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The Gallery: September's vitality and grace reflected in art

"By all these lovely tokens September days are here, with summer's best of weather and autumn's best of cheer." - Helen Hunt Jackson

Are you ready for change? September keeps us busy with one event after another: the beginning of school, Labor Day, Grandparents Day, Patriot Day and the Autumnal Equinox. But she is a gentle month, guiding us through all its transitions with beauty, grace and vitality. The sun smiles a little more softly everywhere we look, bringing colors and shapes into balance, helping us to see more clearly where we've been and where we are headed.

On the occasions that cause us to look back, she offers milder temperatures and the sweet smell of forget-me-nots to help us celebrate where we've been and honor what we must release. Looking ahead, invigorating cool breezes carry us forward and we can see her sapphires sparkling in the water, showing us the bright promise of starting anew.

It is probably no coincidence that the art in the galleries reflects her energy. There is an exhibit for every stage of transition; ranging from "The Best of 2012" at Eastport Gallery, to "Great Expectations" at Aurora Gallery, to "Energy Paintings" at West Annapolis Art Works. By month's end, September will be smiling sweetly, gratified by a job well-done.

In the spirit of looking back, I'm starting with the shows that continue from last month. If you missed the openings, you still have time to catch these thoughtful and accomplished works.

The Eastport Gallery's exhibit, "The Best of 2012," continues through Sept. 30 featuring the work of an outstanding group of Maryland artists. Oil paintings and charcoal drawings by Mary J. Arthur; acrylic, watercolor and mixed media paintings by Martin Hough; photographs by Marion E. Warren, Celia Pearson and Martin Remsberg; intaglio prints by Judy Wolgast; and dry point etchings by Sigrid Trumpy fill the gallery. A short walk over the bridge from downtown is well worth it to see the array of excellent artwork on display.

Paintings by two sisters share the 15-foot walls inside the Annapolis Collection Gallery. The oldest sister is Ann Munro Wood. Her oil portraits of Andrew Jackson, John Paul Jones, James Madison and Francis Scott Key command attention from visitors. Painted decades ago, four oils by Ann's younger sister, Roxie Monro, are showing for the first time with her new watercolor of Annapolis and several New York City scenes. For all you late-night walkers, the gallery is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday until 9 p.m.

The Digital Photography Club's "A Photographer's Eye" continues at Quiet Waters Park through Sept. 23.

Six artists' "Water's Edge" show, featuring the varied works of Frances Borchard, Phyllis Dixon, Patrice Drago, Carol Donahue, Gail Higginbotham and Desiree Holmes Scherini, continues at River Gallery through the end of the month, with an artists' reception from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 30.

New shows in September:

Aurora Gallery will begin its fall season with an exhibit entitled "Great Expectations: Fall Group Exhibit," featuring new work by Myra Sides Copus, Catherine Frisch, Tino Motomal, Gail Higginbotham and other regular gallery artists; bold abstracts and realism will share the walls at the gallery. New crafts include Gabrielle Gould's whimsical oxidized silver work of birds, crabs and beetles and finally thrown bowls by Nichibei Pottery, a husband and wife team from California.

West Annapolis Art Works & Fine Framing features Artist TJ Monzo's "Energy Paintings," which are textural acrylic paintings bursting with color and visual surprise. See how this artist has applied the paint in a variety of ways to capture the wonder and life of the subjects. Get on the list to have a beloved pet painted in this unique and exciting way.

Main St. Gallery presents oil paintings by Yuri Bondarenko. The show runs from Wednesday through Sept. 30, with an artist's reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday.

The Mitchell Gallery at St. John's College is proud to announce its accreditation from the American Association of Museums. This professional recognition recognizes the professional standards expected for museum stewardship and places The Mitchell Gallery as one of 759 accredited museums out of approximately 17,500 museums in the United States. The Mitchell Gallery celebrated this honor with its members reception held Aug. 24 for the opening exhibition "Pushing the Line: American Women Printmakers." The 54 works in this exhibition include a range of printmaking techniques from such artists as Mary Nimmo Moran, (wife of landscape painter Thomas Moran), Mary Cassatt, Wanda Gag, Louise Nevelson, and contemporary artists Susan Rothenberg and Carol Wax. A public reception and family program, including a tour and hands-on workshop, will be held from 3:30 to 5 p.m. Sept. 9. Elizabeth Seaton, curator at the Beach Museum at Kansas State University, will be the guest lecturer at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 18.

The Gallery of BayWoods of Annapolis presents "Shape and Shadow: Photographs by Wil Scott." Scott has been a historian at the National Gallery of Art for more than 30 years. The photographs in this current exhibit represent the patterns of light and shadow, arrangement of forms and emphatic color. The opening presentation and reception will be held at 2:30 p.m. Sept. 9.

The Muddy Creek Artists Guild announces its fourth annual fall "Harvest of Artists" show hosted by Greenstreet Gardens from Sept. 14 to 16. Showcasing more than 60 local artists, this three-day event is a community favorite featuring fine art, art demonstrations and daily receptions with live music and refreshments. Art work includes wood and metal sculpture, clay work, oil, watercolor and acrylic paintings, mixed media, pastels, traditional printmaking, batik, silkscreen, photography, textiles, glass work and jewelry. In addition, local artists will be participating in an En Plein Air event painting the local vista. An artists' reception will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. Sept. 14.

Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts will have two exhibitions that will run Sept. 17 through Oct. 23. In the Chaney Gallery, "Chesapeake Bay Woodcuts by Philip Byrnes McMartin" will be on display. The exhibit includes 20 woodcuts by McMartin, who lived in Annapolis for many years and documented Chesapeake Bay scenes through this art. The woodcuts were carved in the late 1960s but were not printed until this year. On display in the Martino Gallery will be "Chesapeake Woodturners Member Show," featuring works by 20 woodturners. There is an opening reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Sept. 14.

Lisa Masson Studio Gallery in the heart of the vibrant Eastport art scene is sharing the beauty of the Lotus Blossom in studies of pinks, greens and yellows. The fresh light seems to dance across the petals and will surely bring a sense of peace into your home. Masson also has a new line of fine art silk scarves. Stop by for a casual visit, call for a private tour of the gallery, and join her at her reception featuring new work from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 16.

McBride Gallery presents "The Best of the Chesapeake" the fifth annual premier exhibition of paintings and sculpture by noted marine and landscape artists focused on the Chesapeake Bay area. Participating artists are from the Mid-Atlantic states as well as from across the country, coming together to share their best paintings of this large beautiful estuary. Works on display are by Tim Bell, Lee Boynton, Scott Cameron, Hiu Lai Chong, Eric Forsberg, Denise Dumont, Michael Godfrey, Neil Harpe, Matthew Hillier, Jeremy Pearse, Bill Schmidt, Howard Eberle, Will Williams, Paula Waterman, and more. The show runs Sept. 16 through Oct. 7, with a reception to meet the artists from 1 to 4 p.m. Sept. 16, and a 2 p.m. awards presentation.

Benfield Gallery presents an invitational-juried exhibit by the Annapolis Watercolor Club, titled "Watercolors in Miniature," Sept. 19 through Oct. 20. Less than 10 inches in any direction, the paintings are in the traditional miniature style, and offer incredible detail. The juror for this special exhibit is Kelly Richard, who has more than 38 years of experience in the fine art, fine crafts and graphic arts. For 16 years, she owned and operated the League of Maryland Craftsmen in Annapolis and Savage Mill, and the American Craftworks Collection in Annapolis. A meet-the-artists reception will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 29.

The Friends of Quiet Waters Park presents two shows, running Sept. 27 to Nov. 11. In the Willow Gallery: "Artful Octogenarians; Watercolor and Oil by Bush Keeler and David Keeler." We extend our condolences to the family of Bush Keeler, who passed away on Aug. 16, and our gratitude to them for going forward with the exhibit. In the Garden Gallery: "Journey Through Textures: Weavings by Jessica Clow and Margaret O'Brien." The receptions for both events will take place from 2 to 4 p.m. Sept. 30.

The Maryland Federation of Art is hosting three juried exhibitions this month.

The 12th annual national juried exhibition "American Landscapes, juried by Susan Behrends Frank, continues in Circle Gallery through Sept. 16. The "Fall Member Juried Exhibition," in the Circle Gallery, runs Sept. 21 to Oct. 26. Sponsored by BB&T, it features artworks by MFA members in a variety of media. "Joe Dickey: Woodturnings" is a solo show on exhibit in the Holley Gallery from Sept. 21 to Oct. 7. Opening receptions for both exhibits are from 3 to 5 p.m. Sept. 30.

May these exhibits provide you with inspiration for an exciting fall.

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