Mon. Oct 14th, 2019

The Blue & Gray Press

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

UMW graduates create online art gallery

2 min read
By EMILY GROTTLE Recent University of Mary Washington graduates Maria Joranko and Lindsay Coffman recently co-founded Slayer Gallery, an online art gallery. Each graduated from UMW with a BA in studio art, Coffman in 2014, and Joranko just one year later in 2015. After graduation they had just one question on their minds: “What now?”


Recent University of Mary Washington graduates Maria Joranko and Lindsay Coffman recently co-founded Slayer Gallery, an online art gallery. Each graduated from UMW with a BA in studio art, Coffman in 2014, and Joranko just one year later in 2015. After graduation they had just one question on their minds: “What now?”

As aspiring artists usually do, Joranko and Coffman struggled to find galleries that would showcase their work.

The two friends recalled a night they spent conversing on the topic, both wishing there were more places for up-and- coming artists to showcase their work. Out of that passion and frustration, Slayer Gallery was born.

“We wanted to break into the art world by opening our own gallery,” Coffman said. “It really started out of passion and frustration for art.”

Because Joranko and Coffman live a good distance from each other, Joranko in Ohio and Coffman in Virginia, it made sense to create a public online gallery. Unlike a traditional gallery, Slayer is accessible to anyone.

“We wanted to create a community for artists,” Coffman said. “An online gallery will hopefully create a closer relationship between audiences and artists,” Joranko added.

In addition to showcasing the work of new artists, Joranko and Coffman wanted to create easier access to art. In contrast to a physical space or museum, the online gallery allows for easy accessibility and every piece is archived on the site, making it easier for artists to track down their work and share it with others.

August 1 marked the grand opening of the online gallery and a new artist is featured every week. In addition, throughout the month of September, Slayer will be showcasing art from its new show, Garden Party.

A statement on space, composition and form, Garden Party is a reaction to the environment, setting and landscapes.

Both Joranko and Coffman discussed the object of the Garden Party, saying, it involves space and spatial technique.

Taylor White, a current senior at UMW and studio art major has two pieces featured in the gallery’s show, Garden Party. The title of each piece is “Atmosphere for Kingdom” and “New Lambs.” White said he played with the idea of layered space. Further, he wants the viewer to leave with more questions after seeing his piece.

In the future Joranko and Coffman are interested in taking the gallery to a physical space. But for now, Coffman believes it is important to urge artists to, “Do something every day, even if you don’t feel like you have an inspiration.” Similarly, White suggested to, “Allow failures to be present in your work, and acknowledge the difficulty of art. But don’t conceal your struggle as an artist.”

The team plans to add photography to the site in the near future. You can visit Slayer at or through Instagram and Twitter using @slayergallery.

11 thoughts on “UMW graduates create online art gallery

  1. I would like to thank Emily Grottle for writing this lovely piece about Slayer Gallery and the work that Lindsay and I have put into this project. However, as the subjects of this article we do not understand why a photo of an artist mentioned briefly is what is representing us. We have been informed that the picture was not chosen by the author and we are deeply disappointed by this choice. We feel that you are underscoring our achievements and hard work by erasing our own images from this and using that of someone who isn’t a part of our organization. Although we support Taylor and his work we feel as though using his image shifts the focus of this piece from our dedication to Slayer, to a piece about Taylor. When Emily came to us to do a piece about us, we were extremely excited to have the chance to talk about our work and pleased that our alma mater found our work interesting enough to be included in their publication. So you can understand how confused we were to find that neither Lindsay nor myself were shown, and how even the title seems to shift the focus to Taylor White. This is disheartening and we hope that the Blue and Gray Press sees our point of view. We cannot help but wonder that this decision reflects an antiquated mindset that prizes the achievements of men above those of women.

  2. Our mission at Slayer Gallery is to provide opportunities and exposure for underrepresented and new or emerging artists. This mission stemmed from our own experiences at having our work downplayed. We feel that the title and image chosen for this article is completely unrelated to our mission and this deeply saddens us. We cannot help but think that this perpetuates a white, male-centric point of view that is still very much prevalent, even in the art world. We do appreciate the article written by Emily Grottle and all of the hard work she put into this piece, but we are disappointed by the choices made by the Blue and Grey Press.

  3. Emily, Maria, Lindsay: you all deserve so much more than this. These editors apparently can’t see past the boy they’ve shown in this inappropriate photo to actually show how talented, innovative, and progressive you three are as women and artists. I am proud of you all and the work you’ve done to be as successful as you are today, and will be in the future.

    Blue and Gray Press: please remove this photo and headline and replace them, and rescind your erasures, so this article truly represents the women it showcases and the woman who wrote it in the first place.
    Something like:
    “Young female entrepreneurs launch Slayer Gallery online”
    “Young artists create opportunities for their peers by opening art gallery”
    would be much more appropriate.

  4. I am so excited about the work Lindsay and Maria have put into the creation and maintenance of Slayer Gallery! Having an online presence is beneficial for the fact that artist around the globe can learn about other up and coming artist and even provides them with opportunities to submit their own work for consideration in monthly exhibitions. For art enthusiasts it is easy to follow Slayer Gallery and be exposed to art work month to month. I have sat with these girls and first hand witnessed how the process of running the gallery is handled, therefore I feel it would have been beneficial to showcase images within the article that were directly from the Slayer Gallery website or of the Gallery creators. They Spend time conducting vigorous online searches investigating artist from all walks and diligently responding to emails. Another awesome detail of Slayer Gallery I would like to highlight is the artist interviews these girls put together. They think long and hard about the questions they pose to artist, as well as, write questions that specifically pertain to each artist’s work and their processes. I am so proud of them and their efforts as Slayer Gallery continue to evolve and grow!

  5. Wow Emily! What a great article, these girls are such amazing artist, and have such talent and love for what they do The choice of picture does not represent the words on this page. Where are Maria and Lindsey?? I’m confused as to why this photo is on this article? Anyway, congrats Maria and Lindsey for being featured (by the writer at least). Such a shame Blue and Gray press.

  6. Like Nikki, I too have been following Maria and Lindsay’s art careers for years. I have always found Slayer Gallery’s mission statement to be relevant and important in an art world that often excludes female artists, artists of color, and countless more. Their goal to include these amazing pieces in such a professional and unique way is truly amazing considering that they are not for profit and independently run. Their hard work was showcased here beautifully by Emily and I commend her for her article. However, Blue and Gray Press has disappointed myself and others with their use of an irrelevant photo. Rather than doing any sort of research or likely even venturing beyond a cursory glance of their website, Blue and Gray has committed a blatant act of lazy journalism. Taylor White is an artist and is mentioned in the article, yes. But he is not the focus. A photograph of the ladies involved or even their ad for the newest show would have been more than acceptable. I hope that B&G retracts this grievous error and gives these women the credit they deserve.
    (Again, congratulations to Maria and Lindsay on their successes. I think the world of them and their gallery. Additionally I would like to again commend Emily on her article- so well done.)

  7. I was so excited to see Slayer be written about and the work that Maria and Lindsay have done be showcased. Then I went to read the article and was extremely confused when a picture of a male artist, who was very briefly mentioned, accompanied the article about Lindsay and Maria’s success. The article is very well done but this picture and the lazy title that has nothing to do with the content are ridiculous. This article is about two women who started their own gallery and are doing something extremely interesting and awesome to showcase artists, not about one of the artists they have given a platform to. Please revise the title and picture to showcase them and this article.

  8. I am not sure everyone commenting here viewed the entire article in the print edition. After reading the full article and seeing the 3 photos I feel like the two young ladies who are the subject of the piece are well represented as the innovative creators of a website that showcases young, undiscovered artists. Was the piece supposed to be written without including an example of “an up-and-coming artist”?

  9. Jane. As alumni we do not have the opportunity to enjoy the Blue and Gray Press in its print edition. In seeing this online, you can imagine how we felt seeing this before the edits made last night. In both online and print editions there should be that same level of representation and that was previously not the case. We are very glad that the paper has made these changes and addressed our concerns.

  10. Emily, What a fantastic article! I can’t wait to read your next piece. Maybe it should be about the Blue and Gray press. Who oversees the edits that students editors make and what is the process they use? Might be able to get a good story out of that. Watch out though, all of the juicy bits might be edited out. I am happy that they changed the pic on this article to a more relevant one.

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