Waynesboro, Pa., resident Suzee White selected as Blues Fest 2011 artist

June 01, 2011|By MARIE GILBERT |
  • Suzee C. White of Waynesboro, Pa., poses with her official Western Maryland Blues Fest original artwork, which is an acrylic on canvas, titled "Music Unites."
By Joe Crocetta/Staff photographer

When it comes to interpreting the blues, Suzee White doesn't use a musical instrument. She does it with paints and a canvas.

White's original artwork was selected for this year's Western Maryland Blues Fest poster — a mix of vibrant colors featuring a singer and trumpet player.

The poster not only advertises the upcoming event but, each year, has  become a collector's item.

"It's quite an honor," the Waynesboro, Pa. artist said.

White's work will be shown at the Washington County Arts Council. An artist's reception will be from 6 to 9 tonight following the Blues Prelude at University Plaza in downtown Hagerstown.

White, 34, almost didn't submit her sketch to a committee of judges.

"It was kind of last minute," she said.  "I saw a notice in the newspaper asking for artists to submit their work. But the deadline was a day or two away and I didn't think I could have it completed in time."

At the urging of a friend, White said "I decided to see what I could come up with."

Two weeks later, she received word that her artwork had been selected for the official poster.

"You can't imagine how excited I was," she said. "When I received the email telling me I had won, I couldn't believe it. I wasn't sure I was reading it correctly."

White said it was only a few years ago that she recognized she had an artistic talent.

She has always enjoyed drawing, the local native said, but never took it seriously.

After working in a small gallery in Ellicott City, Md., she became inspired to try her own hand at painting.

Moving back to the Hagerstown area, she took several painting classes at Hagerstown Community College and began setting goals — painting every day, experimenting with various styles of art and having her work exhibited in an art show.

Over the past few years, White has had her work displayed in several area galleries and has had good feedback from the public.

"But the exposure from being named the Blues Fest artist is really huge," she said. "So many people will have an opportunity to see my work. It can really open a lot of doors for me."

White said the artwork for the poster "is expressionism with a little twist. I take things that are realistic and give them a whimsical touch."

The original art for this year's poster is currently framed and hanging in the Washington County Arts Council gallery, White said.

It will be on view, with about 30 pieces of her art, through June.

She said said half of the exhibit is newer work.

The gallery also will feature the work of photographer Jamie Turner, whose exhibit "Black, White and Blues" is in the north gallery; and Scott Cawood will display three blues sculptures.

If you go ...

What: Reception for Suzee White, 2011 Western Maryland Blues Fest artists

When: Reception from 6 to 9 tonight; show continues through Wednesday, June 29

Where: Washington County Arts Council Inc., 14 W. Washington St., downtownHagerstown.

Contact: Call 301-791-3132 or go to

More: Also showing  work are Jamie Turner's photography exhibit, "Black, White and Blues ...," and three sculptures by metal artist Scott Cawood. Also, Jamie and Jason Turner's band, Brother Down, will perform from 6:45 to 7:30 p.m. during the reception.

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