Joan Bontempo, an assistant professor of art appreciation/art history and the coordinator of the art department at Hagerstown Community College, is exhibiting five ceramic mixed-media sculptures at ArtSpace in Herndon, Va.
Bontempo, who graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1977, was one of 11 artists invited to participate in the “Sons and Daughters of the Golden Dome” exhibit, which features works by professors and graduates of the University of Notre Dame. The exhibit was created to recognize the creation of Notre Dame’s studio art program, which began in the late 1970s, and features a wide range of styles including paintings, ceramics and sculptures.
According to Bontempo, she began making art at a young age but didn’t have formal training until she studied at Notre Dame, where she actually began as a chemistry major. A chance encounter with the head of Notre Dame’s art department opened the way to a new major and a new career for Bontempo.
“Creativity has been a rich part of my life since I can remember,” Bontempo said. “It has been a privilege to have the opportunity to make a living doing what I love most, and it has been incredibly rewarding to have my work professionally accepted. Art makes a visual or emotional connection with people, and that dialogue continues to be inspirational.”
Bontempo has been creating art for more than 35 years and has shown her work in galleries and museums across the United States, including the Detroit Museum of Arts, the Downey Museum of Art, the Canton Art Institute, the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the Marin-Price Galleries and the New Art Form Exposition.
Recently, she served as sole juror and curator for The Frederick Camera Clique’s annual photography exhibition at the Mary Condon Hodgson Art Gallery in Frederick, Md.