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Women’s Month: Celebrating Artist Edmonia Lewis
25 March @ 6:00 pm – 7:00 pm
This month we celebrate African-American sculptor, Edmonia Lewis, who was born in Upstate New York, and worked for most of her career in Rome, Italy. Educator, Artist, and Art Historian, Mary Beth Looney, will be leading this presentation.
Edmonia Lewis was a remarkable, and not widely known, figure in American sculpture of the 19th century who came to Rome to work alongside a number of other American female sculptors who all found the Eternal City both a repository of ancient and Renaissance/Baroque sculpture and a haven for minority artists who struggled for acceptance at home.
A Virginia native, Mary Beth Looney is passionate about art making and art history. She possesses a Master of Fine Arts degree in painting from the Savannah College of Art and Design and a Master of Arts degree in art history from the University of Georgia. Early in her career, she worked as an assistant curator in a private college art gallery and managed a large permanent art collection. She simultaneously taught art and art history at a private boarding school for grades 9 through 12. She progressed to working as a college level educator, teaching all levels of painting and drawing. She has also taught two-dimensional design, color media, installation art, senior capstone courses, general art history surveys, special topics in art history, art criticism, honors communications, English composition I & II and first year seminars. As a study abroad enthusiast, she has led a number of short-term student tours of select European countries enriched with tailor-made courses for credit. She served administratively for several years as an art program director, art department chair and also as an associate dean.
As a practicing artist, she has exhibited works in a variety of media in local, regional and national exhibitions. As a researcher and scholar, she has authored and contributed articles for print and online compendiums as well as lectured on a host of art topics for a wide variety of audiences. She is an avid practitioner of flipped classroom techniques and Reacting to the Past games for the college classroom. She currently has one Reacting to the Past game in playtest circulation, and a number of other art and art history-related game concepts in development.
Presently, Looney’s artistic and research interests include the scholarship of teaching, the protection of art and cultural artifacts, art restoration and art of the 1930s. She is an avid cookbook reader (and cook), cat owner and traveler. Her personal library is her biggest indulgence. Churches are her museums and museums are her churches.
While pursuing training in intaglio printmaking, she presently lives and teaches university-level art and art history in Rome, Italy.
Mary Beth Looney recently contributed content to The Art Story for their entry on a Black American artist who lived and worked in Rome in the late 19th century.