'The Arts Educators of Washington County' showcased in new gallery

February 08, 2013|By DON AINES |
  • The Arts Educators of Washington County opening Friday night in Hagerstown was a full house. This is the first exhibit in new home of the Washington County Arts Council at 34-36 S. Potomac St. in Hagerstown.
By Joe Crocetta/Staff Photographer

In oil, acrylic, watercolor, photography and other media in a variety of genres, Washington County art teachers showcased their work Friday night in the Washington County Arts Council’s new space.

Nearly 30 teachers submitted more than 40 pieces for “The Arts Educators of Washington County,” which runs through Feb. 27, at the council’s gallery at 34-36 S. Potomac St.

“We get to teach our students every day, but we also get to live the lifestyle of an artist,” said Kristen Ryan, a teacher at Boonsboro High School. She submitted two photographs to the show, a nature study and a portrait.

“During the month we’ll have students come in with their families and look for their particular art teacher’s work,” Arts Council Executive Director Mary Anne Burke said.

The annual exhibit features works by teachers from public and private schools, elementary and high schools, as well as college instructors and home school teachers, Burke said.

“Right now, I’m interested in old buildings, historic buildings,” said Kellie Mele, a teacher at Salem Avenue Elementary School. She submitted two watercolors, one of a farm scene, the other of a night sky.

“It’s like another language. It’s our ability to communicate things and ideas and concepts that we couldn’t otherwise convey,” said Audra Haddock Martenot, an instructor in Art and Graphic Design departments who also teaches digital media at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts. “Sometimes words aren’t enough.”

One of her submissions “Perception of Time” brought to mind Salvador Dali’s surreal depictions of wristwatches.

Artists often work in different media, Mele said, citing Leonardo DaVinci and Michelangelo as two examples.

“We want to teach our students to be renaissance learners,” Mele said. “Learning in all different areas to be well-rounded citizens.”

The council moved into what was known as the Walker House two weeks ago and they have been working to get it ready for the exhibit and Friday night’s reception.

“Our lease was about to expire ... and we were very conscious that we wanted to stay in the Arts & Entertainment District,” Burke said. “It’s a wonderful space.”

Not all the art was by instructors. The winners of the second Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Art and Poetry Contest, all students from the Barbara Ingram School, were also honored.

Erin Mettille’s “Element of Goodness” placed first with Nahja Collins’ “Love Harmonizes Life” placing second. Two third-place winners were Lauren Giannola for “Forgiveness” and Lianna James for “Faith” in a contest judged by the Washington Museum of Fine Arts, said Bernadette Wagner, the co-director of Volunteer Washington County.

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