A year ago, local artist Sally Wern Comport completely immersed herself in the beliefs, histories, and imagery of Martin Luther King, Jr., even attending the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington. Why? She was researching King for the illustrations of her latest Simon & Schuster children’s picture book Love Will See You Through: Martin Luther King’s Six Guiding Beliefs (As Told by his Niece), written by Angela Farris Watkins, PhD. The book has just hit shelves, and Comport is seizing the opportunity to make it an Arts District-wide event, collaborating on a book launch and student workshop with Alison Harbaugh and Stacey Turner of ArtFarm.

Sharing illustration techniques

bookCover1Sally, owner of Art at Large inc., teamed up with ArtFarm, an art studio space in Annapolis’ Arts District where creative minds converge, to conduct a workshop to demonstrate the poster collage techniques Sally utilized to illustrate the book. Neighbors and friends from Girl Scout Troop 1812 brought the project to the next level by raising scholarships for six art enthusiasts from the Boys and Girls club to join in the workshop. The Girl Scouts hope to use art from the workshop to produce and sell cards to raise more funding for future art-enrichment opportunities.

Papers were scattered every which way, brushes loaded with paint and glue in hand. Thirteen student collages encompassing words like “peace” or “justice” will hang beside Comport’s original illustrations on March 13, 6:30-9PM in the ArtFarm studio for the Arts District celebration of King’s message. Neighboring Compass Rose Theater will open its doors for live performance and the Zen House will offer meditation on “I Have a Dream.”

This sort of occasion brings about an opportunity for collaboration that really suits artists like Comport and ArtFarm.

Launch party for second issue of Up St Art

upStartThe man who best documents these sorts of cross-pollinations, Jimi “Haha” Davies, will be launching the highly-anticipated second issue of his quarterly hit publication Up.St.Art just the night before, Thursday March 12 7PM, at Red Red Wine Bar.

In light of the new growth of spring, Jimi also calls upon the fresh perspectives of tomorrow’s artist generation to spotlight in this issue. In addition, you can expect more of the insider curation of the eclectic alt scene of artists, musicians, writers, performers, businesses, and culinary innovators of Annapolis.

Haha always knows how to throw a pARTy and each launch is unique. This night features the talents of Skribe and Alexander Peters, as well as a live painting by Rodger Shultz, and cold beer served by Jailbreak Brewing Company. If you get a little wacky, rest assured there will be a photo booth there to document your silliness.

Release party for Jen Van Meter’s newest album

Jimi will also be accompanying the very talented Jen Van Meter on the release of her third full-length album, Fossil, on March 7 at 49 West, 8PM. Van Meter captivates audiences with the passionate lyrics she delivers with her acoustic guitar and commanding vocals.

Fans of Lucinda Williams or Neko Case should check out Van Meter’s bluesy/country/alt folk-rock sound, at her release on the 7th and her countless shows she plays around town.

Another artsy collaboration

imagineTo round out this creative month, Amy & Ellen of HERE. A Pop-Up Shop, will return to Maryland Hall March 20-29 for their Art Meets Style Encore! Another prime example of artsy collaborations, Amy & Ellen bring together upwards of more than 70 local artists’ works into one cohesive space, always finding stunning visual relationships between varying artists. As a vendor and a patron of their pop-ups, I can truly say I’ve never had the same experience twice.

While some artists choose to work alone, Annapolis artists seem to thrive most when joining forces across age groups, disciplines, and backgrounds to speak the universal language that is art.