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THE BEST OF ARTSCAPE A sneak peek at award-winning works of the city's annual arts fest


Planning a visit to Artscape this coming weekend? You migh want to wander off the beaten paths of the city's annual celebration of the arts and seek out some indoor treasures. At several off-street venues, the literary-minded can meet and greet the winners of the Artscape '94 Literary Arts Awards and even settle in for readings and performances of the winning works: a short story, poetry and a one-act play.

And beginning on this page, Sun Magazine readers can get a preview of two of the performances: We've printed the short story in its entirety as well as excerpts from the poetry winner's collections. We've also included photographs of some of the artwork that will be on display at the five visual arts exhibitions at Artscape. Information on the scheduled performances of all the literary works is given below.

The winning short story was "The Fountain of Highlandtown" by Rafael Alvarez, a reporter for The Sun and a resident of Baltimore's Greektown neighborhood. The story was selected by Pulitzer Prize-winning author James A. McPherson, who called it "exceptionally strong and moving. Its style is simple yet eloquent."

The poetry award went to Barbara Hurd for "Objects in This Mirror." Ms. Hurd, who has won previous awards for her poetry, teaches at Frostburg State University and directs the Western Maryland Writer's Workshop. Poet Stephen Dunn, who chose Ms. Hurd's work, says, "With language exacting yet supple, Barbara Hurd impressively, poem after poem, offers and simultaneously measures experience for us."

Artscape's award for a one-act play was given to Rohn Luckett for "Jungle Lords," a drama about urban family life. It was selected by Dr. Endesha Ida Mae Holland, a professor of theater at the University of Southern California. "I was impressed with the dramatist's ability to handle dialogue. One tends to feel that the characters are really speaking to each other. . . . " Dr. Holland said. Mr. Luckett, a Baltimore resident, is a two-time winner of the Arena Players Drama Competition. He is an actor as well as a playwright.

All of the literary arts award winners will be honored this Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Moot Court Room of the University of Baltimore Law Center, Maryland Avenue and Oliver Street. At 8 p.m., Ms. Hurd will read several of her poems; at 8:30 p.m., Mr. Alvarez will read an excerpt from his short story. A public reception follows at 9 p.m. Mr. Luckett's play will be performed Saturday and next Sunday at 5 p.m. in the Decker Auditorium, Mount Royal Station Building, Maryland Institute College of Art.

Artscape '94 begins Friday, July 15, and continues through Sunday, July 17, in the city's Mount Royal Cultural Corridor. All programs are free of charge. For more information, call (410) 396-4575.

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