Artist | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Artist

While our building is currently closed to the public, we are still working on finding ways our audience can access all of our exhibits that are on display. Please follow our social media outlets and sign up for our e-newsletter for videos, images, and other fun content about our exhibits, artists, and more!

For Unnatural Causes: Art of a Critical Nature, we have created this blog along with a complimentary video tour of the exhibit. While the images in the blog include every artist shwcased in the exhibit, this is not representative of every single work of art in the show. To see every piece of art in Unnatural Causes please take time to watch the video!

*Many of the works in this exhibition are for sale! We will be providing a 10% discount on artwork sales while our building is closed to promote supporting local artists and art organizations. If you have questions about which works are for sale or anything at all please email ekohlenstein@mdhallarts.org.

 

Baltimore, Md.--Maryland artist collective 4 Alarm Artists presents the multi-venue exhibition Unnatural Causes: Art of a Critical Nature, which features works and performances by more than 30 Maryland artists and artist collectives all addressing issues related to detrimental changes to climate and biodiversity.

The show, which features different exhibitions at Maryland Hall in Annapolis from Mar. 5-May 2, at Creative Alliance in Baltimore from Mar. 7-Apr. 11, and at Carroll Mansion in Baltimore from Apr. 22-May 24, was inspired by the 50th anniversary of Earth Day and the creation of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


   

 BLAKE CONROY 

Definition of Monoculture

Pollen drifts with the wind. Where it lands and fertilizes a stamen is dictated by chance. Farmers have been at the mercy of this process throughout history. They adapted it by collecting seeds from their best plants and hoarding them for use in the next planting season. This is how humans have domesticated plants. This process is under threat from new technologies. The courts in the United States have sided with large agricultural companies against the farmer. They have decided, against precedence, that there are some genes that are patentable. When the wind blows pollen from a neighbor’s field, a farmer can’t keep his seed and plant it the next year. It probably contains some genes that are someone else’s property. He risks everything because Big Ag has a track record of aggressive litigation.

My artwork “Definition of Monoculture” is about this struggle, big gov’t and multi national corps with their oversized influence vs what is good for everyone on the planet. It is also about the idea that every life is unique. Each plant in a cornfield is a unique individual. Each has a unique genetic makeup. Each has only one chance at life. Can we trust control of this to just a few companies rather than our heritage? Scientists believe people living in central Mexico started developing corn at least 7000 years ago. They developed it from a plant called teosinte. Should Monsanto have a strangle hold on corn seed because it modified the genes of this ancient crop?

Swallowtail

The Swallowtail Butterfly is a delicate creature. It is also still relatively common. So common in fact that it is mostly overlooked, except by small children. I decided to take a closer look at a single swallowtail butterfly simply because they are so often overlooked. This is a portrait of a single individual. It shows all the uniqueness of this butterfly including the wing damage it has suffered during its short but unique life. We all only get one chance at life and we should respect this is one another and not just our own species.


 

  

Lynne Parks, (left) Bird/glass collision site: 20 S Charles St.56 birds, archival print, (middle) 1 day: American Woodcocks, archival print, (right) White-throated Sparrow song sonogram:O Sweet Canada Canada Canada, drawing

LYNNE PARKS

Lynne Parks is the Outreach Coordinator for the bird conservation and wildlife rescue organization, Lights Out Baltimore (LOB), and volunteers for Patterson Park Audubon.

In addition to educational outreach and assisting with the installation of bird-friendly window treatments, she’s one of several LOB volunteers who monitor downtown Baltimore for bird/window collisions during migration.

On Nov. 3, 2019, Lynne and her walking partner, Aaron Heinsman, found fifty-one dead birds and five rescues in two and a half hours in one small area of the city. It was the worst monitoring day they’d experienced. Native sparrows are the majority of birds found in the fall, and Lynne’s data specific work reflects this. It includes photography, drawing, and a grid of the labels LOB uses to record data.

 

Lynne Parks, 56 birds, 1 day: White-throated Sparrow, Bird Tags

Three photographs show some of the birds we found that day, and one photograph shows a deadly building where some of them died. Glass shows either a clear pathway to a bird, or reflects vegetation, which appears real. As many as a billion birds die annually from window collisions in the United States. It’s one of the leading causes of bird mortality.

Lynne is a recipient of the 2013 Mary Sawyers Baker Award and MSAC Individual Artist Award in Visual Arts: Photography, 2018.


   

Janet Little Jefers, (left) Painted Wash, (middle) detail of painted wash, (right) Scissure, Archival Pigment Prints

JANET LITTLE JEFFERS

Janet Little Jeffers is an Annapolis/Baltimore-based artist specializing in digital photography. With a background in graphic design and interior design, and a lifelong fascination with travel and exploration, she explores intimate and abstract details in the natural and manmade worlds, particularly decaying manmade subjects as nature slowly reclaims them. She seeks beauty and the unexpected in the overlooked, the mundane, or the eyesore. As she explores these visual worlds, the lines often blur between the micro and the macro, the natural and the manmade. It is a reminder of how interwoven we humans are with our environment, and the vulnerability of our natural surroundings as well as our manufactured creations: ultimately, the forces of nature have the power to transform—or unmake—every object forged by humankind.

 

Interruption: Grand Staircase Escalante

I have returned numerous times to the region of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in the southern Utah desert, attracted by the remote lesser-known charms of the area, from slot canyons and petrified wood to colorful badlands. In 2017, a presidential proclamation slashed the national monument in half, slicing it into portions and removing protections for the much of the area. The once-continuous stretch of protected habitat—allowing many animals to roam freely—is now broken up by the monument’s division. In addition, the monument is home to an a bee hotspot — 660 species of bees live in the area due to its diversity of flowers. The region also contains significant ruins and areas of importance to Native American tribes, as well as sites of paleontological discovery, including dinosaur fossils over 75 million years old, and the discovery of a new tyrannosaur species in 2013. Ultimately, the excluded areas of the monument could see dramatic changes through development and mining activities, as nearly 700,000 acres of newly unprotected land could now be open to mining of coal and minerals, as well as oil and gas drilling.

My recent visual explorations of the area have focused on themes of interruption and vulnerability. For more information on how you can help protect and preserve the interests of the monument, visit gsenm.org or grandcanyontrust.org.


 

 

Hugh Pocock, One thing Constantly Changing, photograph and Installation

HUGH POCOCK

Hugh Pocock is a full time faculty member at the Maryland Institute College of Art and is the founding coordinator of the Concentration in Sustainability and Social Practice. He has been the MICA PALS Fellow since 2010.

Pocock’s work inhabits the space where the “natural” and the” technological” are inseparable. Organic materials, such as water, air, salt, wood and earth and the processes of labor and industry are the platforms on which Pocock’s work are built. The history and metaphor of the human relationship to natural resources, time and energy are among the issues Pocock investigates in his sculptures, installations, performances and videos.

 

One thing, Constantly Changing

One thing, Constantly changing is an installation addressing the rapid decline of polar ice that is currently underway. The work explores our connectivity to the planet using the gallery as a demonstration site for how the dynamics of heat and water are responding and adapting to our human activity.

"The Arctic ice cap is melting. Our behavior is warming the planet and causing a massive redistribution of water. In this bowl is melted Arctic ice. It was collected near Barrow, Alaska. The heat in the room is causing the water to evaporate. The heat is generated by burning natural gas and coal. Now the molecules of this Arctic ice are in this room, you are breathing them. Some of the water will rise as vapor, and join the formation of clouds. The clouds will blow across the country, forming and changing. Along the way, some of the water will fall as rain." - Pocock


 

 

Peter Stern, (left) Alluvial II and (right) EscarpmentAerial Photography 

PETER STERN

Mine Lands to Marshes: Aerial Photography by Peter Stern

In his series Mine Lands to Marshes, Peter Stern presents his aerial images of coal mining in Pennsylvania, the Susquehanna River, and the Chesapeake Watershed, bringing these areas together to tell the story of their interconnectedness as a regional ecology, presented through Stern’s aesthetic eye for composition and beauty.

In these images viewers see the Mid-Atlantic from a unique and intimate perspective. Flying low, slow, and alone in his small airplane over the coal mines of Pennsylvania and the coastal landscapes of the lower Eastern Shore, he conveys an intimacy with his subjects that echoes his deep personal connection to the region.

 

Peter Stern, (left) 4974 and (right) Carbon, Aerial Photography

Flying between 500 and 800 feet above his subjects, and shooting primarily in “bird’s-eye” perspective, Stern discovered that he could create compositions with minimal reference to recognizable objects. These images occupy a place between the abstract and the representational, which he refers to as “Third Spaces.” As his preferred subject matter, these are not the sweeping vistas of natural splendor or the designed and manicured landscapes often seen in aerial photography. Rather he interprets the “in-between” spaces: the unusual and overlooked landscapes that provide deep visual intrigue.


 

  

BRIDGET PARLATO 

Bridget Parlato is a designer/artist/activist in Baltimore and sole proprietor of a freelance graphic design business, Full Circuit Studio and Baltimore Trash Talk, an anti-trash initiative. Her cause-related work is designed to raise awareness of our impact on the earth, our water systems, the animal world and each other.

The Cigarette Planet / Think About Your Butt Campaign

Baltimore activist Stephanie Compton approached BTT/FCS to create art from trash for the Baltimore Figment Festival. Together, Ms. Compton and Ms. Parlato collected cigarette butts from Baltimore streets and Parlato created the Cigarette Planet - emphasizing that butts are the most littered item on the planet.

On Earth Day 2020, Baltimore Trash Talk will team with Waterfront Partnership and Baltimore City to launch the Think About Your Butt Litter Campaign along areas of the harbor waterfront in downtown Baltimore. The graphics will accompany Terra Cycle cigarette butt recycling containers.

 

Keep it Neat from Stoop to Street

In hopes of a city-wide litter campaign in Baltimore city, Baltimore Trash Talk/Full Circuit Studio (BTT/FCS) created the “Keep it Neat from Stoop to Street” campaign. Street-level response to this concept has been 100% positive. Finding funding has not been possible. The concept has been limitedly used by the Southwest Partnership to beautify their 8 neighborhoods in southwest Baltimore. The posters feature actual southwest residents, highlighting people known to regularly clean their blocks.

The campaign bypasses the “Don’t Litter” approach and instead focuses on the “Do” aspects of cleaning up: joining together, create community while creating cleaner streets, and mutually care for the public places.

Concept, copy and design by Baltimore Trash Talk/Full Circuit Studio. Photography by Zizwe Allette.


 

  

JANET MAHER 

The name of the Greek earth goddess, Gaia, which came to mean Earth, evolved to the idea that all aspects of our planet are interconnected, affecting each other as if one organism, as many ancient spiritual traditions have taught. With the planet now, tragically, fully immersed in the Anthropocene Epoch, I choose to create artworks that abstractly reflect my ruminations about humans’ impact upon the earth and the environment’s health in relation to that of her inhabitants. I typically begin with “non-art-worthy” or otherwise conventionally rejected materials, then work formally with them in an attempt to reach what I consider to be a beautiful result. I hope that enough ambiguity remains such that others can find personal meanings/connections to my images and that the alchemy of intentional artmaking may help the situation.

The Gaia series grew from vestiges of demos I did for courses I was teaching. Back in my studio, through a series of processes and mixed media techniques, I explored the edges at which my results could be interpreted from either micro or macro perspectives.


Blake Conroy, Swallowtail, laser-cut paper

 BLAKE CONROY 

The Swallowtail Butterfly is a delicate creature. It is also still relatively common. So common in fact that it is mostly overlooked, except by small children. I decided to take a closer look at a single swallowtail butterfly simply because they are so often overlooked. This is a portrait of a single individual. It shows all the uniqueness of this butterfly including the wing damage it has suffered during its short but unique life. We all only get one chance at life and we should respect this is one another and not just our own species.


 

 

Andrea Huppert,  Uprooted series, Mixed Media

ANDREA HUPPERT 

My dad was an educator, athlete, outdoors man, and conservationist and was the catalyst for my deep love and reverence of nature. I spent much of my childhood at his side fishing, camping, boating and hiking while learning valuable lessons about our environment along the way.

After moving to beautiful Cromwell Valley in Baltimore County, I became distraught after watching a steep hillside being denuded for a housing development. I become more politically aware that year but could not stop a development that had already been approved. Two years later, I became more politically involved as a Community Activist to address the clear cutting of trees by BGE on Cromwell Bridge Road, a state-designated Scenic Byway. The battle, which lasted for almost five years, included Senate hearings and numerous meetings with BGE, State legislators, community members and other environmental organizations. Eventually BGE agreed to re-plant ‘manageable’ vegetation as mitigation for habitat loss and hillside erosion. They also agreed to notify residents in advance of their plans to cut trees on private properties (which they have a federally mandated right to do) that border electrical transmission lines. I’ve found it can require a passionate battle with “the powers that be” to try and protect our natural resources.

  

Andrea Huppert, Details from Uprooted series, Mixed Media

Uprooted

In my mixed media works I often incorporate visually symbolic natural imagery. Twigs, nests and birds, among colors and abstract forms that allude to opposing forces, constant change and the tentative nature of our landscapes.

This series of paintings was done after collecting unearthed and torn tree roots following construction “repairs” completed by Baltimore City on their property surrounding Loch Raven Dam. I live on a lane that is partially shared with the city as an access route for dam maintenance. Needless to say, I have frequently been at odds with them as well, for their lack of environmental stewardship.


 

 

Tina Hinojosa, Number 1 and Number 2, Silicon, sterling silver found plastic, fishing rope, dish soap

TINA HINOJOSA 

Mass production of plastic began about 60 years ago. Every 15 years, the amount of plastic produced doubles. We are currently producing about 300 million tons of plastic per year. Plastic can take an estimated 400 years to deteriorate, therefore most of the plastic produced still exists. Only 9% is recycled. What is not recycled ends up in landfills or pollutes our land and waterways and eventually ends up in the ocean.

I enjoy working with plastic and other recycled materials because it allows me to take some of these items out of the waste stream. While researching my next project, I found Plastic Oceans released by the United Nations, I was inspired to contact Dr. Jennifer Lavers in Tasmania for more information. Dr. Lavers has dedicated her life to studying the effects of plastic ocean pollution on the Flesh-footed Shearwaters on Lord Howe Island. Currently, 100% of expired chicks examined have plastic in their bellies. Dr. Lavers was nice enough to send me some plastic from the chicks’ stomachs. Originally, I planned to make something from that material, but I had a very visceral reaction when I received it. The items felt like treasures too sacred to alter and that they had a message of their own to send. This work, however, was created in response to this experience.

 

Each piece is slush cast in silicone and filled with one of the items in the top 12 of the Ocean Conservancy’s “Threat Rank Report,” published each year. Viewers are encouraged to interact with the pieces, even take them down and put them on.

The pieces are named according to their place on the Ocean Conservancy Threat Rank Report (most frequently found plastic items in the ocean)


 

  

Bridget Parlato, (left) Pollinators & Pesticides Series, (middle) Pollinators & Pesticides:Bird 2 - Dead bird and and Neonicotinoid Molecule, (right) detail of Dead bird, graphite and colored pencil on paper

BRIDGET PARLATO

Bridget Parlato is a designer/artist/activist in Baltimore and sole proprietor of a freelance graphic design business, Full Circuit Studio and Baltimore Trash Talk, an anti-trash initiative. Her cause-related work is designed to raise awareness of our impact on the earth, our water systems, the animal world and each other.

This series of drawings focuses on the problem of neonicotinoid pesticides and pollinators. Neonicotinoids are a class of insecticides chemically related to nicotine that act on receptors in the nerve synapse. They are toxic to insects, mammals, birds and other higher organisms. Marketed by European chemical giants Syngenta and Bayer, neonics are the most widely used insecticides both in the United States and globally.

Despite the EPA conceding the case that these pesticides harm bees and other pollinators, they still remain on the market.


  

Janet Maher, works from Gaia Series, Mixed Media Collage Drawings

JANET MAHER
The name of the Greek earth goddess, Gaia, which came to mean Earth, evolved to the idea that all aspects of our planet are interconnected, affecting each other as if one organism, as many ancient spiritual traditions have taught. With the planet now, tragically, fully immersed in the Anthropocene Epoch, I choose to create artworks that abstractly reflect my ruminations about humans’ impact upon the earth and the environment’s health in relation to that of her inhabitants. I typically begin with “non-art-worthy” or otherwise conventionally rejected materials, then work formally with them in an attempt to reach what I consider to be a beautiful result. I hope that enough ambiguity remains such that others can find personal meanings/connections to my images and that the alchemy of intentional artmaking may help the situation.

The Gaia series grew from vestiges of demos I did for courses I was teaching. Back in my studio, through a series of processes and mixed media techniques, I explored the edges at which my results could be interpreted from either micro or macro perspectives.

 

Start your Midnight Madness fun at Maryland Hall!

We will be holding a closing reception for our current exhibitions on Thursday, December 7th from 5:30 - 7 pm. Please join us for a FREE glass of wine while we celebrate our final exhibits of the year! Additionally, Artist-in-Residence, Patrice Drago, will be hosting a festive open studio on the third floor. She will be selling gift-sized art for the holidays - both abstract and… her beloved birds are back!​ 

Lindsay Pichaske will also be selling small festive ornaments outside of her studio. This is the perfect time to buy last minute holiday gifts that are local and handmade from our talented AIR's!

RSVP ahead of time for the closing reception and enter to win 2 free tickets to our Cirque Zuma Zuma performance on February 15th at 7:30 pm. Visit our Eventbrite page anytime before December 7th for a chance to win. The winner will be emailed information about their tickets on December 8th.

 

 

Busy Morning by Patrice Drago and a look at her festive studio ready for Dec. 7th visitors!

  

 In-progess handsculpted ornaments by Artist-in-Residence, Lindsay Pichaske

 

 

  

An Interview with Emily Welsh

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I am taking ideas and themes from older projects and working them into new projects while I am here. I went to school for printmaking. I liked intaglio on copper the best. They had a brand new studio where I went to school and they were just getting a bunch of non-toxic things. My apartment is small and I wanted to get back into printmaking. I have been elbows deep in work which lent me to be in the music industry and night-life.

I was doing a lot of sketches in bars and with musicians. I had this idea to create the sketches into prints and develop them into a more finished project. Because I have been so heavily involved in work I have not been able to express myself the way I used to so having my studio at Maryland Hall has been great.

What are the primary materials that you use?  

Pen and watercolor for the initial sketches I have been doing. I carry a small cheap ten color watercolor kit. For the prints I use copper plates and ink - typically black and white. I might experiment with color this go around though.

What’s your earliest memory of art?

Probably my art teacher from middle school. It was around Easter time and I came home with these really intricate drawings of “Eggtown” and I did everything cars, buildings, etc. In elementary school art was prominent. In Middle school, the curriculum changed and for some reason art was lost somewhere.  I was more science oriented. In highschool I went back to taking art classes.

What work of art do you most wish you’d made?

Any of Jeff Koons balloon animal sculptures mainly because I wish the large scale is something I could do. I just don’t have the means to really do that. I want to create a mechanical menagerie and have these large scale mechanical animals. They would probably be paper mache but I will refine the technique from my previous paper mache endeavors.

How has your time as an AIR been? Was it how you expected?

It has been great being here. I live with two other people and they have  turned our kitchen table into a craft center.For me, it’s really just creating a mess and not cleaning it up. So, it has been really nice to have a studio where I come back to everything where I left it. I was an AIR in the past as well and I came into that residency with no expectations. It both was and wasn’t what I was thinking.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?

I think if i don’t like the process then I won’t like the result. [In printmaking] you have to prepare the plate in such a way first or the rest of the system won’t work. If you miss a step the acid won’t set or the ink won’t dry, and so on. I become somewhat obsessed with the process. I can tell going to a bar if the process is going to work based on who is there, what music it is, what bar I’m at, etc.

What is your ideal creative activity?

Driving. I had the grand scheme of finding a studio space and etching these drawings when I was on a really long drive. It has happened multiple times - on the jersey turnpike when I have been by myself long enough that my mind starts turning and I want to pull over and start writing all these things down.

Which artists do you most admire?

I have been heavily influenced by illustrators. My grandmother had the older version of the old Wizard of Oz stories. Some are full color illustrations and some are just black and white. the whole fantastical themes stuck with me.

My favorite artists are

Quentin Blake - Roaldl Dahl Books

Hilary Knight - Elouise

W.W. Denslow - Wizard of Oz

Edward Gorey -  The Gashlycrumb Tinies

What is something you are proud of that you have created in the past?

The Electric Elephant is a book that my grandfather wrote. It was based on another story with the same title. He wrote 50 pages filled with stories and they always incorporated me and my 3 cousins, Kate, Sam, and Grace on an adventure. I illustrated the whole book.

Who are some of your role models?

Outside of my parents it would be some of the people I worked with previously. I worked at Rams Head and met a lot of really incredible tour managers. A lot of the female tour managers were really influential in a really man-dominated industry.

 

What is your creative ambition?

A mechanical menagerie based off of my animal prints is definitely something to work towards.

What are the obstacles to this ambition?

Space and size. When I was working on the elephant the last time I was here, I wanted to do an art installation kind of art walk. At the time there were a lot of unfortunate empty storefront spaces in Historic Annapolis. I would like to use those spaces at some point and create random areas for art installations. It would include a pop-up art walk.

How do you begin your day?

Currently just setting a loose plan for the day. Trying to get into a routine.

What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?

Circles are definitely repetitive in my art. If you look through any of my sketchbooks you will see them everywhere.

Is a creative dialog important to you and if so how do you find it and with whom?

Outside of doing these portraits of people at bars there was not a lot of dialog like that at work. But, I do rely on a conversation to further what I am doing. I like it to be someone who is far away from the process and from me. Sometimes it takes someone, who has no idea about my work, that asks me a question that sparks an answer or another way to see or do things.

Progression Photos by Brian Kyhos

 

 

Studio Tour with AIR Brian Kyhos

  

Pastels used in Bryan Kyhos' latest work                   AIR Brian Kyhos' studio at Maryland Hall

 

  

Ink and color from the artist's sketchbook                 Ink drawing in Brian Kyhos' sketchbook

 

  

Sketches by Artist-In-Residence Brian Kyhos           Window view of the artist's studio

 

An Interview with Brian Kyhos

What projects are you working on at the moment? Pastel drawing or paintings, depending on the way you look at them. They are also somewhat sculptural. I also do actual sculpture but I haven’t gotten into that in my studio here at Maryland Hall.

What are the primary materials that you use?  I’m working with pastel now but I also like oil painting. I have done all phases of bronze casting which was my first love. I love to work with modeling wax - it’s a very meditative process. I am mindful of the history of the material. I work with whatever materials I have at hand. I’ve been accused of being a pack-rat.

What’s your earliest memory of art? I’m not sure. I was always drawing with crayons. I was one of those kids that on my first day of kindergarten I drew a ship on the ocean and kids thought it really looked like one. I guess I have always had an innate ability.

How do you know when a work is finished? A lot of my thinking takes place in my sketchbooks. I will keep drawing and working until my brain gets so that I want to make something different. The beauty of sketchbooks is there are different ways to draw. Analytical is where you are trying to draw a figure and you want to record what you are seeing. Or, you draw out from yourself like a self-expression to get in touch with your inner side. I do both.

How has your time as an AIR been? Was it how you expected? It has been mostly great. A few distractions but the atmosphere is very supportive. And, seeing the children come in for the dance classes is wonderful. I always love meeting artists and new people. I love the social connections.

When you work, do you love the process or the result? I like both. You know the writer Henry Miller? He would make these artworks and he would sneak down at night to see them because it gave him such joy to look at them. I occasionally give work to people and I call them my children. Sometimes I forget that I have given them out and I will see them at people’s houses. I say it is like visiting my children.

What is your ideal creative activity? I love creative writing and taking pictures. Taking a walk or making food can also be a creative undertaking.

Which artists do you most admire? I like the Wyeth family. Andrew, N.C., Jamie, and Peter Hurd. The Wyeth studio is open to the public in Brandywine Pennsylvania. N.C. always considered himself to be an illustrator but he elevated it to a fine art and I love it when people are able to do that. Then it becomes a spiritual thing. For me art and music are very spiritual.

Why are they your role models? The Wyeth’s, Michelangelo, Georgia O’Keefe, Edward Hopper, Winslow Homer… there work always resonates with me. I have done a lot of reading about artists and their lives. It is always interesting to see what life they lived. Salvador Dali was very playful - as was Picasso - and that is the attitude I try to have in my work as well.

Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you? My wife does. She is a good worker and is good to use as a sounding board. My kids are too. They are all very positive in their outlooks on life. 

Who is your muse and why? My wife is definitely a muse. She inspires me to not get stuck in places and keep moving. My dog ruby is a muse for sure. He is a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. He’s a show stopper.

What is your creative ambition? World Domination. No, My ambition as I am here is to create a new body of work, to have a show and have people enjoy it.

What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat? I like to drink tea and enjoy a glass or two of wine. I like to go on walks with my wife.

Is a creative dialog important to you and if so how do you find it and with whom? I feel pretty secure in who I am and what I like to do. Dialog as far as being influenced if people like my work or not - I am not concerned with that. I like the idea of storytelling. I like people to create their own ideas about my work.

I think a lot of artists get funny about making copies of things that they like. A lot of the great masters did just that and went to museums and copied art. That’s how you learn. I find it a very helpful habit. I like to write and I have done the same thing with writing. I started keeping a journal, mostly to remember happy times, and gradually overtime they would turn into a place where I would copy passages that I have read. It is important to do that. 

Put Paint on Canvas

My drawing teacher in college was rather eccentric and spent a large part of every class spouting advice to his students.  About half of that advice was about art and the rest concerned our life choices as budding adults. Often our ears would be bleeding whilst we struggled to focus on and translate the perfect curve of our inner nostrils during portraiture. In retrospect, I think he enjoyed watching the confusion on our faces as we tried to digest his seemingly sage-like, nonsensical words of wisdom. Not much of what I learned in college has been retained even these 10 years later. One lesson, however, I recall everyday and owe to that strange teacher; he told us to “put mark on paper.” By these four words, he simply meant for us to work, whether we wanted or not. We were pushed to be productive no matter what may try to forestall us: lack of inspiration, stress, tiredness, lack of direction, lack of confidence. . .  The list of distractions could go on forever. His point, if I may presume to expand upon it, is that we have a certain amount of time to do the things we really want to do and an endless queue of things we could be doing instead. 

I do something creative every day. I put brush to canvas, pencil to paper, or torch to metal when I’m feeling good about my direction or when I’m completely lost. It’s easy when I’m feeling inspired and downright painful when I’m not motivated. When I’m done, I’m either further along on my work or I’m dead-sure that my path lies in the opposite direction of what I just completed. Working every day makes failure easier to accept and overcome, and it helps keep me connected to my work and confident about my abilities. There is nothing more intimidating to an artist than a set of tools that have gathered dust from neglect. 

Have I made mistakes with this philosophy? So many! Have I ruined paintings? Not sure. I’ve certainly become familiar with the words “artwork in crisis.” For me, the process is the best part of the excursion and the finished piece is the product, the legacy if you will, of the effort. My best advice for myself and for anyone at all is to make a mark, everyday.          -Kate Osmond

Progression photos of Kate Osmond's work

Studio Tour with AIR Kate Osmond

 

Left to right:  Ariel views of her work; different bodies of work.

    

Below left to right:  Finished work; Kate's studio
     

Bottom left to right:  works in progress; close up of Osmond's Waterfront work
    

 

An Interview with Kate Osmond

What are the primary materials that you use?  

For painting I typically do large-scale paintings on canvas and I have been starting to incorporate the use of 24 karat gold leaf. For my sculpture works I use copper and steel welding and brazing. I have to work from home for my sculptural work because it is a fire hazard here. 

What work of art do you most wish you’d made?

The work I most wish I had made is probably Andrew Wyeth’s Christina’s World because of his use of perspective. The viewer is both looking down on this woman and is also directly next to her. The feeling of isolation the woman brings fascinates me.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?

The process. I am only concerned about the process. And, I never know when a work is finished! 

What is your ideal creative activity?

That would probably be climbing around construction sites.

Which artists do you most admire?

J.M.W. Turner and Andrew Wyeth are two of my favorite painters.

What is your creative ambition?

A creative ambition of mine…. Well, I would love to one day create a giant free children’s museum.

What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?

I travel a lot with my family. I guess that’s a pattern! There is also a lot of pattern repetition in my sculptural work.

 

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR).
Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. 
Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.

Analogous is a series of site-specific works and photographic experiments that investigate the current state of photography. The works in this series make use of materials that have become increasingly obsolete in photographic practice, such as grey cards, instant film and obscure darkroom tools. By repurposing these objects, the project addresses photography’s past with reverence, while at the same time acknowledging its digital future. Also included in this project are two collaborative pieces with artist Todd Forsgren that delve into issues of art history education and the transition to digital archives in the arts.

I want to thank Maryland Hall and Sigrid Trumpy in particular for having the courage to put up shows they know are not going to sell work.  There are a plethora of private galleries in Annapolis that reinforce the cities’ reputation for having an un-evolved art scene.  What I have discovered in Annapolis is a small but sophisticated audience of people that crave more engaging art.  As an art center and not a private gallery, Maryland Hall has a duty to put up more challenging art exhibitions and thankfully they are rising to that challenge more and more of late.  I also think it is critical for artists in the community to fight the urge to make artwork that they think will sell in Annapolis.  It would be impossible to hold galleries in this town to higher standards if the artists themselves are feeding them derivative art.  Monet did a great job of being Monet all by himself.  And his art was cutting edge at the time he made it.  I think we owe it to ourselves, as a community, to foster the same type of cutting edge spirit for ourselves!

-Matthew Moore

 
Art history slides from AACC.
 
​Art History Slides repurposed for Matt's show Analogous.
 
Art History Slides that were saved by Matt Moore for his latest show.
 
Matt Moore in his studio at Maryland Hall.
 
Matt Working on 'Rose Window' for his show 'Analogous' at Maryland Hall.
 
Final Product of Matt Moore and Todd Forsgren's 'Rose Window' in their show 'Analogous'​.
 
Light trickling thorugh Matt Moore and Todd Forsgren's 'Rose Window' at Maryland Hall's Martino Gallery.
 
'Rose Window' giving the Martino Gallery a stained glass effect on the floor.
 
 
 

For more information about Matt, visit his Artist-in-Residence profile

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR). Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.

Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence Matt Moore takes you on a tour of her studio in Studio 312A.

Testing out work for his exhibition Analogous​ on display in the Martino Gallery now.

 

Photo slide panel for his exhibition Analogous​.

 

For more information about Matt, visit his Artist-in-Residence profile

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR). Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m working on my show that goes up in the Martino Gallery called Analogues which is a collaborative project with Todd Forsgren. Todd used to have a studio right across the hall and we were handed this idea about a dual show. It wasn’t something we pitched, it was just kind of there. We are taking old art history picture slides that we rescued from Anne Arundel Community College that were going to be thrown away. We are covering large acetate rolls with them to stick in the windows. We are hoping for good sunlight in the windows the night of the opening reception because they will look like large stained-glass windows. The slides will project light and shadows onto the floor to create a really cool image.

What are the primary materials that you use?  

I shoot on film still. I generally work on medium format, sometimes large format. For this show I am also using “found objects” and repurposing them into something new. That is a little bit different for me.

What’s your earliest memory of art?

In a way I feel like this question gives the impression that artists have some early childhood epiphany that they are going to become artists and I just don’t think that is true. Just because I liked art class in kindergarten, isn’t the reason I am an artist. Everyone liked art class. I know other people that had that early epiphany but for me it’s just not how I got here.

What work of art do you most wish you’d made?

There are no works that I wish I had made or didn’t make. I hate the sound of it because it sounds kind of… I don’t know. I certainly have a lot of ideas for projects, and with none of them do I think ‘I’m not going to end up doing that’. It’s either been done or will be done.

How do you know when a work is finished?

That is intuitive. I think that it is a real challenge for people. I usually have to try to force myself to push further. You get to a point with a work of art where you think its great and even your friends and artist-friends think it is great but generally in the back of your mind you know it could be better. It’s really hard to push further and take the risk of ruining what people think is really great. But, it’s really important to take that risk.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?

Both. I am going to admit that I do get a real thrill from the result. I like the process, I love the result. It’s just nice to see something finished and to realize you made that – it’s a boost for the ego and it helps you maintain your confidence. A lot of times when you are making something you are not sure where it is going. You start taping slides onto acetate for hours and your back hurts and you think ‘what if this stinks?. It is always nice to hear what other people think but its more of a personal thrill.

What is your ideal creative activity?

I really love working in the dark room at night. Sometimes I will go into the dark room, put on music and make prints for the sake of making prints. 

Which artists do you most admire?

Todd Forsgren. www.toddforsgren.com

Why are they your role models?

He isn’t really my role model. He is an artist that I admire. My grandfather was my role model. He taught me how to live.

Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?

My wife. She is very supportive of me as an artist. Sometimes that means putting more energy into our home than I do. I’ve been married for a long while and there was a time when we first got married where I went to her and said ‘I’m going to quit this job and work on this project and we are going to be poor for a while, is that ok?’ and she was like ‘go for it’. That project helped launch my career. It did launch my career. So I basically owe it all to her.

Who is your muse and why?

I don’t know that I have a muse. I don’t think I’m that type of artist that gets obsessed with one thing.

What is your creative ambition?

I want to take a metals class. I want to learn to weld. It’s not because I want to make sculptures it’s more because I want to make functional objects. I want to learn how to make a coffee table.

What are the obstacles to this ambition?

Time. I’m very busy.

What are the vital steps to achieving this ambition?

The answer is you just have to do it. You have to prioritize it and once it’s a priority you will do it. There is time to do stuff; you just have to decide what’s important. Right now it’s important for me to make certain projects before I make coffee tables. It’ll happen. To be honest it is something I have been planning on doing this year.

How do you begin your day?

I’m a big coffee drinker so that has to be a part of the equation. And, I usually just let my kids crawl around and play in the living room before I go off to work.

What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?

I don’t really have habits. Coffee is a habit. My wife and I like to go out to breakfast once a week. We are big breakfast people. We like to travel in the summer. But, I don’t really have any obsessive compulsive habits that keep me centered or anything like that.

Is a creative dialog important to you and if so how do you find it and with whom?

Creative dialogue is absolutely essential. What’s the opposite of that, you know, right? Hiding in your basement? Creative dialogue has to happen and it has to happen all the time. I have a number of people I can count on for that dialogue. Some of them are fellow colleagues at Anne Arundel Community College and some are my friends or even some of the residents here. Also, engaging my students in dialogue on a daily basis is part of the reason I teach. My job is such a pleasure. Working with those young people learning photography and getting to see them expose their first print in the dark room, I get to see that moment every semester. I can’t have that moment anymore but I get to see them have it and it is really energizing for me.

 

For more information about Matt, visit his Artist-in-Residence profile

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR). Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.

What projects are you working on at the moment?

I’m a bit of a scattered worker when it comes to inspiration.  At the moment I have several pieces in the works for my November show ‘Heirloom,’ as well as a large piece I’ve just started for my own enjoyment.  I find great inspiration in the subconscious, so I’ve decided to put some of my more vivid dreams onto canvas.  I’ve decided to work exclusively from life this June and have already completed several smaller pieces just to keep limber and bright.  

What are the primary materials that you use?

Oil on a wooden panel or scrap is my favorite combination.  I love the heaviness of the piece when I’m finished and the stand-alone capability for thicker slabs.  The paint looks more sumptuous on a block than a canvas, and repurposing the wood factors into the philosophy behind my work.    

What’s your earliest memory of art?

Of personal art? I remember being told by a kindergarten teacher not to embellish my work on the edges - I was a doodler- telling me that such behavior would not prepare me for the reality of the school work to come.  Needless to say I doodled in textbooks and handouts for the duration of my education right on into adulthood.  
As for the greater world of art, I remember my father taking me to his then job at The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.  We went behind the scenes into the conservation studio and I found myself standing right in front of one of the Degas little dancer sculptures.  I remember these studious people in white coats and gloves treating her with delicate little brushes while taking copious notes.  I knew at that moment that I wanted to work closely with the museum collections of this world.  

What work of art do you most wish you’d made?

Any John Singer Sargent watercolor.  I can replicate a space on paper or canvas, but he had a way of making light and color surreally effortless.  His innate ability takes my breath away.

How do you know when a work is finished?

When I still like it.  I have a tendency to work in hyper detail, and I’m trying to break away from this.  The pieces I’ve loved the most are looser with true and vivid color.  I’ve put pieces away for years before attempting to touch them again because I’ve painted myself into a corner.  Detail is a tricky mistress. 

How has your time as an AIR been?  Was it how you expected?

Lovely so far.  I’m about a third of the way into my 3 year term, and what I’ve loved most about it is the collective atmosphere of such varying styles all in one place.  I’ve reached out for input on many pieces and received some much-needed criticism.  I’ve also found inspiration in others whose styles could not be further from my own.   The space and the light is inspiring every time I walk into my studio.  Before I moved into this space I had been painting out of my home, which isn’t conducive to an open and creative mind.  There’s also something inspiring about being around so many rooms filled with people creating, learning, singing, and dancing.  Though the hallways may be loud at times there’s something wonderful about knowing this artistic hub is thriving and inspiring people in this city.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?

The process.  I love taking out my paints and surveying the space, and seeing the work take shape.  I love that satisfying moment when the brush applies one stroke and the color is perfection.  I tend to feel excited but a bit sad when I finish a piece I adore.  Almost like finishing a good book.  You feel satisfied and inspired at the close, and yet there’s melancholy for having to set it aside and find the next great read.  

What are your habits? What patterns do you repeat?

I always coat my boards and canvas in a red/orange layer.  Pieces without it lack warmth, and I find that I like a peek of brilliant color when I leave it untouched at the edges. I listen to nothing but soundtracks when I paint.  I prefer wordless music to talk radio in the studio.  News, books, a chat on NPR- all of these keep me rooted and I prefer to drift when I work.    

What is your ideal creative activity?

A run or hike somewhere beautiful in nature to find a good sketching spot.  I keep a trusy moleskine notebook in my purse for such times.  Nothing trumps sun and open air.  

Which artists do you most admire?

John Singer Sargent and John William Waterhouse are and have always been two of my favorite painters.  Both painted with such authority.  Sargent handled watercolors like no other artist before or since- I have always envied his ability to convey a space, especially those covered in dappled light.  There’s a looseness about his work that continues to inspire and frustrate me.  Waterhouse caters more to my 10 year old self who retreated into trees with a good book to dream of knights and dragons.  His work more controlled but lovely.  Alan Lee began inspiring me around the same time frame- there’s an eerie beauty to his work.  There’s something to be said for someone with his illustrative capability who still works on paper and not a computer. 

Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?

Too many to enumerate here, but oh lord yes.  I’ve somehow lucked into knowing and being related to some true gems.  A writer, who inspires me to keep my mind open to new materials and the lives around me.  A painter, who keeps a meticulous record of her life and travels in some unbelievably illustrated notebooks.  A gardening enthusiast who keeps my eyes open to the possible uses of forgotten things.  A traveler who keeps my spirit open to the vastness of the world I have yet to experience and be inspired by.  

What is your creative ambition?

I want to create work without pausing to contemplate a pieces usefulness or reception by others.  I crave a truly inspired method of creation that I can feel with every piece.  

What are the obstacles to this ambition?

My own tempestuous nature.   Keeping to a plan is a mechanism that allows me to create without becoming to frustrated with mediocre work.  I think most artists suffer with that internal knowledge that not everything we create is going to be a success, whether by outside standards or our own.  Letting go of that innate worry is I hope something that will grow with time.

How do you begin your day?

Coffee.  An open window.   If I’ve been reading a new book, a few chapters.  

Is a creative dialog important to you and if so how do you find it and with whom?

Absolutely.  We all need feedback and a sounding board.  I don’t consult any one person, but have found great input in the other AIR’s since moving into my space.  I have many friends abroad and it can be helpful to suss out ideas with those who have been trained using completely different methods.  I’ll never be so convinced of my own work that I can’t still grow and learn from those around me.    

 

For more information about Anne, visit her Artist-in-Residence profile

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR). Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.

 

Interview conducted by Gallery Director, Sigrid Trumpy.

 

What projects are you working on at the moment?
I am currently working on a series of six paintings entitled Body of Water. There are three large-scale paintings and three small, which depict the human form merged with water – ocean, bay and tributary. The concept is to unify the human form with these bodies of water to demonstrate how interconnected we are.

What are the primary materials that you use?
I use oil paint directly from the tube or can, occasionally mixed with plaster, wax or linseed oil to give it some texture.  I work on triple primed canvases. My larger works are up to 5' x 5' and small around 30" x 40."  In order to get the desired affect, I use a variety of palate knives and filbert brushes.

What's your earliest memory of art?
My earliest memory of art is my mother bringing home a landscape painting when I was about 5 years old, followed by her painting of a vegetable still life in oil. It was a very small canvas and tightly worked, realistic in style.  Around the same age, I recall watching my grandfather handcraft a violin.  I remember feeling in awe of him, and knowing at that time I wanted to learn how to create something from nothing.

What work of art do you most wish you'd made?
Great question.  A painting, Marc Rothko's White Center.

How do you know when a work is finished?
Something I learned early on is a work is not finished when someone else thinks you’re finished; it’s about how you, as the artist, feel. To me something is finished when I feel a connection with the work, that it’s able to communicate what I had intended it to communicate.  

How has your time as an AIR been?  Was it how you expected?
My time as an artist-in-residence has been extremely satisfying. I’ve enjoyed the studio space – the scale, the light – as well as having the opportunity to connect with the other AIRs and learn from each other.

When you work, do you love the process or the result?
I choose the result.  The process of laying and shaping paint can be tedious, followed by the tightening and enclosing of the shapes. Perhaps like designing a room, or making a paella, the assembly process is long and often wrought with challenges, but the result is well worth it.

What are your habits?  What patterns do you repeat?
I tend to repeat a combination of smooth and heavy/relief surfaces with paint. Additionally, I float the edges, providing a frame-like finish.  I work left to middle, then right to middle, using both hands.  

What is your ideal creative activity?
Painting.  Alone. Or, with a book-on-tape.

Which artists do you most admire?
Louise Bourgeois for her range of work and feministic themes.  Holding Sunday Salon's - a crit. for student's and creating the movement of confession art.  I love her spider sculpture in DC. Helen Frankenhaler for her gorgeous stain paintings and the first artist who introduced me to the color field style. Also, locally, Claire McCardle for working with marble, which frightens me.

Does anyone in your life regularly inspire you?
A childhood friend, a New Yorker, who embodies "the art of living beautifully." 

What is your creative ambition?
I would like to have a greater presence in commercial spaces. Most of my work is large-scale and lends itself to open, public spaces.

I also have an aspiration for the local arts community as a whole.  Artists are challenged to find the right environment to learn, create, and be inspired to hone their craft. My hope is someday we could identify a benefactor to support local artists by dedicating a building to studio and gallery spaces. Think the Arts Tower in Baltimore (Bromo Seltzer tower). 

What are the obstacles to this ambition?
Regarding my personal ambition, it's simply about finding the time - and mental energy- to develop a greater presence on social media in order to engage with architects, commercial builders, etc., instead of going through a dealer to form those relationships.

In terms of community outreach, Annapolis is fast recognizable as an artist haven. Given that, it just comes down to the funding. Build it and we will fill it.

How do you begin your day?
I always start with coffee and the NYTimes, followed by walking my dog, Scout.  I use that time to mentally plan how I'm going to use the studio time for the day.  I try to walk from my home in Eastport to the studio at least a couple times a week to clear my mind.

Is a creative dialog important to you and if so how do you find it and with whom?
It is important.  Painting is a singular vocation, and although I'm comfortable with alone time, I do feel outlets for shared passion are vital.  Art speak is in everything -fashion, food, travel, architecture and design.  Perhaps "Sunday Salon" needs continuance.

 

For more information about Lorraine, visit her Artist-in-Residence profile

This is part of an ongoing monthly series featuring a Maryland Hall Artist-in-Residence (AIR). Check Maryland Hall's website every week for a new post. Each month we will feature a different AIR. Click here to visit the Maryland Hall AIR page.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Artist