Leadership

(Jonathan Thorpe / Instagram: @jthorpephoto

Taras W. Matla is Associate Director of the University of Maryland Art Gallery. At the Art Gallery, he oversees its day-to-day operation and a permanent collection of over 4,500 works of art. During Matla's tenure the permanent collection has doubled in size. He has also curated and coordinated several key exhibitions at the Art Gallery, including: Observations: Selected Works by Jamilah Sabur (2020), Pause, Play: Selected Works by Jonathan Monaghan (2020), Lia Halloran: The Same Sky Overarches Us All (2019), Here and Now: Recent Acquisitions (2019), Glances From Infinity (2018), Laid, Placed, and Arranged (2017), Wynn Bullock: Revelations (2016), Process It All: Selected Works by Chip Lord (2014), and John Baldessari: Four Short Films, 1972-1973 (2014).

In addition to his curatorial work, Matla established the Visiting Artist Lecture-Project (VALP) initiative in 2015. The initative's aim is to bring emerging and mid-career artists from diverse backgrounds to UMD and allow them to work collaboratively with the Art Gallery, students, faculty, and surrounding community on a site specific project on campus. Past participants include Kim Schoenstadt, Christine NguyenRachel Hayesand Carlos Martiel. A member of Wikimedia DC, Matla also instituted the Art+Feminism Wikipedia Edit-a-thon at UMD in 2016an event held annualy in March (Women's History Month)which involves training new student editors on improving coverage of cis and transgender women, non-binary folks, and feminism and the arts on Wikipedia. 

Prior to joining the University of Maryland Art Gallery, Matla worked in the Department of Prints and Drawings at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art as well as in the Communications and Corporate Relations department at The J. Paul Getty Trust. A native of Los Angeles, California, Matla holds a BFA in Printmaking from California State University, Long Beach and an MA in Aesthetics and Politics from California Institute of the Arts. 

STAFF PROFILES 

(Jonathan Thorpe / Instagram: @jthorpephoto

Patricia Ortega-Miranda is Registrar and Curatorial Assistant at the University of Maryland Art Gallery and a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History & Archaeology. She studies twentieth-century Cuban art with Dr. Abigail McEwen.

Ortega-Miranda earned her Master’s degree in Art History from the University of Texas at Austin. In her thesis “Decentering Revolutionary Visions: The politics and poetics of representation in Nicolás Guillén Landrián’s Coffea Arabiga” she discusses how the documentary’s avant-garde aesthetic problematizes and disrupts the visual politics of post-revolutionary Cuba. She is interested in the national and transnational dimensions of Cuban vanguard and modernist movements and in the aesthetic and conceptual contents of Afro-Cuban art and its identitary narratives.

Ortega-Miranda has been an intern researcher at the International Center for the Arts of the Americas at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston and in Spring of 2017 she was the University Engagement Fellow at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin, Texas.