Since moving to its current location in 1992, the Queen Anne’s County Arts Council has worked hard to remind the public that this former church is really a bustling home for the arts. Built in 1887 as the Grace Methodist Church, this stately brick building has a long history of serving the community in a number of ways. In 1959 the church assembly moved and the building became home to a church community group from Baltimore that held youth activities. Later it was sold to Queen Anne’s County for one dollar and was employed as offices for county employees and recreational activities were carried out here as well.
Through a grant from the Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), a public art piece has been commissioned that will bring artwork by metal artist Robert Seely of Royal Oak, Maryland to the front of the building for passersby to enjoy. The first two of five panels were installed in late October. Laser cut steel and chrome identification signs now hang between the outside handicap railings turning a functional item into a captivating visual focal point.
Additional panels will include a whimsical fish scene, an abstract use of common artistic symbols and another that depicts bay life. Designers Niki Pino and Sony Turner worked with Seely to incorporate their design ideas with the complexities and possibilities that are unique to metal work. Their panel designs will be installed in the spring of 2009.
In addition to the grant received from the MSAC, the Arts Council received a sizeable private donation from Robert Cameron to support the project. “It can be very difficult in smaller communities to get public art projects off the ground” said executive Director Darcey Schoeninger. “However, from the moment we learned of the grant opportunity, things came together quickly, including the receipt of a generous private donation. Now that the first panels are up, we can’t wait to see the installation completed.”’
Anyone interested in finding out more about the Arts Council can visit them at the Centre for the Arts, 206 S. Commerce Street, Centreville, Maryland. Tuesday through Friday from 9 am to 5 pm or Saturday 10 am to 2 pm. Call 410.758.2520 or visit their website at www.arts4u.info