Autumn — the final act of summer that shows us the culmination of what opened in the spring. The range of color, the layers of vibrant and mutant tones morph into that which will pass almost as we watch, and take on an entirely different type of beauty.
There is an unmistakable, comforting feeling of change. The change of what once was is no more, and the constancy of adapting as the cycle continues and we embrace what is ahead.
For many of us, it causes us to go deeper. And, as art imitates life (and life imitates art), the exhibits in Annapolis this month are rich with stories, and are in tune with this deep dive into subjects and themes.
From the origins of children’s book illustrations to the very important current topic of understanding mental health and other aspects of the human condition. There are opportunities to understand the methods and psyches of traditional painters, and to see expressions with paint that push the boundaries. As always, I encourage everyone to go beyond just viewing. Engage in the discussion and walk away enriched.
I am giving thanks this month to the variety of art and attitudes of curiosity and acceptance that expands our hearts and pulls our community together.
Meet Jay Fleming in the Annapolis Collection Gallery from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Enjoy Fleming’s framed photos on canvas, as well as an exhibit of watercolors by Greg Harlin, oils by Roxie Munro and a special selection of her original New Yorker magazine covers. The Gallery is getting in the spirit of the season and will be open late throughout the holidays.
ArtFarm’s November exhibition features the work of Leah Sarrah Bassett, a self-taught artist from Baltimore. Her creative production revolves around classic figurative painting, presented in a contemporary manner. Tapping into the vulnerability of the human condition with openhearted love, she addresses the contrast of the dark and light that exist within all of us. Meet the artist from 3 to 6 p.m. Sunday.
49 West Coffeehouse & Wine Bar’s November exhibition is a show by artists Laura M. Baer and Anthony (Ant) LaVorgna. “You don’t look sick!” is a phrase heard far too often by those suffering with chronic illness. About half of American adults appear fine on the outside but feel sick and tired on the inside.
It is the grief, the hope, and found humor of unique yet shared experiences. In abstracted forms, the work is a visual journey depicting the struggle to decipher symptoms versus identity, the highs and lows, and the frustrations and victories. The exhibit opens today with a reception in the back room from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday.
“Childhood Classics: 100 Years of Children’s Book Illustration” is currently on view in the Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College through Dec 16. This private collection features over 125 works from 60 artists and provides a good overview of the evolution of illustration for children’s books.
The artists included in the exhibition have been Caldecott winners or honorees such as Maurice Sendak, Floyd Cooper, Arnold Lobel, Garth Williams, Chris Van Allsburg, David Wisniewski and others. Works are original in all types of media and include a crayon drawing of “The Cat in the Hat” by Dr. Seuss, gouache cartoons of Yogi Bear and Bugs Bunny, and graphite drawings of Snow White and more. Classic tales of “Peter Rabbit,” “Frog and Toad,” "Charlotte’s Web,” "Stuart Little,” “Babar,” “Eloise” and “Madeline,” and illustrations from a number of the “Little Golden Books” are also part of the exhibition.
Selected works will be interactive through Augmented Reality, a special app that allows viewers to catch links to interesting facts, film clips, interviews and related information through their cellphones or hand-held devices. A “Try-It” for adults will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday; registration is required. The collectors’ talk will be from 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. No registration is required. The exhibition was curated and organized by Lee Cohen and Lois Sarkisian in association with Landau Traveling Exhibitions.
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts is pleased to announce the opening of three art exhibitions for the fall, running through Dec. 19. An opening reception for all three exhibits plus Open Studios by the third-floor artists in residence will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, with an art talk and gallery walkthrough by Vicco Von Voss at 6 p.m. Nov. 12.
In the Chaney Gallery: “Symbiosis” by Vicco von Voss opens Thursday. A craftsman, artist and designer working in wood, von Voss’ need to explore beyond his artistic boundaries by inviting collaboration is presented in “Symbiosis.” Interwoven with von Voss’ woodwork are pieces by Sara Bakken, a fabric and glass artist, and Blake Conroy’s work in metal resulting in a cohesive visual whole greater than any respective medium or a single artist’s realm of expression.
In the Martino Gallery: “Familiarity” by Jenna Wright opens Thursday. Wright works primarily in Ceramics, exploring our understanding of home, domestic comforts and objects, as well as introducing personal subject matter. Wright says, “I am exploring our understanding of home, domestic comforts and objects … the dense suburban environment I was raised in, and the city I live in currently. The molding of an individual, the formation of a home and the shaping of a landscape all have common ideals in our society.”
And in the Openshaw Balcony Gallery: “Fearless Girls Photography Group Exhibition” is on view now. Alison Harbaugh, founder of Fearless Girls Photography, says, “Our goal for the summer Fearless Photography Camp was to teach the Selfie Generation to turn their camera around and document their community. This show highlights stories created about seven local businesses.”
West Annapolis Artworks and Fine Framing continues its show by four outstanding plein air artists, “Oh the Places We Go!” David Diaz, Carol Cowie, Jane Knighton and Georgette Toews travel near and far. They live to paint, and paint to live. The exhibit is on view through Nov. 17, and there is a meet-the-artist party and art talk from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday.
The Maryland Federation of Arts Circle Gallery presents “Strokes of Genius.” This national juried exhibition of work created with any painting media — oil, pastel, watercolor, acrylic, encaustic and more — was juried by Joey Mánlapaz of the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design. View the exhibit at Circle Gallery through Nov. 26.
While there or at home, you can view the MFA Curve Gallery online exhibition, “Water Works,” juried by Melissa Steiger, the education director of Trestle Workshops in New York. Join them for an opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Nov. 11.
Lisa Masson Studio Gallery in Eastport opens “Legends,” a new exhibit of artfully photographed historic log canoes. An award-winning photographer, Masson will kick off the season at her ninth annual Black Friday event from 4 to 8 p.m. Nov. 23, and will also be celebrating Small Business Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. Nov. 24. Kick off the holiday festivities, enjoy the view and learn about the breathtaking magic of these iconic Eastern Shore sailing vessels.
Jo Fleming Contemporary Art continues “Habitat,” showcasing environmental artwork on paper by accomplished Annapolis collage artist Anna Fine Foer. Also on view are new pieces of artisan hardwood furnishings by Gary Stiewing, through Dec. 17.
McBride Gallery continues to host the 2018 premiere event “Oil Painters of America: Eastern Regional Exhibition” through Nov. 25. One hundred and nineteen oil painters from the United States and Canada are juried into this major exhibition. For the second time, Oil Painters of America, a national art membership organization, brings their prestigious organization’s exhibition to Maryland. OPA is known for their high caliber representational oil paintings, and is a perfect fit for the gallery and Annapolis.
Main St. Gallery hosts a show featuring exciting new and vibrant oil paintings by Becky Parrish, running through Nov. 30.
Annapolis City Hall continues “Humanity,” a member exhibition by Maryland Society of Portrait Painters through Nov. 26, featuring a number of known local artists.
Paul’s Homewood Cafe continues “‘Scapes” through Nov. 30, which is a solo exhibition by MFA member Steve Ember, a true lover of both digital and film photography.
The Galleries at Quiet Waters Park continues the exhibition of recent work by members of the Baltimore Watercolor Society through Nov. 18. Opening Nov. 21, the Printmaking Club of Anne Arundel Community College presents “Moods of Blue,” capturing subjects as well as moods by mere color. The exhibit brings together students, faculty and professionals who study and practice the various methods of printmaking, such as silk screen, lithography, etching and relief that have been employed separately or at times used in conjunction with each other. The show will remain on view through Jan. 5. Join them for an opening reception from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Dec. 2.
Benfield Gallery presents its eighth annual fall juried show, “The Artist Eye,” through Dec 1. This eclectic show of 25 artists celebrates the unique viewpoint artists have of their world. This year’s juror is Ken Karlic, an accomplished watercolor artist.
Also on view is “The Painted Violins,” a fundraiser from the Annapolis Symphony Academy. Ten professional artists, three of whom have paintings in “The Artist Eye” show, painted violins raffled to support the Annapolis Symphony Academy. Posters are available as well as raffle tickets. The violins will be on display through Friday
Patrice Drago is a painter, writer and artist in residence at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. This column is written in cooperation with the Annapolis Gallery Association. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.patricedrago.com.