County artists, service center receive grants from Maryland arts council

November 12, 1995|By Mary Gail Hare | Mary Gail Hare,SUN STAFF

Two Carroll artists and a New Windsor service center are recipients of grants from the Maryland State Arts Council.

The Brethren Service Center won a $500 mini-grant for its annual International Festival. Ken Girardini of Sykesville and William Swetcharnik of Mount Airy each received $3,000 for visual arts projects and were among 93 Maryland artists to share in a $200,000 state Individual Artist Awards program.

The artists submitted works for judgment by a panel of arts professionals who live outside Maryland. The winners were honored at a governor's reception in June.

"This is the first time I have applied for a grant," Mr. Girardini said. "It was amazing to win."

The 37-year-old sculptor creates functional metal pieces from steel. He and his wife, Julie, own a studio in Ellicott City, where they sell his designs for lighting fixtures and home accessories.

His grant paid for a two-week sculpture seminar in Colorado. Participants got discarded objects and sculpted them into theme pieces.

"We scoured junkyards and secondhand shops for objects, which we later put together," Mr. Girardini said.

Mr. Swetcharnik, who was honored for his work in two-dimensional art, is working in Honduras on a Fulbright grant.

The Brethren Service Center in New Windsor used its $500 from the state council's mini-grant program to defray the cost of its annual festival.

"We asked for the $1,000 max and were delighted with $500," said Kathleen Campanella, center spokeswoman.

The council's fall newsletter says mini-grant requests have nearly tripled in the past year and show the need for the program. Of the 173 applications in 1995, 105 organizations received funding.

The center, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in New Windsor, is planning its sixth festival, featuring samples of cuisine and culture from around the world, and is lining up entertainment for May 13. The 1995 event drew about 3,000 people to the town in May. Admission is free.

"We try to give people in this part of Maryland entertainment they wouldn't ordinarily see," said Ms. Campanella. "The grant money helped us cover the expenses involved in bringing those entertainers here."

In May, spectators saw five acts on the main stage and four in the children's area. Entertainers included African and Chinese dance troupes and the Trinidad and Tobago Steel Band.

The Carroll County Arts Council, itself a $50,577 grant recipient, helped the center with its application, Ms. Campanella said.

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