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Local A&E trends define a decade

Arts, history, food, health care in the Single-Digit Decade

Arts, history, food, health care in the Single-Digit Decade

December 26, 2009|By CHRIS COPLEY

Listening to pundits and talking heads bemoan the American economic abyss of the first decade of the 21st century, it might be easy to forget that not everything about the Single-Digits Decade was disastrous.

Take a look at the Tri-State area's Lifestyle scene. We did, talking to local artists, business owners, historians, foodies, health care industry insiders and others to get a sense of the noteworthy Lifestyle trends and events of the past decade. Here is what they said.

Visual art

o Public art in downtown Hagerstown. Taking Flight, a fundraiser supporting the new Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, brought 30 decorated statues of butterflies to downtown Hagerstown in 2009. It was a success. Another downtown civic art show is under discussion.

o Historical scenes and landmarks as subjects. An increased number of artists paint scenes from the Civil War. Other artists portray local landmarks. Both are popular with collectors.

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o More younger artists. An increase in artists in their 20s and 30s who stay in the area and make a living.

o A huge increase in the use of giclees. A giclee (pronounced zhee-CLAY) is a limited-edition print on canvas, stretched and framed like an original. These closely resemble the original, but cost less.

o Local community arts groups such as the Valley Artists Association or the Art Alliance in Chambersburg, Pa., are growing in membership and the quality of their members' work. More local arts groups offer opportunities to make and see art.

o Internet marketing. Most artists have a Web site, which is good for showing artwork to buyers. But what about galleries, the traditional place where the public sees artists' work? That might be a trend for the next decade.

o The Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, the new arts high school in downtown Hagerstown. One of only two public schools of art in Maryland, the school has brought art students into downtown.

o Public-private collaboration. Examples: the City of Hagerstown's Arts and Entertainment District, a recent series of business-for-artists classes at the Washington County Arts Council, and the Meeting of Creative Minds process.

o Digital technology. The sheer graphics available on computers are opening up arts to people who haven't been involved in art before.

o Crafts treated as fine arts, and a lot more mixed media in crafts.

-- Cliff Springer, co-owner of Benjamin Art Gallery, Hagerstown; Janet Salter, artist and art instructor at Hagerstown Community College; Eileen Berger, co-owner of Just Lookin' Gallery, Hagerstown; Rob Hovermale, supervisor for visual and performing arts for WCBOE; Anne Finucane, exhibit coordinator for Council for the Arts, Chambersburg, Pa.

Health care

o A new regional hospital. Meritus Regional Medical Center is planned and funded and construction begins adjacent to Robinwood Medical Center. The new facility will be completed in late 2010, will include 267 private patient rooms and will incorporate some of the latest technological advances in medical care.

o The H.W. Murphy Community Health Center at Walnut Street, opened in 2000, includes the Walnut Street Family Practice, a pediatric dental practice and the Western Maryland Prescription Drug Program.

o The third phase of construction at Robinwood Medical Center, which includs Urgent Care, additional physician offices and a large atrium, was completed in 2002.

o In 2009, the Maryland Health Care Commission approved Washington County Hospital's request to diagnose and treat patients with nonemergency cardiac disease, saving patients a trip to the Baltimore area.

o Increasing numbers of food-safety issues - recalls of spinach, meats, tomatoes and other foods and products; food-contamination reports; and food-borne illness outbreaks.

o Washington County Hospital received a waiver from the Maryland Health Care Commission to offer lifesaving emergency angioplasty to patients. It was previously restricted to hospitals that offered open heart surgery as backup.

o Washington County Hospital opened the new Center for Bariatric Surgery in 2008. The center offers gastric bypass surgery for individuals who meet stringent guidelines.

o Public health officials are increasingly concerned with Type 2 diabetes. Washington County has a high death rate from diabetes.

o Washington County Hospital received Primary Stroke Center accreditation from the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems.

o The special-care nursery opened at Washington County Hospital as part of women's and children's services. The nursery offers treatment to babies born as early as 32 weeks gestation or to babies born with medical complications.

History

o Historical archives on the Internet. The most significant change in the past 10 years is the availability of historical information online, from Western Maryland Historical Library to university archives.

o Williamsport hosts two annual World War II-era encampments for World War II military and home-front re-enactors.

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