Annapolis presents its two specialties: art and walking

19 downtown galleries are in tonight's Art Walk


August 18, 2005|By Kate Cambell | Kate Cambell,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Annapolis is a town made for artists and those who admire them, says Cynthia McBride of the Annapolis Gallery Association. And finally, the art world has taken notice.

The number of galleries downtown has doubled in the past 15 years, she said, because the historic aura and maritime beauty provide ample inspiration.

"Annapolis is such a beautiful town that people wanted to see it, and artists came because they wanted to paint it, and people bought that art," McBride said, recalling that the town offered only 10 galleries in the summer of 1980, the year the association held its first event. "Every year we seem to have some new galleries."

Tonight, the sloping streets radiating outward from the State House will take on the atmosphere of one giant gallery, with only a few yards of sidewalk separating exhibits and artists conducting demonstrations in the 15th annual Annapolis Art Walk.

The event is expected to draw hundreds of patrons to mingle with artists, enjoy refreshments and peruse untold works in 19 galleries downtown.

"The galleries are concentrated in a four-block area," said McBride, one of the event's organizers. "It makes it easy to do an art walk and then go get a glass of wine afterward."

Patrons can pick up a map of the free event at any participating gallery before setting off for whatever exhibits most interest them. The map is also online at

Tim Thiemeyer and his wife, Karen, owners of Folk Art America on Maryland Avenue, have been preparing for visitors for the past month.

"I've been making collages like crazy," Tim Thiemeyer said.

His work features animals and marine life native to the Chesapeake, such as crabs, birds and terrapins. He will work on a collage during the event to show visitors how a piece comes together.

"I look forward to doing it as performance art," he said. "It makes art more approachable to the public and turns it into an interactive event."

At the Aurora Gallery on Maryland Avenue, owner Jean Opilla will feature Richard LaMotte, author of Pure Sea Glass, a tome for beachcombers about the origins and beauty of the coveted flotsam and jetsam. He will sign copies of his book from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Celia Pearson, who photographed the rough gems for the book, will attend the event and exhibit more of her work.

"Almost as soon as I've featured one artist, I start thinking about who I'm going to feature the next year," said Opilla, who has owned the gallery for 23 years and has participated in every art walk.

While the Annapolis Marine Art Gallery on Dock Street boasts one of the largest exhibits in the city, it rests on the waterfront and off the beaten path. Owner Jeff Schaub said he anticipates a small crowd to view works by John Barber, Keith Reynolds and John Ruseau. Each painter is noted for his unique interpretation of life on the coast.

"A lot of people who participate in the art walk are artists themselves, and they like to see what their contemporaries are doing -- their techniques," Schaub said.

"It's a nice thing to do on a lazy summer evening," McBride said.

The 15th Annapolis Art Walk, 5 p.m.-9 p.m. this evening. Maryland Avenue, Main Street, Dock Street, West Street, College Avenue and State Circle. Admission is free. Many galleries will provide wine and refreshments. Call 410-267-7077 or visit www.arti

For more art events, see Page 32.

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