Zeal of artists, buyers undiluted by drizzle at Westminster show

June 06, 1993|By Greg Tasker | Greg Tasker,Staff Writer

Standing beneath a rain-soaked canopy on the lawn of Westminster City Hall yesterday, Laurie Precht surveyed rows of art work draped in plastic and preached optimism.

"Every day is a rose," said Ms. Precht, a volunteer at the Art in the Park art show and sale, an annual juried event that was held despite rain yesterday. Other events in the county, including Manchester Day and National Trails Day activities, were canceled.

TC "This event is so essential to encouraging artists in this area to continue in their pursuit," said Ms. Precht, a member of the Poetry Forum. "It would be wonderful if it was sunny, but we have artists and people here, and we have to deal with the weather."

Hilary Pierce, executive director of the Carroll County Arts Council, said 27 of the 32 artists slated to participate in the exhibit showed up. Their work included painting, sculpture, photography, pastel, pen and ink, and mixed media.

"I'm impressed these artists would be willing to come out in these conditions," said Ms. Pierce. "The weather is bad, but these artists are persevering. They're doing their best. I think we have found some bright sides to all of this."

Organizers this year moved Art in the Park from behind the armory on Longwell Avenue to the shaded lawn of City Hall, hoping to take advantage of greater visibility and a wealth of accessible and free parking.

"There's more room here," Ms. Pierce said. "If we ever expand the number of exhibitors, we have the whole back lawn. It's nice to have something like this at City Hall. A lot of people don't know where City Hall is. It's great that people in this area will link art with City Hall. It's just a perfect setting."

Yesterday's event was to include poetry readings, storytelling, book appraisals and a used book sale. Musical entertainment was scheduled throughout the day.

Laurie Martinson, a Taneytown painter, returned to the festival this year after a four-year absence because she was impressed with the Art Council's new downtown Westminster gallery and its recent promotion efforts.

"I've been showing a lot in Frederick. I haven't been here because Carroll just didn't seem to be promoting arts," said Ms. Martinson, who paints watercolors of Carroll barns, landscapes and storefronts. "But there's been a lot of positive aspects recently, and I wanted to be more involved here."

Nancy Forsythe of Finksburg showed up to display watercolors of sheep, fish and flowers.

"I just started painting again," said Ms. Forsythe, a framer at the Ain't That A Frame shop in Westminster. "Of course, I had to catch the rain. We usually have a good turnout here. I've had friends from Baltimore and Washington here. I've done well despite the rain."

Drizzle didn't prevent Astrid Miller of Towson and her sister-in-law, Pearl Miller of Westminster, from perusing rows of art work.

"We're both very interested in art, and since I drove all the way out from Towson, we decided we would go ahead and come," Astrid Miller said. "These are just wonderful artists and people here. I feel so bad it's a rainy day."

Pearl Miller said she bought "some beautiful paintings."

"I think this is just wonderful," she said. "It's just too bad about the weather and a shame more people aren't here."

Ms. Pierce agreed. She was hopeful next year would be better.

"The elements could have treated us better," Ms. Pierce said. "But, hopefully, we'll be at the same location next year. We hope to continue to expand the event, the number of exhibitors, and I don't think the rain is going to keep people from . . . coming back."

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