Are you ready for the Annapolis visual arts scene this month? There’s so much going on, it’s hard to know where to begin, but if you have time I’d fit as many in as you can. If you only have time for four or five, I have some recommendations in the “do not miss” category. The great news is these are all in a very small geographic radius (and a lot of the other art venues are in between and on the way).
Here’s how I would start:
First stop: McBride Gallery, 215 Main St.
This month, McBride Gallery on Main Street hosts the “47th National Juried Exhibition of the Woman Artists of the West”, their first national exhibition on the east coast, opening Nov. 3. Women Artists of the West (WAOW) is the oldest women's art organization in the country. While founded in the west, member artists are now from all across the country. It has become one of the most prestigious art organizations in the US. Twenty-five thousand dollars in prizes will be awarded at this year's event. WAOW is limited to 350 award-winning professional woman painters and sculptors. Members meet strict criteria and must be juried into the organization, as well as into the annual members' show. The art of WAOW now encompasses all genres and subject matter. Acclaimed master portrait and Maryland landscape artist Lisa Egeli will judge the show of over 150 paintings and sculpture. Join them for an opening reception from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, November 5. Lisa Egeli will present the awards at 2 p.m. If you can’t make it then, the exhibit will be on display through December 3.
Just steps away, if you cross Main St, climb the stairway of Chancery Lane to State Circle and take a left, you’ll arrive at your second recommended second stop:
MFA’s Circle Gallery at 18 State Circle
Maryland Federation of Art's (MFA) annual “Strokes of Genius” exhibition will be on display through Nov. 25, and exhibits work in oil, pastel, acrylic, watercolor, encaustic; you paint it, they show it! Artwork accepted into this nationally juried exhibition showcases an extensive variety of mediums as well as styles by artists throughout the country . This show, juried by Susan Behrends Frank, Ph.D., Curator at The Phillips Collection in Washington, DC, will leave viewers wondering, “How did he/she paint that?” Join them for an opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, November 5.
You can then take a leisurely walk across the Capital Building grounds, or around State Circle and browse the shops and cafes, turning onto North St, which will take you over to St. John’s College, where you will find the accredited Mitchell Gallery.
Mitchell Gallery, 60 College Avenue
The world-class Mitchell Gallery is exhibiting “Hidden Beauty: Exploring the Aesthetics of Medical Science” through December 10. This collection of photographs has been created by Norman Barker, an associate professor in the departments of Pathology and Art as Applied to Medicine at Johns Hopkins University. Barker captures images of cells, vessels, and parts of human anatomy that are often swirling patterns, or brilliant spots of colors that could be an abstract painting. The imaging technology includes sophisticated techniques of spectral karyotyping, a technique used to simultaneously visualize all the pairs of chromosomes in different colors using an interferometer, an instrument which provides nanometer precision. Also used is scanning electron microscopy (SEM), a microscope that produces images by scanning the sample surface with a focused beam of electrons. The understanding and visual beauty within the field of modern medical science is shown in this exhibit of 50 works that provides a view of medicine as art. Later in the month, Barker will give a lecture, which is free and open to the public, at 5:30 p.m. Nov. 15.
If you are up for a 20-minute walk, take College Avenue over to Church Circle and then have an interesting stroll down West St, through the Annapolis Arts District. Gallery stops along the way that are enticing are the Annapolis Collection Gallery, Nancy Hammond Editions, and FinArt Gallery and there are numerous restaurants to choose from for a mid-day bite to eat. I highly recommend the Light House Bistro at 202 West St., both for it’s menu and it’s mission, which is to provide job, job skills and life skills to those in need – and they do it so well!
Keep on going up West Street, proceed around Spa Circle and take a left on Caraway Lane. This will take you to your fourth destination:
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts, 801 Chase St.
Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts is showcasing three new exhibitions this month, with a free gallery reception for all three from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, November 9:
- Chaney Gallery through Dec 19: “From Here to There” is an exhibition and installation of ceramics by MD Hall Artist-in-Residence Elizabeth Kendall, who believes that when we travel we bring with us all the history that makes us who we are along with our suitcase of essential items, which in turn influences how we interpret what we see on the journey and how we respond. Her first show since moving to Maryland and commuting between a country home to her MD Hall studio presents the influence and confluence of new impressions and environments.
- Martino Gallery through Dec. 19: “Wildlife” is an exhibit of new bird paintings by Ric Conn. Original mixed media paintings on paper including gouache, archival acrylic ink, acrylic airbrush paint, and oil pastel, these paintings each depict a different species that he has seen in the wild.
- Openshaw Gallery through Nov. 27: The Humble Colored Pencil”by Mary Ellen Geissenhainer explores the versatility of colored pencil on different surfaces. Mary Ellen’s artwork is finely detailed while demonstrating a truly unique artistic quality.
For those of you with an insatiable appetite for visual arts (nice to meet you – I’m a kindred spirit!), there are additional venues right in town with exhibits this month: