Sykesville man wins art competition

June 15, 1994|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,Sun Staff Writer

A country scene full of sunshine and gentle summer breezes took first place in the 1994 Maryland You Are Beautiful Senior Fine Arts Competition in Carroll County.

Kenneth I. Nerim Sr., 68, painted "Wash Day at Grandma's" from a slide he took of a farm near his Sykesville home. With his brushes, he gave the scene movement. A soft wind whispers through green, gold fields and tugs gently at the linens hanging on a line in the summer sun.

"The judges said this picture has an incredible sense of movement," said Hilary Hatfield, director of the Carroll County Arts Council. "It has a lot of action. You can see the wind blowing across the field and the laundry blowing in the breeze."

Ms. Hatfield called the work "reminiscent of the Baltimore screen painters," who brushed scenes into window screens.

The "best of show" painter, whose picture also took first in the best on canvas category, won a weekend for two in Dorchester County. Mr. Nerim and his wife, Jeanne, also will be the guests of Gov. William Donald Schaefer at a luncheon with winners -- from Baltimore City and the 22 other counties -- next month in Annapolis.

"This is the first award I have ever won," said Mr. Nerim, who tacked his blue ribbon onto his picture and posed beside it after the awards ceremony last week.

He called the contest, open to anyone 60 and older, "a great idea. There is a lot of good work here in the county. A lot of people enjoy and are involved in art. It's a great hobby."

A hobby "gets seniors out of their homes and doing things," said Floraine Applefeld, state director of the art competition. Ms. Applefeld, along with the Carroll County commissioners, presented the prizes to the winners.

"I have seen magnificent art work, all across the state," she said. "Many have taken the time to develop latent qualities."

The number and quality of entries proved that "age doesn't stop you from doing much of anything," Carroll Commissioner Elmer C. Lippy said.

After serving in the Marine Corps during World War II, Mr. Nerim studied art at the Maryland Institute. He said he let "earning a living" sidetrack his art work for several years. "I found I couldn't make a living in art," he said and he pursued a sales career.

Retirement and encouragement from his wife gave him the time and the enthusiasm to develop his talent.

About 25 contestants participated in the contest -- "excellent for a county of this size," said Ms. Applefeld.

The Bureau of Aging works with the Arts Council in judging and displaying the entries.

Jean and Jerry Sargent represented the only husband-wife team to enter.

Mrs. Sargent won honorable mention for her quilt of the state flag. "We should all be proud to be Marylanders," she said. "It is the prettiest state."

Olivia Wiley took first in the same category -- chosen specifically for Carroll artists -- for her large green quilt with cross-stitched patches of every state flower.

"It represents hours and hours of detailed work," said Ms. Hatfield.

All entries will be on display through June 30 at the Arts Council gallery, 15 E. Main St., Westminster. Information: 848-7272.

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