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 Communicty College entitled “Black Dresses and Other  Paintings”.  You can  learn more and see Joan’s work at www.JoanBevelaqua.com