News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: September 13, 2004 (04-79) 

PHOTO EDITORS: For a high-resolution image of the sign please go to  /news/highresolutionimages/04/mcsign.jpg

Montgomery College, Former Maryland College of Art and Design
Celebrate Consolidation

Two-Year Art School Becomes ‘School of Art and Design at Montgomery College’

            (Silver Spring, Maryland)--Montgomery College officials and representatives of the former Maryland College of Art and Design in Silver Spring gathered today to celebrate the completed consolidation between the two institutions of higher education. Joined by Montgomery County and State elected officials, college board members, community leaders, students, faculty and staff, the two institutions marked the occasion with the unveiling of a new sign identifying the now-named “School of Art and Design at Montgomery College.”

            “The consolidation of Montgomery College and the Maryland College of Art and Design – resulting in the creation of the new School of Art and Design at Montgomery College – benefits both students and the community,” said Dr. Charlene R. Nunley, Montgomery College president.  “Not only will it expand the already top-notch art offerings at Montgomery College, but it ensures the preservation of an art school that has provided a unique educational opportunity for area students, for nearly 50 years.”

            The consolidation between the two institutions became official on August 31, but discussions began in March of 2001.  At that time, Montgomery College and Maryland College of Art and Design signed a Memorandum of Understanding, which outlined their future plans.  To help with the process, Montgomery College established two administrators at the art school; and provided information technology, facilities, and finance consulting and support.  Faculty and staff of the former Maryland College of Art and Design have since become Montgomery College employees. Students now pay Montgomery College tuition and fees and have the same rights and privileges, and access to college resources of all other MC students.

Clearing the way for the consolidation, Montgomery College sought approval from and was granted the opportunity to begin offering its students the AFA degree by the Maryland Higher Education Commission. Key to the success of the consolidation was funding from Montgomery County and the backing of community leaders, including the MCAD Board of Trustees.

            The new School of Art and Design at Montgomery College offers a two-year intensive art program, designed for students who want to transfer to a four-year art school.  To apply for the program, students must submit a portfolio of their work along with an admissions application.  Students in the program can major in either studio art or graphic design. They have the opportunity to graduate with an associate of fine arts (AFA) degree.

            The School of Art and Design also offers non-credit courses for children, youth and adults in studio art, photography and graphic design.  A summer program in fine arts and visual communications is designed for youth ages 6-15, teaching drawing, painting, crafts, clay, digital arts, and photography to a new generation of future art college students.

            In 1957, Edgar and Shirley Lipman opened an art supply store, offering classes to customers and the community.  By 1965, the classes were so popular that the owners, Edgar and Shirley Lipman, had to expand, forming the Maryland School of Art and Design.

The art school’s first director was artist Richard Harryman, whose picture of the late Senator Everett Dirksen hangs in the U.S. Capitol.  In 1971, the Maryland College of Art and Design was incorporated.  For more than 30 years, the school has encouraged the development of artists through its sequential curriculum, long hours of study, and emphasis on the professional portfolio.

Future plans call for Montgomery College to relocate the School of Art and Design at Montgomery College to what will eventually become the King Street Arts Center -- the site of the former Giant bakery in south Silver Spring, now owned by the College -- once that facility is renovated.  The building will also house the College’s existing Takoma Park Campus art department and its programs, an art gallery, and studios for local artists. 

The addition of the School of Art and Design adds to a wide array of visual arts degree programs and courses already offered at Montgomery College’s three campuses at Takoma Park, Rockville and Germantown, and through its Workforce Development and Continuing Education division. 

            For more information about the School of Art and Design at Montgomery College, call 301-649-4454 or visit:  For general information about Montgomery College, call 240-567-5000 or visit

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Montgomery College is a public, open admissions community college with campuses in Germantown, Rockville, and Takoma Park, plus workforce development and continuing education centers in Gaithersburg, Wheaton and  Silver Spring. The College serves nearly 50,000 students a year, through both credit and non-credit programs, in more than 100 areas of study. 

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