Welcome 2019. It seems we all are charged with being more present; taking account, appreciating what we have, and stepping up to make life better for ourselves and our communities — locally and on a broader scale. Never has there been more impetus to assess and build on what has gone before, or learn from mistakes.
It is a time to appreciate the potential that can be achieved through education, understanding and connection. Art plays a key role in this advancement. The year opens with a breadth of artwork by and about diverse populations that speak to our area’s desire to be inclusive and open. If you are interested in history, or how art impacts lives, this is your month. Ready your calendar app to record these events; better yet — print this and take it with you so you don’t miss a single thing.
McBride Gallery opens 2019 with an exhibit of paintings and sculpture by seven artists newly represented in the gallery’s stable of artists. “New in the New Year” opens Sunday and will be on display through Feb. 10. The new artists include award winners, all with reputations for excellence: Jacalyn Beam, Craig Reynolds, Lon Brauer, Cynthia Feustal, Valerie Craig, David Heath and Lori Kiplinger Pandy. Paintings include figurative, florals, landscapes, cityscapes and marine work. All are master oil painters with numerous awards and Pandy is a respected sculptor who works in both bronze and cultured cast stone.
49 West Coffeehouse & Wine Bar presents “Art Down Vol. I”, a multi-medium/multi-artist exhibit featuring the creative work of four African-American artists from Maryland, Washington, D.C., and the Virginia metropolitan area. Exhibit includes watercolors by Natalie Ballard, cardboard abstract sculptures by Tyrone Taylor, photographs capturing the human form through light and composition by David Arthur, and photographic portraiture capturing his subject’s personalities by Jonathan Bartlett. The show runs through Jan. 30, with a reception in the back room from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday.
Maryland Federation of Art’s Circle Gallery opens 2019 with a pair of exceptional exhibits, with a reception for both from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 13:
- Main Gallery: The “MFA Winter Member Show” runs through Jan. 20. This annual member show is a stunning exhibit featuring a variety of artwork created by MFA members from all over the country.
- Holley Gallery: “Touching the Mysterious” features works from MFA member and well-known regional artist Joan Machinchick, running through Jan. 19. See how she is able to use a variety of mediums to construct unique creations that explore nature’s enigmas and enchantments.
MFA and Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts are partnering to celebrate the overlap between visual and performing art. Together, MFA and MHCA invited all artists to enter the inaugural, juried exhibition, “Visual Harmony,” on display in Maryland Hall’s Chaney and Martino galleries opening Thursday, and running through March 2. From Degas to Pollack, visual artists have both represented and been motivated by the performing arts. Whether depicting dancers, listening to jazz while painting, or creating sets or costumes for a play, all arts are important and inspiring. The exhibition was juried by artist and Maryland first lady Yumi Hogan. Join them for an opening reception from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 17.
Also at Maryland Hall, in the Openshaw Balcony Gallery, will be a display of student work from “Following In His Footsteps — Frederick Douglass 200 Creative Arts Competition,” opening Monday and running through Feb. 7. Born Frederick Augustus Washington Bailey (1818-1895) in Talbot County, Douglass was the first African-American to gain international fame as a social crusader. Douglass helped lead the anti-slavery movement and he also fought for women’s rights. He understood that “reading was his pathway from slavery to freedom.” Anne Arundel County students, public, private and home-schooled were invited to research Douglass and create artwork — visual, written, and digital — inspired by his life. Reception is from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Jan. 17.
The Galleries at Quiet Waters Park open two exhibits Wednesday, and both will be on display through Feb. 17 with an opening reception from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 13.
- Garden Gallery: “Ray Hass Photography” was curated by Katherine Haas. Throughout his life as math teacher, rancher and editor, Ray Haas maintained a love of photography. This exhibit began with Haas as a youngster with a Brownie camera and continued with various cameras until his death in 2012. Some works were printed in books, others sold or given to friends and family. He said what he loved best was the act of printing the final product. Many of his photographs were taken here in Maryland or during his summers in North Dakota and others during trips to Europe.
- Willow Gallery: Centro de Ayuda of Annapolis (the Center for Help program) will exhibit the artwork of the students and their teacher. Centro de Ayuda addresses the problem of reunification of children and their families. This after-school program provides therapeutic, informative and educational activities. Working with various art activities is central to their program.
Jo Fleming Contemporary Art presents “Concentric,” with minimalist geometric work reflecting the wonders of the universe by Washington-area artist Jordann Wine. Larry Fransen’s kinetic sculpture provides movement and dimension to the exhibition that opens Jan. 22 and runs through March 22. Meet the artists at the opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Jan. 26.
West Annapolis Artworks and Fine Framing is featuring work by some of their best-selling artists for the month of January. An array of art in an assortment of mediums from pastel, oils, mixed media, pottery, photography and ribbon art. Don’t miss another Art Talk facilitated by Thomas James from 3 to 5 p.m. Jan. 27.
The Mitchell Gallery opens the winter season Wednesday with an exhibition from the Reading Public Museum, “Painted Pages: Illuminated Manuscripts, 13th-18th Centuries,” and will be on view through Feb. 24. Before the invention of the printing press in 1455, all books were handwritten and decorated. The art and history of written texts in the Western and non-Western worlds with their elaborate gold and silver leaf or powder decoration and intricate ornamentation on parchment and vellum is explored through Bibles, prayer books, psalters, breviaries and lectionaries. Additionally, pages from the Koran and Shahnameh (the Illustrated Book of Kings) and examples of Hebrew texts are featured in the 35 works on view.