Community College of Baltimore County

Towson resident Emilyann Craighead, a student at the Community College of Baltimore County, stands with one of the works of art in the gallery on the school's Catonsville campus. Craighead is the curator for the exhibit, which includes works by seven regional artists. This unusual work by Philadelphia artist Alex Queral is a series of bas relief portraits using an acrylic medium on handcarved telephone books. (Photo by Phil Grout / July 12, 2012)

Activity on the Catonsville campus of the Community College of Baltimore County slows down in the summer as students and teachers use the time to recover from the school year.

But the art gallery in the Q Building has some outside help in its fight to attract area art lovers to its Re:Purpose exhibit, which features art made from recycled materials.

Re:Purpose opened on June 25 with a sponsorship from M&T Bank that has helped stimulate interest in the free show, which runs through Aug. 4 and features work by seven area artists.

The bank designated the CCBC gallery and 19 others in the Baltimore area as an Artscape 2012 Showcase Gallery. That designation is designed to link the arts to the community and extend the celebration of this weekend's Artscape, which bills itself as the nation's largest free arts festival, said Tom Crawford, a spokesman for M&T Bank.

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"We asked, 'How can we extend the celebration of Artscape and really encompass the entire summer and pull some of these community galleries into the mix?" Crawford said.

What separated CCBC from other galleries was who designed it.

"They chose a student to curate the exhibit, which is very unique," Crawford said. "We just found it compelling that they were involving the student body."

Curating the exhibit at CCBC was Emilyann Craighead, whose career goal is be a curator.

"It's been wonderful. It's been just dream-like," the 21-year-old Towson resident said. "I love that so many people have shown up because I think these works are really wonderful."

Craighead had curated an art show on the Dundalk campus of CCBC in fall 2010, and said she appreciated the opportunity to do so again.

"I'm not that good of an artist, but I want to know what people do," said Craighead, who could graduate from CCBC as early as this fall and hopefully transfer to a four-year college.

Craighead earned the right to curate an exhibit based on an in-class competition.

Once selected by the school's Exhibit Committee, Craighead had a little over a month to put the show together.

"For the Artscape exhibition, you have five weeks from when you know you've been awarded space to contact artists and see if they're available," she said.

Her exhibit features the works of seven artists, with two coming from a list supplied by the Baltimore Office of Promotion in the Arts.

She said she hit some "bumps in the road" as she rushed to put the show together.

For example, she didn't have enough art to fill the gallery, but two artists pitched in and gave her some more work.

Despite the tense moments, Craighead said the opportunity to be part of Artscape was too good to pass up.

"It's such an honor to be part of that," Craighead said. "I'm really happy to be having it during the summer."

Making an impression