In love with Annapolis

Poster artist Hammond prepares for annual sale

October 05, 2002|By Laura Loh | Laura Loh,SUN STAFF

Annapolis artist Nancy Hammond says she gets nervous every year around this time.

Tomorrow morning, Hammond plans to open her State Circle gallery doors to people who, if tradition holds, will have been lined up all night for a chance to buy one of her annual Annapolis-themed posters at a bargain. "I am filled with terror every time," said Hammond, 61. "I wonder if they're going to be there."

Barring a man-made or natural disaster, a significant number of people are likely to be waiting outside the gallery by the time Hammond's staff starts serving coffee and doughnuts at 5 a.m., well before the gallery's opening.

At least, that's what happened last year.

Hammond signed and sold nearly 200 of the lithograph prints that first day.

The first 100 copies cost $45 each. As the limited edition of 500 starts to dwindle, the price is adjusted upward.

Hammond started the tradition six years ago in order to make some of her art, the prices of which run into the thousands of dollars, more affordable.

"Here we wanted to have this love affair with Annapolis, and half of [the residents] couldn't afford it," Hammond said.

This year's poster, "An Annapolis Oasis," depicts a large, pink hollyhock flower in front of a restored Georgian mansion that once belonged to William Paca, a wealthy planter and signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Hammond said she chose the Annapolis landmark to pay tribute to a period in the city's past. "It's when Annapolis was known as the Paris of America," Hammond said. "We were the creme de la creme in the Colonies for a short time."

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