Spring art show is mixed-media event



Nineteen painters, sculptors, glass blowers and photographers will stage a spring show in an appropriate space: the temporarily converted Annapolis Yacht Club Sailing Center.

Known collectively as Art Between the Creeks, the artists will exhibit iDENTITY from Thursday through Sunday.

It's the perfect title for a showing by these individualists, whose work is almost guaranteed not to include lighthouse or sailboat depictions.

As for the group's name, show organizer Cindy Fletcher-Holden came up with it when the group formed in 1992. A muralist who also works on giant canvases, Fletcher-Holden, 45, recalled "spilling paint on the sidewalk that trickled into the cracks. The name evolved from into cracks to `art between the creeks' in recognition of all our participating artists living between Spa and Back creeks."

Back then, three artists without venues organized an exhibit called Warehouse of the Refused (after the 19th-century French Salon of the Refused) in a boat shed they transformed into a gallery.

Painter Simeone Coxe and sculptor Monroe Hall later relocated while Fletcher-Holden remained in the area.

The association now has 19 artists who work in media from abstract to representational to postmodern.

Earlier this week at her Fourth Street studio in Eastport, Fletcher-Holden was joined by lifelong Annapolitan, watercolorist and mixed-media artist Michael Matthews, 43, and self-taught artist and local house painter Jason Duden, 43, who lives along the banks of Beards Creek.

Together the three proved capable of assembling materials needed to transform a boat shed into a temporary gallery.

"What started out as a makeshift gallery in a warehouse has blossomed into a makeshift gallery in a storage shed," Fletcher-Holden said lightly.

She, Duden and Matthews recalled the show last June expanding after Fletcher-Holden persuaded Annapolis resident, noted artist and teacher Leonard Koscianski to critique her work.

Koscianski, who is represented by OK Harris Gallery in New York's SoHo district, asked how he might become part of the Art Between the Creeks exhibit.

Fletcher-Holden likens this request to "being part of a group of amateur neighborhood musicians and having Bruce Springsteen ask if he could sit in."

Koscianski, who Duden described as "burning with a quiet fire," not only displayed his work at the show last June but also offered to lend his expertise in arranging the exhibit.

Some of the art at last year's exhibit left a lasting impression. Koscianski's larger-than-life hyper-realistic flower representation struck me as Georgia O'Keeffe brought to a more vibrant, contemporary level that expressed a unique and compelling lyricism.

Duden's work, "Homogeneity," was filled with energy and raw emotion in its depiction of a school of identically colored fish swimming downstream behind a bleeding fish of a different color, presumably shot for his nonconformity by the realistic gun mounted nearby.

"iDENTITY" will be open from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, noon to 9 p.m. Friday (with a reception from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.) and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Annapolis Yacht Club Sailing Center, 500 Severn Ave. www.ArtBetweenThe Creeks.us.

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