Rich works redeem a jumbled theme Art: Though the show at Goya Girl Press could have used more unity, works of tonal richness and exhilarating color are worth the trip.

August 18, 1998|By John Dorsey | John Dorsey,SUN ART CRITIC

"Workshop Prints," the latest show at Goya Girl Press (Baltimore's print workshop), has its ups and downs. For starters, it lacks the unifying theme of a previous show of prints by sculptors and a future one of prints by abstract artists. Prints by artists who have worked at Goya Girl over the past year amounts to a somewhat less than electrifying exhibit description.

Then there's a wide variation in the number of prints shown by these eleven artists, from six to one. But the greatest variation is in the quality of the work, which runs from arrestingly good through mundane to, in one case, an amateurish-looking jumble.

There's more than enough worthwhile work to recommend stopping by the gallery, however. Debra Rubino's six untitled etchings, four of birds' nests and two of stones, constitute the most compelling group, with their combination of clarity of detail and tonal richness. They show that the simplest subject matter can be rewarding in the right hands. Rubino can make a work of beauty out of an image of a single stone.

Tammra Sigler's monotypes of seafood, including "Shrimp on Green I" and "Crab Blue II," possess a joyous, vibrant color that makes them just right for a summer show. They reflect the brillance of the summer sun and the carefree pleasures of the seaside.

Elena Zolotnitsky's fantasy-like images recall the work of Marc Chagall, and of her three works, "Moonlight," stands out for the quality of its night light. Appropriately hung nearby are Joan Erbe's fantasy-like images, which don't recall anybody but Joan Erbe and don't need to. Her weird-looking people, clothed in equally strange but delightfully colored costumes, never fail to lift the spirits despite their slightly sinister look.

Nicole Lenzi's abstract print features delicately colored shapes that complement her wispy line. And Kylis Winbourne's single large monotype boasts color that is bold if not as exhilarating as Sigler's.

Goya Girl Press, in Mill Centre Studio at 3000 Chestnut Ave., is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. The show runs through Sept. 19. For information, call 410-366-2001.

Skipjack cruises sailing

The Maryland Historical Society's summer twilight skipjack cruises are under way.

Cruises on the Minnie V, a rare surviving Chesapeake Bay skipjack, leave Harborplace (between the two pavilions) at 6 p.m. every Tuesday and Thursday through Sept. 24. The two-hour cruises, which cost $20 (seniors $19), include lectures by historians, archaeologists and others on various subjects somehow related to the water or the waterfront, plus a light snack to stave off hunger at this dinner hour.

Cruise subjects are:

Tonight and Thursday, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: "Underwater Archaeology in Maryland" with underwater archaeologist Susan Langley.

Aug. 25 and 27, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: "Unraveling the Mystery of the Constellation" with Constellation executive director Louis Linden.

Sept. 1 and 3, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: "From Water to Rail: Moving People and Stuff to and Through Baltimore" with B&O Railroad Museum education director Matthew White.

Sept. 15 and 17, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: "Liberty Ships and the Monumental City: Baltimore's Role in World War II Shipbuilding" with Maryland Science Center supervisor of public programs Robert Finton.

Sept. 22 and 24, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.: "First Blood in Baltimore: The Pratt Street Riot" with President Street Station Civil War Museum exhibit designer Courtney Wilson.

For information, call 410-685-3750.

Fees drop during renovation

Today the unheard-of happens: The price of something actually drops.

Beginning today, the Walters Art Gallery's 1974 building will be closed for a three-year, $18.5 million renovation, while the original 1904 building and Hackerman House Museum of Asian Art will remain open. Because a large part of the museum will be closed, the Walters is cutting its admission fees, most of them in half.

The fee for adults will drop from $6 to $3; for senior citizens, from $4 to $2; for college students, from $3 to $2 (the $2 fee will also be extended to all young adults ages 17 to 25); for children ages 6 to 17, from $2 to $1. Members and children under 6 are admitted free as before.

Interesting newcomers

"Painterly Bravura," the current show at Steven Scott Gallery, is a summer exhibition showcasing his "stable" of artists. Such shows give the public a chance to see what kinds of art a gallery carries but don't always offer a whole lot of food for thought.

Scott's is a typical "stable" show, containing 18 artists, of whom 13 will be featured during the 1998-1999 season. But it's notable for including two interesting newcomers to this gallery, Bodil Meleney and Mark Barry.

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