Some New Year's resolutions are tougher to keep than others. If losing weight in '91 seems like a resolution that will thin before you do, or if promising to put money in the savings account seems likely to soon prove a bankrupt notion, why not make a resolution that you can attain and enjoy. Why not promise yourself that you'll visit some of the art exhibits that in the hustle and bustle of everyday life you normally tend to drive (or read) right past.
Below are a few choices to consider among the exhibits opening in our area during the next several weeks. See them all and impress your friends.
Of keen local interest is the exhibit "Aaron Sopher: Satirist of the American Condition," at the Baltimore Museum of Art from Tuesday to Feb. 24. This is the first retrospective of Sopher's work since his death in 1972. Baltimoreans of a certain age will recall the caricatures and watercolors of city life that Sopher did for so many years.
Also coming to the BMA are a print exhibit, "Rembrandt: the Museum's Collection," from Jan. 15 to April 21; and a photographic medium-expanding exhibit, "Constructed Images: New Photography by African-American and Latino Artists," from Jan. 29 to March 24.
At the Walters Art Gallery there will be a new manuscript exhibit, "The Gothic Revival: the Illuminated Manuscript in Medieval and Modern Times," running from Tuesday to April 7. Unlike previous exhibits in the Walters' third floor manuscript gallery, this one contains more than just manuscripts. There will also be such things as how-to books and paint boxes exemplifying the revived interest in Gothic style during the 19th century. Also setting this exhibit apart from previous ones is that while they featured manuscripts from the Middle Ages and Renaissance, the books exhibited here will mostly be from the 19th century.
Along the Charles Street corridor, tonight is a First Thursday, which means local galleries will be opening new shows and/or hosting receptions. Among the galleries to consider is the Steven Scott Gallery, where the exhibit "Contemporary Still Lifes: Twelve Perspectives" opens tonight with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. and runs through Feb. 28. The 12 exhibiting artists include several with local addresses: Susan Abbott, Carolyn Brady, Greg Mort and Katja Oxman. Another Charles Street commercial gallery with a show opening today is the Sylvia Cordish Gallery, which has prints by Ellsworth Kelly through Feb. 22.
Among the other Baltimore galleries with shows opening in the days ahead, the Inner Harbor location of the Katzenstein Gallery has an exhibit of laminated wire sculpture by Jim Opasik that will be on display from Sunday to Jan. 31. Opasik likes to bend the wire to create graceful ballet dancers.
In South Baltimore, artists Caroline Orner and Chevelle Moore are exhibiting at the Knight Gomez Gallery from Jan. 12 to Feb. 9.
Of the non-profit galleries, make a note to see the exhibit "Enigmatic Expressions: Paintings and Drawings" at Maryland Art Place from Jan. 17 to March 2. This show features semi-abstract art by Charma Le Edmunds, Holly Hofmann, Jo Smail and Jeffrey Smith. Running concurrently at MAP is a mural and video installation called "Street of Gold." Created by artist Y. David Chung and photographer Claudio Vazquez, it concerns the experiences of recent immigrants to this country.
On the university gallery front, one promising entry is "P.H. Polk: Southern Photographer" at the Albin O. Kuhn Library Gallery of the University of Maryland Baltimore County from Jan. 14 to March 10. These black-and-white photographs of southern black culture were taken by Prentice Hall Polk (1898-1985), who was the official school photographer at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama.