Leadership

(Jonathan Thorpe / Instagram: @jthorpephoto

Taras W. Matla is Associate Director and current Acting Director of the University of Maryland Art Gallery. At the Gallery, he oversees its day-to-day operation and a permanent collection of over 3,000 works of art. Matla has also curated and coordinated several key exhibitions at the Gallery, including: 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 (VAL/P) 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 Gallery, students, faculty, and surrounding community on a site specific project on campus. Past participants include Kim Schoenstadt, Christine Nguyen, and Rachel Hayes. The 2018-19 VAL/P participant is Cuban-born, Brooklyn-based artist 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, 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

Abby R. Eron is Registrar and Curatorial Assistant at the University of Maryland Art Gallery and a PhD candidate in the Department of Art History & Archaeology. Her dissertation research concerns the Symbolist impulse in American art across media circa 1900.

As an undergraduate, Eron interned at the National Museum of American Jewish History and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. She has also worked at the Rose Art Museum, the Association for Public Art, and the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts. In the summer of 2014, Eron interned at the National Gallery of Art, cataloguing a collection of materials related to the Photo-Secession. In 2015, Eron served as a Center for American Art Summer Fellow at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, where she curated a gallery of Philadelphia still-life painting. She was a 2016-2017 University of Maryland Museum Fellow at the National Gallery of Art, researching and writing a chronology for the exhibition The American Pre-Raphaelites: Radical Realists (2019). 

Eron is a UMD University Teaching and Learning Program Associate. She has served as a teaching assistant in various courses, an undergraduate writing and research advisor, and the instructor of record for ARTH361, American Art After 1876. 

Eron received her BA (magna cum laude with Phi Beta Kappa distinction) from Brandeis University, majoring in Art History and International & Global Studies and minoring in French & Francophone Studies. She received her MA from the University of Maryland. Her thesis, titled “Visualizing American History and Identity in the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial," analyzed public sculpture of the 1930s, New Deal art, and conceptions of the melting pot.

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.