The 13th annual Road to the Arts weekend, which celebrates the opening of the 2002-2003 gallery season in Howard County, kicks off tomorrow and features nine free shows and receptions in nine galleries, all within a 20-minute drive of one another.
"It's really sort of a promotional effort to encourage people to come out and find out what and who the local galleries are," said Amy Poff, deputy director of the Howard County Center for the Arts, which sponsors the event. "I would love for people to visit all [nine], but at the very least I hope they maybe just pick a day and say, 'You know what? Today I'm going to find out what's happening in the arts community.'"
A map and guide to the participating galleries, which originally included a 10th, is available at the center in Ellicott City and at most stops along the way. The Howard County Department of Education Gallery had to drop out because its intended aboriginal art exhibit didn't arrive from Australia.
The Center for the Arts reception will be tomorrow and includes a grant awards ceremony and open resident studios, so that visitors can check out the creative process firsthand.
Painter Joan Bevelaqua recently moved her studio into the center from Oella Mill, which has been sold to developers who plan to turn it into luxury-apartment housing. All the mill artists, shops and galleries will have to relocate.
"It's reality," Bevelaqua said. "I've accepted it, and so I'm just looking forward to the future."
Bevelaqua's studio will be open from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m., and then she'll make the five-minute drive from the center to the Mill River Gallery in Oella Mill, where she is the director. That gallery will hold a reception for three exhibiting artists tomorrow as well, as part of the weekend celebration. Other gallery events will continue through Sunday.
Here's a look at the lineup:
Tatiana Ltd. - Ceramics draped in 23-karat gold, palladium and silver displayed in a 19th-century former church in rural Glenelg. Open house 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; 14290 Triadelphia Road; 410-442-1144; www.tatiana ltd.com.
Artists' Gallery - Watercolor landscapes by Deborah Hoeper in the gallery at the American City Building in Columbia. Reception 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; 10277 Wincopin Circle; 410-740-8249.
Howard County Center for the Arts - Two exhibits: Re-Figuration, a group exhibit of five contemporary figurative painters that includes a Winnie the Pooh interpretation by Jennifer McBrien Dixon; and Rosalyn Richards, a solo exhibit of contemporary abstract paintings. Reception 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Grant award presentation at 6:30 p.m.; 8510 High Ridge Road, Ellicott City; 410-313-2787; www.hocoarts.com.
Mill River Gallery -Paintings by Joe Kabriel, Andrei Trach and Linda Uphoff displayed in Oella Mill's gallery. Reception 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.; 840 Oella Ave., Ellicott City; 410- 465-6434.
Columbia Art Center - Marcia Wolfson Ray displays 14 wall sculptures made from natural materials. Reception 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; 6100 Foreland Garth, Columbia; 410-730-0075.
Slayton House Gallery - Landscape photographs from Steve Ember depicting scenes of Baltimore, Washington, New York, Paris and Chicago, among other areas. Reception 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.; 10451 Twin Rivers Road, Columbia; 410-730-3987.
Howard Community College Art Gallery - Artists from the Blue Elephant Art Center, a renovated 3,500-square-foot loft for Frederick artists, show works at the college gallery in the administration building. Reception 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.; 10901 Little Patuxent Parkway, Columbia; 410-772-4512; www. howardcc.edu/events.
International Center for Artistic Development - Paintings, prints and jewelry by Eljay McBride and Beverly Cooper, two artists visiting the gallery situated in Savage Mill's Studios Down Under corridor. Reception 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.; 8600 Foundry St., Savage; 301-604-4484.
African Art Museum of Maryland - African art including centuries-old weights used to measure gold, textiles, baskets, metal pieces, musical instruments and objects reflecting a strong connection between Liberia and Maryland. A jazz show will be held at the same time. Reception 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.; 5430 Vantage Point Road, Columbia; 410-730-7105;www.africanart museum.org.