Art in the Park blossoms at City Hall

June 04, 1993|By Fred Rasmussen | Fred Rasmussen,Contributing Writer

Weather oracles and artists will be very much on the mind of Hilary Pierce, executive director of the Carroll County Arts Council, as she prepares for tomorrow's seventh annual Art in the Park art show and sale.

"This year we've moved the festival to the grounds of the Westminster City Hall," she said. "We're more visible than in past years, when we were in the park behind the armory on Longwell Avenue."

Ms. Pierce said she is thrilled with the new setting.

"The lawns and gardens of City Hall are a nice backdrop for the art work. It is a more conducive location to spend some time rather than running in for a couple of minutes and leaving," she said.

To encourage people to stay, there will be box lunches for sale, and area musicians will be performing folk, blues and jazz and acoustic guitar.

"I'm hoping that folks will bring a blanket, buy a lunch and spread out and enjoy the festival atmosphere," she said.

Poetry readings, storytelling, book appraisals and a used book sale will help raise money for the Westminster Public Library. There will also be a book-signing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. featuring Terry Hurt of Eldersburg, signing her latest young adult romance, "Promises of Summer."

Binnie Syril Braunstein of Baltimore, who writes under the name of Binnie Syril, will be available to sign her works, including "Color of Love," "Out of the Darkness" and "Baby Love." Ms. Syril's novels and short stories are all set in Baltimore.

To keep the children busy, the Black Cherry Puppet Theater of Baltimore will give three performances of "Hansel and Gretel." There also will be a six-section painting spelling out the word "Art," which the children can paint. It eventually will be displayed in each branch of the Carroll County Public Library.

With 32 artists participating in painting, sculpture, photography, pastel, pen and ink, and mixed media, the show will feature mostly Carroll County artists.

"There are a lot of good local people participating in this show," said Ms. Pierce.

One local artist is watercolorist Laurie Martinson, who lives with her husband, John, and three boys, Brady, 9; Harris, 7; and Nolan, 3; in Taneytown.

Mrs. Martinson, a nurse for Home Call in Westminster, finds inspiration in her travels around the county.

"I'm a Carroll County barn painter and storefront painter," said the 37-year-old former Gaithersburg native, a self-taught artist.

"I love the rolling countryside of Carroll County, so I always keep my camera in the car. And when I see an interesting barn, farm or old store, I take several pictures. Once I get home, I'm able to work up sketches from them and then do the painting," she said.

While hoping someday to be a full-time artist, she says that for the moment she'll keep her nursing job.

"I need an income that I can rely on," she said with a laugh.

Mrs. Martinson has had showings in galleries in Frederick and Hampstead. Tomorrow marks her return to the Art in the Park show where she exhibited four years ago.

"All the artwork displayed is for sale," said Ms. Pierce. "And the best thing is that the purchaser gets an opportunity to talk with the artist about the concept behind the piece."

Mrs. Martinson will have a number of pieces for sale, with originals selling in the $75 to $350 range, and prints available for $15 to $25.

Another highlight of the show will be an exhibition of sculptor Alison Saar's "Catfish Dreamin'," a mobile contemporary sculpture that is traveling to Westminster from the Contemporary, Baltimore's museum without walls.

Ms. Saar's work, mounted on the back of a 1959 Chevrolet truck, combines the elements of the "Street Arabbers," the peddlers who travel the streets of Baltimore selling fish, fruit and vegetables from colorful wagons and sing distinctive street calls; the colorful art of the screen painters, an East Baltimore tradition; and the legend of the catfish, which is found in waters all over the world and represents hope.

Art in the Park is sponsored by the Carroll County Arts Council, the City of Westminster and Chaselle Inc., art suppliers from Columbia. The show is handicapped-accessible, with free parking in all downtown lots. The rain date is June 13.

Information: 848-7272.

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