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News Maryland Carroll County Westminster

Arts Council opens Civil War exhibit

Art and Civil War enthusiasts will both be drawn to the Carroll County Arts Center over the next two months.

The Carroll County Arts Council recently unveiled its “Images of the Civil War” exhibit in time for the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Westminster, a skirmish commonly known as Corbit's Charge, that took place June 29, 1863, a few days before the Battle of Gettysburg.

The arts council hosted the exhibit's opening celebration June 13 with about 160 people attending.

Susan Williamson, visual arts coordinator of the arts council, said the majority of the pieces displayed come from arts council members who created their pieces within the last nine months.

Other works come from artists in Frederick, Gaithersburg, Cambridge, and as far as New York.

"Everything is new, which is the beauty of this show," Williamson said.

Works include oil paintings, water color, pastels, 3D printing, photography, and jewelry among other styles.

Williamson said there is a "wonderful breadth and depth" in the topics explored by artists. The show includes pieces on President Abraham Lincoln, confederate and union soldiers, soldier burial grounds, women of the war, spies, and Harriet Tubman's efforts with the Underground Railroad.

"I learned more about the Civil War putting this show together than I did in high school," Williamson said.

Two pieces from local artists stem from reenactments in Gettysburg and Westminster.

Susan Bloom, an art professor at McDaniel College, has several pieces in the show, including a photograph collage from a 1999 recreation in Gettysburg.

Bloom, who acknowledged the Civil War is an ongoing interest of hers, said she was included in a group who was allowed to recreate scenes of a suspected burial site after a battle in Gettysburg National Military Park, which served as the basis for her work in the exhibit.

Bloom also praised the Arts Council decision to stage the show.

"I think it was a little risky on the Arts Council's part and I think that's great for them to put themselves out there and make this happen," she said.

Westminster resident Bill Weaver based his oil painting of a Union soldier off a photo he took at the April Civil War reenactment at the Carroll County Farm Museum.

Weaver said he took a photo of an unknowing reenactor to demonstrate how an actual soldier would have felt after a long day.

"I liked this one because it was so innocent and unposed," he said.

The arts council also plans to show the 2003 film "Cold Mountain" June 21 in observance of the 150th Anniversary of the Civil War. The movie, based in the final days of the Civil War, follows a wounded solider as he journeys back to North Carolina to reunite with his sweetheart.

Tickets for "Cold Mountain" are $6 for adults, and $5 for arts center members, students, and seniors.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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