Westminster art exhibit captures a week in Ireland


THE MOST IMPRESSIVE thing about the landscape of Ireland is the green -- it's so unbelievably green," says Barbara Schnell, a Hampstead artist who spent a week in Ireland in a rented stone cottage with several other artists in September 1997.

Four of the artists will exhibit works composed during the residency abroad, starting Monday at Westminster Bank and Trust, Main Street, Westminster.

Fran Nyce of Westminster will exhibit watercolor paintings. Gordon Wickes will exhibit photography, and his wife, Marge Wickes of Finksburg, will exhibit paintings. Schnell will exhibit seven works of various media.

They stayed at the area called Ring of Kerry, where a rugged outcropping of rocks seems to have become part of the hedgerows, Schnell said, and where from the crest of hilltops one could see the surrounding water.

One of Schnell's paintings is "View Across Ballinskelligs Bay." It shows Schnell's fascination with the misty, brooding skies and vista of land tumbling toward the ocean.

"The clouds are there, but you expect it to be sunny any minute," Schnell said.

They lived near the town of Caherdaniel, visiting studios of weavers, potters and painters around a daily schedule of creating their own artwork. On their last night, they opened the cottage for dinner and an art exhibit, inviting all the artists they had visited during their stay.

On exhibit will be her painting of Derrynane Abbey, about the "very, very big, huge blossoms of hydrangeas" that flower freely in Irish weather, Schnell said, and a painting of the ubiquitous sheep.

Sheep, she said, "wander every place and into the road," yet seem organized by farmers, who paint dabs of color on their woolly backs.

Information: 410-374-2015.

Win a dollhouse

The lucky discovery of a dollhouse at Snyder's Auction by Barbara and Vernon Kearns several months ago has become the prize in a raffle to benefit the renovation of Hampstead Train Station.

When they purchased it, the two-story, six-room dollhouse was in dirty disrepair. Their inspiration turned it into a dream home on a tiny scale.

"Whenever we had time, we worked on it, altogether about 40 hours," Vernon Kearns said. He refinished the cedar shake shingles and installed new walls. He and his wife applied wallpaper, ordered carpet and purchased new furniture.

The house has a formal dining room, blue floral upholstery in the living room and yellow tile floor in the country kitchen. Two Adirondack chairs reside on the wrap-around porch.

Barbara Kearns, who taught third and fifth grades in Carroll County for 22 years, retired to become a florist in Baltimore. The Kearnses opened Hampstead Florist in February, where they are exhibiting the dollhouse. The florist is at 4111 Lower Beckleysville Road, next to Family Pharmacy.

Tickets are $5 and are being sold by members of Hampstead Business Association. The raffle will take place at Hampstead Business Expo on Feb. 27.

Information: 410-374-9966.

Join Alesia Band

Everyone who enjoys playing a brass, reed or percussion instrument is invited to join Alesia Band when it resumes rehearsal at 7: 30 p.m. Jan. 14 in the Band Room at North Carroll Middle School. It is the 101st year for the band.

Francis Staley, director since 1977, welcomes musicians from middle and high schools to join the ranks of the 30 members. No auditions are held and no membership fee is charged.

Uniforms are provided. Purchased last year, they sport a maroon stripe on gray trousers with maroon jackets with a musical lyre emblem and "Alesia Band, organized 1898."

The band rehearses every Thursday until the end of May, except for Holy Thursday. A full schedule of summer Saturday engagements begins traditionally with the Strawberry Festival at Jerusalem Lutheran Church on Bachman Valley Road.

Information: Francis Staley, 410-374-5117.

Pub Date: 1/06/99

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