Art Professor Sean Downey

With students and faculty of the MA in Studio Art Program

Professor Downey working in his studio

Orange Trip for Méliès, 2018. Oil on panel, by Sean Downey

Sean Downey joined MUM’s art faculty in 2018, bringing a wealth of experience as an artist, teacher, and curator. Professor Downey received his MFA from Boston University, and for 10 years ran the Post-Baccalaureate Program in Studio Art at Brandeis University in Waltham, Massachusetts, which is similar to MUM’s MA in Studio Art. He has also exhibited extensively and received numerous awards and scholarships.

Professor Downey attended the Kansas City Art Institute along with Gyan Shrosbree, a native of Fairfield and MUM art faculty since 2011. He visited MUM in 1996 and learned the Transcendental Meditation® technique. A few years ago he came to MUM as a visiting artist and was impressed by the Art Department. When a teaching position became open in 2018, he gladly accepted it.

“The students at MUM struck me like art school students—they seemed motivated by something other than grades,” he said. “The students here are very focused, which has to do with the structure of the curriculum, the block system, and the mission of the school.” Professor Downey has also observed how the daily practice of the TM® technique acts as a “refresh button” for students, allowing them to stay engaged.

Professor Downey found that the integration of the principles of the Science of Creative Intelligence® into his teaching has been very natural as a result of his long-time practice of the TM technique. “You can find those same principles articulated in the language of art,” he said.

MUM’s support for faculty research has also been an important draw for Professor Downey, who appreciates having easy access to studio space right next to his students. “Any important and useful thing I said to my students was because I had the direct experience myself engaging in the same issues in the studio,” he said. Professor Downey recently received a scholarship from the Wege Foundation for his art work. He is also the director of the Unity Gallery on campus. His work can be viewed on his website.

The Unity Gallery is currently offering paintings by Geoffrey Baker for sale. Proceeds from the sale fund scholarships for the MA in Studio Art.