Look for greater depth and breadth of art in 2023 – Capital Gazette

“I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” — David Bowie

Jan. 1 falling on a Sunday seems right. For many of us, it is a more relaxed day, giving us the opportunity to prepare for the week ahead. Whatever your day is like today, you might be thinking about what lies ahead for 2023, or what resolutions you want to make. I gave up the idea of New Year’s resolutions years ago when I realized I simply couldn’t stick to something I wasn’t ready to start. Instead, I try to objectively review the previous year and consider how the events and the actions I took — or didn’t take — impacted my life and those around me, with the idea of making course corrections, or even establishing a new destination.

January is a perfect time for reviewing and regrouping. Looking back at the art in our region in 2022, it was a big year. In response to the repression and restrictions of 2020 and 2021, there was intensity to the creation of art, and to the exhibits on display. It was a collective “we are back” sort of feeling, that engulfed not only artists but also art lovers and buyers. There were “best ofs” and “never befores”, and we dove in with a vengeance to find ways of expressing meaning. I succumbed to this as well. In April I had the biggest solo show of my career, where I exhibited five sequential series of work in one exhibit, demonstrating how one built upon the next. New public art appeared everywhere, and the galleries ramped up the intensity by hosting exhibits with music and live painting.

Based on where we’ve been, I predict the year ahead will provide us with art and exhibits that take us into thoughtful journeys that have greater depth and breadth. There were so many ideas and inspiring concepts tossed into the atmosphere in 2022 that can now be sorted through, and we can follow those that resonated and have the greatest potential. One of those tracks percolating for years has really started to get traction, which is creating transparency of the entire artistic process. If you are excited by art, you can truly embrace it when you are given the story of how it comes about.

It feels very much like we are poised to find a new sense of purpose, in art and life. Whatever your hopes for 2023, may they all come to fruition. May you have a blissful, prosperous and artful New Year.

McBride Gallery will host the Women Artists of the West’s 52nd Annual Exhibition for one more week, through Saturday. “East Meets West” celebrates the beauty of the world in 115 paintings and sculpture. Also on exhibit is the annual “Small Gems” show featuring more than 12 of the gallery artists with images from 5 by 7 inches to 20 by 16 inches in oil, watercolor, pastel and acrylic. Artists include Lois Engberg, Maria Marino, Abigail McBride, John Ebersberger, Michael Godfrey, Christine Drewyer and more.

Gallery 57 West will feature art talks by two Annapolis Arts Alliance members, Jessica McGrath and Valia Bradshaw, at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 10. McGrath likes to use ancient techniques in her modern designs and will be demonstrating Keum-Boo, an ancient Korean metalsmithing technique that applies 24 carat gold to fine silver. Bradshaw works in acrylics and her main subjects are trees, flowers, the sky, boats in the ocean and other elements of nature. She uses vivid colors in her expression of the beauty of nature. Visit www.gallery57west.com for details and watch for videos of the talks on Gallery 57 West’s social media.

The Galleries of Quiet Waters Park present “Second Wind,” works by retired Anne Arundel County art teachers opening Friday and running through Feb. 12. This exhibit will feature plein air paintings in oil and watercolor, 3-D sculpture, wearable art pieces, functional ceramics, watercolors, pastels and printmaking. The opening reception is from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Jan. 15 in the Visitor Center. Entrance to the Park is $6 per vehicle. Fee is waived for the reception only.

Annapolis Marine Art Gallery is hosting its first show under new ownership. The Winter Open House will take place from 3 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 21. Six of the artists will attend: Sharon Littig, Collin Cessna, William R. Sutton, Al Barker, Christopher Forrest and James Madison. All are welcome to come meet the artists, the new gallery owners, enjoy refreshments and browse the art.

In the ACAAC and BWI “Bright Skies” exhibit, artists were asked to make the sky the focus of their artwork. This exhibit will be on display until March 13, and is located between Concourse C&D in departures (pre-security) near Departure Door 10 and the UPS Store. You can view the online gallery at https://www.acaac.org/bwi-exhibit-35-bright-skies/

The Arundel Center in Annapolis is currently showing a solo exhibit by artist, dancer, author and teacher Kimmary MacLean titled “A Journey from Nature to the Abstract.” The exhibit includes a variety of work, and the visiting hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. MacLean is currently the featured artist on the ACAAC website.

MFA Circle Gallery begins the new year with its “Winter Member Show,”, opening Wednesday and running through Jan. 28. From photography and traditional oil paintings to 3D printed sculptures, to artist books and digital fiber art, there is something for everyone. Join them from 4 to 5 p.m. on Jan. 8 via Zoom for the Virtual Awards Ceremony with Juror Scott Hutchison to see who won and to hear from the artists about their creative processes. Join them in person for a closing reception from 4 to 6 p.m. on Jan. 28 to celebrate the show.

MFA Curve Gallery presents “Light and Shadow,” open through Jan. 31. Where there’s light, there must be shadow. These contrasting elements are essential to all forms of art, giving the artist the ability to provide interesting and evocative perspectives. Artists love to focus on and emphasize the contrast either as the subject of the piece or the material being used to create it, and have been offering new ways of seeing this interplay throughout time. Selected by Juror Deborah Buck, this show features 62 pieces by 43 artists and is available for viewing online in the Curve Gallery through the end of the month. Visit mdfedart.com/portfolio/271/ to see the show.

Opening Jan. 10 in the MFA Curve Gallery is “Jen Sterling: For the Love of Art,” a series of expressionistic abstract works contained within rigid steel hearts by Sterling. These pieces express the emotion, depth and energy of love. Color has always had a profound influence on Sterling’s mood. Her goal is not to capture an image, but to express the emotion the image embodies and to create work that is fluid, inspiring energy, excitement, vitality and confidence. See her work online in MFA’s Curve Gallery through Feb. 10 at mdfedart.com/portfolio/jensterling/.

Jo Fleming Contemporary Art (JFCA) will heat up this winter with a showing of vibrant warm works by a variety of gallery artists including Becky Laughlin, Patrice Drago, Carol Rubin, Doug Moulden, Sigrid Trumpy, Rachael Bohlander and Jo Fleming. The gallery is open by appointment only during January. Regular hours and programming should resume on Feb. 1. JFCA is starting off the new year coordinating with CURATE 141 West Street on quarterly exhibits. They are kicking it off by offering the bold abstract paintings of Jen Sterling.

Paul’s Homewood Cafe and MFA present the works of Lyn Laviana and Natalie Ogilvie (Watkins) openthrough the end of January. Laviana grew up in the Northeast, painting since grade school. She has worked in oils and pastels, enjoying the saturation of color, and is currently involved in printmaking and acrylics as they allow for transparency. Ogilvie Watkins’ artistic journey began when her work was displayed at the 1996 Olympic Games. Working in many different mediums, such as painting, woodworking, and printmaking, this exhibition displays her FRAC collection. These “fractal-like” paintings represent the idea of physics in the world as we see it.

MFA at 49 West continues “Art for a Living Wage” through Jan. 31. Behind every plate, every pour, every cup and every cleared table is a whole person with interests and passions that go beyond the meal they bring you in the space you engage with them. In its 4th iteration, “Art for a Living Wage” comes back with new and returning artistic voices from 10 different local food joints, bringing 10 distinct artistic styles and mediums to the walls of 49 West. The goal is to give artists working in the food service industry an opportunity to share their creative side with the community , as well as to give them the opportunity to see their art transform into a means of support. Stop in 49 West to see what these artists have been working on this past year.

Patrice Drago is a painter and writer in Annapolis, MD. Website: www.patricedrago.com. This column is written in cooperation with the Annapolis Gallery Association. Contact her at art@patricedrago.com.


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