CLARKArtistEver see a life-size scuba diver...

CHARLENE RENE

March 24, 1991|By Mary Corey

CHARLENE RENE CLARK

Artist

Ever see a life-size scuba diver dangle from a clothesline? Or a starry-bodied blowfish pout?

Visit Charlene Rene Clark's Hampden studio and these are just some of the papier-mache creations you'll find. As she surveys the others -- the airplanes and corsets, flamingos and totem poles -- the 39-year-old artist in the paint-speckled sweat shirt explains simply, "I just make things I like to look at."

In the past three years, her pieces (priced at $21 and up) have been selling briskly nationally and locally at stores including Arts/Objects and Out On a Whim.

Success has come as a surprise to Ms. Clark, who considers spontaneity her trademark. "The moment I try to think logically I trip myself up," she says.

Today, her work takes time away from other interests -- cruising in her 1976 Buick Regal, watching reruns of "Hunter" and helping illustrate an underground humor magazine, Baltimore Funnies.

But that matters little. "I can't imagine what I'd do if I weren't doing this," she says.

In less time than it takes to sneeze, Robert Lewis cues up a program, files a tape and monitors a recording.

If it sounds like mayhem, the production manager for the Baltimore Radio Reading Service makes it look easy. That's an accomplishment in itself, but even more noteworthy considering Lewis is the first blind person to hold the position.

"When I cue up a program and the phones start ringing, to me that's fun," says Mr. Lewis, 41, who uses Braille in his work.

What's also been fun is running a radio service that gives on-air readings of everything from The Sunday Sun to Cosmopolitan magazine. Visually or physically handicapped subscribers must have a special radio to receive the broadcast.

When he was hired in 1984, he knew he would face special pressures in his job. "If I messed up, I knew no other blind person would ever get the opportunity," says Mr. Lewis, who lives in Lochearn.

But there have been perks along the way, namely meeting volunteer Sheila Washington who became his wife two years ago. He still recalls his first impression when they met: "I said, 'This lady sounds good.' "

XTC Have someone to suggest? Write Mary Corey, Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278, or call (301) 332-6156.

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