Gallery Season Openings expands to 2 weekends

September 09, 1994|By Patrick Hickerson | Patrick Hickerson,Contributing Writer

Summer's end is two weeks away. But it's springtime today for fine arts in Howard County.

Gala: The Fifth Annual Howard County Gallery Season Openings has improved upon its predecessors in the number of galleries that will participate, which means that for the first time, events will be spread over two weekends.

Jennifer M. Motruk, program coordinator for the Howard County Arts Council gala, said the goal of the two weekends of openings is to "separate and, at the same time, unify the event.

Today, five galleries, mostly in Columbia, will unveil their exhibitions: Columbia Art Center, the Department of Education, Foundry Street, Howard Community College and Slayton House.

The works are Ken Giradini's paintings and steel furniture and watercolors by Chris Innes at the Columbia Art Center; "A Symbolic Journey through the Realm of the Serpent" at the Department of Education; a members' show at Foundry Street; sculptures by David L. Peirick and paintings by Shari Pierce at Howard Community College; and "Portraits from our Zoos" by Dr. Carl Segal at Slayton House.

To write a coffee table book about zoos, Dr. Segal visited more than 150 zoos in North America and Europe and has taken more than 50,000 photos.

He hopes his photos "interest more people in understanding the missions of today's zoos and in joining their local zoological societies."

On Sept 16, the rest of the scheduled galleries will open: the Historic Savage Mill Art Guild, Margaret Smith, Mill River Galleries I and II, the National Quilting Association, Riverview and Ten Oaks and the Howard County Center for the Arts.

Part of the Center for the Arts' offering was proposed by its departing director of programming and facilities, Carla L. Dunlap.

One of her last acts with the arts council was to make a Howard County Arts Center's work that "would become part of the renovation" as construction changes the center.

She left the county arts council to become director of visual arts ++ for the Maryland Arts Council in Baltimore and is succeeded by Ms. Motruk, who was her assistant. Ms. Dunlap had been with the county arts council almost since its establishment 10 years ago.

"Forms of Change: A Pre-Renovation Installation" will occupy both Galleries I and II, which will be renovated and completed -- along with the lobby and theater space -- by early next year. The work is created by 24 artists and coordinated by Diana Marta

"We're the only place that has installations," said Ms. Motruk.

"Technophobia," by Mary and Jim Opasik, is part of "Forms of Change" in Gallery I.

The work begins with a walk through a cave, then curves under hanging "electrons" and exits through a wall of circuit boards and Christmas lights in a time travel of the mind.

Although it represents today's technology, the circuitry in the work consists of castoffs.

"It cost a fortune then. But now it's worthless," Ms. Opasik said.

She and her husband, who works at Westinghouse, share a creation that blends science, art and time.

"We're both artists. But he's an electrical engineer. He's into the future, and I work mostly in the past," she said.

An installation in the second gallery is a wire structure by John Viles titled "Altar-ed."

The wire armature was painted in fluorescent colors and bathed in fluorescent lights.

Patrons view the work through squares cut in black cloth, like a peep show.

The structure is a combination of Egyptian, Christian and Native American themes and is his reflection on the juxtaposition of symbols.

"I've seen bowling trophies that have thunder birds taken from Egyptian hieroglyphic," Mr. Viles said.

"Also, in Central and South America you see Indian symbols in the Catholic Church."

Gallery III at the center will feature "Recent Works" by resident artist Mary Jo Tydlacka of Ellicott City.

This month's gala also includes galleries outside of Howard County for the first time.

Oella will participate with the two openings at Mill River Galleries I and II and Riverview Gallery.

hTC Mill River has scheduled a resident and visiting artists' exhibit, and Riverview will have a group showing by Maryland artists.

Other artistic works set to open next weekend are a resident artists show at Historic Savage Mill, a four-artist show at Margaret Smith Gallery, quilts by Marjory Crane "and her foremothers" at the National Quilting Association and Printmakers Plus at the Ten Oaks Gallery.

The fifth annual Howard County Gallery Season Openings will begin today and continue Sept. 16 at 12 galleries in Howard County and Oella. Admission to all gala opening events is free. Information: 313-ARTS.

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