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Harmony Hall showcases teachers' artistic talents


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Photo by Wanda Jackson. Harmony Hall’s “Instructor’s Exhibit” features diverse talents and mediums, including Kennard Copeland’s ceramics — a vase and four-piece tea set on pedestals — and Patricia Spradlen’s oil paintings, in the background.

Photo by Wanda Jackson. Harmony Hall’s “Instructor’s Exhibit” features diverse talents and mediums, including Kennard Copeland’s ceramics — a vase and four-piece tea set on pedestals — and Patricia Spradlen’s oil paintings, in the background.

Published on: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

At Harmony Hall Regional Center in Fort Washington, dance instructor Zahra Carpenter is known as “Miss Z.” It is a title that comes with great respect — not only from her teaching and dance experiences, but also her interaction with students.

“There is no greater reward than seeing students display a new sense of confidence and responsibility through self-discovery in my class,” Carpenter said.

“Dance teaches character,” she added. “Ballet teaches discipline, modern and contemporary dance teach strength, street dance and hip hop teach self-worth, and world dances like West African, Bollywood and social dances teach cooperation.”

Carpenter is among a diverse group of visual and performing arts instructors whose talents and mediums are being showcased through Oct.12 at The Art Gallery in Harmony Hall — and whose classes are being offered during the Fall 2012 season.

The “Instructor’s Exhibit” features belly dancing, painting, drawing, photography, ceramics, drama, creative dramatics, African dance and drumming, watercolor, liturgical dancing, ballet, modern dance and street dance.

Dance performances play in continuous-loops. Ceramics sit like finely-crafted sculpture on pedestals. Photography, watercolor and oil paintings, and pencil drawings hang according to mediums in the exhibit.

A take-away brochure features Fall 2012 classes and registration information. Prince George’s residents pay a nominal fee, and for non-residents, the fee is slightly higher.

Fall 2012 classes include every skill level and age, from pre-school to adult. New classes include “steel drumming, performance theatre, musical comedy and international cultures (a creative journey that explores the history and traditions of different countries).”

Each instructor at the Harmony Hall Regional Center averages about 20 years of experience.

Carpenter, a native Washingtonian, graduated from The Duke Ellington School of the Arts. While there, she performed throughout the Washington metropolitan area and toured internationally in Hong Kong, China and Amsterdam. She has a bachelor’s degree in fine arts in modern dance and a secondary concentration in dance education from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia.

Peter Ulrich is an award-winning artist whose work regularly appears in juried exhibits and in various galleries throughout the region. In 2007, Ulrich was selected for the National Watercolor Society’s annual exhibit. Twice, he has won “Best in Show” at The Art League of Alexandria’s monthly all-media “large works” show. Ulrich also teaches at the Art League School in Alexandria, Va.

Ulrich says that to paint watercolors requires “courage and boldness.” But, he said,“That is what makes creating art so appealing, and if successful, the giving of enjoyment to self and others.”

For additional details about the “Instructor’s Exhibit” and to register for classes, visit arts.pgparks.com or call 301-203-6070.

Harmony Hall Regional Center is located at 10701 Livingston Road, Ft. Washington, MD — approximately 5 miles outside the beltway off Indian Head Highway (Route 210).

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