If you live in Maryland or have visited at some point, then you are aware of the magnificent diversity of the landscape, waterways, government, small industry and trade, and city life. Marylanders treasure and preserve the elements of historical significance that have created what exists today, while also embracing the new. Fine art plays a key role in not only documenting and communicating what was, but also in expressing what is current and upcoming. Two exhibits currently on display at the Lowe House of Delegates Office Building represent this precious duality.

It is a fitting venue. With the recent change in administration, the Legislative Offices and State Capital are alive and bustling. Everyone is reminded of the ideal: Value what has come before, and build upon it for the betterment of all.

Commemorating the past

Anna-Foer-Oxygen--Hydrogen--Nitrogen-and-Carbon--a-mixed-media-and-hand-coloring-at-the-Lowe-House-Office-BuildingTo commemorate the past, an exhibition curated by McBride Gallery titled “Maryland My Maryland" (also the state song), which runs through March 10, 2015, celebrates the state’s rich and unique history as well as the beauty of its landscape. Its citizens not only had a role in securing liberty in Colonial America; they were also industrious and commercial, working hard as farmers, watermen, lawyers, shopkeepers and bricklayers building homes and business and towns that would become larger cities. Today’s Marylanders are the beneficiaries of the foundation and traditions they created.

The scenes presented in this exhibit portray every aspect of early Maryland history, including such images as paintings of waterman hand-tonging for oysters, a colonial soldier, as well as the beloved skipjacks and bugeyes. Over thirty artists exhibit bronze sculpture, oil paintings, watercolor, pastel and original etchings portraying Maryland’s early city life, dairy and tobacco farm landscapes, the mountains in the west to Chesapeake Bay scenes including the wildlife, marshes and creeks and the recreational enjoyment on and around this extensive body of water.

Celebrating contemporary works

Anna Foer Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen and Carbon, a mixed media and hand coloring at the Lowe House Office Building Anna Foer Oxygen, Hydrogen, Nitrogen and Carbon, a mixed media and hand coloring at the Lowe House Office Building To celebrate what is current, Maryland Federation of Art (MFA) has installed “Celebrate Maryland Artists”, an exhibit of contemporary works by Maryland professional and accomplished emerging artists. The 53 works include abstracts, mixed media, photography, impressionism, realism, mosaic and more. The range of styles is exceptional and demonstrates not only the acceptance, but also the inclusion of the new and innovative into the community at large. MFA, housed in the Circle Gallery at 18 State Circle (directly across from the State Capital building), has been instrumental in connecting the community with a wide variety of art styles by artists from our region and from all of North America.

Come out to the joint opening reception at the Lowe House of Delegates Office Building (6 Bladen Street) from 6 to 8 p.m., Feb. 2, 2015. There is certain to be a lively crowd of artists, legislators and visitors!

“Maryland My Maryland” also has a second display location at McBride Gallery, 215 Main St., Annapolis, 21401.

For more information, contact:

McBride Gallery (www.mcbridegallery.com) at 410-267-7007 or MFA (www.mdfedart.org) at 410-268-4566.