Range of styles featured in county art show ArtHoCo: A variety of area artists are showcased in this exhibit at the Howard County Center for the Arts.

December 21, 1997|By Fay Lande | Fay Lande,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

ArtHoCo, a biennial exhibition of work by artists who live, work or study in Howard County, is like an old-fashioned variety store, filled with interesting items and intriguing possibilities.

In spite of its trendy name, the show at the Howard County Center for the Arts has a neighborly feel.

Accomplished work sits side by side with laudable efforts by less-experienced artists. Styles range from 17th century to surreal and avant-garde.

It's a comfortable show.

A child with dark eyes and round cheeks looks out through a jagged doorway in Tae Won Kim's photograph "Looking Out." Cows gaze placidly out of the canvas -- unconcerned about the tiny rural landscapes painted on their bodies -- in Barbara Rossum's painting "Carroll County."

Dr. Hanawalt, the subject of Anna Morrison's honest monochrome of the same name, leans forward as if in conversation with someone outside of the painting. .

June Robertson's "The Jazz Band" plays domestic patterns -- chairs, tiles, vulnerable faces and instruments -- in visual counterpoint.

And tea things are set out, ready for a visit, in Joan Bevelaqua's watercolor "Purple Sofa."

Even disturbing images in the juried show have a familial quality.

In Mary Cate Carroll's second-place pencil and gouache, "A Gift for You, Everything but What You Need," an armless young beauty in prom attire is imprisoned by a large gift. Inside the box are gold hands which offer symbols of a woman's destiny, while the arms fly around the frame.

Chrissy Muraczewski's third-place fiber piece "Restriction" is a row of loosely woven white and cream-colored garments hung on metal hangers. The sleeves and pant legs, too long and narrow for real arms and legs, suggest a wedding or a funeral.

Even Diana Marta's first-prize drawing, "Receiving Signals," in which a human head transforms into a TV screen, is ominous but not frightening.

My favorites were Brian Gray's lovely pastel landscape "Winter Woods," with its avenue of dancing trees, and Nelson Steele's photograph "Circle, Assateague," with its exquisitely focused bas-relief drawn in sand.

The show, which was juried by Barbara Gillette Price -- president of Moore College of Art and Design and former vice president for academic affairs and dean at the Maryland Institute, College of Art -- runs through Jan. 2.

Information: 410-313-ARTS.

Pub Date: 12/21/97

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