In keeping with its theme, Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, there’s much to discover in Adkins Arboretum’s sixteenth annual Art Competition Show. A jellyfish dances through the water in Linda Roy Walls’s “Bay Ballet,” and milkweed seeds burst from their pod in Leah Reynolds’s “Proliferation Fall.” Gentle blue ripples spread across Deborah Weiss’s mixed media and woodcut “Inlet Morning,” while the precise detail in Lee D’Zmura’s delicate “Pond Iris Seed” fascinates the eye.
On view in the Arboretum Visitor’s Center through March 27, the show includes a wide variety of paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures. There will be a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 14 to meet the artists and learn about their work.
This year’s show was juried by Maryland Institute College of Art professor Christine Neill, an artist known for her lush watercolor and mixed media paintings. From 99 entries submitted by artists from Virginia to New York City, Neill chose 26 works for this show.
She awarded the annual first-prize Leon Andrus Award, named in honor of the Arboretum’s first benefactor, to “Autumn, Tuckahoe Creek” by Karen Klinedinst. A Baltimore artist who photographs and processes her work using only her iPhone and various apps, Klinedinst captured magical pale yellow light flooding through the trees along the forested creek. Like all of Klinedinst’s work, its rich details, color and lighting recall the romantic beauty of nineteenth-century landscape painting.
Explaining her choice, Neill said, “The detail she was able to get is impressive, as is the sense of the color and atmosphere of that particular place. Many of the photographs that were submitted were printed too small to be effective, but her size is right and the craftsmanship is impeccable.”
Neill awarded second prize to “Atlantic Sea Bass” by Charles Bergen of Washington, D.C. A welded steel sculpture in the shape of a fish, its fins and stripes were detailed with a plasma cutter and grinder.
Neill said, “It’s both two-dimensional and three-dimensional and, again, it’s well crafted. I like the surface patina and how he has drawn directly into it. It’s interpretive and expressive.”
Honorable mention went to “Adkins Meadow (in Winter),” a small etching of the Arboretum’s meadow by Stevensville artist Judy Wolgast.
“It’s technically very nicely done, both the making of the plate and the inking,” said Neill. “Rather than being descriptive of every leaf and blade of grass, she used marks that give a feeling of the place and its textures. I also like that it’s Adkins Arboretum.”
In addition to Wolgast’s etching, several other works in the show were painted or photographed at the Arboretum. Because its 400 acres of native forest and meadows offer so much beauty, peace and diverse animal and plant life, it’s natural that artists are drawn here for inspiration, an urge that the Arboretum actively encourages through its many workshops and exhibits.
This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through March 27 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or firstname.lastname@example.org for gallery hours.
Photo: “Autumn, Tuckahoe Creek” by Baltimore artist Karen Klinedinst was awarded the first-prize Leon Andrus Award in Adkins Arboretum’s sixteenth annual Art Competition, Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore. The competition exhibit is on view through March 27.