Exhibition | Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts

Exhibition

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.

 

Podcast: A Conversation with Tom Stoner: Maryland Hall's Exhibitions Coordinator, Emily Kohlenstein, talks with Tom Stoner about collecting time-based media and incorporating it into his home. Tom explains the relevance of nature, both, in his video-art collection and his foundation Nature Sacred (TKF Foundation) which supports green spaces in urban areas.

Related Programming
March 22-25: Outdoor Installation

Special outdoor video installation during the
Annapolis Film Festival featuring Kelly Richardson’s work (cover image) displayed at Maryland Hall.

Tuesday, April 24, 7 pm: Main Theatre
A Conversation with Tom Stoner: Gallery Talk and Screening

Tom Stoner will share the fun and challenges presented by collecting media art and present two special screenings: Travel, 1996-2013, by David Claerbout (Belgium) and Wooden Boulder, 1978-2003, by David Nash (UK).
Refreshments to follow in the galleries.
RSVP for A Conversation with Tom Stoner at exhibits@marylandhall.org

 

Exiles of the Shattered Star, 2006  Kelly Richardson

From the Collection of Kitty and Tom Stoner

Maryland Hall announces its first all-video exhibition and art-based collaboration with Annapolis Film Festival, Glistening:  Nature Mirrored in Video Art. 

Glimmers in the vastness of outer space, tide side shadows, sun drenched forests at dawn, and shifts prompted by seasonal cycles are among the inspirations for this selection of new media artworks from the collection of Tom and Kitty Stoner.

Explore how artists from around the world bring the glories of the great outdoors inside at installations in and around Maryland Hall galleries. 

Exhibition Curator Kelly Gordon reports, “The diversity of the Stoner Collection provides a lively primer for anyone curious about this flourishing dimension of recent art."

Tom and Kitty Stoner with Kelly Richardson's Exile of the Shattered Star, Photo by Maureen Porto Photography

The Stoner's in their home with Jessica SteinKamp's Rapunzel, Photo by Maureen Porto Photography

 


ABOUT KITTY AND TOM STONER

In 1983, Native Iowans with a zest for art, Tom and Kitty Stoner were drawn to Annapolis for its historical charm, warm-spirited community and, like many, the great sailing.

They surrounded themselves with works by leading 20th century sculptors, from Rodin to Goldberg, and cultivated a distinctive collection by assembling a cache of drawings by sculptors.

Parallel to this endeavor they established a foundation - TKF - to create nature-focused contemplative spaces that counter the dynamic of settings associated with high stress (naturescared.org).

Kitty and Tom Stoner, Photo by Maureen Porto Photography

They share a conviction that nature is a source for solace and reflection. This informs their philanthropic work as well as their art collection. Beginning in 2005, they shifted to encompass moving image art - video and digital creations.

Media art works are often frenetic and yet the Stoner's focus on acquisitions that celebrate nature and induce engaged meditation. Among the small tribe of those daring enough to collect video art work, few have integrated it as thoroughly into their home life style where it breathes side-by-side with their daily routines, at their threshold, in their hallways and even in their kitchen.

Mr. Stoner, who worked in the communications industry for 35 years, shares with Kitty an innate curiosity for the new and the next, and both exude youthful vigor. This outlook led them to a 21st century art that is driven by young and emerging artists.

 "What has surprised me most about building a media collection is the interactivity that exists between moving images and adjacent spaces. It's like on large conversation... especially if the collection is focused on its content. It will be thrilling for me and Kitty to share these compelling works with Annapolitans... even if it means a blank wall in the kitchen." - Tom Stoner

Last week the galleries were filled with students from the Bates Liberal Arts Band and PVA (Performing and Visual Arts)  classes. They were greeted by artist H.C. Porter whose traveling exhibition Blues @ Home: Mississippi's Living Blues Legends is showcased in both the Chaney and Martino Galleries through March 3.

Porter explained the culture of Blues music and its heritage from the state of Mississippi, the background of the Blues @ Home project including interviews and oral histories of each living legend, and the process and techniques of her work - starting as a photograph, transforming into a high-contrast silk-screen image, and finally becoming a mixed media painting with acrylic paint and prisma-color pencil.

    

The students all had an opportunity to use the audio wands provided and listened to the oral histories of the musicians. They spent time answering questions made up by their teachers. They engaged with the artist and asked questions about her work. Additionally, they reflected on how the work relates to what they are learning about in  class, whether it be the musical and performance aspect for the band students or the mixed media technique for the visual arts students. History takes part as well. We look forward to even more groups in the coming weeks.

   

It is great to see the community engaging with our galleries and we enjoy bringing students from various schools who have found relevance in their curriculum and what we are showcasing. If you are interested in setting up a time for your class (or other group) to visit the galleries and meet the artist please contact Emily Kohlenstein (Exhibitions Coordinator) at ekohlenstein@mdhallarts.org.

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.

AUTHOR BIO

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 janicebooth@verizon.net. Read her blog at www.open-line.org  

 

Father/daughter duo Peter and Lisa Egeli held a gallery talk on March 11 for their exhibition "Nature/Nurture: The Paintings of Father and Daughter" on display in the Chaney Gallery. The gallery talk was well attended and a number of their paintings have already sold. If you have the opportunity to, stop by and check out their exhibition along with Patrice Drago's and Ruth Connell's also on display at Maryland Hall through April 11.  Ruth Connell will be hosting a gallery talk on Wednesday, April 8 at 5:30 pm.

Photos courtesy of Patrick O'Brien - www.PatrickOBrienStudio.com

Please join us for a free Gallery Talk on Monday, February 9 at 6 pm. 

Matt Korbelac, president of the Digital Photography Club of Annapolis will introduce the winners of the Digital Visions: Annual Juried Show of the Digital Photography Club of Annapolis in the Chaney Gallery. The winners will discuss their piece, addressing why they chose to take it and how they addressed problems in doing so. Printing on various papers and other materials and framing choices will also be discussed. Speakers will include James Walker speaking for himself and Annette Uroskie, Chris Edwards and Lynann Rudert. 

Immediately following the talk in the Chaney Gallery, head up to the third floor for a discussion in the Balcony Gallery by Vince Lupo about his photographs. Vince says of his work, “These photos are impressions of where I've been, what I've seen and the feelings these encounters have evoked.  Call them my visual "curricula vitae," or at least a small sliver of them.”

 

All That Art Auction Event:  Friday, March 7, 6-9 pm;  Tickets:  $75/person.

Click here to purchase tickets.

Mark you calendars for Maryland Hall's 9th annual All That Art fundraising event.  Enjoy an elegant reception in the galleries on Friday, March 7 and bid on artwork throughout the evening by noteworthy local and regional artists.  Proceeds from All That Art benefit the artists and Maryland Hall's visual arts program and outreach activities.  More than 40 pieces of art will be up for auction during All That Art, with pieces ranging from drawing and paintings to sculpture and jewelry.  An exhibition of all the work up for auction is on display in both galleries from February 24 through March 7.  Patrons can tour the galleries (free) during the exhibition and selected works (TBA) will be available for sale at "buy it now" prices prior to the auction.    

Juried Artists:

Mark Aruta
c.l. bigelow
Terri Borges
Lisa BurgerLentz
Rick Casali
Ruth Connell
Shelia Delaquil
Don Dement
Edie Dillon
Patrice Drago
James Earl
Joanette Egeli
Lorraine Ellerson
Richard Foa
Melissa Gryder
Douglas Hanewinckel
Gail Higginbotham
Channing Houston
Viki Keating
Gayla Lee
Fern Loos Beu
Nancy McCarra
Rufus Norman
Larry Ringgold
Doris Ross
Desiree Holmes Scherini
Wilford Scott
Thackray Seznec
Lida Stifel
Merla Tootle
Linda Trope
Shannon Troxler
Andree Tullier
Erika Walsh
Roxanne Weidele
Rob Wood
Patricia Worsham
William C. Wright
 
Invited Artists:
Karin Abromaitis
Sasha Blanton
Joe Dickey
Charles E. Emery
Kevin Fitzgerald
Joanne Graham
Nancy Hammond
Claire McArdle
Jill Tanenbaum
Marion E. Warren
Mindy Weisel
Elliott Zuckerman
 

Thanks to our All That Art Sponsors (to date):

 

All That Art began in 2006 and since then has grown into Maryland Hall's second largest fundraising event thanks to the generosity and support of individual art patrons, collectors and local businesses that support the event through sponsorship support, donations and art purchases.  Proceeds from the sale of the art is split evenly between the artists and Maryland Hall.  In addition to sales, the event provides artists with recognition and visibility to new audiences.

All That Art benefits Maryland Hall's visual arts program, which mounts countless exhibitions throughout the year, providing additional exposure to artists.  The event also support Maryland Hall's outreach activities that ensure students of all backgrounds have access to the arts.

At right:  Top:  Lida Stifel, "Fantasy Flowers," oil and Terri Borges, "Fields of Yellow," mosaic

Artists interested in being considered for the exhibition/auction can apply on our web site by clicking here or downloading the call to artists here and responding via mail.  The deadline for submission is November 1.

Call to Artists Prospectus

Background/History

Maryland Hall is hosting our 9th Annual All That Art exhibition and auction fundraising event.  Maryland Hall hosts this event to raise funds for our visual arts program and to benefit local artists; auction sales are split equally between the artist and Maryland Hall.

All That Art includes an exhibit in the galleries from February 24-March 7, 2014, culminating in a ticketed elegant reception and auction on March 7 from 6-9 pm.   

Last year’s All That Art was our most successful ever — with net proceeds of more than $82,000, a 29% increase over our net total last year.  As you may know, proceeds from All That Art are used to support the artists who participate in the auction; to underwrite and grow our visual arts program; and to fund our ArtReach program which supports arts access for underserved students. 

Art sales were particularly good in 2013 again due to many factors.  The event has continued to attract committed art buyers who are passionate about purchasing art and supporting Maryland Hall.  Thanks to the artists, we had a wide variety of high-quality artwork to sell.  And our talented auctioneer, Brenda Anderson, helped connect the audience to the artwork and artists, resulting in many pieces selling for over retail value.   In both auctions, judicious starting bids helped generate bidding, enabling almost every piece of artwork to sell this year.

All That Art 2014 Schedule

Friday, November 1:  Deadline:  Artists submit work for jury’s consideration.   Jury may contact artists about their work during the jury process. * (see special note) 

Tuesday, December 3:  MHCA contacts artists with jury’s decisions.

December/January:  Jury continues to consult with accepted artists as necessary about specific pieces in the auction.

Friday, February 14:  On-line catalog of works published at www.marylandhall.org.

Monday, February 17: Drop off of work, Room 208, 10 am-5 pm.

Monday, February 24- Friday, March 7:  Work is exhibited and for sale in the Chaney and Martino Galleries.

Friday, March 7:  All That Art Auctions, Exhibit and Reception, Galleries and Lower Level Community Gathering Space; 6-9 pm.

Monday, March 10:  Artists notified if any work is not sold.

Tuesday-Wednesday, March 11-12:  All unsold artwork picked up, 10 am to 5 pm.

Entry Requirements

We are seeking your highest quality work in all media including but not limited to, drawing, painting, sculpture, jewelry, pottery, mixed media and photography.  The All That Art jury will consist of Brenda Anderson, Mary Torggler, Joanie Surrette and Sigrid Trumpy.                   

For All That Art 2014, artists will participate through two processes:  invited artists and juried artists.

  1. Juried artists will come from an open selection process (outlined in this call) where all artists are invited to submit work to be considered by the All That Art jury.

      2.  Several artists will be invited separately by members of the All That Art Advisory committee to participate in the event.

Submission Guidelines

  • Artists should submit three works for the jury’s consideration by November 1.
  • Artists may submit three works for the auction to be considered by the jury; the jury will choose one work for the auction, OR;
  • If an artist would like to create a specific work to be sold at the auction or has one or more works in progress but not yet complete by the deadline, this should be noted on the submission form.  In this case, an artist may submit up to three examples of their work for the jury’s consideration.  Works submitted should be representative of style, price or medium of the works in progress.
  • Work must have been created within the past two years and not exhibited in any other setting within a 30-mile radius of Annapolis.
  • Work can be two or three-dimensional, from any media.
  • The jury will select the artists to include in the exhibition/auction by December 3.

Of Special Note: 

  • Because All That Art is primarily a fundraising event for both the artists and Maryland Hall, the jury is seeking a specific mix of work and price ranges for auction.  Therefore, a member of the jury may contact artists at any point in the selection process to view or discuss works in progress, discuss pricing or request an alternate piece for the auction.  

Exhibit/Auction Information

The decision on which art will be sold in the live or silent auction will be made upon the receipt of all actual artwork.  All work must be framed with wire (no saw tooth hangers or stationary hooks are acceptable) and received ready for installation.  Artwork should not exceed 4 feet in any direction or weigh over 40 pounds.  MHCA reserves the right to refuse a piece if it varies significantly from the submitted image and the criteria upon which it was initially accepted or if the work is improperly presented or considered unsafe.

Publicity

All artists will be listed on the event invitation; in press releases; on Maryland Hall’s web site exhibit calendar; in a web site catalog available before the event; in the printed event catalog; and in event signage.

Mailing List

MHCA is asking artists to provide a list of patrons who collect their work for inclusion in the event invitation mailing list.  Along with inviting patrons to the auction, the invitation will notify patrons that your work will be for sale and exhibited in the galleries from February 24-March 7. Use of this list is strictly limited to invitations for “All That Art” only.  Please submit a list of your patrons with your application.  

Commission and Payment

The final bid (sale price) for each artwork sold will be divided equally between the artist and MHCA.  Artists will establish suggested minimum bid and the retail value.  When establishing your minimum bid please choose an amount that you are comfortable with, given the 50/50 split with Maryland Hall.  Artists may choose to increase the amount given to MHCA if they desire.  MHCA’s goal is not to undersell any piece of art in the auction and to give full respect to your established sales record. Artists will receive the name of the purchaser and a check for their portion of the sale by April 1, 2014.

Insurance and Liability

All works are insured against physical damage or loss by Maryland Hall from receipt on February 17 through March 10, when unsold work is to be retrieved by the artist.  The insurance value is the retail or fair market value of the piece.  Slides and CDs become the property of MHCA and MHCA reserves the right to use the images of accepted works for publicity and educational purposes.  All artwork must be original, no reproductions (including giclees, commercially printed or computer generated reproductions of paintings, drawings, etc.)  Work that is submitted electronically should be available for auction; substitutions must be approved in advance by the jury.  Submission of the entry form constitutes understanding and agreement with all the conditions outlined in this prospectus.

Click here to apply on-line. 

Questions about the auction or the submission process should be directed to Kelsey Presswood,kpresswood@mdhallarts.org or 410-263-5544, ext. 25

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