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Off-Canvas

Art Instructors

Mr. Vaughn T. Holsey has been an art teacher and chair of the Fine Arts Department since 1992. He received his MA in Art Education from George Washington University and a BS Degree in Fine Arts from Morgan State University. Along with his teaching duties, Mr. Holsey is the moderator of the Art Club, Ping-Pong Club and the BSU which helps young men to be brothers to stand united. He also attends service trips and talks to students about his life's experiences which are invaluable for students to hear. In addition to this, he helps to coordinate and participate in the highly successful Annual Art and Photography Exhibit with his colleague in the Art Department, Photography teacher Mr. Edward Potskowski.

Mr. Holsey's style of artwork over the years has gone from abstract, in which the subject is no longer recognizable, to genre painting art depicting everyday scenes, and back to abstract. Since the early 1990's, Mr. Holsey has exhibited his artwork all over the metropolitan area, especially in Montgomery County. In 1990, eight of his paintings were featured in the Montgomery County Executive Office Building for Black History Month. He also painted murals in seven schools over the last twenty years.

In 2017, Mr. Holsey was honored for his Twenty-Five years of service to DeMatha.

His colleague, Mrs. Julie Penndorf remarked,“ DeMatha is imprinted with the work of Vaughn Holsey, and the school reflects that daily. He has inspired us to live our own lives seeing the beauty that God has painted into them. He lives his life with love, with purpose, and with an unmatched sense of joy that radiates all around him.” Kahali Yilma once remarked : “Mr. Holsey is a man who loves his job, he brought me back into the art world and he taught me to express myself through art. He also taught me that everything is art and that everything is a gift from God.” Myles Alston and Brent Wilkerson remarked that “ Mr. Holsey had an impact on us because you could go into his class and have discussions about what was going on in the world and you could talk to him about anything, even though it was an art class. You learned a lot more than art.”

Mr. Holsey currently teaches Fundamentals of Art, Advanced Art, Drawing, Painting and Ceramics. He has eight paintings and six mid- medium illustrations in print, including his “Giclee Prints” which are available in limited quantities.

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Mr. Edward “Potts” Potskowski attended State University of New York at Albany as a State of New York Regents Scholar. He received his BS in Political Science. While attending school at SUNY, he fell in love with Photography as a unique art form to learn to see the world around him in layers and dimensions and to express his thoughts and feelings about all that he saw through the art of photography. He became Photo Editor of the university's newspaper and yearbook and since then, his work has been published in over 400 books and magazines. He has been selected numerous times to be a guest speaker for both the Columbia and Maryland Scholastic Press Association Conventions.

Mr. Potskowski arrived in the Washington area in 1972 to attend the University of Maryland. He received his MA in Soviet Studies and Political Behavior. While studying there, he became the Photo Editor of the Terrapin Yearbook. It was through Mr. Potskowski's contacts made at the UMD that led to a position for him as Regional Director for Yearbook Associates. His job at YBA was to oversee the photography for 65 high school and college yearbooks, including the US Naval Academy. DeMatha was also a key account and he photographed many events at DM. Mr. Potts always felt that DeMatha was special because he was so warmly welcomed by the staff, students and administrators. John Moylan, principal, took a great interest in photography and Mr. Potts and Mr. Moylan developed a friendship that led to Mr. Potts joining the teaching staff in 1995.

In Tom Ponton's article in the Red and Blue Review, “The Eyes of DeMatha,” Mr. Ponton remarked that Mr. Potts' classes proved very popular and his reputation as a most capable instructor became evident to all. Many of the past senior exit comments about Mr. Potskowski share common threads. From Leonardas Alvarez, “ Mr. Potskowski had a tremendous impact on me as my History and Photography teacher. He always created a great learning environment as we would have many interactive discussions about the effectiveness of various techniques that went into creating our photographs. Photography became my favorite class and it helped me to become more thoughtful and observant about the world in which we live.” And from Joshua Rodriguez, “Mr. Potskowski is a very dedicated, great teacher. He was wise, understanding, kind, strong, and very knowledgeable all in one. He helped each student and made me a better photographer and a better person.

Mr. Potskowski is currently in his twenty-third year of teaching at DM. He teaches Introduction to Digital Photography, Advanced Photoshop, Film and Darkroom Basics, Photojournalism, and a new course, SmartPhone Photography. Last year over 150 students' pictures were displayed in the Annual Art and Photography Exhibit.