The theme of the Towson Arts Collective's new show opening this week — "Things that Glow in the Dark" — sounds like a straightforward, if not seizure-inducing concept.
But visitors of the show, like the TAC organizers, are likely to be pleasantly surprised by the breadth of submissions on display.
"When I was looking at (submissions), there were questions in my mind of, 'Why would these people necessarily submit for this show?' " said Quentin Moseley, a participating artist and one of two jurors for the show.
"But slowly, as I looked at the submissions, I realized I should have a broader definition of it. We've got a really diverse show as a result," he said.
The show launches Friday, Oct. 5, with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m., and extends through most of October. It includes not only the neon lights and fluorescent colors that its name implies, but also a collection of photographs, paintings and sculptures that feature a more natural glow.
"I think it's a matter of really getting a good variety, to let people really think through that subject (glow) and come up with all kinds of sensations with it," Moseley said.
The show's photography features both glowing nighttime displays and unique displays of natural light. The photo submissions were a surprise, though Moseley grew to appreciate them.
"That think that maybe they're more quickly aware of catching that moment, that instant of light," Moseley said.
Moseley, who teaches printmaking at Maryland Institute College of Art, also appreciated the paintings of the exhibit, many of which captured nighttime scenes illuminated by lights that glow in the dark.
There are also several untraditional sculptures that use art in untraditional ways. A set of drums made by Jenn Figg and Matthew McCormack use the drum of a speaker to light up different colored bulbs inside the drum each time it's hit.
Josh Gillen, president of Sculptors Incorporated Baltimore, submitted a piece inspired by the bright colors and shapes found in aquarium tanks. Annette Wilson Jones made a set of small topographic display made of small items collected on her commute to Annapolis.
A sculpture by Melissa Burley uses natural, recycled materials to create a cascade of light from within a wooden box.
Other artists include Megan Amoss, John W. Bishop, Norm Dubin, Katherine Fahey, Stephanie Garmey, Howard Greenberg, Abigail Ingersoll Gilberton, Chip Irvine, Joan Kolker, Cathy Leahcraft, Jerry Seaton, Corinna Stone, Donald Struke, Nan Thompson, Linnea Tober and Kris Willet.
Towson University professor Jenee Mateer also juried the show and submitted exhibits.
An admitted neon enthusiast himself, Moseley's submissions include a pair of "Neolithic neons" that he built, which represent rock formations with neon lights mixed in that he thought were more subtle. The neon display he brought for the window of TAC, however, "is not going to be subtle," Moseley said.
That display, as well as the bright sculptures within the collection, will allow the show to effectively market itself. The gallery will be open from noon to 5 p.m. every Thursday, Friday and Saturday, and by appointment in the evening.
Exhibit coordinator Diana Margiotta said the group was looking to add interns to staff the exhibit on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons as well, but the real hook will be the bright displays that shine out to West Chesapeake Avenue after-hours.
"At night, people can see our gallery just walking by," Margiotta said. "The paintings won't be as bright, but the lit pieces will be outstanding."
The Towson Arts Collective's "Things that Glow in the Dark" display opens Oct. 5, at 40 W. Chesapeake Ave., Towson. For details, go to http://www.towsonartscollective.org.