Visiting the National Gallery of Art in Washington is a relaxing way to spend a day. A visitor never thinks that the source of such pleasure is the result of intensive work of a huge staff of people. One of the interesting people who works at the National Gallery, heading up the registrar's staff, is Ellicott City resident Jon Polizcuk.
Jon, a gallery veteran of 20 years, is the mastermind who oversees the staff of 12 who pack, ship and install works of art. His department builds the crates that carry irreplaceable works of art on loan to museums all over the world.
He gives a courier training course on ways to ensure that the art will arrive safely at its destination. Another of his concerns is maintaining the temperature and humidity for fragile works so that future generations will be able to enjoy them.
Jon thoroughly enjoys working at the National Gallery, which he reminds me is "a gallery first and a federal agency second." Although arts funding has been cut in the past decade -- the number of exhibits has decreased from about 24 in past years to about eight -- still "a museum doesn't get any better than this; it's run like a well-oiled machine."
Jon has recently advised curators of the Barnes Collection, teaching them to make 80 art treasures ready to travel for loan out of the Philadelphia quarters. The Barnes Collection will travel to the National Gallery, opening May 2, and then to Paris, Tokyo and back to Philadelphia in 1994.
The gallery expects this exhibit, full of "big hitters" such as Picasso, Matisse, Renoir, Cezanne and Monet, to generate considerable public interest and long lines. Visitors will have to obtain tickets for entry. Art lovers may get information on free exhibit passes by calling (202) 842-6713.
Kudos to new FISH of Howard County members Tracy Carroll, Elita Granville, Sandra McClain and Linda Maltz, who have offered to serve as phone volunteers.
If you missed last week's column, and want to inquire about becoming a FISH volunteer, call Joan at 730-5480. She'll be glad to answer your questions.
St. John's Community Association, representing the 900-home area of Dunloggin and New Dunloggin, has announced its newly elected executive board for 1993-94: president, Gwen Hays; vice president, Gretchen Koch; treasurer, Jon Ford; recording TTC secretary, Pat Nelson; corresponding secretary, Fran Ferguson; Roads Committee co-chairmen, Ed Mueller and Fred Kissel.
In addition, 24 residents represent their community areas of 35 to 40 houses each.
The community association is holding its next meeting at 8 p.m. Wednesday, in the Media Center of Northfield Elementary School. Topics to be discussed include possible remedies to speeding on South St. John's Lane, school redistricting and various internal matters. Community residents are urged to attend.
For further information, call Gwen Hays at 465-8658.
The Mount Hebron High School Viking Backers have announced their next fund raiser for the year. The Viking Backers will host an art auction at Mount Hebron High School this Saturday.
Art pieces may be previewed at 7 p.m., and the auction begins at 8 p.m. Tickets are $5 and may be bought at the door.
The Heisman Fine Arts Gallery of Ardmore, Pa., will provide the 120 paintings to be auctioned. A variety of works will be available, from collector's items to new and established contemporary artists.
In addition, Mount Hebron's senior art students have submitted pieces to be judged by art department head Mark Coates. The winner will be announced the night of the auction. The winner's work will be professionally mounted and framed.
The Viking Backers will give their proceeds to Mount Hebron High School to fund its extracurricular programs.
For further information on the auction, call the school at 313-2880 or Kathy Siltanen at 461-4387.
Could you spare a couple of hours to tell interested middle school children about your job? Students at Ellicott Mills Middle School, which is planning a Career Day for March 12, need community members to visit the school and share something about their careers.
You will give four, 30-minute presentations to small groups of children who specifically asked to hear about your job. No, you don't have to be a lion tamer, astronaut or something similarly glamorous. The kids need to hear about a variety of jobs, and perhaps they would like to hear about yours.
For more information on Career Day, call Karen Jeffries at the school: 313-2874.
Trinity School honors the prize-winning scientists from its science fair, held last week at the school.
The Special Medal of Science for first and second grades was awarded to Samantha Weaver; for third and fourth grades, to Evan Wilkinson; for fifth and sixth grades, to Sarah Cruess; for seventh and eighth grades, to Rachel May. Congratulations to all the winners, and to all other future scientists who worked hard to make a project.
The Howard County Library is looking for grandparents interested in volunteering to share their time and experience with the library's youngest patrons.
The Library Grandparent Program will bring the young and old together in several ways. Volunteer grandparents may read to 2- and 3-year-olds on a one-to-one basis for an hour or two a week. In addition, they will relate their childhood experiences to the children and help with activities in inter-generational programs.
Older adults interested in sharing their enthusiasm for stories and storytelling with young children may obtain a volunteer application form at any Howard County Library.
New volunteers are invited to join a planning session for the inter-generational program "Hats Off to Spring." The session will be held from 10:30 to 11:45 a.m. on March 10 at Central Library in Columbia. For more information, call Louis Riemer, the head of volunteer services, at 313-7918 or call 313-7825.