Miracles on display at Gaithersburg Arts Barn and Mansion

Kentlands PhotoNatalya B. Parris in front of her painting ‘Passages of their Lives.’ PHOTO BY MATT HOOKE  GAITHERSBURG — A forgotten black-and-white photo intended for the landfill was transformed into a timeless work of beauty at Thursday’s reception for “Natural Wonders” and “17 Summers” at the Gaithersburg Arts Barn and the Kentlands Mansion.

The two exhibits featured 120 different pieces by 31 artists. “Natural Wonders” showcased the work of the fall 2018 Arts Barn teaching faculty while “17 Summers” brought in artists from Gallery 322 in Frederick.

Michael Douglass Jones from Gallery 322 takes forgotten scraps and makes them shine. His 3D works resemble letters and postage that make them look like an old family heirloom or a part of an old collection, with a timeless vintage quality. Jones began as a painter but developed his unique style due to the storytelling elements of the medium. His art resembles everyday objects used by real people; they become more relatable to the viewer, and the viewer creates a backstory behind them.

“I rely on the viewer to do a lot of the work for me,” said Jones.” I can make all the art that I want, but if no one completes the story, there’s no point.”


Local artists take part in Silver Spring Arts and Crafts Summer Fair

Local artist Jamal Childs works on a sketch drawing during the Silver Spring Arts and Crafts Summer Fair.  PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZLocal artist Jamal Childs works on a sketch drawing during the Silver Spring Arts and Crafts Summer Fair. PHOTO BY ABBY CRUZ  SILVER SPRING — Jamal Childs, 25, nodded his head to the hip-hop song “Bad and Boujee” by Migos playing on his Beats By Dre portable speaker as he colored in his latest sketch drawing, using “no pencil, all ink pen.”

Childs, a Takoma Park native, attended the Silver Spring Arts and Crafts Summer Fair at Veterans Plaza on Sunday not only to sell his art pieces, but he also because the community needs events like these.

“No matter what you do in life, you can recognize where there is art,” said Childs. “It doesn’t just have to be something in the museum or something like graffiti; literally you walk by art every day, and these types of events is just a concentrated area to get all that at one time,” he said.

Childs, who said he has been taking art seriously “all my life, pretty much since I was able to hold a pencil,” explained that for events like this to continue, residents should consider supporting their local artists.

“A lot of times, it’s the people that say ‘Oh I really don’t know anything about art, or I don’t make art so why would I be interested?’ Those are the main people I would suggest to come to these events,” he said. “Just support these types of hometown events … show tangible support.”

Along with Childs, dozens of vendors participated in the downtown Silver Spring event, selling handmade portraits, custom household accessories and even personalized clothing items. Richard Brown, owner of 3D Printing, set up a 3D printer at the fair to show residents how the process works, along with a few custom creations, including “Black Panther Wakanda-Inspired Lighted Calla Lily” for sale.


Takoma Park artist Clara Cornelius turns ruins into art


Local artist Clara Cornelius showcases her outdoor exhibit “Caesura Obscura” at the Pump House Pop-Up in Takoma Park.  PHOTO BY MATT HOOKELocal artist Clara Cornelius showcases her outdoor exhibit “Caesura Obscura” at the Pump House Pop-Up in Takoma Park. PHOTO BY MATT HOOKE  TAKOMA PARK — Local artist Clara Cornelius transformed the stone ruins of an old Takoma Park garage into a wonderland Sunday afternoon as she debuted her outdoor exhibit “Caesura Obscura,” a collection of cloth banners at the Pump House Pop-Up on Hilltop Road in Takoma Park. Children viewed the site with amazement, as they ran through the cloth tapestries with abandon while a drum circle played behind them.

The cloth featured bright shades of blue, green, and red to help the art standout in the beige ruin. Cornelius would take photos of everyday objects, like sidewalk cracks, leaves, and signposts, and create patterns out of them that she would transfer to the cloth banners. Cornelius also used digitized cut-paper shapes for some pieces.

A big inspiration for the Takoma Park resident is transient moments, like puddles in the sidewalk or raindrops on a windowsill, since those moments will never be experienced in the same way again.

Cornelius encouraged people to get involved in art, laying out an activity called “magic carpets.” In this activity, people cut out paper shapes and add them to a large banner, so they form a new piece of art at the end of the exhibition.

“I like for there to be an immersive element or an engagement, where they can be part of it or build into it or touch it or feel it, then have some way to have some self-expression so they can respond to the thing they have just seen,” Cornelius said.


Sleeping Beauty is a Rom Com for the Puppet Company


Paige O’Malley performs as Briar Rose, and Christopher Piper performs as the prince in Puppet Co.’s ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ COURTESY PHOTOPaige O’Malley performs as Briar Rose, and Christopher Piper performs as the prince in Puppet Co.’s ‘Sleeping Beauty.’ COURTESY PHOTO  The Puppet Co Playhouse’s telling of “Sleeping Beauty” is, according to Allan Stevens, by and large traditional.

Except for the frog.

“We think the storyline has been enhanced by the inclusion of some elements of ‘The Frog Prince,’” said Stevens, the puppet theater’s founding director.

While interpretations of “Sleeping Beauty” often emphasize its dark side, such as the princess pricking her finger on a spinning wheel, Stevens believes it’s really a “romantic comedy, imbued with sweetness and good humor.”


Artist and children’s book author chosen to participate in outdoor arts festival

Raya Salman, one of the juried artists at Rockville’s A-RTS festival, poses in front of her booth. COURTESY PHOTORaya Salman, one of the juried artists at Rockville’s A-RTS festival, poses in front of her booth. COURTESY PHOTO  For a time, despite her devotion to it and training at the prestigious Sorbonne University in Paris, Raya Salman “couldn’t afford to live on art.”

Still, Salman, who was born in Lebanon and later relocated to England with her three children before landing in Montgomery County in 1991 and remarrying, wasn’t ready to give up on a professional art career.

Now that her children are 35, 32, and 28 – she also has two grandchildren – she is making up for lost time.

“I paint religiously two times a week,” she said. “One day a week I devote to marketing and social media.”

Her efforts have been recognized. Salman is one of seven Montgomery County artists selected by a jury to participate in A-RTS, a free annual outdoor arts festival at Rockville Town Square, which took place earlier this month on May 5 and 6.


Bethesda festival draws artists from all over country

  • Published in Local

IMG 1686Jazz Artist by Kimmy Cantrell PHOTO BY NICKOLAI SUKHAREVBETHESDA — Hundreds of artists from around the country gathered over the weekend at the annual Bethesda Fine Arts Festival.

Organized by the Bethesda Urban Partnership and the Bethesda Arts and Entertainment District, the festival featured painters, photographers, and sculptors from numerous states across the country, who presented selections from their work in the Woodmont Triangle area of downtown Bethesda. Many artists also took the opportunity to sell pieces they had on display.


Bethesda-based art gallery celebrates 25th anniversary

Carol Leadbetter (left) and Grace Peterson, chair Waverly Street Gallery’s silver anniversary celebration.  COURTESY PHOTOCarol Leadbetter (left) and Grace Peterson, chair Waverly Street Gallery’s silver anniversary celebration. COURTESY PHOTO  Though she was always interested in taking pictures, Carol Leadbetter became a professional photographer later in life. That was after a formal course in photography motivated her to earn an associates’ degree at Montgomery College, specializing in portrait photography. Now she does a great deal of what’s called “photographic transfer,” or alternative printing.

“With transfer, each piece is done individually and looks different,” Leadbetter said. “It’s not making 100 copies of the same thing.”

Grace Peterson always loved art; first she became a self-taught oil painter and later worked in stained glass until arthritis kicked in. She then returned to oils, also obtaining a degree from Montgomery College.

Peterson exhibited and entered competitions, but felt the lack of an artist’s “home base.” After Strathmore sent her a list of area art galleries, she found Creative Partners, a precursor of the Waverly Street Gallery.

Leadbetter also found her home base at the Gallery.


High school senior sees her dystopian play open at Highwood Theatre

IMG 2350 copy dog must die 1Cast of five rehearses Highwood’s ‘The Dog Must Die’ COURTESY PHOTOMadison Middleton began studying at The Highwood Theatre at age 11, and, in her words, “has never left.”

Now nearly 18, she is not only a senior at DC's Fusion Academy but also a budding playwright who is about to see her second production open at Highwood.

That production – “The Dog Must Die” – is a dystopian drama that questions what happens when concrete columns have been built above ground to house and save society because life on earth is no longer sustainable.


Exhibit pays tribute to laborers with extraordinary art

Woman Cleaning Shower“Woman Cleaning Shower” by Ramiro Gomez from National Portrait Gallery exhibit on work. COURTESY PHOTO  “The Sweat of their Face: Portraying American Workers,” an exhibit on view at the National Portrait Gallery, contains well-known, even iconic, images.

These include “Power House Mechanic,” a black-and-white photograph by Lewis Hine; “The Miner,” an oil painting by Pat Lyon; “American Gothic,” by Gordon Parks, oil on beaver wood; “Mine America’s Coal,” by Norman Rockwell, “Cotton Pickers,” oil, by Winslow Homer, and “Migrant Mother,” a print by Dorothea Lange.

Other images are less known and even surprising, such as daguerreotypes by Joseph T. Zealy of semi-dressed slaves. Richard Avedon, best known for his work with celebrities and fashion icons, portrays migrant workers in a series of photographs.

But co-curators Dorothy Moss and David C. Ward are hoping that regardless of the individual images, viewers understand the exhibit’s goal.


Rockville Little Theatre Celebrates 70 years

ROCKVILLE — Montgomery County experienced a radical change in the aftermath of World War II. The population of Rockville and surrounding areas swelled as thousands of people moved to take jobs with federal government contractors, the county schools and government and technology companies. And during that time, people from various occupations have come to Rockville Little Theatre to watch and participate in the production of a wide variety of plays.

The community theater company inaugurated its 70th season Sept. 22 through Oct. 1 with a production of the play "Almost, Maine," by John Cariani, which was featured in last week’s review by The Sentinel’s Barbara Trainin Blank. Set in a quasi-mythical Maine town, the frequently-produced play features a series of interrelated vignettes in which characters attempt, with varying degrees of success, to achieve romantic connections.

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