Bonnie North believes in the local art scene enough to 0...


September 13, 1992|By Mary Corey | Mary Corey,Staff Writer

Bonnie North believes in the local art scene enough to 0) publish a newspaper about it

Bonnie North knows what it's like to be in the hot seat.

Once a month, her '82 Chevette overheats, the cushions smolder and ashes fly as she distributes her arts newspaper.

"It's like sitting on a grill," she says.

But that inconvenience hasn't deterred the publisher of Art in Progress, a monthly about the local art scene that expands its coverage into York, Pa., Northern Virginia and Washington this month. (The September issue comes out Tuesday.)

She began the paper last fall after watching her artistic venture, Resurgam Gallery, flounder. Ms. North grew convinced that local arts needed more support. With an initial investment of $300, she and her companion Randy Whitlock set up an office in their home above the gallery. Her son, who publishes a similar paper in Massachusetts, showed her the ropes.

The newspaper, which includes columns, calendars and reviews, has a volunteer staff of 30. The venture has encouraged Ms. North, a jeweler, and Mr. Whitlock, a sculptor, to turn Resurgam into a cooperative gallery for 29 artists.

But being an artist, publisher, editor and distributor has cut into her social life. Ironically, she rarely attends the art events she writes about.

"I don't go anywhere," laments Ms. North, 45. "Once in a blue moon I'll stagger out of here and go across the street to a bar and drink some cheap blush wine."

Lenora Lee always figured she'd make a living in the sea, not at the movies.

One thing changed her mind.

"I flunked organic chemistry," she says with a laugh.

Marine biology's loss turned out to be television's gain, particularly since Ms. Lee recently became the producer of Maryland Public Television's new program, "MPT at the Movies."

On Friday nights through December, viewers can tune in to Gary Cooper in "High Noon," Lauren Bacall in "Key Largo" and many other star-studded classics. Tom Kiefaber of the Senator Theatre introduces the films, which are broadcast without commercials.

"This offers people a chance to relax. A lot of the old films are escapist," says Ms. Lee, 40, who lives in West Baltimore.

Given the choice between old and new, she quickly lets her preference be known. "The old movies are better. There's a sense that the film is going to tell you a story. Today you can have two hours of film and leave thinking, 'Huh? " she says.

A movie buff herself, she grew up spending Saturdays at movie houses in Baltimore. Her all-time favorite: "Casablanca."

Says Ms. Lee, "It's one of the purest films ever done. It's perfect."

Have someone to suggest? Write Mary Corey, Baltimore Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278, or call (410) 332-6156.

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