Inside the Hall: Maryland Hall News Blog

Enter the Arts Alive raffle to win one of these extravagant trips.

Raffle tickets are $100 each - only 200 tickets will be sold!

Drawing: September 8 at Arts Alive at Maryland Hall 

Winner need not be present. Raffle winner picks the trip of their choice.

Some restrictions apply including blackout dates.

Click here to download an order form to enter the Arts Alive Raffle.

Click here for information about Arts Alive.

Trip Option #1:  6 nights in Ireland with Airfare for 2

The luck of the Irish is on your side with this amazing Ultimate Irish Getaway. Tour across Dublin via the “Hop-on, Hop-off” Dublin Bus Tours, allowing you access to some of this eclectic city's most famous landmarks including the Guinness Storehouse. Continue your journey onwards to the historical Bunratty Village, where a night of delicious food and drink await. Entry is free into the Bunratty Medieval Banquet where you will enjoy a delicious four-course meal by way of bench seating via long oak tables and candlelight, reflecting the banqueting style of the medieval era

Trip Option #2:  6 Nights in Switzerland with Airfare for 2

Sample two things Switzerland is known for—its delectable cheeses and savory chocolates—as you tour through the Alps. The tour starts by travelling across Zurich West and from there, you will visit the boutique shops of the famous Swiss Chocolatier Lindt. The tour continues through the majestic Swiss Alps until you reach the town of Stein where you will visit the local cheese factory where the famous wheel shaped Appenzeller cheese is made. Continue until you reach the village of Brulisau where you'll head up Mount Hoher Kasten via aerial cable car. Last on the list before heading back to Zurich is a guided walking tour of Appenzell with its narrow pedestrian lanes and quaint painted houses.

Trip Option #3:  5 Nights in Costa Rica with Airfare for 2

Let your troubles melt away at the luxurious Los Suenos Marriott Ocean & Golf Resort. Surround by 1,100 acres of rainforest and overlooking the sparkling blue ocean, this stunning retreat encompasses the best that this beautiful country has to offer. You won't be without a view either as garden, mountain and ocean scenery surround the resort. While visiting, enjoy a Canopy Tour Adventure through the lush, vibrant rainforests of Costa Rica. An astonishing 25 zip lines will have you swinging from tree-top to tree-top, observing nature as you never have before.

Trip Option #4:  Pebble Beach and Monterey Resort Golf Package with Airfare for ​2

Pebble Beach Golf Links is America's #1 Public Golf Course and a favorite of pros and amateurs alike. The reason for its popularity lies within its exceptional beauty and the unique challenges each hole presents. Its stunning layout is measured by its Cliffside fairways, perfectly manicured greens and views overlooking the sparkling blue ocean. As the saying goes, “Every golfer deserves to play "Pebble" at least once in his or her life. There's no time like the present.”

Trip Option #5:  7 Night Cruise to Alaska Aboard Celebrity Cruises for 2

Drink in the splendor of the seas as you make your way along the Alaskan coast, in and out of passages, past fjords, and miles and miles of wilderness. From the breathtaking sights of Hubbard Glacier to the pioneering spirit of Juneau, the gold-rush spirit of Skagway and the totem poles of Ketchikan, Celebrity's Alaska is as rustic and romantic as one could ever imagine. Seattle, WA; Seward, AK; Vancouver, British Columbia embark ports; airfare not included. 

Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts Celebrates Linnell Bowen’s Retirement

ANNAPOLIS- Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts (MHCA) will present Living a Legacy: A Tribute to Linnell Bowen, on Friday, June 9, 7:30 pm in the Main Theatre.  Tickets are $50 with 100% of ticket proceeds benefitting The Campaign for Maryland Hall.  Visit to purchase tickets.

The MHCA Board of Directors invites you to an event to honor Linnell Bowen’s 21 years as President/CEO of Maryland Hall and one of the foremost arts advocates in the Annapolis region.  Under her leadership, Maryland Hall has become the regional arts center, carrying out its mission to provide Art for All through educational activities and performing and visual arts programs.  MHCA is home to four resident companies: the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Annapolis Opera, Live Arts Maryland and the Ballet Theatre of Maryland.  All four organizations are participating in the Tribute program along with influential speakers and a champagne toast by Yumi Hogan, Maryland’s First Lady. 

“The reason that Maryland Hall has been as successful as it has been is due to the hard work, grit and dedication of Linnell Bowen,” says Speaker of the House Michael Busch, who will be ‘roasting’ Bowen at the Tribute event. “Linnell knows every brick of that building, every student who crosses the threshold, and every artist who performs at Maryland Hall. Annapolis would not be competitive in the State arts scene today without Linnell Bowen’s vision and love for this endeavor.” The Tribute, designed by Live Arts’ Creative Director J. Ernest Green, incorporates visual, audio, video and dramatic arts, a fitting evening for the leader that  put the Annapolis arts’ scene on the map.

All proceeds from tickets sales will go towards the Capital Campaign (The Campaign for Maryland Hall), an endeavor that has raised over $11 million to date, funding the modernization and expansion of the main Theatre in 2015 and upcoming additions.  Construction begins this summer on a professional Production Wing, the first-ever addition to the building, which will bring new accessible features to the historic building. Plans are underway for a second addition, a Patron Wing that will complete the Community Theater (currently the gym) enhancing Maryland Hall’s role as a gathering place for all, with spaces for small theater and concerts, conferences and student projects, and will open up new exhibit and teaching spaces.

In fun and unexpected ways, the Tribute will highlight the exceptional accomplishments in the arts in Annapolis over the last 20 years.  Patrons should purchase tickets now as a sold-out night is expected!   Patrons may also make a tribute gift in Linnell’s name, which includes a mention in the printed program.   For more information or to order tickets, contact the Maryland Hall Box Office at 410-280-5640 or visit Box office hours are Monday - Friday from noon – 5 pm. Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts is located at 801 Chase Street, Annapolis.

Maryland Hall is supported by a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency funded by the State of Maryland and the National Endowment for the Arts, and a grant from the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County as well as individual and corporate funders. Additional support for the Tribute event comes from sponsors including: Comcast NBCUniversal; Gormley, Jarashow & Bowman LLC; Homestead Gardens; Metropolitan Café; Art at Large; Clean Cuts; Cerebral Lounge; and Ken’s Creative Kitchen.


Maryland Hall is participating in this year’s Annapolis Arts Week

 A week-long celebration of the Arts


Closing reception for the Yumi Hogan, Freedom of Nature exhibit, Saturday, June 10 from 2 - 3:30 pm.



This year's Comcast Cares Day was a great success! 

Friends and families spent the day doing some gardening at Maryland Hall! Helped clean up the grounds, laid mulch and stone and did a little landscaping and it was greatly appreciated!

Thank you to all who came out and helped keep the grounds at Maryland Hall looking their best. 

Follow the link below and watch the video to see what a great contribution Comcast Cares Day is to Maryland Hall and the community.


Maryland Hall is partnering with BIG INK, for two sessions of large woodcut printing on August 4 & 5th. We are excited to announce the following 11 artists have been chosen to participate in this year’s BIG INK event.

Aug 4th

Jun Lee
Steven Munoz
Sherri Blase
Zachariah Schmitt
Delaney Green

Aug 5th

Louise Wallendorf
Christy Ball
Ariston Jacks
Mary Walker
Donovan Kramer
Anita Hagan

BIG INK brings together artists, community organizations, and the public to produce large scale black and white woodcuts for exhibition and educational purposes. Artists from the US and abroad submit a proposal to create a big print through their website. Print studios offer their facilities so artists may collaboratively print the work while museums and galleries mount exhibitions of the finished pieces. The project was initiated in 2012 by Lyell Castonguay and his partner Carand to share their acquired knowledge of working large.


At Maryland Hall, we’ll be utilizing BIG INK’s giant 48” x 96” mobile etching press to pull prints. Accepted artists will have two months prior to the event to carve their image into a piece of plywood. BIG INK remains in contact with each participant providing guidance and technical support when needed. Artwork made during workshops will be exhibited from Aug 6th - 19th at Maryland Hall.

We invite visitors to come and see the workshops being held on August 4th and 5th. The printing press will be stationed outside of the Eatery on our first floor, nestled in our Alcove galleries. There will be small sample wood-blocks that visitors can learn to use, and for just $2 take home their very own block print! Visitors will watch artists ink up their pre-carved wood blocks, handle paper, and learn how to use a professional printing press.


To find out more about BIG INK visit their website.

Local photographer Jay Fleming will be doing a book signing of his first book, "Working the Water" during our upcoming All That Art fundraiser.

Jay Fleming’s first book, “Working the Water,” is a visual narrative of the lives of those individuals whose livelihood is directly dependent upon the Chesapeake Bay — America’s largest estuary. The book comprises photographs of seasoned watermen, scenic seascapes, weathered workboats and bay bounty — a true and complete depiction of Chesapeake Bay life. Equal parts informative and aesthetically pleasing, Jay’s flagship book, “Working the Water" appeals to the seafood enthusiast, the history buff, the biologist, photography fan, and Chesapeake Bay lover alike.

Included in the live auction at All That Art will be a framed image of the cover of "Working the Water" titled "Broad Creek Oystermen." The piece retails for $1,200 and bidding starts at $500.

 Tickets to All That Art are $100 - purchase online here or call 410-263-5544.

Two additional businesses are offering coupons to Maryland Hall members starting May 1, 2017. 

Annebeth's will be offering 10% off one regularly-priced item and Evergreen Antiques & True Vintage will be offering 20% off one regularly-priced item. Coupons are emailed to members on the 1st of each month.

Click here to join or renew your membership today, enjoy benefits all year long, and support the life-changing arts activities Maryland Hall offers our community and its residents.

Gail Watkins, Color Canyon (2016)

Written by Janice F. Booth

Gail Hillow Watkins’s newest series of mixed media paintings, “Strata,” explores movement in simple, almost primitive terms.  The artist applies the technique she has been exploring for a decade,  layering and incising paint, paper, and various other material, but her focus now is on a narrative of motion, not a static uncovering, as in the 2013 series “Comics & Chromosomes.”  In some of these new works, simple forms leap and gyrate across the canvas bathed in color bands. The strata, seen together, become an undulating whole -- a dance troupe or a junkanoo parade.

With these new paintings, the viewer stands, a rapt observer, as the sands shift, light shimmers, and a curious sense of movement and motion begins. Since the lines of movement are contained in color bands, the dancing lines and the movement they suggest read like a choreographer’s notations.

Watkins’s kinetic forms evoke Henri Matisse’s work. Consider Matisse’s sinuous paintings, “Dance II,”  (1909-10) and  “The Dance” (1932-33).  In the earlier work, lines interconnect to create a sense of motion; colors, rich and deep, bathe the dancers in blue and coral. After twenty years of seeing and simplifying line and form, Matisse had eliminated all but the beauty of shapes against color to convey fluid motion.


Henri Matisse, Dance II  (1909-10) and  The Dance (1932-33)

Some of the works in “Strata” have a Caribbean flavor, perhaps inspired by Watkins’s travels in Cuba. Titles reflect Watkins’s Cuban memories -- “The Pink House,” “Malecon,” and “The Gate.” 

Inspiration for “The Pink House,” 2014, was the ubiquitous, tabby shell, stucco houses embedded with coquina shells seen everywhere in southern Florida and the Caribbean Islands. In this painting, bands of auburn, amaranth and cerise and carnelian reds, etched with shapes, bustle and tumble through and between the color bands, like figures in an apartment building, each with its own story and vitality. The colors and motion are playful rather than chaotic.


                                           Gail Watkins,  Malecon (2016)                            Gail Watkins,  Enlargement from Pink House (2014)


“Malecon,” 2016, seems a subtle rainbow of blues, pink, and bronze cascading down the canvas.  A lingering gaze rewards the viewer -- curving, arcing, reaching figures emerge from the bands of color, appearing as though from behind a curtain or from beneath the sea. In reality, the Malecon is an elegant esplanade in Havana with the sea’s tidal rhythms on one side, the ebb and flow of pedestrians and vehicles along the avenue.  The indigo and Turkish blue bands along the bottom of the painting suggest the Caribbean Sea, while along the top of the canvas striae incised into the blue band suggest Havana’s decorative grillwork against the blue sky.

Gail Watkins, The Gate (2016)

As we stand before the painting “The Gate,” 2016, we see a square of deep auburn banded with cornflower blue. The work is tranquil, a gate unused. “I saw a rusty gate at the entrance to a Havana Garden. It stuck with me – that lovely rust, the wild garden behind the gate, and always the sea and sky,”

Watkins revisits that sense of discovery from her “Chromosomes…” series with “Genome Fresco,” 2016.  But what is uncovered in this painting records not lost life-forms, but instead, some grand, civic event. Celebrants, dancers, participants all march and parade past the viewer, bearing up bands of vermillion and sapphire, rivers of color and ambiguous formations. The painting is playful and celebratory.

Gail Watkins, Genuine Fresco (2016)

Recently, Watkins’s works have eschewed the sensual pleasures of the Caribbean.  “Colour Canyon” and “Aleppo,” emerge from Watkins’s personal heritage and her response as an artist to the terrible war and suffering ongoing in the Middle East.  Watkins’s great-grandparents grew up in Aleppo, Syria, and left the city as newlyweds, settling in northern Lebanon.  The terrible images of death and ruin appearing nightly in newscasts and front pages across the world haunt us all, but evoke a particular pathos for Watkins. “Had they [her great-grandparents], as children, lived on those decimated streets? How did they feel as immigrants” What is my link to their past?” 

Movement, mystery, division come together in Watkins’s “Colour Canyon,” 2016, inspired by the artist’s trip to the Sinai Peninsula tracing part of her heritage. The muted golds, roses, and blues are separate forces, layered and resting one on another. Some of the bands reveal flowing, bulbous forms, some reveal very little. The unified painting suggests little motion, but a certain brooding potential.

Gail Watkins, Aleppo (2017)

“Aleppo,” 2017, is in stark contrast to most of the other pieces in this series. It is raw and still, dull gray and dusty tan, a band at the top the color of dried blood. And, on a ragged edge, a scrap of Persian blue, evoking a torn curtain or abandoned garment. Texture is central to this work; jagged, cracked, pockmarked.  There is no mistaking the visual impact – even without the work’s title.

Watkins’ work has, for the last decade, focused on uncovering what is hidden. Now, the work seems to step out into the light, conveying joy or suffering. There is no neutrality. What is revealed demands our attention.


Janice F. Booth is the author of Crofton: Images of America and has written for local, regional and national publications including What’s Up? Publications, American Artist, the Wildlife Art Journal, BizPeake Journal, and Lancaster Farming. Janice is an adjunct professor of English and Communications at Anne Arundel Community College, Arnold, Maryland, and has been an educator for over 40 years. She has a Master of Arts Degree from Wayne State University. Additionally. She can be contacted by email at Read her blog at  


Enter the All That Art Raffle to win a custom pet portrait or a custom house portrait valued at $550.

Two winners will be chosen.
Raffle tickets are $50 each - o
nly 200 tickets will be sold!

Drawing: April 28 at All That Art at Maryland Hall 

Winners need not be present. Raffle winners each pick the portrait of their choice.

Portrait Option #1: Custom house portrait by artist Daniel Reismeyer

​Portrait Option #2: Custom pet portrait by artist Kimberly Minear

Click here to download an order form to enter the All That Art Raffle.

Click here for information about All That Art.

Daniel Reismeyer 

Daniel Riesmeyer is a representational painter and Adjunct Instructor currently teaching in Maryland. He received his B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute College of Art and M.F.A. from Indiana University, majoring in Painting. Artistically, Daniel is inspired by Art History and interested in the relationship between immediate perception and the transformation of those observations due to the transfiguring lens of memory, accumulated time, and the imagination. For examples of Daniel’s work, visit

Kimberly Minear
Kimberly Minear is an abstract realism artist living in Annapolis, Maryland. She was born and raised in Little Rock, Arkansas, earning her Bachelor of Art in graphic design from the University of Arkansas Little Rock. Kimberly specializes in animal portraits in acrylics, and her newest works are created in collage. She fell in love with art in grade school after painting her first animal portrait. Kimberly has worked as a graphic designer, art director, and magazine publisher, and has come full circle to create art celebrating animals and nature. For examples of Kimberly’s work, visit

To purchase a raffle ticket, please fill out and return the order form located here or call 410-263-5544 ext, 10.














MHCA President Linnell Bowen (3rd from left) and members of the Severn Town Club (above) present a check for $35,000 to Maryland Hall.  The check represents the proceeds from the Club's 53rd annual Holly Ball which took place in November 2016.  The funds will support Maryland Hall's educational and artistic programs.  Thank you to the Severn Town Club and the more than 225 people who attended the ball for their support of Maryland Hall! 


Subscribe to RSS - blogs