CRISFIELD — In celebration of Black History Month, the Somerset County Arts Council announces a group exhibition by talented faculty of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore who will be on hand for the opening reception 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 4 at the West Main Street Gallery, 1100 W. Main Street.
The show will remain on display through March 11 with the gallery open Thursdays and Fridays 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturdays by appointment. There is no admission charge but donations are welcome.
The Fine Arts Department at UMES is ranked 20th among its HBCU peers and is comprised of highly-credentialed educators who are also active artists. Faculty members sell, publish and exhibit both nationally and internationally and have a passion for their discipline and a deep desire to teach what they know to the next generation.
This exhibition will put a spotlight on the talents of these faculty artists and let their work be shown to a more general audience in Somerset County. Those participating are Christopher Harrington, Bradley Hudson, Jesse Halpern, Dr. Elvin Hernandez, Pierre Bowins and Susan Holt.
Christopher Harrington is the chair of the Department of Fine Arts in addition to being a nationally recognized artist. He works between two genres of expression, non-objective objects and beautifully executed paintings, and both will be represented at the gallery.
“The objects I make incorporate thick layers of transparent material that push them into the third-dimension and blur the line between painting and sculpture,” he said. There is a portrait of Oscar Charleston, who at the age of 22 in 1922 led the Negro National League in runs, hits, triples, homeruns and runs batted in. “My job as the illustrator here is to create a believable color image based upon research and one clear photo,” and Harrington does so in a compelling portrait in oils.
Brad Hudson has been an artist/instructor at UMES for 20 years. He developed a sequential arts concentration that began in the fall of 2009. His comics under the moniker of Coldstream Studios includes numerous characters including Draxx (with Chris Harrington), Rocket Girl and Dark Crusader. To date, he has produced over 3000 “Star Wars” sketch cards to be distributed internationally.
In addition to “Star Wars” Hudson also does illustrations for other Topps licenses including AMC’s “The Walking Dead,” “Stranger Things” and “Mars Attacks.” His love of all things comics provides many excellent original works for this exhibition.
Jesse Halpern is a highly recognized photographer. Shooting for clients like the Village Voice, Canyon Ranch Resorts, Travel Holiday Magazine and various other clients, Jesse James Photography had carved his place in the field of commercial photography. He has exhibited his photographs both nationally and internationally.
In Jesse Halpern’s words, “These photographs are landscapes of the Eastern Shore. As I have explored, photographed and inspected my new environment these past few years, I have come to realize the deep and profound connection that this landscape has with the water that surrounds it.
“There is a lack of humans in these images and my goal is to suggest the notion of humanity and that the effect that we have on our environment and/or landscape can allow for compelling compositions.”
Dr. Elvin Hernandez is a sequential illustrator, and he has worked on projects for Upper Deck, Toys R’ Us, and Focal press writing and illustrating “Set The Action!”, an educational book on background design for Media Artists and Kaiser Studio Productions. He has also worked on images and marketing material for DC Entertainment, Marvel, FX and Cartoon Network properties. He is a current freelancer for City State Entertainment, working on both comics and gaming material.
In Dr. Hernandez’s words, “I make sure to highlight traditional work using multiple materials (from inked line art to marker work to watercolors and combinations of all three) in order to accentuate different styles and moods within my work. Above all else, my goals are always connected to visual storytelling, with the materials used serving to accentuate any visual narrative included within the image.”
Peter Bowins is a lifelong maker and self-proclaimed historian of design. He focuses on exploring the history of graphic design and investigating the imbalance that exists within design history and is a vocal advocate for rediscovering the contributions of African American designers. In his words the works presented are a new direction in his art practice.
“After creating regularly with intent and purpose, I chose not to focus on emotion, personal experience, racism, or capitalism. By focusing my making to a more experimental process, I laughed as my mind, my body, and my making have taken on a new form with a non-objective approach relieving me of the everyday pressures. My pieces are minimal and unbalanced but contain a sense of rhythm and asymmetry.”
Susan Holt is the Mosely Gallery Director. She has been an instructor of art at UMES for 15 years. She experiments with new materials such as light, shadow, translucent fabrics, along with the practice of art making in the form of various works on paper. The medium of installation allowed the work to come off the wall and podium and into a space where viewers could interact directly.
As part of this exhibition Ms. Holt will recreate a new installation at the West Main Street Gallery. In her words, “Embracing the slogan ‘One man’s trash is another man’s treasure’, I enjoy carefully arranging these objects and use magnets to make it look like everything is held up by a carefully balanced pair of scissors.”
The Feb. 4 reception will include light refreshments and follow COVID-19 guidelines. For more details or to make an appointment to see the exhibit on a Saturday email email@example.com.