Plenty of sights to see on Road to the Arts

Stacy Levy, "VortexRider"
Stacy Levy, "VortexRider" (Courtesy photo)

Some of the people on the road this weekend in Howard County definitely will have a cultural destination. That’s because the 29th annual Road to the Arts offers coordinated receptions at county art galleries from Sept. 14- 16.

“It marks the start of the new gallery season, and it’s a chance for people to see great galleries showing great work,” said Coleen West, director of the Road to the Arts-sponsoring Howard County Arts Council.


West said that the number of participating galleries varies from year to year, but averages around nine to 10 galleries each year. As for this year’s roster of six galleries, which definitely is on the low side, she observed that “the Ellicott City flood has affected us.” Art galleries were among the Main Street businesses hit by that flood.

At the Howard County Arts Council’s own gallery space, located in the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City, there are a couple of already-opened exhibits that are among the places worth visiting this weekend.

The arts center’s Gallery I has an attention-grabbing exhibit put together by the Laurel-based ManneqART. This organization frequently has exhibits at various galleries and other locations in the area. These shows are notable for the creative ways in which artists combine sculpture, fashion and design. These mixed medium, installation-oriented artworks are so unconventionally innovative that you’re likely to find everything from a shower curtain to feathers combined to make a work of art.

Sherry Kirn "Starry Fish"
Sherry Kirn "Starry Fish" (Courtesy photo)

In the current exhibit at the Howard County Center for the Arts, there is even an artwork depicting what happened when the Titanic met its fate. That’s not the only piece that dramatically announces its presence in the gallery, because sound and lighting are cleverly used throughout the gallery to accentuate the emotional impact of the art.

“Our mission is to inspire creativity and we love to work cooperatively with other organizations,” said Lee Anderson, ManneqART founder and director.

Her group's current exhibit also amounts to a declaration that this six-year-old organization will remain in Howard County in the years ahead. A plan announced earlier this year by ManneqART to relocate from its present location in an industrial park in Laurel to a former bank building in the Bromo arts district on the west side of downtown Baltimore fell through.

“Our energies have returned to Howard County,” Anderson commented, adding that the group is planning to buy the Laurel building it occupies.

Participating galleries:

Howard County Arts Council. Gallery I: ManneqART. Wearable art from past and present ManneqART wearable art competitions. Gallery II: Through Another Lens. Linda Bunk, Mead Notkin. Reception: 9/14, 6–8 p.m. Ellicott City. 410-313-ARTS(2787). hocoarts.org

Howard Community College Galleries. Rouse Company Foundation Gallery: Our Living Past: A Platinum Portrait of Music Makers Photographs by Tim Duffy. Organized by Music Maker Relief Foundation. Richard B. Talkin Family Gallery: Story Book. Jennifer Hudson. Reception: 9/15, 1–3pm. Columbia. 443-518-3202. howardcc.edu/galleries

Columbia Art Center. Color Columbia: 2018 Plein Air Paint Out Exhibition. Featuring local and national painters. Reception: 9/15, 2–4pm. Columbia. 410-730-0075. columbiaartcenter.org

Feldspar Studio & Gallery. Contemporary Motion. Reception: 9/16, 12–4pm. Savage. 410-672-4210. feldspargallery.com

Artists’ Gallery. Pauline Rakis Paintings: Fruit of the Vine. Plus 20+ other gallery artists. Reception: 9/16, 2–4pm. Ellicott City. 443-325-5936. artistsgalleryec.com

Bernice Kish Gallery at Slayton House. Beatrice Hardy and Al Biegel. Reception: 9/16, 3–5pm. Columbia. 410-730-3987. wildelake.org


Its current exhibit at the Howard County Center for the Arts therefore is a colorful reminder that her group has a lot to offer the arts scene in Howard County. Anderson noted that upcoming ManneqART events include Madness Photography Days on Oct. 13 and 14 at its Laurel site, during which the public is invited to watch live models being photographed around mixed medium creations.

Then there will be an installation of 12 newly made pieces going on view at the Mall in Columbia from Oct. 20 - Nov. 4.

And next year Anderson’s organization will be cooperating with the Inner Arbor Trust for a family-oriented festival called “Merri Wood” that is being planned for the Chrysalis and the surrounding Symphony Woods from May 25- 27, 2019. Anderson said this outdoor festival will feature a 40-foot dragon, mermaids, a werewolf, a vampire, an alien-inhabited space ship, and what Anderson described as “a cauldron to boil naughty children.”

Visitors who enjoy the current ManneqART exhibit at the Howard County Center for the Arts clearly will have a lot to look forward to in the months ahead.

The Road to the Arts gallery receptions begin on Friday, Sept. 14 with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. for the ManneqART exhibit and a second exhibit featuring photographs by Mead Notkin and Linda Bunk. This reception also includes the Howard County Arts Council’s annual meeting, a grant awards ceremony and Resident Artist Open Studios. These two exhibits run through Oct. 12 at the Howard County Center for the Arts, 8510 High Ridge Road in Ellicott City. Call 410-313-2787 or go to hocoarts.org

On Saturday, Sept. 15, there is a reception from 1to 3 p.m. for two exhibits, “Our Living Past: A Platinum Portrait of Music Makers, Photographs by Jim Duffy” and “Story Book - Works by Jennifer Hudson.” These exhibits run through Sept. 23 at the Howard Community College Galleries, in the Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia. Call 443-518-3202 or go to howardcc.edu/galleries