Go to Artscape—without leaving the Southeast

Written by on July 17, 2013 in Featured - No comments

Guests enjoy the opening reception for “Similar Differences,” MAXgallery @ Maxine Taylor Fine Arts, 126 N. Madeira St. - Photo by Matt Saindon

This weekend, throngs will head downtown and to Station North for Artscape 2013 and overload their senses on everything art.

For those looking for a quieter and probably air-conditioned experience, there are several local participants in the Artscape Gallery Network.

“[The network] is a wonderful opportunity for both artists and galleries to participate in Artscape, which wasn’t always easy to do unless you actually attended in the blistering heat,” said Matthew Saindon of Baltimore Threadquarters, a new fiber arts gallery and supply store at 518 S. Conkling St. in Highlandtown.

Threadquarters displayed the baroque clothing and costume work of Michael Sylvan Robinson in June, and this month is hosting something very different by Cathleen Sachse.

Anyone who likes bunnies will enjoy Sachse’s sculptural installation in the front of Threadquarters. Visit bmorethreadquarters.com for more information.

Certain local galleries are selected to be part of Artscape’s Gallery Network. Some of those galleries are then designated as Showcase Galleries, meaning that they receive exhibition receptions and marketing opportunities.

MAXgallery @ Maxine Taylor Fine Arts has been selected as as Showcase Gallery this year.

“I’m representing edge neighborhoods this year,” said Taylor.

In 1997, when she moved into an old agricultural/industrial building at 126 N. Madeira St., she truly was on the edge, in a neighborhood then plagued by the drug trade. Steel doors, barbed wire and a dogged dedication to art saw her through to today, in which her gallery—which is also her home and studio—is hosting applicants for the prestigious 2013 Sondheim Artscape Prize.

Taylor said that the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts had contacted her to be part of Artscape and invite a Sondheim applicant to show at MAXgallery.

“We picked out the ones that we liked, the ones that would go together,” said Taylor, herself a Sondheim applicant. “We picked out 13, expecting to get two, and we got eight.”

There also three other artists on display at MAXgallery, “people I respect, who just didn’t apply,” said Taylor.

Among the artists at MAXgallery’s interactive showing, curated by Liza Lee, is Sam Allerton Green, an artist-in-residence at the Creative Alliance who, Taylor said, often uses toys as models and paints and draws “literally to the point of abstraction.”

Observers can easily discern shapes and relatively clearly-defined objects in his works, but the whole pieces appeal emotionally to the abstract.

Butchers Hill metalsmith Megin Diamond is showing her versatile jewelry and sterling silver flatware at MAXgallery. Think delicate spoons with feathery handles. Or a half-sphere of swimming tropical fish holding a candle. That piece depicts real fish, which are labeled with engravings on the underside of the candle holder.

The showing also features a sampling of Taylor’s own work, past and present. MAXgallery will hold a closing reception on Thursday, Aug. 8. Visit maxinetaylorfinearts.com for more information.

Other local galleries in the Artscape Network include the Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. Ade Tugbiyele is managing “The BIG Show,” featuring visual artist Ruth Pettus, whose obscured figures may convey a sense of foreboding to some.

Promotion of the Artscape Gallery Network is sponsored by M & T Bank. All shows noted above run through July. For more information, visit artscape.org.

by Erik Zygmont

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