Galleries offer a variety of art

Venues: A thriving scene offers plenty of exhibits.

May 16, 2004|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The ability of the fine arts to lift the spirits was confirmed in September when - just two days after Tropical Storm Isabel swamped shops and buildings along Main Street in Annapolis - 27 painters arrived for Paint Annapolis 2003.

Under sunny skies Sept. 20, the artists lined the streets of the state capital. And assisting was Cynthia McBride, an Annapolis gallery owner who has watched the local arts scene flourish since she opened her first Annapolis gallery in 1976.

"In the summer of 1980, when we formed the Annapolis Gallery Association, we planned our first open house, offering refreshments and a map of our 10 galleries," McBride said. "Now AGA has 20 members in historic Annapolis."

The thriving local arts community boasts more than 20 galleries within a few blocks. They hold after-hours open houses from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.

The annual Art Walk, which will be held this year from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Aug. 19, is a way to explore the galleries' diverse offerings while enjoying music, entertainment, refreshments and demonstrations.

On the campus of St. John's College, the Mitchell Gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. from September to May, with exhibitions ranging from Old Masters to contemporary art. Small to Large Works: Anne Arundel County Juried Exhibition will be shown at the gallery from June 1 to 20. Information: 410- 626-2556.

ARTFX Gallery at 45 West St. is a fine arts and crafts gallery featuring pottery, jewelry, woodturning, glass, sculpture and other items. It is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Information: 410-990- 4540.

The city's marine environment can be viewed at the Annapolis Marine Art Gallery at 110 Dock St. The only gallery on City Dock, it features artists specializing in marine subjects. It contains the realism of Richard Bollinger, the impressionism of local artist Sharon Littig and the spectacular work of sailing painter Willard Bondcapture. Information: 410-263-4100 or 1-888-278-2624.

A stroll down Main Street reveals a number of fine galleries offering a variety of art. Handmade crafts are displayed at the League of Maryland Craftsmen at 216 Main St. Open daily, the gallery offers a collection of blown, stained and fused glass; pottery; scrimshaw; sculpture; photographs; and paintings. Information: 410-626-1277.

Specializing in contemporary crafts, American Craftworks Collection at 189 B Main St. features decorative items in glass, pottery, wood, accent furniture and jewelry. ACC is open daily. Information: 410-626-1583.

The largest gallery in the historic district, McBride Gallery at 215 Main St., is open daily and features the area's top artists. Among them are Eric Conklin, a trompe l'oeil specialist in the Dutch Old Master style; established local American impressionist John Ebersberger; and younger impressionists Tim Bell, Abigail McBride and Stephen Griffen. Autumn Celebration, the largest show of the year, will be held Oct. 24 to Nov. 7 and feature 30 of the gallery's artists with more than 100 new pieces of original art. Information: 410-267-7077.

Another Main Street venue not to be missed is the family-owned crafts gallery Easy Street at 8 Francis St. The proprietor is Megan Cureton. Information: 410-263-5556.

Annapolis Pottery, at 40 State Circle, is a spacious, multilevel studio-shop featuring expressive ceramic pieces and functional work created by local and national artists. Annapolis Pottery is open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., with extended hours on Thursday evenings until 9 p.m. Information: 410-268-6153.

Established by a group of local artists, the Maryland Federation of Art's Circle Gallery, at 18 State Circle, opened in 1968 as a not-for-profit gallery to show works of emerging and established artists. Located in a restored loft space in the heart of the historic district, the gallery is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Information: 410-268-4566.

La Petite Galerie, at 39 Maryland Ave., is a small gem specializing in quality 19th- and 20th-century eclectic art from American, European, Asian and South American artists. With an eye for discovering museum-quality work, proprietor Malou Kopicki has expressed her artistic vision at the gallery for the past 15 years, having previously owned the Barbizon Gallery in Severna Park. La Petite Galerie is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. Information: 410-268-2425.

Also participating in Third Thursday and the Art Walk are at least four other galleries: Chesapeake Photo, at Maryland Avenue and State Circle, 410-268-0050; Aurora Gallery, at 67 Maryland Ave., 410-263-9150; Maria's Picture Place, at 45 Maryland Ave., 410-263-8282; and Dawson Gallery, at 44 Maryland Ave., 410-269-1299.

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