`Next Norman Rockwell' paints hometown


March 20, 2002|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

SCENES OF VINTAGE America are the stuff of artist Chad Calhoun.

Although he's moved to Ramsey, N.J., he's never really left his hometown of Hampstead behind. As the senior art director for the corporate creative department of Great Atlantic and Pacific Tea Co., he creates training videos and print materials for human resources, technology and financial departments that serve 80,000 employees.

But he leaves the modern world of computerized art at the office. In his spare time, he blends a love for history with talent for painting illustrations of a vintage America, and Hampstead is often in the picture. The national flag and children emulating the virtues of their grandparents inspire him.

"I want to be the next Norman Rockwell," Calhoun said. "I like that American feel. You see the American flag in my paintings, and a lot of children and families."

Calhoun will show 15 to 20 original paintings from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Gallery on Main, 1216 N. Main St., one floor above Timeless Creations florist opposite the War Memorial. (Enter the florist shop to reach the gallery.)

The interior of Al Grote's Hampstead barbershop became the scene of Calhoun's painting of Grote cutting a young boy's hair. Afternoon with Al is one of four purchased for the executive offices of his employer. Part of the appeal for A&P Co. was the skillful incorporation of small corporate logos in the picture. Calhoun placed them on a grocery bag, in a newspaper and on a coffee cup in the sink.

"The first time I saw Al's Barbershop, I knew I had to paint that place," Calhoun said. "I worked off my own photographs after I went up north."

Calhoun's grandfather Sterling Miller of Hampstead is featured in Time for Chores, a farm scene of a boy with baseball mitt and slingshot dressed in overalls. Calhoun's grandfather Glenn Calhoun from Millers inspired the first painting of the corporate foursome, called Pop-Pop's Pride. He's featured as a grandfather tying his tie for work in a 1940s grocery store, as a young boy captures the older man's actions with a tie of his own.

Grote, Miller and the elder Calhoun will see the paintings for the first time Saturday. Calhoun plans to photograph the men next to the artwork.

Calhoun, 26, graduated from North Carroll High in 1994 and attended Bradley Academy of Visual Arts in York, Pa. For the past 18 months, he's devoted time to researching themes for paintings and has sold many paintings.

John and Gail Terzano, who own the Hampstead gallery and florist shop, encouraged Calhoun to use their gallery for his debut show.

"This is my first professional art show," Calhoun said. "Down here, I'm the guy that grew up in Hampstead. This will help show that I'm now on a professional level."

The public is welcome and refreshments will be served. Some works will be for sale. Included in the show is a series of Maryland photographs taken by Calhoun's hometown friend, Grant Gibson, who lives in Owings Mills.

Information: 410-812-1542.

Egg and scavenger hunts

The annual outdoor Easter egg hunts will take place Saturday at Charlotte's Quest Nature Center in Pine Valley Park.

The hunts will begin at 10 a.m. They will be held March 30 in the event of rain.

An Easter egg hunt will be held for children age 9 and younger. Prizes will be awarded in three age groups. Lots of plastic eggs with goodies inside will be scattered for the hunt.

A scavenger hunt will be held for children ages 10 to 15. They will be divided into teams and given clues to follow to find prizes, which will be given to each person on the winning team.

The park is at 3400 Wilhelm Lane, off York Street in Manchester.

Information: 410-239- 3200.

Fun with clay for kids

Ken Hankins of Shiloh Pottery in Hampstead will offer lessons next month for children who want to work with clay.

The lessons will be given at his Brodbeck Road studio from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. on four Saturdays.

Children of first-grade age and older may participate in the class, which includes instruction, clay, throwing a pot on a wheel and firing the piece. The cost is $100.

Hankins has taught pottery to children for more than 30 years, is a teacher at a local private school, and is the clay demonstrator at the annual Hampstead Expo.

Information: 410-239-8888.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears each Wednesday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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