Open-air art gallery captivates Pros and amateurs present their wares


For some artists, the open-air art gallery at the Benson-Hammond House was an opportunity to show off their hobby and maybe sell a few paintings.

For others, the second annual Art Show Sale was one of many places for professional artists to display their wares this weekend.

Whether the artists paint simply as a hobby or for a living, their works were shown side-by-side Saturday at the historic house near Baltimore-Washington International Airport.

Darlene Schlueter of Linthicum had not painted in about five years. This weekend, she unveiled some of her new work.

"I haven't been in an exhibit in quite a while," Ms. Schlueter said. "I thought I'd try it again and see what happens."

Last year's art show attracted 16 painters. This year, 21 signed up. By 9 a.m., the grounds were filled with artists and buyers and people who simply stopped by to enjoy the dry, sunny weekend day.

"This is a way to get people to the house," said Lillian Malkus, one of the organizers of the event and a volunteer with the Ann Arrundell Historical Society. "Some people don't know what the house is."

Ms. Malkus, a painter, said each artist was charged $10 to display work, with all proceeds going to the historical society. "We have some professionals this year and last year we had a good selling."

That's what Bob Robbins, a Randallstown artist, was hoping for. He said he sold a few paintings last year, including one he did of Memorial Stadium. This year, he added paintings of Camden Yards.

"I paint just about everything," he said, pointing out paintings of historic lighthouses and beach scenes. "You get to meet a lot of different people and some times you even get commissioned."

One artist was not content with just showing and selling his work. Mark McCoy of Columbia backed his truck under a tree and started to paint his favorite subject, birds and other wildlife.

Mr. McCoy works full-time in a mortgage company. He then comes home and spends 10 hours painting. "I'm trying to turn this into my full-time job," he said.

Mary Ann Buzzanca of Linthicum would also like to make it in the painting world one day. "I'm a fledgling artist myself," she said, as she wandered through the exhibits.

Others simply came for the beautiful day. "We enjoy art," said Virginia Woehlke of Linthicum, who brought her 3-year-old granddaughter, Amber Smith, with her.

"We like art shows, antiques, rummage sales -- you never know what you will find," she said.

"If it's you," said her companion, Peggy Sullivan of Annapolis, "it just jumps out at you. We always like to get a good buy."

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