Keeping pace with creativity

Annapolis galleries open doors for annual Art Walk

Review

August 24, 2007|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,Special to The Sun

Among the 20 participating galleries — On what must have been our 10th Annapolis Art Walk and historically the 17th annual event, my husband, Bud, and I found much to admire in the combination of art and nostalgia at city galleries. We left with renewed appreciation of the indomitable human spirit, so well exemplified by Marion Warren.

Among the 20 participating galleries - of which we visited only half on last week's walk to give each the attention it deserved - was the one at 14 State Circle named for the late Annapolis photographer.

On hand to welcome visitors were his daughter Mame and his business partner, Joanie Surette, who premiered a Warren DVD created by his associate, Richard Olsenius - a remembrance well worth the $30 price.

Among the 100 or so photographs were ones that captured a moonlit Bay Bridge; a group of Annapolitans sheltered by umbrellas as they awaited the start of a parade that evoked New Orleans Mardi Gras; a hazy, dream-like portrait of the base of the Eiffel Tower; and watermen at work.

Warren, who died Sept. 8 at age 86, created no clouds in his darkroom, nor did he embellish nature. He simply waited for nature to achieve perfection and then recorded it. His spirit loomed large at this year's Art Walk: We met him again near our last stop on West Street, where huge Warren photos adorned the brick walls bordering the BB&T Bank parking lot.

From State Circle we proceeded to Main Street, maintaining our Art Walk tradition of visiting Main Street Gallery and McBride Gallery. These galleries not only display quality art but also offer sumptuous buffets for visitors.

On the first floor of Main Street Gallery, we found pastels artist Stan Sperlak creating a pre-dawn sky for fascinated observers. Upstairs, Impressionist artist Marion LeMoal created lovely scenes in a delicate palette.

At McBride Gallery, Bill Schmidt was creating an oil painting of shimmering light on Monet-like rippling water. Also demonstrating superb technique was watercolorist Bruce Handford, who displayed a bold and dramatic use of color.

Our last stop was Annapolis Collection Gallery on West Street, where owner Katherine Anne Burke completed preparations for its grand opening only the night before, after the new wood floors were laid and the walls painted.

Warren had chosen Burke's gallery on State Circle to house his photographic collection, and it also houses the collection of photographs by Charles Emery.

Burke's West Street gallery displays the work of South County sisters who are prominent national artists: Roxie Munro and Ann Munro Wood. Visitors watched Ann Munro Wood put the finishing touches on an amazingly lifelike commissioned portrait of Reese Cleghorn, who served as dean of the University of Maryland School of Journalism from 1981 to 2000 and still teaches there. Also on hand at the Annapolis Collection Gallery opening was Sy Mohr, whose bright, oversized oil paintings celebrating urban life echo his own exuberance.

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