Art is where you find it and what you make of it.
This could wellbe the guiding principle for the creators of the "Wild Kingdom 2001"exhibit at the West Annapolis Art Gallery, 100 Annapolis St.
The artists -- watercolorist Liz Lind and sculptors Martin Beadle, Laurie Nolan and Christopher Senesi -- have assembled a collection of works that come in all shapes and sizes and combine the influencesof many cultures. The artists put it all together from whatever theyfound in front of them.
Lind, 37, explains "Wild Kingdom 2001" bynoting, "We like to show together yearly, so we wanted to have a group name that would be a gimmick. We got together for dinner, brainstormed the names and came up with 'Wild Kingdom 2001,' because we wanted to incorporate somehow what everybody was all about -- and I think we all fit under that heading."
For Nolan, owner of Art Things Inc., an art supply store, the name of the exhibit means "we've all gotten a lot of different things from a lot of different sources in the world."
"This is a pulling together of a lot of different influences," she said. "I know that I've been saving junk all my life, until Ifinally find the right use for it. From an ecological point, I thinkour work is being recycled, as when we use a lot of material that islaying around."
Prices range from $75 for one of Nolan's hand-sized works -- "Meditation Book" or "Seeker's Box" -- to Senesi's "Antinous Alba" at $1,850.
This last piece, a bas-relief, expresses a balanced appreciation of classical artistic styles. But it is combined with the artist's sense of humor, which he expresses in whimsical ways, such as the candy wrappers that hug the borders.
Senesi, 38, isan artist from Shady Side who refuses to get too serious about his work. He calls it "assemblage, mosaics, found art or I-don't-know-what-you'd-call-it -- keep the change, or junk."
Items on "Antinous Alba" he labeled as "stuff people throw away, broken dishes and frayingparts. I went for that ruined look. It's debris art."
"Wild Kingdom 2001" shows the kind of art that's worth looking into, even in a recession.
"It's been a successful show for Annapolis," said Lind, also a part-owner of the gallery. "It's a contemporary show, but it'sbeen well turned-out, and we're very happy about that, because it's not the typical boats and wild-ducks scenes."
Lind, a watercolorist and the most traditional in terms of artistic style, is showing a collection of scenes based on time she spent out West.
Her colors are bright, but not excessive. Her work evokes both the colors of thatpart of the country and the impressions of the artist herself.
Beadle is the newest member of the group. He has created an interestingcollection of masks and small sculptures based on odds and ends he found.
"I've always collected materials and made masks out of foundobjects, particularly natural materials. I've always been interestedin faces and the changes that come over faces when they're covered with something else," said the 47-year-old Key School fourth-grade teacher and Annapolis native.
His work, reflecting a clear influence of Native American and Third World cultures, is compelling and somewhat magical. A good example is his four-part series, "Forest Spirits,"created from raccoon skulls that Beadle found in the woods.
The figures express what Beadle calls mankind's "ties to animals . . . theideas in mythology of the time when we were all mixed together, before the animals and the people were separated."
Nolan, 37, is from Baltimore. She works in what she calls "small, three-dimensional mixed media," or small sculptures. Her works, which she encourages peopleto handle, have a certain rough-hewn, colonial-crafts appeal.
Shedescribes her pieces as "a unit, because I worked on them all at thesame time. They come from months of thinking, and all sort of came out at once."
"Wild Kingdom 2001" continues at the West Annapolis Gallery through April 30. Hours: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. Information: 269-5828