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Natalya 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.”