Artists adorn Quiet Waters park

August 29, 1994|By Liz Atwood | Liz Atwood,Sun Staff Writer

Visitors who come to Quiet Waters Park just south of Annapolis expect to see the lush wetlands, colorful wild birds and shady woods.

But in the coming year, they will see some unexpected sights as well -- a whimsical cat's cradle dangling from the trees, logs that resemble a Stonehenge-like table, wooden pieces that look like upside-down boats.

The structures will be placed in the park during the next several weeks as part of a year-long modern sculpture exhibition sponsored by Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts and the Friends of Quiet Waters Park.

"The park is such a gorgeous setting and it has some spots we think beg for sculpture," said Deborah Banker, an Annapolis sculptor and teacher at Maryland Hall.

Planning for the exhibit began in May 1993. The park and school published advertisements seeking artists who wanted to display their work in the park.

Forty-five artists submitted samples or proposed designs.

A committee of local artists and park representatives chose eight sculptors from as far away as New Mexico, Florida and Vermont.

"It's a wonderful opportunity to bring new blood to the area," Ms. Banker said.

The first piece, the log sculpture by Gray Mercer of El Prado, N.M., was erected near the park entrance earlier this month.

On Sept. 17, six students from Ms. Banker's class will install near the frog pond a piece they designed.

Ms. Banker also will display her own creation: a 50-foot cat's cradle made from hot-pink nylon that will be strewn through the trees near the children's playground.

Ms. Banker said that with her design she tries to capture a child-like playfulness. "It was important to use pink nylon because of the little girl connection," she said.

The exhibition, which will formally open Oct. 1, is being paid for by several small grants and donations. The Maryland Start Arts Council has awarded the park $1,000, patrons of the park and a Maryland Hall art gallery have each added another $500, and Maryland Hall has given $3,500.

Each artist is given a $500 honorarium. The rest of the money goes toward paying the costs of transporting and erecting sculptures and printing maps for visitors.

The exhibit will remain at the park until Aug. 31, 1995.

"Hopefully, the plan is to do this again next year," Ms. Banker said.

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