News from Montgomery College

900 Hungerford Drive, Suite 200, Rockville, MD 20850 

Date: December 23, 2003 (03-97)
Contacts: Komelia Hongja Okim, 240-567-7647; Elizabeth Homan, 240-567-7970

Montgomery College Art Professor Honored for Excellence in Arts Education
Komelia H. Okim Receives Award at 2003 Montgomery County Executive’s Ball 

            Montgomery College Art Professor Komelia Hongja Okim is this year’s recipient of The Lockheed Martin Corporation Arts and Humanities in Education Award for Excellence, which was presented recently at the 18th Annual Montgomery County Executive’s Ball.  For more than 31 years, Okim has taught jewelry and metalsmithing at Montgomery College’s Rockville Campus, creating the only full-scale program among Maryland community colleges.   

            “She combines passion, energy and professionalism in her teaching just as easily as she transmutes metals into shimmering abstractions,” said Professor Kay McCrohan, chair of the Rockville Campus art department.  “An energetic and dedicated teacher, she nurtures her students and she is committed to her profession and especially to her students and their progress at Montgomery College.”

            “I find it is a welcome challenge and a privilege to work with students at Montgomery College,” said Okim.  “I see many students who do not recognize their own potential.  I help them find their hidden talents and seek their own happiness working in metal arts.”

Okim, a Rockville resident, has created a name for herself not only in the college community, but also in the art community.  Okim is a distinguished member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths.  Her artwork has been pictured in publications across the country and abroad.  Okim’s reputation as an artist also makes her a sought-after speaker.  Over the years, she has traveled to Taiwan, Great Britain, Norway, Korea, Russia, and many other countries to share her knowledge or display her art.    

She has held 22 one-person exhibitions of her work, including exhibits in Seoul, Tokyo, Los Angeles, Paris, and Washington, D.C.  This year, she showcased her work at the Honolulu Academy of Arts Museum in Honolulu, Hawaii, to commemorate the Centennial Celebration of the Korean Immigration to the United States.  Additionally this year, Okim served as project director and curator of “Dreams and Reality,” a large exhibition celebrating 100 years of Korean immigration to America, at the Smithsonian International Gallery of Korean American Contemporary Art at the S. Dillon Ripley Center. 

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