Alumni Spotlight | Taurean Washington ’12

A photo of Taurean Washington

Q&A with Taurean Washington ’12.



  • Art & Archaeology, Studio Art Concentration (B.A.)


  • Art & Archaeology

Taurean Washington ’12 studied art and archaeology with a studio art concentration at Hood College. He recently launched Taurean Washington Studios, a new visual arts business venture.

Why did you decide to attend Hood and how did you become interested in your major?

I decided to attend Hood mainly out of convenience because I lived in Frederick at the time, but after I came to experience the College, I realized I made a great choice and that the faculty and culture were great. I always knew since I was a child that I wanted to pursue art, so there was never a question as to my major of choice. Other colleges I transferred from had only visual communications, and I needed something more with a fine arts track. So, I am grateful that Hood offered that.

What was your proudest achievement as a Hood student? What are some of your favorite Hood memories?

My proudest achievement as a Hood student was earning the Susan Gottert Prize for art majors, which was the highest award or achievement for an art student at that time. After facing the obstacles, I did to get to that point, and it was really an honor and blessing. Thank you to the faculty that year for your nomination! A fond Hood memory of mine was actually the reception of my senior thesis exhibition. To have had family, friends, faculty and fellow Hood students present in one space was really an out-of-body experience that truly felt like a commencement ceremony for a visual artist.

Tell us about your new business venture and how it involves the arts.

My new business venture is Taurean Washington Studios, which is my own LLC that I registered in the state of Maryland in 2021. It’s a visual arts business, and the nature of it is more than the typical freelance artist business model. As I scale and build the company, we will eventually house a property, have an arts center and truly establish an arts/entertainment hub in the community. We are based in Howard County, and the official launch of it is in 2024.

Our launch party is taking place via Zoom on January 6, 2024. You can attend the launch here. Hope to see you all there!

Why do you think the arts are an important part of education? How can students benefit from practicing art?

The arts are an important part of education because there is so much that art can do with our society. We can apply art to many things that could shift society. A quick example is Shepard Fairey’s Obama Hope design. That visual was a true catalyst to help his campaign and get the first African American in history elected as President of the United States.

Students can benefit because it’s an outlet of expression, and if they can truly hone and channel it, the arts can really provide therapy and service to themselves as well as others.

Also, I hope that in terms of arts and education that the courses of 20th Century art or modern art can be more expounded upon and included in the courses of study for current and new students, so they can see more of the women and artists of color represented. It is important to be shown and educated that you can be successful as an artist if you are not a white or European male. There needs to be more exposure of that in society as a whole.

What advice can you offer a current Hood student who is interested in pursuing a career in the arts?

I would say do not be afraid to ask questions. Just like other things in life, like exercise, relationships, etc., you get out of it what you put in. So, when I say ask questions, ask professors if you could see practicing contemporary artists of today that you are inspired by. Ask what will it take to be successful as an artist financially. We all know about the starving artist stigma. There are ways to make a living as an artist, and there should be a discussion and education on career prep for the post-college transition.

Also, I want to highlight about critiques. If you are an art student, these are a nerve wreck, but try your best to think objectively and take a little bit from each person and your professor. You are the boss and the captain of your work at the end of your day. BUT someone from another perspective can help with design elements and can enhance the composition, color and/or the technical components for your work. Be open to listening because if you are closed-minded, you will miss out on how to make your work successful. You can make it as an artist, so if art is in your heart, do not listen to the naysayers and go for it, but have a vision on how you want to operate and be business-minded as well, so you can make a living and prosper financially.

Learn more about Taurean's artwork at his website.