Visual Arts: 'Road' thrills
Richard Talkin and others get a jump on the new gallery season this weekend
By Mike Giuliano
(Enlarge) A detail from â€œAll Souls,â€ an oil painting by Howard County artist Joan Bevelaqua, is among the works on view in the Richard Talkin Collection at Howard Community College. It is one of several new shows holding public receptions as part of the Howard County Arts Councilâ€™s 20th annual â€œRoad to the Artsâ€ weekend, Sept. 11-13.
Be especially careful passing cars on a Howard County road this weekend. Chances are good that some will be filled with arts supporters headed for one of the "Road to the Arts" public receptions being held at galleries all over the county.
It's also a well-traveled road in an organizational sense, because this will be the Howard County Arts Council's 20th annual round of open house receptions designed to launch the fall gallery season.
One exhibit already on view is at Howard Community College, where the art collection of Richard B. Talkin focuses on a number of Howard County artists. This is a show that really gets into the spirit of the "Road to the Arts" event. Although there are a number of artists in the exhibit, it's nice to see some of them represented by multiple artworks that provide a real sense of their artistic identity.
Making a strong impression is Henry Niese, whose oil paintings call your attention to isolated buildings and pieces of furniture.
In Niese's "Chair II," the centered black armchair has a monolithic presence in a composition whose other main representational element is a silhouetted balcony rail. The blocks of color that define the domestic setting have visible brush strokes and relatively chunky paint application to remind you of the painterly qualities of this painting about a chair.
Other oil paintings by Niese inlcude "The Barn," whose flat side lends itself to the artist's interest in using blocks of color; and "House," in which an old rural house's illuminated windows are like a beacon in an empty nocturnal landscape.
Having so many artists hanging on the same walls leads to some happy installational pairings.
Linda Press's oil painting "French Landscape" is an elevated view of a quaint village that's lorded over by a church steeple. Mary Jo Tydlacka's watercolor "Ellicott City" is a similarly elevated town view anchored by a church steeple, although this location is in Howard County rather than France.
By the way, we hold our own against the French in the "attractive historic towns" department.
Group exhibits prompt you to make various stylistic connections. Tydlacka's preference for simplified forms and assertive colors can be seen in the watercolor "Romeo and Juliet," depicting an outdoor Shakespeare performance at the Patapsco Female Institute in Ellicott City, and her acrylic painting "Columbia Festival," depicting a crowd enjoying an outdoor lakefront concert.
For even more heightened colors applied to landscape subject matter, look at Zina Poliszuk's "Abstract Landscape." Its sturdy tree trunks are painted pink and blue, and the surrounding greenery is abstractly rendered. Like the so-called Fauve painters in early-20th century France, she sees landscapes in terms of vivid colors that are true to the nature of her imagination.
Robert Tennenbaum's watercolors "Safed" and "Safed II" are relatively more subdued, but do present a narrow street and austere buildings as zones of color.
This exhibit includes other media and moods, of course, with a stark contrast to all that color being Nancy Linden's charcoal drawing "Turning Man." He's bald, nude, turning his face away from us, and basically denying us the color and detail one looks for in a personality. Because there is very little character-based information here, it prompts you to linger and wonder about the identity of this guy.
Also represented in the HCC exhibit are Kay Sandler, Jerzy Kajetanski, Neil Lang, Jim Adkins, Charles Powell, Joan Bevelaqua, Pat Wilson, Heidi Praff, Peter Whiting, Kiley Bitner-Parish, Don Hildebrant, Aline Feldman, Carol Newman, Hilary Rinke and Frank Kaifer.
The reception for the Richard Talkin Collection is Sunday, Sept. 13, 3- 5 p.m., at Howard Community College. The exhibit remains through Sept. 27. Call 410-772-4189 or go to www.howardcc.edu.
More 'Road' stops
Also sharing in "Road to the Arts" is the Howard County Arts Council, with a group exhibit called "Delineations" and a second exhibit by the Metals Guild of Maryland, having a reception Friday, Sept. 11, 6- 8 p.m., at the Howard County Center for the Arts in Ellicott City. The evening includes a grant award ceremony with County Executive Ken Ulman. Call 410-313-2787 or go to www.hocoarts.org.
The Still Life Gallery, at 8173 Main St. in Ellicott City, features Sei Petersen at a reception Friday, Sept. 11, 6- 9 p.m. Call 410-461-1616 or www.stilllifegallery.net.
The Howard County Department of Education Professional Gallery in Ellicott City has an Alumni Art exhibit reception Friday, Sept. 11, 5-7 p.m. Call 410-313-6634.
The Artists Gallery in Columbia's American City Building features Marian Gliese and member artists at a reception Saturday, Sept. 12, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Call 410-740-8249 or www.artistsgallerycolumbia.com.
A group exhibit by two groups of area woodturners titled "Turned Wood 2009" is at the Columbia Art Center in Long Reach Village Center. Its reception is Saturday, Sept. 12, 3-5 p.m. Call 410-730-0075 or www.columbiaartcenter.org.
ICAD's Art Studio and Gallery has work by Camellia A. Blackwell and Cathy Harville at Historic Savage Mill, with a reception Saturday, Sept. 12, 2-4:30 p.m.
R. Coury Fine Art Gallery features Susan Crane at Historic Savage Mill, with a reception Sunday, Sept. 13, 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Sinex Design Architects and Artists has Dawn Prayers, Roxana Sinex, Robin Kinney and Steve Sinex at Historic Savage Mill, with a reception Sunday, Sept. 13, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
"The Nature of Wilde Lake ... And More Part II" and Michael Oberman are presented at Slayton House Gallery, with a reception Sunday, Sept. 13, 3-5 p.m. Call 410-730-3987 or www.wildelakecommunityassociation.org.