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Paula L. Phillips

Paula Phillips

I entered the professions of studio- and community art and art education with the understanding that a multiplicity of artistic disciplines and interests does not necessarily mean professional separateness; but rather a potential of gradual fulfillment for an enriched quality of life for myself and for those with whom I come I contact.

As an adolescent and later as an adult studio artist in the western states, art mentors and artistic community contact were few. I found that there seemed to be invisible or unspoken links between what I had learned of the art's history during my academic tenures, how a good portion of the Western world viewed art and the fields within the arts as professions, as well as the integration of applied skills and theory, and formal arts education benefits and processes utilized in conjunction within academic arenas. It also seemed as though studio art, community art, and art education, each having defined regimens, were entwined in symbiotic relationships; strengthening and building upon the other, and thus supporting each of us as we engaged and embarked upon our respective paths of the human experience.

My career has led me through Texas, Missouri, Colorado, Utah, and now Maryland, my home. My work through the marriage of art and educational curricula with communities and my formal teaching experiences in elementary-, middle-, high school, and ultimately, college environments emphasize those same symbiotic and relational values, making them integral components to my studio art where ever I have resided. I utilize and incorporate the disciplines of fibers, photography, ceramics, and sculptural form in metaphorical, narrative-based mixed media paintings and encourage exploration of the same through formal art education practices. Aspects of form, color, textures, and surfaces that extend beyond typical boundaries medium-, process-, content-, and composition-wise and how each can stand alone or collaborate together are equally important and lend balance to hypothesis and theory, and to creative and critical analysis processes, and quality art products.

I engage the experiences of my chosen profession through the various roles of artist/educator/mentor, guide/risk-taker, giver/receiver, board member/collaborator/mediator; a leader/team player, and active participating citizen; juror/curator, resource person, net-worker, coworker, and friend; a responder, inquirer, and critic to the interests of students and to the needs of the greater community by providing expanded artistic, educational opportunities and experiences that utilize applied skills and theory for undergraduate and graduate students and for community members of all ages through the processes of fine arts education and effective arts program management. I have developed and implemented curricula and fine arts programs for educational systems, institutions, and select schools; community-based organizations and foundations and as well as for individuals and community-specific initiatives, long- and short-term.

I am perpetually inspired by the integration processes of effective art education practices and how theory, applied knowledge, skill-building, and problem solving combine to affect the quality of life of all peoples through elements of self discovery, the affectation of creatively inspired "voice", and art making. I look forward to many years of continued sharing and imparting of knowledge, experiencing the active voices of artists in professional and nonprofessional arenas by actively contributing to their experiences, and viewing the outcomes of individual and collective journeys through the disciplines of the fine and applied arts.

Selected Professional Activities and Honors

  • Fine Artist, Living Classrooms/Weinberg Foundation, The Fredrick Douglass - Isaac Martin Maritime Park
  • National Juror, The President's Committee On the Arts and The Humanities
  • Arts Integration Panelist and Presenter, The Center for Summer Learning, Johns Hopkins University
  • Capital Campaign Artist, Capital Area Food Bank
  • Muralist, The Amazing Port Street Project, State of Maryland, Senate
2001 – 2003
  • Appointment, Arts In Communities Program, Maryland State Arts Council
2001 – present
  • Board member, Black Cherry Puppet Theater
  • Teacher of the Year; Suitland High School
  • Originator, Site Director, City-wide Director; SuperKids Camp
  • Goosetree Scholar, Texas Wesleyan University
  • Phi Beta Lambda National Business Fraternity

Selected Programs and Workshops

2003 – 2005
  • Curricula Originator & Workshop Presenter Supervisor, KinderARTen Camp – Summer Program, Center for Summer Learning, Johns Hopkins University
  • Remember Romare, Workshop Originator and Facilitator, Baltimore Museum of Art
  • Art Navigation, Project originator, Facilitator, Presenter, The After School Institute/Safe and Sound Campaign

Selected Curatorial Activities

  • Urban Angels, Maryland Federation of Art
  • Beyond the Looking Glass, Maryland Federation of Art
  • Masks, The Baltimore Office of Promotion & the Arts

Selected Group Exhibitions and Community Art Initiatives

  • 6 Artists, Medusa Muse; North Carolina Wesleyan College
  • SELECT 2003 Exhibition, WPA/Corcoran
  • Fish Out of Water, the National Aquarium
  • Choices: After Thoughts and Reflections, James Lewis Museum of Art
  • Spirituality In African American Art, Smithsonian Anacostia Museum
  • Through the Fire – To the Limit; African American Artists in Maryland; Government House; Annapolis, Maryland

Work with Study Groups

2002 – 2003
  • Committee Member, Baltimore City Fine Arts Advisory Steering Committee