USM Art Department

USM Graduation

Careers in the Arts - Where USM Art Students go after Graduation

A persistent myth in American culture is that a liberal arts education does not prepare students for the job market. Many recent studies have shown, however, that the liberal arts provide students with the managerial, intellectual, analytical, and linguistic tools to succeed in an increasingly global economic environment. Liberal arts graduates, on average, learn more while in college and achieve income equity with students who graduate from professional programs; when coupled with graduate education, liberal arts majors earn more than their peers.

Located in the economic and cultural heart of the state, the USM Art Department offers degrees in the arts and humanities that require practical experience as well as classroom and studio work. Our BFA, Art History, and Art & Entrepreneurial Studies programs take advantage of southern Maine’s thriving community resources, requiring Internships in the Visual Arts that offer professional track opportunities in the arts.  The Art Education program has a pathway partnering with the School of Education and Human Development that leads to K-12 teacher certification.

The study of the visual arts prepares students for a wide range of careers. Below is a list of what some of our graduates have done after graduation.


Class of 2017 Art Graduates

(Image Above: Art Department Graduating Class of 2017)


BFA in Art Education

Jenna Daigneault, ’17 (Painting).  Educational Technician at Margaret Murphy Center for Children, Lewiston, Maine.

Julia Gordon, ’17 (Ceramics).  Art Teacher at Fairfield Elementary School in Saco, Maine.

Angel Simoneau, ’17 (Drawing).  Teacher at Fiddlehead Center for the Arts, Scarborough, Maine.

Liza Stratton, ’17 (Sculpture with Minor in Recreation & Leisure).  Youth Development Coordinator, YMCA of Southern Maine.

Mia Ilona Bogyo, ’16 (Ceramics).  Lead Artist and Educator for Look Inside Programs at CMCA, Center for Maine Contemporary Arts, Rockland, Maine.

Kimberly Gatz, ’16 (Painting).  Art Teacher at Drinkwater Elementary School in Northport, Maine.  

Juliette Jones, ’16 (Ceramics).  Art Teacher for Oak Street Studios in Portland, Maine.  

Kayleigh Caldero, ’16 (Ceramics).  Elementary School Art teacher for RSU 2 in Monmouth, Maine. 

Nicole Robichaud, ’15 (Painting).  Art Teacher at Ditson Elementary School in Billerica, Massachusetts.  

Nicole Tombarelli, ’15 (Painting).  International Art Teacher in Vietnam.

Megan Holtham, ’15 (Ceramics).  Coordinator of youth and adult programming for Rivertree Arts, Kennebunk, Maine.

Lianne Lewin, ’15 (Painting).  Manager of adult programming at Creative Trails, Biddeford, Maine.

Anne Townsend, ’15 (Drawing). Art Teacher at Norway High School, Norway, Maine.   

Laura Bubar, ’14 (Photography).  Art Teacher at Freeport Middle School, Freeport, Maine. 

Nathan Paul Fogg, ’14 (Sculpture).  Art Teacher at Miller Elementary School, MSAD 40, Waldoboro, Maine.

Janna Dewan, ’13 (Ceramics).  Art Teacher at Cape Elizabeth High School, Cape Elizabeth, Maine. 

Rachael Gilley, ’13 (Ceramics).  Art Teacher at Manchester Elementary School, Manchester, Maine.  

Jenna Larochelle-Parry, ’13 (Photography).  Art Teacher at Wells Elementary School, Wells, Maine.

Hilary Tobin, ’13 (Painting).  Art Teacher at Deer Isle – Stonington Elementary School, Deer Isle, Maine.

Megan Dunn, ’12 (Sculpture).  Education Director at Broadturn Farm, Scarborough, Maine.

Alisa Blundon, ’11 (Photography with Minor in Art History).  International Art Teacher in Myanmar and Turkey.  

Matthew Johnson, ’11 (Painting).  Art Teacher at Westbrook High School, Westbrook, Maine.

Laura Gibbons Manchester, ’11 (Painting).  Art Teacher at Lewiston High School.

Shaelin Shields, ’11 (Sculpture).  Art Teacher at Sacopee Valley High School, Hiram, Maine.

Anne Ackerman, ’10 (Photography).  Teaching Artist Coordinator at Side X Side, Portland, Maine.


BFA in Studio Art

Kaylin Cook, '19 (Painting & Drawing), Art Educator at Roots & Fruits preschool, South Portland, ME, and freelance landscape painter.

Jill Ann Osgood '19 (Painting and Drawing, Minor in Book Arts).  A Portland painter, illustrator, and book artist, Jill has been awarded a coveted spot in the Baxter Residency program for fall 2020.

Paisley Violet Stewart, ’19 (Ceramics and Photography & Digital Art & Design), works at Minka in Kennebunkport, Maine.  As Minka staff Paisley maintains store website as well as providing her own ceramic jewelry and art for sale at the store.

Kayla Frost, ’17 (Ceramics).  Sales associate at Portland Pottery, Portland, Maine.

Richard Hudon, ’17 (Drawing with Minors in Art History & Philosophy).  Works for Lincoln Store Fixtures, a full-service custom manufacturer in the commercial industry located in Biddeford, Maine. 

John Wilson, '17 (Painting), Currently pursuing his MFA in Painting at the New York Academy of Art in New York City.

Caitlin Puchalski, ’16 (Painting with Minor in Digital Media & Design).  Print Production Coordinator for Abacus Gallery, Portland, Maine.

Kaitlyn Hunter, ’13 (Sculpture), MFA in Sculpture, University of West Virginia.  Part-time Lecturer of Art, University of Southern Maine.

Milo Moyer-Battick, ’12 (Printmaking).  Artist living in Oakland, California, where he currently works and exhibits his art.

Justin Levesque, ’10 (Photography with Minor in Art History).  Interdisciplinary artist working in Portland, Maine. Levesque is a Maine Arts Commission Artist Project Grant recipient (2015, 2017), and in 2015, was selected as one of thirteen emerging photographers under 30 in Maine by Maine Media Workshops + College's PhoPa Gallery. Levesque has exhibited throughout New England and nationally.

Stephen Walsh, ’10 (Painting).  Studio Technician for the USM Art Department.

Benjamin Lambert, ’08 (Ceramics), MFA Edinboro University of Pennsylvania.  Visiting Assistant Professor of ceramics & sculpture at Alma College in Michigan.

Ryan Wing, ’06 (Painting).  Graphic Novelist featured in October 2017 Downeast Magazine for his Graphic Novel October Ghost.

Jeffrey Lipton, ’06 (Ceramics).  Ceramic Artist working and living in Litchfield, Maine.  

Shawn O’Connor, ’05 (Ceramics and Sculpture), MFA Syracuse University.  Resident artist at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Watershed Center for Ceramic Art, and Robert M. MacNamara Foundation. Visiting Artist for West Virginia University's Semester in China and has taught at St. Lawrence University and University of North Dakota.  Currently Faculty member at Hyde School, Bath ME.

Cynthia Guajardo, ’04 (Ceramics with Minor in Art History), Masters in Landscape Architecture and worked in that field for a few years. She currently teaches art history and art at Ridgeview Classical School in Colorado (a charter school for 6-8 grade and high school students).

Luc Demers, '03 (Photography), MFA Vermont College of Fine Arts.  Fine Art Photographer.

Kathi Smith, ’03 (Painting & Drawing with Minor in Art History), MFA University of New Hampshire.  Assistant Professor of Studio Arts at Husson University, Bangor, Maine, and represented by Greenhut Gallery, Portland, Maine.

Michael Connor, ’01 (Drawing with Minor in Art History).  Teaches at Maine College of Art. He’s been published in the 2004 24 Hour Comics, mentioned in the Comics Journal, and has exhibited in many Portland galleries.  Most recently he created the poster image for the Maine Festival of the Book.

Astrid Bowlby, ’94 (Drawing and Sculpture), MFA from The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts.  Bowlby is the founder of Kindred: guided processes for artists, a mentoring program for creative individuals. She has received three Pennsylvania Council on the Arts Fellowships for both works on paper and sculpture/installation as well as a Leeway Award for Excellence and a Pew Fellowship in the Arts. She has exhibited her work widely and is represented by Gallery Joe, Philadelphia, and Steven Zevitas Gallery, Boston.

Kristine Biegel, '93 (Printmaking with Minor in Education), Masters in Community Arts from Lesley University.  Kristine is a Teaching Artist working throughout New England, and owns The Creative Child and Adults Arts Program where she works within the community offering a range of programs for preschoolers through seniors. She is also the author and illustrator of I LOVE YOU TO TEN, a counting book designed to engage emerging readings in a colorful way.

Shanna Wheelock, '93 (Ceramics), '98 USM ETEP Teacher Ceritification Program, '15 MFA Heartwood College of Art.  Commmunity organizer for Lubec Arts Alive and owner of Crow Town Gallery, 406 South Lubec Road, Lubec. Maine.  Shanna is also the recipient of the Winter 2020 Red Gate Residency at the International School of Beijing, China.


BA in Art History

Morgan Day, '21 (Art History with Minor in Archaeology & History), accepted into Boston University's Preservation Studies MA program concentrating in Archaeology.

Olivia Surprise, ’18 (Art History with Minor in Studio Art).  Works at Barridoff Galleries, Portland, Maine.

Jessica Hovey, '17 (Art History).  Works as the Operations & Communications Specialist for the Osher Map Library at USM.

Sarah Gillis, ’10 (Art History with Minor in German), MS in Information Science, Simmons College, Boston, MA.  Associate Registrar for Collection Documentation at the Worcester Art Museum.  

Kate McMahon-Ruddick, ’09 (Art History with Minor in Archeology), MA in American & New England Studies USM '12, PhD, Howard University.  Museum Specialist at the Center for the Study of Global Slavery at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.


BA in Art & Entrepreneurial Studies

Alaina Harris, ’10 (Art & Entrepreneurial Studies and Drawing).  Formed her own business, Alaina Marie, designing, fabricating, and selling nautical inspired clutch bags in Portland’s Old Port, online, and thorough various catalogs.  

Becky Stockbridge McKinnell, ’06 (Art & Entrepreneurial Studies and Digital Art & Design).  Founder & President of Portland based iBec Creative (Website Design, Apps, and Digital Marketing), and named Businessweek’s top 25 U.S. Entrepreneurs Under 25 in 2010.


BA in Studio Art

Samantha Comeau, '21 (Double Major in Photography and Digital Art and Design, and Geography & Anthropology), accepted to the MA Visual Anthropology program at The University of Manchester, Manchester United Kingdom.

Elizabeth Bull '17 (Double Major: Sculpture and Communications).  Library Specialist in Research & Instruction Services at Glickman Library, USM.

Nicole English, '17 (Photography and Digital Art & Design and Minor in Criminology).  Administrative Specialist 1 at the Cutler Institute's Childrem, Youth, & Families Program at USM.

Jessica Lynch, ’17 (Ceramics). Owner of Heart Song Pottery.

Tiffany Crockett, ’16 (Painting).  Received her Masters in Expressive Therapy at Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts spring of 2020, and is currently working as an Expressive Therapist.

Bailey Saliwanchik, ’16 (Double Major in Painting & Psychology).  Currently pursuing her Masters in Art Therapy at Lesley University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Amy Hagberg, ’10 (Photography), MFA Visual Arts, Lesley University, Cambridge, MA. Administrative Specialist III for the USM Art Department.

Asa Bradford, ’06 (Ceramics).  Application Support Analyst at the Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine.  

Justin Varberakis, ’05 (Printmaking).  Creative Director at Big Room Studios Creative Technology in Portland, Maine.

Christine Caswell, ’01 (Ceramics).  Co-manager at Bayside Clay Center at Running with Scissors, Portland, Maine.

Nora Tryon, ’89.  Artist/activist committed to the ideas of community and social action, and has participated in countless community events, installations and collaborations with other artists and has done numerous artist-in-residence programs. She has taught art in public schools for 20 years, and provided layout and graphic design for many organizations, projects and events.  She has been a co-editor for the Maine Arts Journal, Union of Maine Visual Artists’ Quarterly since it was begun in 2013.


(Image Below: (Left) BFA Student, Kaylin Cook in Advanced Painting critique with visiting artist, BFA Alumna Kathi Smith '03 (Right).

Kaylin Cook & Kathi Smith