Faculty Focus: Joan Bevelaqua

Joan Bevelaqua Brings Artistic Expression to UMUC

By Jule S. Epstein |   October 2010

Joan Bevelaqua , Faculty

School of Undergraduate Studies

Joan Bevelaqua is not only a respected and well-liked collegiate professor of art at UMUC, she is also an accomplished artist who has widely exhibited her work throughout Maryland, D.C., and Virginia for the past 15 years.  

An active member in her community, Joan has been a resident studio artist at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Maryland since 2002. She generously gives her time to organizing exhibits, fundraising, and advancing the Center. She resides on its Art Council as well, serving on the scholarship committee and chairing its silent auction committee.  Previously she served as art director for two private galleries in Maryland and has juried and appeared in group shows for the Baltimore Watercolor Society.

Joan’s watercolors and rich oil paintings draw inspiration from literature, personal stories and the experiences of others. Her experimentations with light and darkness and impressive mixing of colors speak not only of her talent but of the thought and emotional depth behind each work that she creates. 

Her dedication to UMUC, its programs, and the artistic and professional advancement of its students is evident as well. Joan has frequently shared ideas for incorporating real-life employment relevance to the curriculum. Additionally, she helped initiate the annual Faculty & Staff Art show, which recently invited artists from area community colleges to present their work alongside the established and emerging artists at UMUC. 

She extends her artistic energy to the classroom as well, finding innovative ways to encourage students of all skill levels to grow as artists. “I love my students at UMUC,” commented Joan. “Why? They love to learn. Maybe because they are working adults, but I am not sure that is the whole reason. I believe they are students who deeply care about the degrees they are working towards. They are students, people, who are very much in the moment, aware of what they are doing, and how it is impacting their lives.”

Her interest in her students’ success is perhaps fueled by her own desire to challenge herself and continue experimenting. After honing her skill in watercolor, the artist has begun to work more with oils. “For me, I have swung from the still life, to interiors, to paintings of clothes,” says Joan. “The still life paintings—usually painted in watercolors—are of old things, antiques and such, I love textures and interesting shapes and color.”

In late 2007, Joan participated in a one-person art exhibit at Carroll Community College entitled “Black Dresses and Other Paintings”. You can learn more and see Joan’s work at www.JoanBevelaqua.com