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Art for Everyone

Alumna's Gift Encourages Diversity
Portrait of Dawn Burns Potosky and Arnold Potosky
Arnold and Dawn Burns Potosky

Dawn Burns Potosky ’80 discovered photography as a student at Rockville High School after finding an old camera. “The 1960 Edixa Reflex camera came to me fortuitously via the lost-and-found box at my uncle’s business,” she says. “I was lucky that Rockville High School had a wonderful team of talented artists/teachers when I was there, and I learned a great deal shooting for the yearbook and the newspaper.”

At Montgomery College, she worked with faculty who were accomplished media and photography professionals. “MC was a place where I could learn a craft,” she says. “Being able to work with professionals in the VCT Department [visual communications technologies] who were dedicated to instruction was immensely valuable to me.”

“Professor Bruce Warren introduced me to Ansel Adams’ Zone System and how to control tonal levels to achieve excellent black and white images … and Woody Price taught me the commercial-photography side, including magazine photography. They brought an amazing array of skills that I would later apply to my work. MC truly set me up for my profession.”

Potosky completed an associate’s degree in visual communications, then earned a B.F.A. from Ohio University and pursued a career in photography/videography. Now, she is helping others explore art through the Burns Potosky Family Endowed Scholarship. The Potoskys envision the scholarship working for any MC student with an interest in art—from the committed to the curious.

“Arnie and I want to support students with financial need, including those who just want to take an art elective, because art is a key part of the visual communication all around us. I’m not necessarily talking about an expensive piece of art you hang on your wall—but about the art that is working in our lives daily via advertising, packaging, instructions, and online. Its practical applications are for everybody.”

Dawn Burns Potosky and Arnold Potosky, Ph.D., have been married for 35 years. They are proud parents of three children and have two grandchildren. Arnie is currently a professor at The Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University. Dawn worked at George Washington University in biomedical communications, did commercial photography, and ran her own photography business. They enjoy hiking, biking, and travel. Their son, Samuel, received an A.A. in general studies from MC in 2012.

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