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Artists’ Gallery in Ellicott City presenting first show since coronavirus pandemic hit

"Mosegaard" by Karl Saar will be on display outside the Howard County Library System's Central Branch as part of the Howard County Arts Council's ARTsites project, a collection of 12 outdoor sculpture works by juried artists on display around the county from now until July 2021.
"Mosegaard" by Karl Saar will be on display outside the Howard County Library System's Central Branch as part of the Howard County Arts Council's ARTsites project, a collection of 12 outdoor sculpture works by juried artists on display around the county from now until July 2021. (Courtesy photo / HANDOUT)

Laura Wolf planned to travel to Arizona this spring and Maine and Ohio in the summer. While she had various plans — to see relatives or friends — a second purpose for all three trips was to see birds.

“I was going to see desert birds in Arizona, my first puffin in Maine and attend a bird festival highlighting warblers in Ohio,” Wolf said. “All canceled. Hopefully, all three of those trips will happen in the future.”

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The Ellicott City resident became a bird watcher through painting. An artist all her life, Wolf was looking for new subject matter when she found bird watching.

“My dad had an appreciation of nature he shared with us,” Wolf said. “He got into it with me. It has been a nice thing to do it together.”

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Now, more than 40 of her works, including acrylic paintings, gouache paintings and ink drawings are featured in “Mixed Flock,” Wolf’s first solo show at the Artists’ Gallery in Ellicott City. It is also the first show the gallery has presented since the coronavirus pandemic began in March and it will be featured during the upcoming Road to the Arts weekend in Howard County from Friday to Monday.

“Normally, we would have an in-house reception,” said Pat Roberie, a member of the gallery. “While the show is open to the public, there won’t be a lot of artists there. Laura is going to have a YouTube presentation.”

Created to highlight the various artists and galleries in Howard County, the Road to the Arts event typically features six to eight galleries offering artists talks and receptions during the three-day weekend. This year, three galleries are participating: the Artists' Gallery, HorseSpirit Arts Gallery and the Howard County Arts Council.

“Some of the galleries are not open right now and were not able to plan for this,” said Pam Perna, community and web relations director for the Howard County Arts Council, organizer of the event. “Because of all the restrictions and all of the precautions in place for COVID … we did not want a lot of people in small places.”

The arts council will feature two different exhibits in its galleries: “Geometric Aljamía: A Cultural Transliteration” by Mohammed Saleh Amin, Jorge Benitez, Reni Gower, Hanane Korchi, Tamin Sahebzada and Julia Townsend in Gallery 1 and “Source Material” by Maremi Andreozzi, Jess Bee, Kayla Bennett and Suzanne Herbert-Forton in Gallery II. A virtual reception is scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. Friday.

“The artists are all invited,” Perna said, of the virtual reception. “You can ask questions and get information on how the artists go about their work.”

HorseSpirit Arts Gallery will feature “Inner Workings, Outer Journeys” by Deborah Maklowski and Allison Pasarew. A reception will be held from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday.

“Arts are still happening. Artists are still creating,” Perna said. “Support these galleries. This is a way to enjoy the arts even during the pandemic.”

The Road to the Arts also highlights the council’s ARTsites pieces — a collection of 12 outdoor sculpture works by juried artists on display around the county from now until July 2021.

“You can drive to all these places and see them without going on the property,” Perna said. “All locations have participated in the past.”

Those coming to arts council to visit its galleries will get a chance to see “Orange Twist” by Richard Pittts.

“It is very striking, very eye-catching when you drive up,” Perna said.

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All of the ARTsites pieces are available to purchase, and many host sites have purchased pieces in the past. Most notably, the piece “Aubergine” by Jan Kirsh in front of the Howard County Welcome Center.

“Everybody in town loved it so much, they decided to purchase it,” Perna said, of the beloved eggplant sculpture.

This year’s ARTsites sculpture and venues are:

  • “Comet – Fire & Ice” by Carl Billingsley — Howard County Public School System Administration Building
  • “Ordinary Person” by Charlie Brouwer — Corporate Office Properties Trust
  • “Labyrinth III” by Jeff Chyatte — Howard County Government’s George Howard Building
  • “Insect House” by Elliott Hamilton — Robinson Nature Center
  • “In the Morning” by Cathrin Hoskinson — Howard County General Hospital
  • “Nebula” by Hanna Jubran — Gary J. Arthur Community Center
  • Title TBD by Anthony May — Howard Community College
  • “Pleiades” by Charles Pilkey — Clarksville Commons
  • “Orange Twist” by Richard Pitts — Howard County Center for the Arts
  • “Mosegaard” by Karl Saar — Howard County Library System’s Central Branch
  • “Magnify” by Kirk Seese — Columbia Association’s Slayton House
  • “Plumera Sculptura” by Kirk Seese — The Arc of Howard County

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