NOW THAT THE new year has begun, why not start it off by becoming a culture vulture and checking out some of the art exhibits opening tomorrow during First Thursdays along Charles Street?
One shop that may be of interest to commercial art lovers is Cartuche, which is featuring the show, "Cartoons, Drawings and Illustrations." Artists include Evening Sun cartoonist Mike Lane, painter Charlene Rene Clark, illustrator Lynne Lockhart and illustrator Robert Gow Henneberger, who was the youngest student to be admitted to the Maryland Institute of Art at the age of 8 in 1929.
While you're making your rounds, check out the second floor of the Brass Elephant, which has installed a gallery for local artists -- a nice alternative since so many galleries are closing. Crystal Moll and Bill Tamburrino are exhibiting there through January.
SPEAK EASYS: Richard Rogers, international architect whose U.S. work includes the proposed Christopher Columbus Center on Baltimore's waterfront, will speak at the Walters Art Gallery at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday about the project. Call 625-2585.
"THE POWER OF THE MEDIA" will be discussed at the Jan. 14 meeting of the Baltimore Section of the National Council of Jewish Women at Temple Oheb Shalom.
The hourlong debate will be moderated by Evening Sun columnist Dan Rodricks and will feature a panel including WBAL talk showhost Ron Smith, Channel 2 news anchor Mary Beth Marsden and Evening Sun editorial page editor Ray Jenkins.
The program will be followed by brunch and is open to the public. The cost is $5. Call 358-0707.
NAME DROPPING: The Blum Group's Sharon Cohen recently received honors in a national contest sponsored by Columbia Pictures Entertainment for her promotional work on such films as "Air America" and "Total Recall" . . . Hanan Sibel, chief executive officer of Chaimson Brokerage, has accepted the post of general chairman of Israel Bonds of Maryland and will be formally inducted Jan. 13 at the Chizuk Amuno Congregation.
DOUBLE TAKES: Baltimore's Celeste Kurland tells us a new agency that represents celebrity look-alikes has opened in Baltimore after successfully doing the same in Connecticut and New York.
It's called Reflections Promotional and Entertainment Agency, and it claims it will find whatever look-alike you request. The list includes personalities ranging from Paul Hogan's Crocodile Dundee to Queen Elizabeth, and they are costumed and choreographed to create an original performance for your next party.
Hmmmm. Wonder if they could fix us up with a Tom Selleck look-alike. Call 653-3019.
AND, FINALLY, to celebrate President Millard Fillmore's 191st birthday, the Society to Promote Respect and Recognition of Millard Fillmore kicks off its seventh annual Fillmore Frolic from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday at the Sheraton Towson. Fulbright winner Elbert Smith, professor emeritus of history at the University of Maryland College Park, is the featured speaker.
Festivities include look- and sound-alikes, political trivia quizes and a one-man band. The society's program is chaired by its three founders: Rae Rossen, Jeff Amdur and Ken Sokolow. For more info, call 655-3222.