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fred t h e fre d e r ic k a rts co u n cil ’s a rts magazine • 1

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FR E DE R ICK ART S COUNC I L The arts are vital to the quality of life that all of us enjoy in Frederick County. Whether you’re engaged as an audience member, patron, educator, or artist, the Frederick Arts Council (FAC) is your arts ally. Our purpose is to foster an environment where the arts may flourish in our community through grants and scholarships, arts advocacy and links to essential resources. The Frederick Arts Council serves as the umbrella arts organization for Frederick County, Maryland. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that builds a better community through arts programs, services, activities and events.




FREDERICKARTSCOUNCIL.ORG 4 • fred aesthetic 2017



Using acrylic paints and Sharpie markers, multimedia artist and graphic designer Matt Long creates fluid forms with bright colors and an engaging sense of movement. While he draws inspiration from a diverse array of sources, many of Long’s paintings are a manifestation of his love for nature, surf, sun and music. His organic style matches his free-spirited approach to life. Visit M.Long Design on Facebook or to view additional work.

photo: tyler huffman

photo: wendell poindexter


11 HIG H L I G H T S

















photo: caitlin morris


30 • 5

Collective a cooperative enterprise

Involving mutual assistance in working toward a common goal

A project or undertaking, especially a bold or complex one

Belonging to or involving the whole of a community or the public at large

Showing a willingness to take risks; confident and courageous

We advance and invest in a vibrant and cohesive arts community for the people of Frederick County and for our visitors. 6 • fred aesthetic 2017

photo: lisa sheirer

Enterprise: a project or undertaking, especially a bold or complex one one primary function of the frederick arts council is to distribute grants so that the creatives of our county can do their work. Our Community Arts Development program offers funding to local arts nonprofits and other organizations for arts-specific programming. The fiscal year 2017 CAD grantees received a combined $76,800 with the support of the Maryland State Arts Council and Frederick County, doubling the funds that we were able to offer last year. Our Arts in Education grant program is designed to sponsor arts-related field trips and teaching artists for schools; every year we distribute thousands of dollars so that students can experience everything from beatboxing to glassblowing to performances of the U.S. Air Force Langley Winds ensemble. We’re also the organization behind the Festival of the Arts, Frederick’s flagship arts festival and a source of summer fun and inspiration for 22,000 people each year. In 2017 we will celebrate the festival for the 23rd year in a row, and we look forward to hosting more artists along Carroll Creek than ever before. Mark your calendars for June 2, 3, and 4!

FY2017 COMMUNITY ARTS DEVELOPMENT GRANTEES Asian American Center of Frederick Calvary United Methodist Church Choral Arts Society of Frederick Frederick Reads

Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center Downtown Frederick Partnership Emmitsburg Community Chorus Equinox Dance Company

Frederick Children’s Chorus

Frederick County Public Libraries

Frederick Regional Youth Orchestra Frederick Symphony Orchestra Maryland Ensemble Theatre Maryland Wind Festival

National String Symphonia Other Voices Theatre Spires Brass Band

The Frederick Chorale

Weinberg Center for the Arts • 7

Cooperative: involving mutual assistance in working toward a common goal The Frederick Arts Council provides professional development opportunities for artists and arts professionals, as well as opportunities to network and collaborate, through round tables, members meetings and workshops.

We also sponsor critical mechanisms for artists and interested community members to learn about one another’s programs and events, with our biweekly newsletter and other collective marketing opportunities such as WFMD’s Art Beat segment and “72 Hours’” Ticket to the Arts. Advertisement in These sessions allow our members and the newsletter is open to all members at no the community to connect with trend- further cost, and the newspaper and radio ing topics such as public art, cultural ex- outlets are offered to members affordably. change, and the citizen artist, as well as to develop nuts-and-bolts skills such as applyLearn more at ing for grants and maintaining the creative economy.

David Rubenstein speaks about Citizen Artists at the Kennedy Center

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Brooke Kidd of Joe’s Movement Emporium and John Schratweiser of MCA

photo: maine curtis

Learn Together • 9

y el low k re co rds

kenny tompkins

photo: angela laurienzo

by colin mcguire

Of all the things that could have brought Kenny Tompkins to Frederick, aesthetic was the driving force that convinced him to move to the city not too long ago. He was living in Germantown, but found himself in need of surroundings that provided more personality, more flair. It makes sense, considering the eclecticism that his record label, Yellow K Records, embodies. With ambitious acts like Japanese Breakfast, You’ll Never Get to Heaven, and the Frostburg State grad’s own project, New God, laying claim to roster spots on the imprint, it’s clear that Tompkins craves intricate, compelling art as much as he does singular, fresh perspectives on music. Originally from Petersburg, West Virginia, he founded the label with members of his first band, Luminous, which included his brother, Curt, and friend, Josh Grapes. The first official Yellow K product hit the streets in 2014. “It was just birthed out of being together every day, and loving music,” an unassuming Tompkins explained. “It was really, really natural.”

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That organic approach has paid off: In a relatively short time, the label’s releases have garnered both attention and favorable reviews from mainstream media like Pitchfork, Rolling Stone and NPR. Asked how his business has made possible the seemingly impossible in an age when independent music often struggles to get noticed, he barely hesitated. “A lot of it is just accepting hard truths,” he said. “If you’re not interfacing with the industry in a certain way, you’re not likely to accomplish those things. It turns out patience is a huge, huge part. Being willing to hold onto your record six months in advance of putting it out—giving the press that much time to digest and find space for it in their cycle—it’s pretty important and it seems to be something that small bands never choose to do.”


by colin mcguire


If it weren’t for an old, beat-up Casio keyboard that her nana had in her house, who knows if Ashli Cheshire would have ever picked up an instrument. “I was always drawn to any kind of musical instrument around me,” she said, eyes peering through rounded, John Lennon-eqsue glasses, “and it wasn’t until later on in life that I figured out it was what I wanted to do, so it’s been a relatively recent thing.” Cheshire said this before noting how all she thought she ever wanted to do was be an artist. That’s why the 26-year-old earned an art degree from Shepherd University in West Virginia. Over time, she’s embraced the notion that expression of her artistry is perhaps most fulfilled via that conduit that is music. When pressed about her passion for it, the West Virginia native concedes that there’s probably nothing she loves more. That fervency bleeds through her work, be it on the stage or in the studio. Having gained notoriety in the Frederick area from playing live shows, her band Cheshi has recently released its self-titled debut EP. Record-

photo: tyler huffman

ed at Kenny Eaton’s Mystery Ton Studios in Monrovia, the five-song set is as polished as it is haunting, as much a window into a soul both inquisitive and assured as it is a statement of unapologetic arrival. As for what the future might hold, Cheshire’s aspirations align with the daunting task of making music and art her full-time focus. Starry-eyed as it may seem, she said this without a shred of naïveté, quickly following the statement by paying respect to the reality that such may never happen. After all, remaining both inspired and grounded appears to be almost as much a priority as anything else in Ashli Cheshire’s life. “It would be a goal of mine to support myself on music and really change the world,” she said quietly, “as an activist for the environment, equal rights, feminism. A lot of my songs touch on that, but I want to be more vocal and I want that to be the driving force behind my music and my band. If you are using the microphone you are given to promote change and the betterment of the world you live in, I think you are doing it right.” • 11

by colin mcguire

After sitting virtually vacant for years, people began to wonder: What’s up with the old Frederick News-Post building at 200 East Patrick St. in downtown Frederick? It’s a shame that such a prime space in the city has been going seemingly underutilized for all this time. That changed a couple of years ago when Randall Family LLC, parent company of the News-Post, decided to open the building’s doors as a space to support the local arts community. To make it a one-stop shop for the finest in Frederick arts, local artists were invited to paint murals on the building’s walls. A stage was also commissioned via Anthony Owens Remodeling and Repair, a local business that helped sponsor the operation. The stage, both literal and figurative, was then set for June 11, 2015, when local bands Seaknuckle, Rozwell Kid and Silent Old Mtns. officially kicked off the building’s opening as an art haus with a concert paired with the opening of an art gallery. Since then, 200 East has been used to host everything from

photo: chris sands 12 • fred aesthetic 2017

art markets to festivals to comedy troupes in support of the arts. In conjunction with the opening, Randall Family LLC created FNP Events, a division of the company that produces festivals, exhibits and shows, often in partnership with other organizations. 200 East has been the primary venue for some of its largest affairs, including BestFest, which celebrates reader-nominated local businesses, and The Thing, Frederick’s local music festival. To this day, the venue continues to support the local arts community. On April 22, it will be the location of the first-ever Frederick Craft Spirits Festival, produced by FNP Events with the Maryland Distillers Guild. On May 20, it will feature a concert as the finale of The Thing, which in its second year has more than doubled in size. “What we have been able to create with our 200 East Art Haus project has been so incredibly cool,” said Will Randall, chief executive officer of Randall Family LLC. “It has given us an opportunity to showcase local visual and performing artists in unique and exciting ways, and I am proud of what we have been able to accomplish.”

photo: angela laurienzo • 13

f rederick symphony o rc he stra

by colin mcguire

That’s what Glenn Quader, music director for the Frederick Symphony Orchestra, said as he explained how he arrived at such a destination. He worked as an assistant conductor for the organization from 2003 to 2009 after earning his graduate degree at Peabody Institute of John Hopkins University in Baltimore. “I had a great time working with them then, but I was starting to get other work and it was time for me to move on,” he said. “When their opening happened two years ago, I decided to apply. The best thing for me now has been to reconnect with the musicians I worked with years back. I so much enjoyed my time there and I built some great relationships.” Born in Washington, D.C., he grew up in the Mount Vernon area of Virginia in a musical family, with his grandfather’s work on the violin serving as his most immediate influence. It’s his lifelong musical attachment that drives his vision for FSO. 14 • fred aesthetic 2017

And the enthusiasm backing that vision heightened when he was asked about the FSO’s next project, which was scheduled for March 19 at a Hood College chapel. In the chapel resides an ancient organ that has gained national attention for its exceptional “thunder,” as Quader put it. In conjunction with the college, the orchestra wrote an entire program around that organ, and they planned to debut it that night. It’s all in a day’s work when it feels like every moment represents another form of homecoming. “Another orchestra that I’ve been with for 11 years now,” Quader began, “right now, it’s all finally starting to materialize. Everything is really starting to become a very high-quality thing. And Frederick is exactly the way that other one was, just a few years ago. ”I have a very good road map on what’s going to happen, and now, the Frederick symphony is going to be subject to that road map. I want to help them build this thing so that it’s sustainable, so it is recognized and embraced by the community and the city.” “Until that’s done,” he added, matter-offactly, “I won’t stop.”

f re de ri c k c hi l dre n ’s c horus

judy dubose

by colin mcguire

The year was 1985 when Judy DuBose was singing with a group called the Frederick Singers, now known as the Choral Arts Society of Frederick. She was a stay-at-home mom when the group was turning its focus toward growing its audience. “I said, ‘Well, when I taught high school, I got a great audience when I invited 65 elementary school kids to sing with us on a song,’” DuBose recalled. “Why don’t we do something like that?” So, they did. What they didn’t know at the time, however, was that there was no established children’s group choir in town. Enter DuBose, who decided to

fill that void by establishing the Frederick Children’s Chorus after the program outgrew the Frederick Singers adult choir. In its first year, the group had 15 kids sign up. Within five years, that number grew to 75. Today, the organization features about 150 children within its various programs, which are organized by age, said DuBose, who is not only the founder, but also the chorus’s conductor and artistic director. Through the years, the Frederick Children’s Chorus has performed everywhere from Carnegie Hall in New York to the University of Denver. • 15

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photo: bill adkins

heather clark by imade borha

Sky Stage rose from the ashes. The outdoor performance space and art installment opened Sept. 17 downtown in the pre-Revolutionary War building that survived a two-alarm fire in 2010. Instead of seeing a defunct building with boarded up windows, artist Heather Clark, who specializes in environmentally responsible renovations, saw a handmade stone structure that could be her canvas. She wanted to create the project to inspire the community, she said, showing that everyday spaces can be made magical in both their aesthetic and their creative use of urban space. Using just her sketches and a phone, Clark was able to unite Frederick organizations for the project, and the historic structure that was once a site of contention has

been almost universally accepted among downtown Frederick interests. The building’s empty space on South Carroll Street now also has a two-story double helix sculpture with drought-resistant plants spiraling throughout the venue. Nearby, trees provide shade for the bleachers below. Plant life is self-sustained by an irrigation system that distributes water from a 400-gallon rainwater barrel. Sky Stage represents a strategic step forward for the Frederick Arts Council. “Instead of drop and plop, you think about what communities need the most,” said Louise Kennelly, the council’s executive director. She imagines Frederick as an amalgamation of creative zones, where art programming can cater to the unique needs of each region. “It’s not a new thing that is in competition with other theaters. This is for the other theaters and all our [Frederick Arts Council] members,” said Kennelly. • 17


victoria brown the lu c y s ch oo l


by ryan slicer

ince 2002, Lucy School has been educating young minds through the creative arts. Located on a beautiful 17acre farm in Middletown, this is more than an arts school. It’s an arts-integrated school that uses an all-inclusive approach to education as students learn through drama, dance, music and the visual arts, employing and expanding their creativity and imagination. “The research demonstrates how powerful the arts are as a learning medium,” said Victoria Brown, Ph.D., founder and director at Lucy School. “I wanted to set up a program to demonstrate the power of the arts as a learning medium with intensive training during the summer.” Brown was a professor at Gallaudet

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University in Washington, D.C., and a founding member of the Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, where she taught teachers—primarily preschool—how to integrate art into early childhood education. Lucy School originally started as a preschool, kindergarten and teacher training facility, but now has 130 students age 3 through eighth grade. The school is working on a STEAM room, which stands for STEM plus the Arts. “I want the same thing for our students that I want for my own children,” Brown said. “I want them to be creative thinkers. I want them to be critical thinkers. I want them to have a sense of what it really means to be a human being.”

caroline wexler

rachael briner

f re de r ick co mmun i ty co l l e g e

by matt lee

wendell poindexter

Any local will tell you that Frederick has changed tremendously over the years. What was once open pasture has become more suburban, and Frederick is now firmly established as a bona fide cultural destination, a place where the arts have been able to flourish. There seems to be a gallery on every corner downtown, showcasing both local and regional talent. This modern-day renaissance is in no small way attributable to the efforts of Wendell Poindexter, a pillar of the Frederick arts community. First and foremost an artist and painter, Poindexter wears many hats. At Frederick Community College (FCC), he is the program manager for the visual arts department, overseeing the curriculum and acting as liaison between faculty and students. Additionally, he acts as art center director, coordinating events at the college’s Jack B. Kussmaul Theater, as well as running exhibitions at its Mary Condon Hodgson Gallery. Outside of his administrative duties, Poindexter teaches drawing and illustration. “Going into the classroom and meeting my stu-

dents every week and helping them is my joy,” he said. He began as an art student himself at FCC, and subsequently studied at Maryland Institute College of Art and the University of Baltimore. Before he had even graduated, Poindexter was invited to return to FCC to teach a class. Soon, he was working as a teaching assistant and booking exhibits for the gallery, on his way to becoming a full-time faculty member. Fast-forward 30 years, and the FCC visual arts program is thriving. “There are so many different categories you can fall into: art critic, teacher, working in a gallery, transitioning the skill of drawing and painting to the computer and getting into graphics,” he said. With such a myriad of disciplines and mediums, never before have there been so many opportunities for aspiring artists at the college. As the community has likewise evolved and become more inclusive, he has seen that reflected in the diversity of his students. “The landscape has changed quite a bit and I love it. It’s really thrilling to me to see that level of acceptance.” In a world where the humanities are sometimes disregarded, Poindexter continues to prove the value, potential and power of art. As an artist and educator, his work imparts that to the rising generation. “No matter what you do, hopefully you enjoy it as much as what I’m doing right now.” • 19

spring ridge elementary school

by gina gallucci-white

Frederick County’s first arts integrated school

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Fifth-graders learn about the solar system through creative movement. Looking at visual art pieces, fourth-graders may discuss which environments work best for specific animals. Through the lens of Wassily Kandinsky’s circle art, third-graders learn about place value in math. Educators at Spring Ridge Elementary School brought the arts into all aspects of their curriculum as the school became Frederick County’s first ARTS integrated school through the STEAM approach— Success Through a creative Environment with an Achievement Mindset. It introduced the pilot program in the 2015-2016 school year for third- through fifth-graders. This year, the program has gone schoolwide. “Teachers here construct their instructional lessons with and through the arts,” said Patty Hosfelt, Spring Ridge principal. “Not necessarily the arts per se, but what the arts bring to instruction. ...Our teachers have done a phenomenal job of creating units that are all integrated.”

Most people probably overlook the science behind great works of art. However, behind every masterpiece lies an unseen world. Joyce Michaud is an artist who understands this unique interdisciplinary relationship. “Ceramics is a field of its own because of the complexity of the science,” she said, explaining the process of spinning, glazing and firing pottery. Michaud is director of the graduate ceramic arts program at Hood College, where she imparts both her technical knowledge and stylistic wisdom to eager students. “Clay is like a wave moving through the water, like a surfer being pushed through the water by the force of the wave. When the clay is moving, the potter is the source directing that movement.” As a child, she became fascinated by working with her hands while making fresh pasta with her grandmother. This eventually blossomed into Michaud studying fine art, discovering a passion for ceramics along the way. “I love the uninterrupted curve, that flowing, organic quality.” She sees the transformation of a humble piece of earth into a work of intricate beauty as a sort of magic. “You just grab a lump of a clay. Then all of the sudden you can make it into a form that you’ve pictured in your mind’s eye.” After over 20 years at Hood, she has seen the once fledgling arts department rapidly expand. In the ceramics graduate program, students have access to various kilns, studios and visiting artists from around the country. Recently, she was inducted into the Frederick County Arts Hall of Fame, and she been integral in organizing the “Collectors’ Voices in Ceramic Art: A Leading Edge Exhibition,” currently at Hood’s Hodson Gallery through April 2. “Having all these visiting artists is just the icing on the cake … Or I should say, the glaze on the pot?”

hood co l l e g e

by matt lee

photo: joyce michaud • 21


Common: belonging to or involving the whole of a community or the public at large

as a collective organization for the arts in Frederick, the Frederick Arts Council advocates for its members at the state, local and national levels. Our winter “members’ meeting” each year is a bus trip to Maryland Arts Day, organized by Maryland Citizens for the Arts, in Annapolis. This is an opportunity for arts supporters in the county to help inform on the policy issues that matter to them, actively engaging with our representatives. This year, since Arts Day fell on Valentine’s Day, we brought cookies along with messages and data points. With the support of the Ausherman Family Foundation and the cooperation of local government and agencies, we’re beginning an initiative so that more transformative projects like Sky Stage can be vetted and installed in 22 • fred aesthetic 2017

We advocate for positive change here in the county by engaging in efforts such as a public arts planning process. our area. We want to make Frederick an even more friendly and supportive place for artists and for our entire community. Increasing the quantity and quality of our public art is one substantial way we can start.

photo: andrew murdock

Become a Member Membership in the Frederick Arts Council is offered on an annual basis with different rates for individual artists & advocates, arts groups & organizations and businesses. Become a member... l

To support the arts in Frederick County

To assist artists, nonprofit arts organizations and the community through grants, scholarships, technical assistance and marketing opportunities


To support a vibrant Arts and Entertainment District in downtown Frederick


To support Arts in Education initiatives


To support the Frederick Festival of the Arts and other community arts events


To advocate for the arts and the economic impact of the arts in Frederick County


l l

To receive valuable membership benefits

To feel a sense of pride in supporting the local arts

The Frederick Arts Council counts on support for these tasks and relies on people like you to be partners in this work. as a member, your name will be listed on our website, which shows visitors that you contribute to the mission of the Frederick Arts Council. We will also provide you with our acclaimed electronic newsletter, ART LINK, which is distributed to subscribers twice each month. We encourage you to

photo: anca wyland

read about and attend all of the outstanding events and programs that our member arts organizations host within our county. In addition, you are entitled to a number of benefits, including discounts at select restaurants, shops and arts venues. Visit • 23

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daniel wyland

by matt lee

photo: brodie ledford

in many ways, Daniel Wyland embodies the American dream. After emigrating from Romania in 2001, he worked construction, moving up in the company until he was able to buy a house and settle down with his family. He seemingly had it all, but something was missing. “I thought, ‘That’s it? Make money; spend money.’ I felt so sad. There had to be more than that.” As a student in Romania, Wyland studied fine art. Growing up, he would accompany his father, who worked in the film distribution industry, to cinemas around the country. “I skipped school to go to the movies. I just took it all in.” Now, Wyland attributes his unique upbringing to his love of filmmaking. Since his epiphany, Wyland has been an actor, director, writer, producer, cinematographer and editor. His short film,

photo: anca wyland

“Last Winter,” was an official selection at the 2016 Phoenix Film Festival, and winner of the Gold Remi award and Royal Reel Award at WorldFest Houston and the Canada International Film Festival, respectively. With lengthy shots and minimal dialogue, “Last Winter” is both visually striking and mysterious. Currently at work on pre-production for an upcoming short, “Adam and Eve,” Wyland shows no signs of slowing down. He hopes to write a feature-length film soon and plans to continue submitting his work to festivals around the world. • 25

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calvin edward ramsburg by matt lee

Calvin “Ed” Ramsburg leads me into the subterranean studio at his home in downtown Frederick. The dim light of a single bulb casts shadows across the walls, lined on one side with an impressive array of books, and with heaps of paint, brushes and canvases on the other. Ramsburg shows me some of his latest work, an ambitious series he calls “Street Harvest,” which harkens back to a painting he did around the time his artwork was first featured in a professional gallery show, nearly 30 years ago. After seeing a student art show, a young Ramsburg decided he wanted nothing more than to have a painting of his own on display. He quickly established himself as a rising talent, but if you had asked him what he thought about abstract expressionism, he would have scoffed. “I couldn’t understand why you’d paint something that didn’t look like what it was supposed to. I was a slow learner.” It would take a challenge from renowned Vietnamese artist and teacher Mai Vo-Dinh to push him out of his comfort zone. Under VoDinh’s mentorship, he was able to marry his

photo: johan lowie

newfound passion for abstract painting with his initial love of illustration. Much has changed for Ramsburg since then, both in terms of style and achievement. His work has been featured in scores of shows across the continent. He has become a mainstay at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, where he’s taught for over 10 years. His students never cease to surprise him with how quickly they find the language of abstraction that so eluded him. Even the most abstract of his paintings has a tendency toward narrative. He is as much a storyteller as a painter, intent on pulling the viewer into his world. Through a combination of intuition and editing, Ramsburg traverses the multiple paths every painting can take, organically following them toward an inevitable conclusion. How he gets there is all part of the fun. In essence, this is why Ramsburg paints: to make a mess and play. A grin on his face, he declared, “It’s a celebration.” • 27

frederick camera clique

by gina gallucci-white

With the goals of providing an educational resource to area photographers and an opportunity for interaction with likeminded people, the Frederick Camera Clique was founded in the early 1980s. Today, it boasts around 80 members representing many genres of photography. During the club’s monthly meetings at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center, a guest speaker discusses his or her area of expertise. In January, the group listened to a presentation on underwater photography, and in February got a live demonstration on product and food photography. “We try to cover a variety of topics,” said Peter Foiles, Clique’s president. The club also sponsors two annual photography shows featuring a wide range of subject matter: a juried exhibition in the summer at Frederick Community College’s Mary Condon Hodgson Gallery and a members-only exhibit in December at the Delaplaine.

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Today, it boasts around

80 members

representing many genres of photography.

ashley renee hoffman

Perhaps more than ever in today’s climate of uncertainty, art has become politicized, and a new generation of socially and environmentally conscious artists has begun to emerge. Leading the charge in this community is Frederick’s Ashley Hoffman, a photographer and collage artist who embodies this grassroots spirit. Her pieces have appeared in numerous galleries and publications, gaining her a steadfast cult following. She describes her work as “confrontational, nostalgic and emotional.” Born and raised in the area, Hoffman spent time immersed in Appalachian culture. It was there that she acquired a special appreciation for the surrounding terrain, including the peo-

by matt lee

ple who inhabit it. “I love documenting people,” she said. “Once you know someone and you’ve been around them enough, you start to understand how they move and what they’re all about, which is what I want to capture in the photos.” She similarly turns her camera to landscapes, focusing not just their natural beauty, but also on industrial ravages of man that scar the countryside. Her latest project focuses on the regional agricultural scene, depicting the daily lives and hardships of young farmers. “For a lot of the community, it goes beyond farming and dayto-day production. It’s a necessary effort for any future human success.” • 29

caitlin morris

ms. caitlin’s school of blacksmithing

“it doesn’t matter how strong you are. you can do this.”

by erin cunningham

In 2009, Caitlin Morris was on the hunt for a new hobby. She entered those that interested her into a spreadsheet, including pottery and blacksmithing. When she hit the ‘sort alphabetically’ function, that decided it: She would begin with blacksmithing. Morris enrolled in a one-week course at John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina and fell in love with the craft, signing up for her second class before the first was over. In 2015, she started her own business and has been focused on ironwork and teaching blacksmithing full-time through Ms. Caitlin’s School of Blacksmithing. Morris, who has a studio on All Saints Street in downtown Frederick, designed the key that was dropped for the most recent Frederick New Year’s Eve Key Drop on Carroll Creek.

Before taking up blacksmithing, she was director of operations at a pathology company, and also worked in information technology. But with this, Morris said she has found her passion. The attraction? “You’re heating something so it is glowing hot and then hammering it into a shape until it cools. … You can take a scrap piece of steel and make it into something that is really beautiful, and it will stay like that forever.” She now spends the bulk of her time teaching her craft along the East Coast. Frederick, she said, has a thriving blacksmithing community and it’s a fairly accessible art. “As a female smith, I want to be a role model for those who never expected to pick up a hammer,” Morris said. “It doesn’t matter how strong you are. You can do this.”

photo: emily gude 30 • fred aesthetic 2017

James Pearl | Frederick, MD

Original Watercolor circa 1970

clifford springer | 240-285-4393 • 31

performance Arts e q ui nox da nc e co m pan y


by erin cunningham

Dance, she said, was the “easiest decision” of her life. Bria Comer took her first modern dance class from the director of Tawa Dance Company—now Equinox Dance Company—when she was 7 years old. Twenty years later, having graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in dance from James Madison University, she is artistic director of Equinox, an adult modern dance group based in Frederick. She choreographs, dances and teaches—primarily modern dance, tap, jazz, ballet and children’s classes—full-time. “Equinox’s main goal is to empower people—women specifically—to explore just how much their bodies are truly capable of,” said Comer, who lives in Taneytown. Equinox Dance Company holds

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a show in December for children ages 5 through 10 at the end of a four-week workshop for children of all levels. In the spring, it will host its biggest show of the year. This year’s theme is “By Accident.” Normally, Comer said, an accident is considered negative, but the show seeks to put a different spin on the concept. “An accident can be good, like making a discovery or meeting your closest friend,” she said. “And even bad accidents come with good lessons—patience, trust in the unknown, the will to fight. This show is using dance to explore all types of accidents in depth—the before, during, and after—and how we cope with the changes that come from these events.”

photo: misti morningstar

sarah shulman by matt lee

Having grown up surrounded by theater and classic literature, Sarah Shulman began writing plays as a means to live out her childhood fantasies. In the past decade, those fantasies have taken shape on stage as six of her works have been produced at Maryland Ensemble Theatre in downtown Frederick. Whether she’s writing comedy or tragedy, or for children or adults, Shulman aims to breathe new life into well-known tales. Her wide-ranging adaptations include “Don Q,” “Rikki Tikki Tavi,” “Robin Hood: Occupy Sherwood,” “The Young Olympians and the Most Amazingly Awesome Adventure Ever,” “Gulliver’s Travels in Space” and “Oedipus Rox!” Much of her work finds a reflection of current social issues in folklore and mythology. For instance, her latest project, a retelling of the legend of King Arthur, is rooted in feminism and gender equality. “I want the audience to have something they can take away and feel connected to.” A longtime MET company member, Shulman takes special pride in being able to write for children. For her, the responsibility of art is to provide people with a means of expression without the fear of judgment. Often, her works incorporate young actors into the cast, from 6- to 16-year-olds. “I think it’s an honor and a privilege to be the person giving them the art to let them express themselves and letting them tear down their masks and figure themselves out.” Over the years, Shulman’s plays and musicals have acted as a vessel for hundreds of young performers who otherwise might not

have had the opportunity to work on a professional production. Shulman also spearheads the Original Works Committee at MET, an ongoing project to catalogue and market dozens of shows written by ensemble members over the past 25 years. “We’re focusing on getting work published so these shows will live on past us.” Currently, Shulman is getting out of her comfort zone to write her first non-adaptation, “Epic Death Scene: The Musical,” a show that promises to be just as ridiculous and fun as the title sounds.

“I want to tell a story that’s already been told over and over in a slightly different way in order to give it a new perspective.” • 33

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Explore Together Bold: Showing a willingness to take risks, confident and courageous the frederick arts council incubates emerging arts projects. A recent incubation success includes Sky Stage, a green public art installation and outdoor amphitheater created by artist Heather Clark, located at 59 South Carroll St. Clark was supported in her design of the complex public sculpture by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and the project gained the support of Burning Man’s Global Arts Grant program. Sky Stage has had the

added benefit of repurposing a formerly underutilized space—a pre-Revolutionary structure that had suffered a fire. Now, under the program management of the Arts Council, it has hosted musicians, dancers, poets and more. We had a very active fall season and we hope to have an equally active spring. Stay tuned for our season poster or check out Sky Stage’s Facebook page to get a taste of all our wonderful upcoming events. • 41


Upcoming Events april

Saturday, April 1 | 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. | For the Love of Sky Stage (Volunteer Clean Up) Saturday, April 8 | 11 a.m. - 10 p.m. | Opening Day: Rooster & the Renegades, Austin & Olivia Tuesday, April 11 | 10 a.m. - Noon | STEAM Day (field trip) Thursday, April 13 | 6 - 9 p.m. | RECLAIM: Open Mic (Heartly House) Wednesday, April 19 | 7 - 10 p.m. | Hispanic Cultural Night & Dance (Silvia Yacoubian) Friday, April 21 | 6 - 7:30 p.m. | Earth Day Yoga (Yogamour + Maria Garre) Friday, April 21 | 8 - 10 p.m. | Frederick Rock School Open Mic Saturday, April 22 | Noon - 2 p.m. | Gardening Workshop (D.I.T. Studios & Seed of Life) Saturday, April 22 | 7 - 10 p.m. | Earth Day Concert with Luna, Fermi’s Paradox, Lost Keys Monday, April 24 | 7 - 9 p.m. | CineMonday (Area 31) Wednesday, April 26 | 4:30 - 7 p.m. | CycleFit Classes Thursday, April 27 | 7 - 8:30 p.m. | Literature Night Friday, April 28 | 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. | Drum Circle (Noteable Progressions)


Thursday, May 4, 11, 18 & 25 | 6 - 7 p.m. | Yoga (Donation Based) by Yogamour Saturday, May 6 | 7 - 9 p.m. | Peace+Unity Concert (Terminal Beats & Stitch Early) Tuesday, May 9 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:30p.m. | Unwind with Art Lunch Break Thursday, May 11 | 7 - 9 p.m. | Literature/ Open Mic Night: Frederick Writers Salon Friday, May 12 | 7 - 9 p.m. | Music Open Mic Night (F.A.M.E.) Wednesday, May 17 | 7 - 10 p.m. | Hispanic Cultural Night & Dance (Silvia Yacoubian) Saturday, May 20 | 5 - 9 p.m. | The Thing @ Sky Stage (Frederick News-Post) Wednesday, May 24 | 4:30 - 7 p.m. | CycleFit Classes


Thursday, June 1, 8, 15, 22 & 29 | 6 - 7 p.m. | Yoga (Donation Based) by Yogamour Thursday, June 8 | 7- 9 p.m. | Year of the Arts: Literature/ Open Mic Night Friday, June 9 | 7- 9 p.m. | Comedy Night Saturday, June 10 | 7 - 10 p.m. | Concert: J Berd, Mystery Woman Music Edjacated Phools Saturday, June 17 | 7 - 10 p.m. | Concert FUN Boys, Bearcat Betty Burlesque,Time Columns, Crooked Hills Tuesday, June 20 | FCPL Summer Reading Challenge Kick-Off Wednesday, June 21 | 7 - 10 p.m. | Hispanic Cultural Night & Dance (Silvia Yacoubian) Friday, June 23 | 7 - 9 p.m. | Music Open Mic Night (F.A.M.E.) Monday, June 26 | 7- 9 p.m. | CineMonday (Area 31) Wednesday, June 28 | 4:30 - 7 p.m. | CycleFit Classes

Visit for the full events calendar. 42 • fred aesthetic 2017 • 43

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Fred Aesthetic 2017  

The Frederick Arts Council's Arts Magazine, 2017 Produced by The Frederick News-Post

Fred Aesthetic 2017  

The Frederick Arts Council's Arts Magazine, 2017 Produced by The Frederick News-Post