The exhibit "Tim Kelly: Made in Baltimore" has a number of oil paintings relating to life in that city, but two other cities play an important role in presenting these paintings to the public.
Kelly's exhibit was in the planning stages since last spring. It originally was to have been installed at Still Life Gallery Fine Art, which is located on Main Street in Ellicott City. The flood last summer damaged the gallery and arrangements were then made to have Kelly's exhibit go into the Columbia Art Center.
Although the artwork does not directly reference the flood-related circumstances, its installation at the art center gives you a sense of how this show was added to the schedule and then accommodated as best as possible.
Kelly's exhibit is not located in the art center's main gallery space, but instead in classroom space at the back of the facility. Also, there are text labels identifying specific paintings that were pulled to safety when the Ellicott City gallery flooded.
The show itself does have some Howard County subjects in it, among them "Daniel's Bar," "Patapsco State Park" and "Under the Viaduct," but you'll find many more paintings with Baltimore settings.
Kelly is at his most environmentally evocative in such urban-themed paintings as "Locust Point" and "Canton." These waterfront scenes depict large gray-hued ships that literally set the tone for the shades of gray found in the water and sky.
Other city scenes include a cemetery monument in "Loudon Park" and an historic South Baltimore row house neighborhood in "Hanover Street."
Another body of work involves figurative paintings that depict burlesque performers.Although these women aren't exactly modest in their costuming, their playfully strategic poses would merit no more than a PG-13 rating. Bearing such smile-inducing titles as "Ruby Rockafella" and "Candy Del Rio I," these paintings evoke a good-humored burlesque tradition that almost seems, well, quaint.
More or less related to these paintings are two still-life compositions, "Silver Heels" and "Red and Silver," that feature high heel shoes nestled in satin-textured cloth that's receptive to shimmering light effects. Are these paintings of shoes glamorous, campy orsome combination of those elements?
The generous selection of Kelly's work on display includes a variety of other subject matter. There's even a tribute to a legendary boxer in "Ali" and "I Am the Greatest!"
The art center's main gallery space presents two artists who make distinct impressions.
April M. Rimpo, who lives in Dayton, has a landscape-oriented series of acrylic and fluid acrylic paintings featuring imagery that often has a slightly blurry and runny appearance.
This effect comes across especially well in "Windy," in which the blue-gray tones of the water nearly melt into the similar coloration of a cloudy sky. There's a real sense via the paint application about how the wind moves water and clouds alike.
Besides landscapes, the artist has city scenes such as the Paris-set "Rain in Montmartre." It depicts a silhouetted, umbrella-wielding person at the far end of a narrow street. The paved surface is so thoroughly streaked with rain that one hopes this walker also has a solid pair of shoes.
The second artist in the art center's main space is the New York State-based Dennis Revitzky. He has an exhibit of Linocut prints titled "Mysterious Terrain."
Many of the prints convey a rural sensibility. In "Cloudy Day," the black-and-white markings on two cows are mirrored by the way in which the sky is depicted. In "Tangled Trees," the vegetation seems impenetrable and the shades of purple and rust engender a quiet and even contemplative viewer response.
One of the most striking of the landscapes is "Light in the Woods," because the Linocut print process is ideal for the slashing diagonal lines representing beams of light cutting into dense woods.
By contrast, there is a cheerful mood in "Dream Circus." A crowd festively gathers to look at circus animals and an exotic reptile show. This print has pronounced shades of pink, red, green and other colors to engender a circus atmosphere.
And then there is "Tattooed Artist IV," whose exposed torso is completely covered with designs that include references to Picasso's "Guernica" and Munch's "The Scream." Individuals express admiration for art history in all sorts of ways.
Tim Kelly exhibits through Dec. 11 at he Columbia Art Center, 6100 Foreland Garth in Long Reach Village in Columbia. April M. Rimpo and Dennis Revitzky exhibit there through Dec. 4. Call 410-730-0075 or go to www.ColumbiaAssociation.org