Master screen painter Michael Seipp will be the Maryland Traditions Artist-in-Residence for the Fall 2022 semester. Mr. Seipp conducted a workshop with elementary school students at Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School in East Baltimore. Working with Visual Arts Professor Stephen Bradley, he demonstrated screen painting techniques to UMBC Linehan Artist Scholar students enrolled in LAS120. Through these workshops, the elementary and UMBC students co-designed and created a collaborative multi-screen work for display in public locations. In order to inform the public and UMBC community about the tradition of screen painting, on September 20 folklorist Elaine Eff presented a public lecture on the history of screen painting. The talk was followed by a viewing of archival materials related to the history of painted screens which are part of the Maryland Traditions Archive housed in UMBC’s Special Collections.
Michael Seipp is a Baltimore-native and mostly self-taught artist practicing the Baltimore tradition of screen painting. His Great Uncle and Grandfather had a seafood business in Highlandtown on Eastern Avenue. When he was a boy, he would ride his bike through the streets of east and southeast Baltimore to their shop and to play in Patterson Park. When cycling through the streets he always marveled at the outdoor art galleries created by the Baltimore painted screens. In 2014, he took a class in painted screens at Common Ground on the Hill from Master Screen Painter John Iampieri and in 2021, he was awarded a Maryland Traditions Apprentice grant to continue his work with John. Michael now produces commissioned screens on a regular basis. His work can be seen in southeast, north, and southwest Baltimore and has been exhibited with the Off-Track Art Gallery in Westminster. He has exhibited and demonstrated his work at the National Conference of Folk Art.
Elaine Eff has been documenting American folk art and artists since she began her professional career. Elaine received her MA in Museum Studies at Cooperstown Graduate Programs, her PhD in Folklore and Folklife at University of Pennsylvania, and did exhibition fieldwork and curatorial credits at Winterthur Museum, The Smithsonian, at state and regional folk art museums and in state arts agencies. Elaine’s papers, the Painted Screen Society‘s papers, as well as photographs, and films are all part of the Maryland Traditions Archive, housed in UMBC’s Special Collections in the Albin O. Kuhn Library.
2022 Maryland Traditions Artist-in-Residence Work in Progress
Under the guidance of MD Traditions AIR Michael Seipp, Tench Tilghman Elementary School students made drawings about their neighborhood.
Linehan Artist Scholars enrolled in LAS120, working under the guidance of MD Traditions AIR Michael Seipp and UMBC professor Stephen Bradley, preparing screens for their paintings inspired by the drawings of the Tench Tilghman students.
The Linehan Artist Scholars have continued working on their screens, beginning to paint their finalized images.
Tench Tilghman Students and Linehan Artist Scholars, with Mr. Seipp and Professor Stephen Bradley, gathered on October 28th for a public exhibition of the screens in their completed form on the grounds of Tench Tilghman Elementary/Middle School.