MARYLAND HALL FOR CREATIVE ARTS, CARDINAL 0) GALLERY
An environmental angle, says curator Lee Mills, is what holds together the works of the three diverse artists featured in this Annapolis exhibit (through March 2). Kathy Strauss, a biologist who works with batik, derives her imagery from ocean research, taking microscopic detail and blowing it up to a large scale. A "topographic" quality is created by Spelman Evans Downer through infrared photography, satellite imagery and, in oil-on-canvas works, the use of "impasto," in thick crests of heavy, built-up paint. And a sense of physical and temporal dislocation characterizes photographer Neil McGreevy's before-and-later diptychs, which chronicle the effects of time at certain physical landmarks.
LAKE FALLS FINE ARTS
Director Janice Baskin carries a lot of diverse artists and artworks at the gallery, from woodcuts by Carroll Summers to oil paintings by H. Claude Pissarro, grandson of French impressionist Camille Pissarro. But one name may ring more bells than any of the others combined: Peter Max. If the name doesn't do anything for you, Ms. Baskin can clue you in with one sentence: "He's the guy who did 'Yellow Submarine.' " The hands responsible for those uptight Blue Meanies have loosened up a bit, she feels, becoming more fluid. (All works will be here indefinitely.)
"Landscape Painters From Maryland Series"
"From" is the operative word in the title of this exhibit (through March 23). Both featured artists are from Maryland, but the landscapes displayed are largely those created at faraway places, according to gallery director Stephen Salny. The focus of Peter Black's watercolors and oil-on-paper works, for example, is mostly on his travels to the Bahamas and Maine, while Robert Seyffert's landscapes, usually oil and acrylic on board or canvas, depict various scenes from trips to Nova Scotia and Brittany, France, among other locales.
HOWARD COUNTY CENTER FOR THE ARTS
Quilts and questions about quilts go hand-in-hand -- not just basic inquiries about materials, talent and time, but questions like, "When is a craft not a craft, but an art?" Dorcas Kraybill's exhibit (through March 23) poses even more questions. "Is a quilt a 'fabric sandwich' comprising a top, middle, and bottom layer?" asks the artist's statement. "Is it a traditional pattern given new meaning with contemporary materials? When is a piece a painting and when is it a quilt?" Perhaps some answers are implicit in the exhibit's title itself.