Groundhog Day. Groundhog Day. I won’t mention Punxsutawney Phil’s spring prediction because if you’ve ever read this column before, you know I almost always get it wrong, no matter what the weather experts say.
Instead, I refer to the classic movie where Bill Murray’s character has numerous opportunities to repeat the events of a day until he finally gets it right. Phil found it to be ultimately beneficial, and there are occasions when a repeat is welcome.
I’m happy to say that if you missed any of the stellar exhibits that opened this year, you have another opportunity to visit — or revisit — the variety of art through time and history. There are a few new exhibits as well, also worth viewing. At the risk of being wrong again, I will say duck inside to these galleries to get out of the cold.
“Painted Pages: Illuminated Manuscripts, 13th-18th Centuries” is currently on view at the Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College. On loan from the Reading Public Museum through Feb. 24, this exhibition includes over 35 manuscripts in the Western and Non-Western worlds on parchment and vellum. Bibles, prayer books, psalters, breviaries and lectionaries, as well as pages from the Koran and Shahnameh (the illustrated book of kings), a Hebrew scroll from the Book of Esther and other examples of Hebrew texts are featured. Before the invention of the printing press in 1455, all books were handwritten and enhanced with elaborate gold and silver leaf with intricate ornamentation.
The creation of a manuscript is a multi-step process involved at least four craftsman with distinctive roles, and a single manuscript such as these could take from several months to several years to create. The history of lettering styles and the distinctive features from across five centuries as they applied for practicality, legibility, and decoration is seen in these colorful and detailed pages. “Art Express,” a half-hour lunchtime tour will be held from 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, and the Sunday afternoon lecture begins at 3 p.m. Feb. 17. Registration is required for the Mitchell Gallery Book Club meeting at 2:30 p.m. Feb. 14, and the Tuesday try-it workshop for adults, led by artist Joan Machinchick, is from 2 to 4 p.m. Feb. 19.
Gallery 333 presents the photography of local artist Fran Stetina and the pottery of TJ Jones-Rouse through Feb. 24. Jones-Rouse’s style embodies the Japanese philosophy of “wabi-sabi,” the embracing of imperfection and the finding of beauty in all things, things made whole by their unique drips, cracks and signs of use. Abstract in nature, 34 images depicting Book 1 of Dante’s Inferno comprise the body of work Stetina shares. Stetina has studied photography internationally and at the Corcoran School of Art. He enjoys the interplay of word and image and has created three projects combining words and images over the years. He has won numerous awards in Maryland and sold work to the prestigious Merrill Chase Galleries in Chicago. A meet-the-artist reception has been rescheduled and is open to the public from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Feb. 10.
Maryland Federation of Art’s Circle Gallery presents “Focal Point,” which will run through Feb. 23. This exhibition will feature 2D and 3D image-based artwork that is created or produced through the use of software. This exciting show features art that is interactive and visually stunning. Juror Jay Gould of the Maryland Institute College of Art selected the featured art. The opening reception is from 3 to 5 p.m. Feb. 10.
The “MFA Lowe House Gallery Exhibition” at the Lowe House of Delegates Building is on display through the Maryland General Assembly 2019 session, closing April 13. This exhibition features 2D and 3D artwork created through any media. Selected work is by artists that are either MFA members or Anne Arundel County residents. This exhibition was juried by Christopher Mona, a professor at Anne Arundel County Community College. There is a public reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Feb. 11.
Paul’s Homewood Cafe and MFA present “Near and Far,” an exhibition of artwork by photographer Lee Godwin and painter Joan Machinchick for the months of February and March in the dining rooms at Paul’s. The exhibition that includes scenes around Annapolis and striking surreal images. Reception is from 4:30 to 6 p.m. March 13.
The Galleries at Quiet Waters Park continue their current exhibitions through Feb. 17.
- Garden Gallery: “Ray Hass Photography” was curated by Katherine Haas. Throughout his life as math teacher, rancher and editor, Ray Haas maintained a love of photography. This exhibit began with Haas as a youngster with a Brownie camera and continued with various cameras until his death in 2012. Some works were printed in books, others sold or given to friends and family. He said what he loved best was the act of printing the final product. Many of his photographs were taken in Maryland or during his summers in North Dakota and others during trips to Europe.
- Willow Gallery: Centro de Ayuda of Annapolis (the Center for Help program) will exhibit the artwork of the students and their teacher. Centro de Ayuda addresses the problem of reunification of children and their families. This after-school program provides therapeutic, informative and educational activities. Working with various art activities is central to their program.
The Galleries at Quiet Waters Park open a new exhibit Feb. 20: A 1983 graduate of Maryland Institute of Art, Cindy Fletcher Holden is an Annapolis native and owner of Fletcher Art Studio specializing in paintings, wall murals and lettering. In this exhibit on view from Feb. 20 through March 31, “Cindy Fletcher Holden” features oil paintings both large and small. The large paintings are celebrations of color, composition and, as in “Sail Loft Levity,” a celebration of objects that define our life, work or home. The small paintings are inspired by a two-year sailing adventure that included two ocean crossings and three continents. The opening reception will be from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Feb. 24
MFA and Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts continue to showcase the collaborative exhibition, “Visual Harmony: Visual Art Interprets Performance Art” on display in Maryland Hall’s Chaney and Martino galleries through March 2. The two organizations invited all visual artists to enter the inaugural, juried exhibition, From Degas to Pollack, visual artists have both represented and been motivated by the performing arts. Whether depicting dancers, listening to jazz while painting, or creating sets or costumes for a play, all arts are important and inspiring. The exhibition was juried by artist and Maryland first lady Yumi Hogan.
Maryland Hall’s Openshaw Balcony Gallery:
- “Following in His Footsteps: Frederick Douglass 200 Competitive Arts Competition” is showcased through Thursday, a celebration of the bicentennial year of Douglass. A creative arts competition was offered to Anne Arundel County students in fourth through 12th grades, providing an opportunity to study Douglass’ life and create written, visual and digital artwork that reflects his influence on them.
- “Trybe-All (Tribal) Celebration Series: Paintings by Tony Spencer” opens Feb. 11 and runs through May 10. “Trybe-All” echoes a triumphant declaration of success, enduring life’s storms, disappointments or just an unfortunate experience. The encounter requires the warrior to engage in a self-determined resistance until the conflict is won. Local painter Tony Spencer exhibits at Maryland Hall for the first time. A reception will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. March 14.
Annapolis City Hall presents “Art Down,” a multi-medium/multi-artist exhibit featuring the creative work of four African-American artists located in the Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia metropolitan area. “Art Down” showcases cardboard art by the maker known as “King Anvil” Tyrone Taylor, paintings by Natalie Ballard, and photography by David Arthur and Jonathan Bartlett. Opening Feb. 11, the exhibit runs through March 29, with a reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Feb. 25.
On view at ArtFarm is an exhibit of vellum sculptures by Kelly Blorstad. “I created this body of work to explore interactions between humans and nature. My pieces look at small everyday interactions that may go unnoticed at first, but build up over time,” Blorstad said. Using materials that mimic natural textures, she assembles each piece in a repetitive manner that slowly builds until the piece is finished. See this exhibit through Feb. 15.
McBride Gallery continues its “New in the New Year” exhibition, showcasing artists newly represented in the gallery’s stable of artists. Jacalyn Beam, Craig Reynolds, Lon Brauer, Cynthia Feustal, Valerie Craig and David Heath are all master oil painters with reputations for excellence, all having been juried into numerous national exhibitions in 2018, many winning awards. Paintings include figurative, florals, landscapes, cityscapes and marine work. Lori Kiplinger Pandy is a respected sculptor who works in both bronze and cultured cast stone. Be sure to see this exhibit before it closes on Feb. 17.
Jo Fleming Contemporary Art presents “Concentric” with minimalist geometric work reflecting the wonders of the universe by Washington area artist Jordann Wine. Larry Fransen’s kinetic sculpture provides movement and dimension to this striking exhibition that will run through March 22.
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 email@example.com or visit www.patricedrago.com.