Hobbits Glen artist takes abstract works to the Artists' Gallery


October 29, 1997|By Kathy Curtis | Kathy Curtis,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

HOBBITS GLEN resident Michael Syphax has spent the last 20 years drawing curved, abstract forms.

"I'm pretty much obsessed with these crazy forms," he said. Since 1993, he has been creating large drawings with colored pencils full-time.

Samples of his work will be on display beginning Monday at the Artists' Gallery in the American City Building in Columbia's Town Center.

Called "Visions," the exhibit will run through Nov. 28. A free reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 7.

Syphax had been a development officer, working for Arena Stage and later the Smithsonian Institution. But all along, he has been an artist.

"I've been drawing all my life," he said.

Now, he also is president of the Artists' Gallery cooperative.

Syphax works on a large scale, with the biggest drawings measuring 60 inches by 40 inches.

"Generally speaking, the work is very colorful," he said. To make it colorful takes a lot of material, he said.

"In a large piece, I might go through 50 to 80 pencils," he said.

He noted that he has two themes: a blues series that uses cool colors like blue and gray to suggest the mood of blues music, and a Native American series that uses earth tones reminiscent of the deserts of the Southwest.

"People feel compelled to tell me what they see in the drawings," Syphax observed, adding that his work seems to affect viewers much like Rorschach tests.

Syphax's drawings were displayed in two exhibits in Washington this year: a group show at the Museum of Contemporary Art and a solo show at the International Monetary Fund.

The Artists' Gallery is open from noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 9: 30 a.m. to 12: 30 p.m. Saturday.

Information: 410-740-8249.

Band places fourth

The rain held off long enough this weekend for students from Atholton High School to compete in the Freestate Spectacular, the Maryland state band championship, held at Towson University on Saturday.

Atholton's "Raider" Marching Band, directed by Lee Stevens, took fourth place in its division. Using this year's theme of "Red, White and Blue Extravaganza," band members performed a medley of patriotic songs.

The event drew 42 marching bands from high schools throughout Maryland.

Chorus slates concert

Longfellow resident Frances Motyca Dawson will conduct the Columbia Pro Cantare chorus, soloists and festival orchestra in a concert called "Serenade to Music" at 7: 30 p.m. Saturday at the Jim Rouse Theatre for the Performing Arts.

The group includes west Columbia residents Steven Fulton, Carol Galbraith, Carolyn Gayle, Sylvia Hertz, Sarah Knox, Barbara Kraus, Tom Lorsung, Betsy Middleton, Lynn Stott, Lee Schuyler, Irina Von Alten and Donald Butler.

Soloists Kishna Davis, Marianna Busching, Charles Reid and Lester Lynch will join Pro Cantare for this concert.

After the concert, the audience is invited to join the performers at a reception. Tickets are $20 a person. Information: 410-465-5744.

Scholars honored

Atholton High School Principal Jim McGregor held a breakfast for students who were honored in the Maryland Distinguished Scholar Program.

In the achievement category, Meagan Funches and Luke Kim were finalists, while Aaron Brown, Kathleen McGuigan and Erin Rieben were named semifinalists.

Receiving honorable mentions were Nicholas Barresi, Theresa Brandt, Ann Cheung, Stephen Clark, Jennifer Edgin, Catherine Frentz, Melissa Greczy, Anne Greenfield, Wendy Jorgensen, Leanne Kearns, Kate Kelly, Kyung Kim, Sara Kirkpatrick and Joseph LaMonte.

Honorable mentions also went to Dana Lawall, Matthew Martiny, Katherine McQueen, Rebecca Meyer, Melissa Millin, Katherine Nardinelli, Ryan Oleszewski, Shimul Patel, Cara Ramsey, Lauren Roth, Wendy Sare, Heather Schueneman, Cheryl Staab and Rhys Ziemer.

In the talent category, Nicholas Marini was a finalist in instrumental music, while Erin Sosinski was a semifinalist in drama. Receiving honorable mentions were Leah Friedberg and Jessica Sokolove for dance and Jeffrey Hubbard for vocal music.

Board members chat

The public is invited to share coffee and conversation with members of the Howard County Board of Education from 7: 30 p.m. to 9 p.m. Nov. 6 at Longfellow Elementary School, 5470 Hesperus Dr.

Information: 410-313-6682.

Pub Date: 10/29/97

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