I love that we get to experience four distinct seasons here in the Chesapeake region because we get to see things through a different lens with the change of every season. The shorter days and colder temperatures of winter invite us to go inside, literally and metaphorically. It is a time of hibernation to some degree – the type of burrowing that enables us to restore through research, reflection, retrospection and recovery, even though we don’t always recognize that we need to “recover” our energy after a wild and crazy spring, summer and fall. Our daily lives are still packed with work, school and extra activities, but we tend to be more focused in our intention and activity, mainly because wandering aimlessly is great fun in the summer, but not quite so much when your nose is two degrees from frostbite. This is a great time to go deeper into understanding of certain types of visual art as there are some exhibits that encourage you to learn more about the medium, the artists and the exhibition in entirety. Winter art found in January's exhibits throughout Annapolis provide a focus on a few specific types and genres of artwork.
My first Must-See pick for you: The exhibit of and about prints at the Mitchell Gallery at St. John’s College. Fine art prints are some of the most beautiful forms of visual art, and the types of prints are numerous: lithograph, cyanotype, collograph, lincocut, mezzotint…to name but a few. I am in awe of printmakers, as the process to get to a finished piece requires exceptional patience and precision. If you are among the readers and viewers that feel a little confused about the term “print”, you are actually in the majority, and this exhibit is not only educational in itself, but there are also events to attend to help you learn more.
Joan Miro, "Composition sur Fond Vert," 1950-1., Syracuse University. 2016 Successio Miro, Artists Rights Society, ARS, New York, ADAGP, Paris, at the Mitchell Gallery, St. John's College
Here’s the scoop on the exhibit.
“About Prints: The Legacy of Stanley William Hayter and Atelier 17” opens January 11 and will be on view through February 25 at the Mitchell Gallery. Stanley Hayter was a printmaker whose Paris studio, Atelier 17, was well known among artists. Hayter worked with Europe's (and later, American artists) most prominent artists including, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Fred Becker, Mauricio Lasansky, Georges Rouault, Karl Schrag and others, to create and experiment with etchings, engravings, and lithographs in their own vision. This exhibition is centered on Hayter’s personal choices from the works created at Atelier 17 for his 1961 book titled, “About Prints.”
- Join them for an opening reception from 1 to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 14, followed by the concert, “Let the Spirit Sing: A Martin Luther King Celebration” at 3 p.m. – both free.
- The “Try-It” workshop, an exploration of printmaking, will be led by curator, educator and printmaker, Helen Frederick, at 1:30 p.m. 28. Registration is required.
- Also on January 28, Domenic Iacono, director of the Syracuse University Art Galleries and exhibition curator, will give a lecture at 4 p.m. 28, no registration required.
H.C. Porter, Vasti Jackson, Mixed Media, For the Chaney and Martino Gallery at MD Hall
Next, to continue your educational expedition and enjoy a little music while you are at it, head over to Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts (802 Chase St.), where they are presenting “H.C. Porter’s Blues @ Home: Mississippi’s Living Blues Legends” in the Martino and Chaney Galleries through March 3. This traveling exhibition provides a glimpse into America’s music and the unique cultural heritage of Mississippi’s blues legends. The 31 portraits, created by internationally known artist H.C. Porter, are paired with the music and oral histories of the legends to create a multimedia experience. Hear the Blues. See the Blues. A public reception and ticketed performance will be held on Thursday, January 18. Meet and greet the three featured living legends – Bobby Rush, Vasti Jackson, and Eden Brent - during the free reception at 6 p.m. and attend a live (purchased tickets required) performance at 8 pm.
Kendyl Lawson, "Strata", Encaustic, for the "WAXED" at Openshaw Balcony Gallery, Maryland Hall
Third, while you are at Maryland Hall, head up to the 3rd floor to visit an exhibit of another intriguing art form: encaustic. “WAXED: Encaustic Paintings by Kendyl Lawson and Michael Matthews” are on view in the Openshaw Balcony Gallery through April 8 and the exhibit is a modern take on the ancient art of encaustics using beeswax, resin and pigment. Local artists Kendyl Lawson and Michael Matthews put their spin on an art technique dating back to the ancient Egyptians. A public reception will be held for this exhibit in March but don’t wait until then!
My fourth pick is a very fun 3D sculptural exhibit made of scrap metal and wood, at the Holley Gallery, inside Maryland Federation of Art's Circle Gallery at 18 State Circle. “Shane Hamilton: KnotScrap”, is open now and running through Jan. 20. Hamilton has taken his twelve years of experience working with all things automotive in the auto repair industry and transferred his skills of working with metal and other materials into his real passion of art and sculpting. Now a full-time artist, Shane calls his work KnotScrap because the majority of his creations are crafted from everyday junk and 100% recycled materials. Meet Shane at the opening reception from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 14.
Shane Hamilton "Elephantastic", Mixed media - all recycled and hand salvaged scrap wood and metal for Holley Gallery
My last, but definitely not least pick embraces the seasonal theme of winter, at McBride Gallery (215 Main St.). “Winter’s Beauty” on display through February 11, gives you a glimpse at how each artist sees the world. Artists enjoy the challenge of painting the snow, bare trees, and the refreshing change of season. For me, there is nothing quite as telling about an artist's inner process as how they resolve the challenge of painting the shadows and light on snow; the results are telling, and distinguishing. Enjoy the warmth of the gallery and view the variety of works of regional artists such as Christopher Best, Frank Nicolette, Leo Goode, Julia Rogers, Ray Heus and more.
Christoper Best, Cabin in Snow, oil at McBride Gallery.
As always, there is so much quality art to see in Annapolis. I recommend you read this month’s Capital Gazette Gallery Column to make your own selections of exhibits that include contemporary art, Chesapeake-themed paintings, photographic exhibits and more.
Photos courtesy of the exhibiting gallery.