• M.F.A. (Painting), The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • M.A. (Painting), The University of Iowa, Iowa City
  • B.F.A., Wayne State University, Detroit, Mich.
Areas of Expertise

Painting and drawing

Previous Experience

Szmagaj has been a member of the faculty at James Madison University since 1968 and a professor of art since 1993.  He retired in 2016.

Honors and Awards
  • Faculty Educational Leave, "The Artistic Exploration of Metallic Surfaces in Mixed Media Painting”, 1995
  • Honorable Mention for Painting, Springfield Art League 72nd National Exhibition, The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, Massachusetts, 1991
  • Supplementary Grant for Faculty Research, “Neon as an Art Medium,” James Madison University, 1975
  • Award for Drawing, “Eighteenth Annual Drawing and Small Sculpture Show”, Ball State University, Muncie, Indiana, 1972
  • Purchase Award for drawing, “Piedmont Annual Graphics Exhibition”, The Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, North Carolina, 1971

University and Professional Service
Szmagaj was head of the painting and drawing area. He represented the School of Art and Art History on the University Faculty Senate. He was the coordinator of the School of Art and Art History graduate programs from 1993-2004 and was a member of the School of Art and Art History Galleries Committee for several years, having brought numerous visiting artists to campus. Additionally, as a member of the JMU Art Scholarship Auction Committee, Szmagaj worked on several auctions. Szmagaj has conducted workshops in painting and drawing, juried local art exhibitions and has been a visiting artist at area art organizations and schools.


Szmagaj has had work exhibited in juried and invitational exhibitions at the following galleries, museums and art sites: JMU’s New Image Gallery, Harrisonburg, Va.; Visual Arts Alliance, Houston, Texas; Gallery West, Alexandria, Va.; N.J. Center for the Visual Arts, Summit, N.J.; Fredericks Center for The Visual Arts, Fredericksburg, Va.; The Period Gallery, Omaha, Neb.; Fort Smith Convention Center, Fort Smith, Ark.; Millenium Art Center, Washington, D.C.; Bloomingdale Park District Museum, Bloomingdale, Ill.; Nexus Gallery, New York City; Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Fort Hays State University, Fort Hays, Kan.; Galleries at Savage Mill, Savage, Md.; Hill Country Art Foundation, Duncan-McAshan Visual Art Center, Ingram, Texas; Association for Visual Artists, Waterhouse Pavillion, Miller Plaza, Chattanooga, Tenn.; Florida Center for Contemporary Art, Tampa, Fla.; Cooperstown Art Association, Cooperstown, New York; Art Association of Harrisburg, Penn.; Art Gallery of Fells Point, Baltimore, Md.; Three Rivers Arts Festival, Pittsburgh, Penn.; Gallery 100, Cape Girardeau, Mo.; Agora Gallery, New York City; Sawtooth Building Galleries, Winston-Salem, N.C.; Intermountain Artists Incorporated, Falls Rivers Mills, Calif.; 1708 East Main Gallery, Richmond, Va.; The George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum, Springfield, Mass.; Galesburg Civic Center, Galesburg, Ill.; The MFA Gallery, Annapolis, Md.; Slocumb Gallery, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, Tenn.; The Art Gallery, Ball State University, Muncie, Ind.; The Virginia Museum, Richmond, Va.; Roanoke Fine Arts Center, Roanoke, Va.; Watson Gallery, Wheaton College, Norton, Mass.; 2nd Street Gallery, Charlottesville, Va.; The Mint Museum of Art, Charlotte, N.C.; Norfolk Museum of Arts and Sciences, Norfolk, Va.; Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts, Roanoke, Va.; The New School, New York City; Dyansen Gallery, New York City; Gallery II, RSVP, Charlottesville, Va.; Yeats Gallery, Roanoke, Va.; The Ann Grey Gallery, Richmond, Va.

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