Md. art students might not get governor's reception this year

Event had been held by Glendening's ex-wife

April 05, 2002|By Sarah Koenig | Sarah Koenig,SUN STAFF

For the first time in years, student artists from across Maryland may not get an Annapolis reception in their honor, an event that appears to have become a casualty of the Glendenings' divorce.

Each year, the Maryland State Arts Council organizes a student art show in the State House. In recent years, Frances Hughes Glendening, the former first lady, staged a reception for the children, their parents and their teachers.

Last year, the students were feted in the governor's reception room at the State House.

"The kids got their pictures taken with the governor and his wife. ... It was really great," said Shyla Rao-Jones, an art teacher at Roland Park Public School who hung this year's show. "It really meant a lot to the kids."

But that was before the Glendenings split. In January, Gov. Parris N. Glendening married his former deputy chief of staff, Jennifer E. Crawford.

Frances Glendening had made the arts one of her priorities, and had made a point of playing host to the young artists. "It was part of her `Arts Across Maryland' initiative," said Michael Morrill, the governor's spokesman.

This year, he added, the governor and his new wife are holding fewer receptions, in part because the governor is on his way out of office, and because he does not want to spend too much on parties when the state is short of money.

But Karen Glenn, spokeswoman for the state Department of Business and Economic Development, said there still could be a party at some point. "It's entirely possible, but we just haven't made the decision yet," she said.

The art show produced by the 75 artists is slated to be taken down next week.

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