Meet our Alumni

Undergraduate

Laila Abdul-Hadi Jadallah, BA Photography, 2007

Adrift is an ongoing series about home-where it is and what constitutes it. As a Palestinian-American, my definition of home continues to change as I create these images made through in-camera multiple exposures during travels through places I have a cultural or tangible connection to. Laila holds a BA in Photography and Arts and Culture from the New Century College in 2007.

Raymond Baccari, BFA Painting, 2014

Raymond graduated from George Mason University in 2014 with a BFA in painting. Over the course of his career, he has been involved with many other traditional mediums of art; which have converged into his mode of crafting work. He currently lives and works in Springeld Virginia, where he is developing interactive work in both sculpture and installation. After graduation, he has established himself in a multifaceted gallery and art services career. In addition to full time work, he is active in sculpture and Alumni associations, been involved in local shows and competitions, and has participated in arts festivals. He is currently a recurring and sought after fixture in two regional Music and Arts festivals, and has won Celebrate Fairfax’s emerging artist competition. Most recently, Raymond was exhibited in Artomatic 2015 in Hyattsville, Maryland. He is very passionate about developing a strong alumni connection with GMU, and has continued his activity with the local sculpture club.

Rodrigo Carazas Portal, BFA Sculpture, 2015

Rodrigo was born in Lima, Peru in 1989. He studied at the Ponticia Universidad Católica del Peru (PUCP) Art Program from 2007 until 2009, when he relocated to the United States. He graduated with a BFA from George Mason University and received a Sculpture Fellowship Award in 2015. Rodrigo’s first solo show “ANTWERP” took place at the Brookland Art Space in Washington, D.C. during the summer of 2013. Carazas Portal has exhibited his work in the Dédalo Gallery in Lima-Peru, La Universidad Metropolitana de Santiago de Chile, the Tyler Gallery in Virginia, the Phillips Collection in D.C., the Corcoran Gallery of Art in D.C., Brentwood Arts Exchange in Maryland, the Sub-Basement Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland, James Madison University’s Art Works Gallery in Harrisonburg, Virginia, and the Katzen Arts Center in D.C. He recently curated the show, “EX NIHILO” at the Bodega Gallery in Baltimore, Maryland.

Shanna Carvell, BFA Printmaking, 2012 

A Washington, D.C. native, she takes printmaking as her primary medium using influences from around the world, through travel and direct one on one experience for humour, interconnectivity and faux pas. Starting as a children’s book illustrator before 2002, printmaking has lent itself be just as versatile as a developing narrative voice. Her early training began in Philadelphia at UARTS where she was introduced to street art, developing an eye for counter culture identities, and a life long passion for the humor and social commentary found in graffiti. This interest is reflected in her latest work, mixing humor, her fine art training and global social observation.

She is most noted for combining print on unexpected media. Her philosophy about art: “Visual art has started as a means of communication on rock walls and should continue to strive to do so in whatever medium best conveys a message, it is universal, bridging language, status, and occasionally time. It can convey higher conscious interaction, feeling, and shared experience.” Shanna tackles traditional rules of tenderness and humour, while also celebrating fun quirks in human character through portrait and symbols. Her works features a handmade quality that communicates an intimate experience. She utilizes fabrics, projection screens, wall posters, light, edibles and books to emphasize purpose and meet the audience.

Chelsea Dobert-Kehn, BFA Printmaking/Sculpture, 2014

Chelsea’s work is an exploration of identity and cultural norms. Dating protocol interests me, particularly the failure of relationships. I appropriate the lingering visual residue of the disintegration of my personal relationship failures. Since 2013, I have been involved in an immersive collaboration with Kelly Hendrickson. Our creative partnership is called Lady Space Collective. Currently, we are experimenting with social media and gender dynamics. Our work aims to mock cultural standards by presenting them within an Art context.

Nia E. King, BA Drawing/Theatre, 2014

Nia, a military brat, was born on Andrews AFB, Maryland. It was the magic of animation in movies and television, that kept Nia occupied as she traveled from place to place with her parents. This ultimately lead her to pick up a paintbrush and create her own rendition of what she saw in those movies and television shows. Irish writer and art critic, George Moore, is quoted as saying, “A man travels the world in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.” The very thing Nia had been looking forwhat inspired her to fall in love with art in the first place, was there all along. She knew that the lighthearted and cartoon-like drawings in the movies she loved as a child was what made her want to become an artist. Her style is playful, filled with character and color, similar to the animated movies that started it all. Nia completed her BA in Art and Visual Technology, with a focus in Drawing and a minor in Theatre at George Mason University in 2014. After graduation, Nia interned at Walt Disney World. Nia King currently lives in Chesapeake, Virginia. She plans to move to Los Angeles to pursue her love of art and entertainment.

Justin Raphael Roykovich, BFA Visual Art, 2014

Justin is a conceptual and research based artist working along the Northeast Corridor, in and between New York and Washington, D.C. His childhood home was haunted, and he was seemingly predestined to involve himself in areas of the uncanny: his biological father was born in Amityville, New York, site of the well-known alleged demonic possession and subsequent murder story; his maternal grandmother was born and raised in Sleepy Hollow, New York – the location known for the folklore of Washington Irving, who embedded into American psyche a pervasive and ghostly cultural identity with his Headless Horseman; he himself was born in Aurora, Colorado, the site that would become infamous for the 2012 movie theater shootings where 12 people died. He was raised in northern New Jersey, in a small, rural town that Weird New Jersey Magazine once coined the epicenter for “weirdness” in the entire state.

He received his MFA in Visual Art from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University in 2014 and his BFA in Art and Visual Technology from George Mason University in 2011. His practice involves archiving and researching to connect data through time and space to document instances beyond the veil of the present, reaching back to the past and into the future. He combines media to create new narratives within our popular culture, redening meaning and reinterpreting context in order to display new ways of viewing. His work has been shown across the United States and internationally.

Erwin Thamm, BFA Printmaking, 2011

Erwin (Elmo) is an artist, printmaker, photographer, and video editor. He traveled extensively with his military family before settling in the Washington, D.C. area. Thamm enrolled in George Mason University to pursue a degree in photography but changed his artistic focus to printmaking. He has printed with Lily Press and Navigation Press. Thamm is currently the Assistant Manager of Digital Arts at George Mason University. Pat Sargent and Erwin Thamm co-founded the GMU Printmakers Guild and created Sargent-Thamm, LLC. Collaboratively, Sargent and Thamm have forged a friendship by creating prints that include both of their artistic voices.

Elizabeth Witcher, BA Drawing, 2014

Elizabeth creates drawings that are inspired by personal experiences during conscience and dream states. Often combining imagined ideals with stoic realism, her figures are often portrayed in a frozen pose with a locked gaze. A duality of refined edges and chaotic lines are used to bring the figure to being. Elizabeth works predominantly in the mediums of drawing and watercolor, but includes oil and acrylic painting, collage and textiles in her body of work. She has completed a BA in Arts and Visual Technology and a Minor in Art Management at George Mason University. Post-graduation, Elizabeth participates in fine art shows and contests in the Washington, D.C. metro area. This includes the Porsche of Arlington Art Showcase in which she was awarded the First Place Prize. Elizabeth’s goal is to have solo art exhibition in Washington, D.C. and launch an e-commerce store for her work.

Graduate 

Christin Boggs Peyper, MFA Imaging Arts & AVT, 2007  

Christin is an international artist, photographer, educator, and sustainable food advocate from McLean, Virginia. She holds an MFA in Imaging Arts from Rochester Institute of Technology and a BFA in Art and Visual Technology from George Mason University. Christin promotes sustainable food practices through photography and community development. In 2013, she photographed urban farming practices in Helsinki, Finland through a U.S. Student Fulbright Grant. Afterward, she spent nearly two years in South Africa, teaching at Vaal University of Technology and working on several art projects, most notably, Learn How to Drive, which documents her day-to-day observations and interactions in an environment quite dierent from home. Christin currently lives and works in Great Falls, Virginia.

Stephanie Booth, MFA AVT, 2013

Stephanie is an artist from the Washington D.C. metro area. She attended Mary Washington College and graduated with honors in 2004, earning a BA in Studio Art and Art History. She received her MFA in Art and Visual Technology from George Mason University and has taught at George Mason, Northern Virginia Community College, The College of Southern Maryland, and West Virginia Wesleyan College. She is currently the Education Director of the Greater Reston Art Center. Booth’s interdisciplinary practice integrates digital photography, printmaking, video, and fiber art techniques to investigate the connections between memory and history. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally, including galleries in New York, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Toronto, Canada, and Nantong, China.

Asma Chaudhary, MFA AVT, 2013

Asma is a Pakistani-American artist who completed her MFA and BFA in Graphic Design and Journalism from George Mason University. Her artworks explore the duality of a domesticated homemaker by physically recreating the home environment while also paying homage to handicrafts made by village artisans in India and Pakistan through her use of vibrant colors and intricate techniques. Her sculptures, furniture pieces, artist-made books, photography, and performance-based work have been shown in several juried group and solo exhibitions throughout New York, Michigan, Illinois, Texas, Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Maryland, Connecticut, and the Washington, D.C. area.

Ceci Cole McInturf, MFA Sculpture, 2016

Ceci Cole McInturff is artist/owner of 87FLORIDA, a working studio and exhibit/performance space in Washington, D.C. Her bodies of work comprise writing, sculpture, sculptural book objects and
narrative installation, hand-formed papermaking, and alternative/non-linear screen prints. Utilizing relationship between materials, her work has been described as “brave” in its use and combinations of mediums, and “evocative” in eliciting objects’ “ability to express emotion.”

Jurors selecting her work include Vesela Sretenovic, Curator of Modern and
Contemporary Art at The Phillips Collection; Curators Office Director Andrea
Pollan; Jamie Smith of Connor Contemporary; and independent curator and critic
Sarah Tanguy of Sculpture Magazine.

A native of Florida, she spent two years studying MA/Art and the Book at the Corcoran College of Art + Design and obtained her MFA from George Mason University in 2016. A former executive with the CBS Television Network, she is the mother of two sons and a member of the International Sculpture Center, Washington Sculptors Group, District of Columbia Arts Center, Washington Project for the Arts, ArtDC Forum, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, National Museum
for Women in the Arts, NY Center for Book Arts, and the Friends of Dard Hunter.

Dustin Rogers, MFA Painting/AVT, 2011

Dustin obtained his MFA in Painting at Kendall College of Art and Design after relocating to Grand Rapids, Michigan on scholarship. He obtained his BFA in Art and Visual Technology: Painting at George Mason University in my hometown of Fairfax, Virginia. I exhibit regionally and nationally. Paintings are places where I can work out questions I have about life, paint, and images. The process does not always answer my questions but sometimes it raises more and often complicates things. Thus the process is rarely dull. My subject matter is often biographical. Images, plasticity of paint, and objects can be wielded to serve or undermine narratives. Spontaneous decisions with unpredictability of materials favors chance and outcomes must be managed. This mirrors life. There is chaos, order, loss and redemption. Contradictions and perceived negative circumstances can often be turned into opportunities for examining potential and effecting change.

Patrick Sargent, MFA Printmaking, 2016

Patrick is originally from Detroit, Michigan; Sargent joined the military at age 17; in late 2002 he retired from the Air Force and enrolled in a political science program at George Mason University. Toward the end of his studies, he signed up for an entry-level printmaking class to complete his education. Instead, it was the amazing beginning of an entirely new journey. Sargent earned his BFA in printmaking at George Mason University in 2012 and his MFA in printmaking in 2016. Sargent along with Thamm is co-founder of the GMU Printmakers Guild and Sargent-Thamm, LLC. He continues to explore papermaking and printmaking processes. Collaboratively, Sargent and Thamm have forged a friendship by creating prints that include both of their artistic voices.

Rahshia Sawyer, MFA Photography, 2014

Rahshia is a conceptual photographer based in the Washington, D.C. area. She was the 2012 recipient of the Contemporary Talents Award from France’s François Schneider Foundation. Exhibited in the 2012 Inaugural Dublin Biennial, her photographs and installations have been included in numerous group shows in Canada, England, France, Ireland, Spain, and the United States. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Foundation François Schneider, and Radford University Museum. More recently, she was a 2015 Trawick semi-nalist, a 2015 Finalist in the 8th edition of the Julia Margaret Cameron Award, and received an honorable mention at the 2015 Fine Art Photography Awards. Her current projects examine relationships between beauty and humanity and its balanced (or imbalanced) interaction between reality and fantasy.

Anne Smith, MFA Printmaking, 2015 

Anne is teaching artist for the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and has taught drawing at George Mason University. Her art practice includes processes of drawing, sculpture, and printmaking to study variations on boundaries, paths, and liminal spaces. Her subject matter has included her childhood home, the side of the road, and other spaces entirely made-up or imagined. From April to June 2016, Smith will have a residency at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia. She has also studied woodworking at the Penland School of Crafts in Baskerville, North Carolina, and received a BA in Studio Art from Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts in 2007. Smith has curated exhibits such as Artists’ Maps and Verbal/Visual at Fenwick Gallery on Mason’s Fairfax campus, and has designed and edited two art catalogs: Jacob Lawrence: The Toussaint L’Ouverture Series at the SEED School and Vertical Views: Silkscreen Monoprint Collage by Lou Stovall. Her work is in the collection of the U.S. Department of State.

Jim Van Meer, MFA AVT, 2017

Jim is a native of the Washington, D.C. metro area and has been a designer for over 40 years. His scholarly activities include an Associate of Arts in Advertising Design from Montgomery College, a Bachelor of Arts in Design from American University, and a Master of Fine Arts in Art and Visual Technology from George Mason University. Jim began his career as a designer for GEICO’s in-house communications team before moving on to be the creative director for The Paton Group, a small, Alexandria, Virginia-based marketing communications firm. He then went on to open his own creative consultancy, Van Meer Creative, before joining the American Petroleum Institute, where he is currently the Senior Manager of Marketing and Creative for the organization’s global line of business. In 2015 Jim joined George Mason University as an Adjunct Professor in the School of Art, teaching Professional Design Practices to undergraduate students.

Jim’s studies and work have led to numerous awards and recognition, including the George Mason University School of Art Graduate Award for Academic and Artistic Excellence, Graphic Design USA American In-house Design awards, and Art Directors Club of Metropolitan Washington annual show awards.