italian and Brazilian citizenships. She is interested in conceptually based art that is both tactile and interactive. Her most recent art projects focus on art that emphasizes the participation of the viewer. Escudero has been showing in the DC area, New York city and Boston on a regular basis and her recent solo exhibition is part of the lecture artist program at the NOVA College in Woodbridge, VA.

Spring Semester

Julia Kwon

Julia Kwon, January–June 2018
Julia Kwon creates painting, drawing, sculpture, textile, installation and socially-engaged art. She constructs traditional Korean patchwork and invents hybrid textiles to question notions of what it means to be Korean and feminine. Kwon was born in Northern Virginia and earned her M.F.A. at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston/Tufts University and B.A. in Studio Art at Georgetown University. She has been actively exhibiting her work and won various awards such as the artist residency at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Vermont Studio Center, and Textile Arts Center. She has recently received the School of the Museum of Fine Arts Traveling Fellowship and will have a solo exhibition this February at the University of Rochester's Hartnett Gallery in Rochester, NY.

2016– 2017 Resident Artists

Fall Semester


Jenna Wright, August–December 2016
Jenna Wright received her MFA from The University of Texas at San Antonio in 2015. She completed her undergraduate studies at Millersville University of Pennsylvania, where she received a BFA focusing in Ceramic and a BSE in Art Education K - 12. Jenna makes ceramic sculpture and utilitarian wares. She has been a resident studio artist at the VisArts Center in Rockville for the past year. At VisArts she teaches wheel-throwing, drawing, painting printmaking, and mixed media to all ages. She also teaches Ceramics I at the MC Rockville campus this semester.

Spring Semester


Amy Hughes Braden, January–June 2017
Amy Hughes Braden is a painter who like to make work quickly and instinctually. She is a fan of bold color (especially neons), large scale, and cutting her paintings apart. She is constantly reworking previously "finished" pieces. Currently the content of her work centers around women, freedom, and the relationship between the two.

2015– 2016 Resident Artists

Fall Semester


Christopher Romer, August–December 2015
Christopher Romer is an American born sculptor. He was raised in England and currently resides in the Washington, D.C. area. Romer received an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and a BFA from the Chelsea School of Art in London, England. He has shown his work extensively throughout the United States and Europe and has received numerous awards and fellowships, including two Pollack-Krasner Foundation Grants and a Fulbright-Hayes and Annette Kade Fellowship for study in Düsseldorf, Germany. Romer has also been selected for participation in a number of residencies, including the Delfina Studios in London, Yaddo, the MacDowell Colony, the Fine Arts Work Center, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, and the Sculpture Space. He has taught in the sculpture departments of the Rhode Island School of Design, New York University and SUNY Purchase.

Spring Semester


Paul Shortt, January–June 2016
Paul Shortt received his MFA in New Media Art from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his BFA in Painting from the Kansas City Art Institute. His videos have been shown at the Museum of the Moving Image, The Phillips Collection and Whitespace Gallery. He has been in numerous group shows in DC, Philadelphia, Chicago, Baltimore, and New York City. His works usually engage the public in physical interactions and conversation that examine everyday experiences and cultural norms often in humorous ways through video, books, performance and temporary public art. His artist books are in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of Art, and the Fisher Fine Arts Library at the University of Pennsylvania.

2014– 2015 Resident Artists

Fall Semester

Resident Artist - Zahra Nazari

Zahra Nazari, August–December 2014
Zahra Nazari is a painter whose interest in line and form extends beyond the canvas. With her painted surfaces she constructs installations inspired by Middle Eastern kites and contemporary architecture.  Nazari (b. in Hamedan, Iran) received a BFA in Painting from the School of Art & Architecture, Tabriz, Iran and her MFA in Painting/Drawing at the State University of New York, New Paltz, NY.

Spring Semester

Resident Artist - Emily Francisco

Emily Francisco, January–May 2015
Emily Francisco is a sculptress specializing in the creation of interactive objects that generate sound. Francisco was born in Honolulu, raised in an isolated mid-western town, educated in Saint Louis and the District of Columbia. She completed her MFA at American University in 2013 and is a former Artist-in-Residence at ARTISPHERE. She kicks off Flashpoint Gallery’s 2014-2015 season with a solo exhibition titled Something Slightly Familiar.

2013– 2014 Resident Artists

Fall Semester

Erik Thor Sandberg

Erik Thor Sandberg, August–December 2013
Erik Thor Sandberg approaches each composition as if it were a conversation between the artist and the viewer. The dialogue thus generated by his work always questions and attempts to define human identity (and scraps thereof). Traditionally, Sandberg’s work has depicted secular scenes of vice and virtue from a standpoint that human nature is inherently flawed. More recently, these fundamental flaws in life have continued to draw Sandberg to dissect and expose pieces of human nature. His skillfully crafted images, both miniature and larger than life, reveal the unexpected way in which imperfection makes life interesting. How often the disturbing and the grotesque capture the viewer’s gaze before the beautiful! Yet, beauty, eternally appreciated, remains an essential component of Sandberg’s work as it contrasts the unsettling and unsightly elements of these imaginary worlds that hinge, unsettlingly, on the verge of our own.

Spring Semester

Marty Weishaar

Marty Weishaar, January–May 2014
Marty Weishaar's seemingly disorganized objects are thoughtfully constructed of common materials such as packing tape, zip ties, cardboard, matchbox cars and spray foam. His work forms symbolic relationships between traditional and nontraditional materials with various historical approaches, such as conceptualism and intuitve abstraction. Connections are made between two-dimensional and three-dimensional projects, systematic abstract paintings, diarist drawings, airplanes, bridges and buildings. Weishaar graduated from American University in 2007 with a Master of Fine Arts in Drawing and Painting.

2012–2013 Resident Artist

Mei Mei Chang

Mei Mei Chang, August 2012– May 2013
Mei Mei Chang received her Master of Fine Arts in Photography from Ohio University 2002. Since then she has exhibited widely along the east coast corridor.
Mei Mei has received numerous awards and participated in a number of residencies, including residencies at the Vermont Studio Center, the Great River Art Association, and the ARCH Residency at Honfleur Gallery in Washington DC. She received second place in the Contemporary South Exhibition in Raleigh, North Carolina this year.

While in rsidence at Montgomery College Mei Mei invited students to participate in the construction of a collaborative installation in her studio. Students worked together to construct a two-sided work of art on the windows using tape, paper, and other materials.

2011–2012 Resident Artists

Fall Semester

Resident Artist - Ellen Hill

Ellen Hill, August–December 2011
Ellen Hill is a painter and mixed media artist whose recent works focus primarily on wood and handmade paper. Hill's artworks have been shown throughout the United States; abroad in Northern Ireland and Vietnam; and in the Washington, DC area at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Maryland Institute College of Art, the Washington, DC City Hall Art Collection, the University of Maryland, College Park, and Gallery Neptune in Bethesda. Solo exhibitions include the McLean Project for the Arts, McLean, VA; Chroma Projects, Charlottesville, VA; and the National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD. She has taught art from the elementary school level to the college level and has served as a resident printmaker at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring, MD and as a resident artist at Hood College in Frederick, MD. Her works are in public and private collections including the U.S. State Department; the D.C. Commission for the Arts and Humanities; KPMG-LLP; and Rutgers University. Hill is the recipient of two Individual Artist Awards from the Maryland State Arts Council. She received her MFA from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. She lives and works in Rockville, MD.

Spring Semester

Mariah Anne Johnson

Mariah Anne Johnson, January– May 2012
Mariah Anne Johnson is an artist originally from Little Rock, Arkansas, who now lives and works in Washington, DC. She has recently exhibited her work at local venues such as Flashpoint Gallery and the Arlington Arts Center. Since she began working as an artist, Mariah has been interested in narrative, memory, domestic life, and the effect of place on our perception of these topics. She explores these ideas in a variety of media, from painting and drawing to installations made from bed sheets.


2011 Resident Artists

Spring Semester

Resident Artist - Chishty
Mahwish Chisty
, January–March 2011 
Initially trained as a miniature painter in Pakistan, Mahwish Chisty's work has recently embraced contemporary art making techniques. Her work deals with nostalgic feelings of home rooted in Islamic calligraphy. These interactive installations are a combination of traditional Kufic script and new media. Chisty was privileged to be part of the Islamic awareness conference at Museum of Contemporary African Diasporan Arts (MOCADA), Brooklyn, NY in 2009. Besides exhibiting locally in Washington D.C. and Maryland area, she has pieces in the permanent collection of Foreign office Islamabad, Pakistan and Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Fukuoka Shi, Japan.

Resident Artist - Eisenbach
Ronit Eisenbach
, April– August 2011 
An Associate Professor at the University of Maryland School of Architecture, Planning & Preservation, Ronit Eisenbach is an architect whose creative and scholarly efforts are located at the intersection of art and architecture. Eisenbach employs design to generate discourse about the built environment. An interest in thinking through making and refining perception has led her to develop a series of situation-based, design-build studios that frame elements of architecture such as light, color, space and shadow in conversation with human movement. Eisenbach's installations and maps have been exhibited in the U.S. and abroad in venues such as the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Graham Foundation, the Cranbrook Art Museum, the Art Gallery of Windsor, Princeton University and the streets of Tel Aviv. 

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