Academy Art Museum Opens New Exhibitions

The Academy Art Museum is opening three new exhibitions on April 6, 2012. The exhibitions include “Philip McMartin Rediscovered,” “Museum Courtyard: Branch Dance,” and “Moroccan Exhibition.”

Philip McMartin Rediscovered
Philip Byrnes McMartin (1930-2009) was born and raised in the upstate New York town of Plattsburgh. His early career was as a reporter and TV news anchor in Burlington, VT. In the early 1960s he relocated to Annapolis, MD where he developed a fascination for the people who work the Chesapeake Bay and the various working craft of the Bay. Inspired by what he saw, McMartin created this series of large format woodcuts to express the romance he felt toward the waterman’s way of life. The woodcuts were executed from the late 1960s through the mid 1970s.

Kevin Garber, Master Printer, was engaged by McMartin’s son to print these images posthumously at his studio in Bozman. The prints are hand-rubbed, as the aged, brittle woodblocks are now too fragile to be run through a press. Garber hand-printed an edition of 20 from each of the 18 woodblocks. The exhibition will be on display through May 28, 2012.

In photo: Philip McMartin, Seining, Woodcut

Moroccan Exhibition
In honor of the Academy Art Museum’s Paint the Town Moroccan! Fundraiser on May 5, a new three part Moroccan Exhibition has been installed. The largest component of the show features mixed media pieces by Hamid Kachmar that draw upon the traditions of North Africa to create compelling symbolic forms. A second group of objects features traditional, intricately carved doors and screens on loan from The World Bank Art Program. The architectural elements reflect the strong craft traditions of Morocco. Finally, two photographs by Moroccan-born artist Lalla Essaydi, on loan from the International Finance Corporation, combine Arabic calligraphy and a strong contemporary esthetic.

The mixed media pieces of Hamid Kachmar reflect his inner view and understanding of the indigenous Amazigh visual language through patterns and symbols. From the artist’s perspective, he seeks to convey the perceptual language of patterns and symbols represented in Amazigh cultural objects, especially the finely woven tapestry. He has had numerous exhibitions in the USA as well as in Canada, France, Spain and Morocco. Many pieces have found their way into private collections. The exhibition will be on display through May 28, 2012.

In photo: Hamid Kachmar, Shield, 2006,Mixed Technique,Paint the Town Moroccan, 2012

Museum Courtyard: Branch Dance
Howard and Mary McCoy are environmental artists based on the Eastern Shore who primarily use natural found materials. They have created an outdoor site-specific sculpture in the Museum’s courtyard, “Branch Dance,” from weathered cedar branches collected on their family farm on the Chester River. The McCoys are interested in the natural rhythms and beauty of the branches and how they interact with one another and with the architecture of the Museum.

Curving, twisting, bending, and arching, branches are formed by the place where they grow. Their shapes tell their stories—how they reached out to find sunlight and bent to adapt to the wind. With an eye to the rhythmic patterns of their graceful shapes, the McCoys have arranged the branches in a joyful “dance” across the windows overlooking the Academy Art Museum’s courtyard. Connected with twists of bright red wire, they support one another, forming an interconnected web that recalls the ecological system where they once grew.

The McCoys have worked together for nearly 30 years on environmental sculpture made primarily with natural materials. They often use archetypal motifs concerned with the earth and how people have approached their own relationship with the earth through the centuries. Their work has been exhibited in the U.S., Ireland, Wales, and New Zealand. The Museum exhibition will be on display through April 29, 2012 and again from May 6 through May 31, 2012.

These exhibitions are sponsored by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Talbot County Arts Council. Admission to the Museum is $3 for non–members, children under 12 admitted free. The Museum is open Monday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. with extended hours on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Saturday and Sunday hours are 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The First Friday of each month, the Museum is open until 7 p.m. The Museum is located at 106 South St., Easton, MD, 21601. For general Museum information, call 410-822-ARTS (2787) or visit:

In photo: Twig Net III (collection-Adkins Arboretum) 2006