Walking through Irish county inspires Carroll printmaker


March 06, 1996|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

LAST SUMMER, Manchester artist Shawn Scanlan spent three weeks walking through County Clare, Ireland.

"Like a pilgrimage, it was a very spiritual experience for me," said Ms. Scanlan, who is three generations removed from the turf she wandered.

"I went by myself, didn't know a soul, didn't know where I'd stay," she added. "I just walked."

County Clare has a wealth of Celtic imagery cut into the stone churches, in cemetery crosses and preserved in "illuminated," or illustrated, manuscripts. As Ms. Scanlan traveled, her journals filled with Celtic images, her thoughts and her drawings, fuel for images that would surface as she carved wood blocks for making prints.

At home, in her studio, Ms. Scanlan envisioned a large gallery exhibition of her work. The show is called "Aisling" (pronounced AHS-LING), which she says "is Irish for a story about a dream or vision."

It combines 30 prints spanning her 20 years of printmaking.

"Aisling" opens tomorrow at Ain't That A Frame gallery, 31 W. Main St., Westminster.

You can meet the artist during a reception tomorrow from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. The show continues through March 30.

Thirty more of her prints and wood carvings are in an exhibition at Designer Dreams, 8B Music Fair Road, Owings Mills, off Painters Mill Road. The show opens Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.

"Aisling" opens on Ms. Scanlan's birthday, which she likens to "a birthing for me, a next step on the journey. It frightens me in a way, because I'm exposing myself, not just the imagery, which is personal, but journal writings, too. It's like having my soul hanging out there.

"My work has pattern in it. There's a lot of related patterns I found [in Ireland] in my research on Celtic stone crosses and the Book of Kells," she said. "I'd intentionally done Celtic imagery only in the last few years. Oddly enough, it seems before I knew I was doing Celtic imagery, I was."

Ms. Scanlan's printed images have included trees, plants and the human form.

In Ireland, she discovered a connection among them, which she has brought to her art prints.

Ms. Scanlan studied at the Maryland College of Art and Design, the University of Maryland and with children's author-illustrator Tomie dePaola at his studio in Rhinebeck, N.Y., near her hometown, Red Hook.

She has discovered another hometown feeling, however.

"Ireland feels like home, and hopefully I'll end up there. That's where my heart is," she said. "I hadn't really planned on going. I told myself, once you've gotten there, you won't want to leave. And someone told me, why should you leave? I knew I had to come back [to family], but I was looking to stay." Garden party

Stop in at Spring Garden Elementary Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the Spring Garden Party, where games of skill will cost a quarter, food will be made just for kids and craft activities will abound.

The annual teacher auction includes movies, bowling, picnics, a game of croquet and lots of pizza parties with teachers.

The auction starts at 12: 30 p.m.

The party, sponsored by the school PTA, directly benefits the students, who will receive additional educational materials purchased with the proceeds.

For more information, phone 751-3433.

Business association election

The Hampstead Business Association will elect officers tonight at 7 p.m. at Dean's Restaurant, 832 S. Main St.

Nominees for the next term include LaVere Grimes of Black & Decker for president; Rob Kirby of Charleston Furniture for vice president; Kathy Rampolla of J & K Graphics for secretary; and Carrie Harris of Medical Billing Solutions for treasurer.

Nominees for seats on the organization's board include Marylee Keppler of Keppler Contracting; Randy Reese of R.M. Reese Custom Building Services; Martha Stacks of Long & Foster, and Sandy Yospa of Family Pharmacy of Hampstead.

For additional information, call Dr. Todd Winebrenner, 239-4000.

Panda fund

"Our choices were to improve the panda exhibit, or donate to the care of the panda bears, or contribute to research. We chose research," said Erica Guenther, teacher of 30 fifth-graders at Spring Garden Elementary.

In recent months, her students held a bake sale and raised $280. Their money is being sent, via the Panda Conservation Fund, to China to aid in restoring the population of the giant panda.

It's estimated that only 40 of the animals survive in the wild.

The bake sale money is being to Shanxi province, in central China, where two Chinese professors are at work in the Qingling Mountains keeping track of the pandas there.

Dr. Pan Wenshii and Dr. Lu Zhi, who will receive the funds, are no strangers to the students.

The entire class has seen both professors at work, by viewing a documentary video about them produced by the National Geographic Society.

Lisa Stevens of the National Zoo in Washington helped forge the link between the classroom and the Chinese researchers.

The class composed a letter to Ms. Stevens explaining the students' project and enclosing a photograph.

In three weeks, the class will get to see Ms. Stevens and the pandas at the National Zoo.

On March 30, Ms. Guenther, her students and their parents will receive a personal tour of the zoo's panda exhibit.

To find out more, call 751-3433.

Pub Date: 3/06/96

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