When Willowbrook Studio presents its annual Art Show and Sale on May 19 and 20 at Oliver's Carriage House in Columbia, it's more than just a chance for a group of Howard County artists to display their work. That's because 10 percent of the sales proceeds will go to Grassroots Route 1 Day Resource Center, which assists homeless individuals in Howard County.
Hosting this benefit-oriented annual exhibit is an important activity for Willowbrook, a private art program founded in 2003 and located since 2006 in a building constructed in Clarksville.
"We decided the students would love to have such an exhibit. We're now in our 12th year of doing it," said Willowbrook Studio founder Martha Lohaus.
Herself trained at the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Maine College of Art, Lohaus teaches a loyal group of local artists who in most cases have taken weekly classes with her since Willowbrook was founded.
Lohaus said that her formal instruction recently has given way to the students providing critique sessions of each other's work within an open studio environment.
"I hope they'e outgrowing me," Lohaus said with a laugh.
The artists working in various mediums clearly are drawn to a place in which they have gotten to know each other and their artwork.
"It's the most nurturing and creative environment I can imagine," said Allison Korn, one of the Willowbrook artists, about their weekly sessions at the Clarksville facility. "It's a beautiful, sunlit location, so we just love coming there. It's so supportive and enthusiastic, and we are allowed to grow creatively."
Korn, who lives in Allview, does watercolors depicting exterior house "portraits" and also domestic interiors.
Korn's watercolors and Lohaus' paintings will be included along with work by 15 other artists in the upcoming benefit exhibit.
Willowbrook holds its 12th annual Art Show and Sale on May 19 and 20 at Oliver's Carriage House, 5410 Leaf Treader Way in Columbia. There is a reception May 19, 5:30- 8 p.m.; and the show also will be on display May 20, from noon to 3 p.m. Call 410-446-7584 or go to www.willowbrookpainters.com