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ART+CULTURE+LIFE

ANNAPOLIS

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE I.W.S.A. & THE ANNAPOLIS ARTS DISTRICT

FALL 2019


TRIBUTE

Eileen Carson Schatz February 5, 1953–July 10, 2019

E

ileen Carson Schatz was a complicated and extraordinary woman. She was a beautiful dancer, an expressive and versatile singer, a choreographer, and a dedicated teacher. As Founding Director of The Fiddle Puppet Dancers, which later changed its name to Footworks Percussive Dance Ensemble, she was a determined artist who never stopped thinking of the next project. She was a National Endowment for the Arts Choreography Fellowship recipient and a certified Maryland Teaching Artist with a gift for working with youth, including teens from disadvantaged backgrounds. Though her body was failing, she delivered a stellar performance as emcee at Footworks’ 40th Anniversary Concert at Maryland Hall for the Performing Arts on June 8. Just two days before she passed, she taught two classes from her wheelchair at Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster, MD, where she had been on staff for all of its 25 years. She attended an all-star benefit in her honor at the Birchmere in Alexandria, VA the following evening, and was surrounded by the talented and committed musicians and dancers who embodied and expressed her life’s work. There is a large hole in the universe where she used to stand, but her love, laughter, and fire will fill our hearts and lift our spirits always. - Mark Schatz

2 | Fall 2019


TRIBUTE

Tre’ Da Kid

O

n Friday, June 7, Annapolis lost a creative spirit with the passing of 32-yearold Edward Montre Seay (aka Tre’ Da Kid). He left this earth as a result of senseless gun violence. Tre’ Da Kid, a lifetime Annapolis resident, 2005 Annapolis High School graduate, and loving father of a 10-year-old-son, received attention after winning Verizon’s 2016 #Freestyle50 rap contest. It earned him a $10,000 cash prize as well as a recording contract with 300 Entertainment.  Tre’’s close childhood friend, Comacell Brown, called the rapper an inspiration whose success brought light on the city. “Tre’ Da Kid loved this city to the core. He would proudly tell me the person, business, or establishment that’s making good noise in the community and how he could see

himself involved,” says Brown. “Taking a deep look at where we came from and how we were raised, he wanted to bring back some of the old family values. He respected anyone who crossed his path, and he would find a way to bring out the best in you. We are deeply saddened by the tragedy, but are uplifted daily by hearing stories and testimonials from people who knew him outside of his inner circle.” Our community has been diminished by the loss of this young, talented man who took pride in the city and stood by the people he loved and respected. We can continue to spread his message and perpetuate his legacy by sharing his music and striving to live our lives as admirably as he lived his. Much love and respect, -Jimi Davies

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CONTENTS

Volume 6

|

Issue 3

TRIBUTE

2 Eileen Carson Schatz

ART+CULTURE+LIFE

By Mark Schatz

TRIBUTE

ANNAPOLIS

3 Tre’ Da Kid By JImi Davies

CANVAS

Inside 14 Stepping the Vision

•CINDY FLETCHER HOLDEN

By Desiree Smith-Daughety

WAVES

24 The Road Not Taken •JOEY HARKUM

By Theresa C. Sanchez

SNAP

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE I.W.S.A. & THE ANNAPOLIS ARTS DISTRICT

32 Grief Exposed • PA U L G I L L E S P I E

By Leah Weiss

COVER

HOOD

Auto Aberrant by Cindy Fletcher Holden. Oil on canvas, 4' x 6'.

40 Okay, I Belong Here! •ANNAPOLIS PRIDE

By Christine Fillat

SUP

46

Providing Levity to the Gravity

UPSKILL Are the 64 Blessed Peacemakers

• J O N AT H A N S E N I N G E N

By Jennifer Kulynych

AGO

6 | Fall 2019

FA LL 2019

• S T. A N N E ’ S S C H O O L O F A N N A P O L I S

By Brenda Wintrode

54

Conversations in the Abstract

TREK

72 Havana Immersion

•FOUR ARTISTS: MOVING THROUGH ABSTRACTION

•CUBAN ARTS

By William F. Rowel and Amy L. Cruice

By Julia Gibb

CALENDAR

82

The I.W.S.A.(Inner West Street Association) & the Annapolis Arts District Calendar


Editor’s Inkwell A people without the knowledge of their past history, origin, and culture is like a tree without roots. - Marcus Garvey

H

aving grown up listening to my grandparents’ vivid stories, and having been raised by a mom who believed in the importance of orally chronicling her life—the good, the bad, and the ugly—to her child, it’s not surprising that I grew up to be somewhat of a storyteller myself.

As a young girl, I would sit at the foot of Gramp’s wheelchair as he recounted myriad anecdotes. From his services in World War I to tales about his childhood and anecdotes that explained why he and Gram saved their used napkins and wrapping paper, these stories made a nest inside of me. I didn’t realize it then, but family stories are imbued with social and cultural nuance. Rich with personal perspectives, my family’s stories informed how I see the past, present, and future. Although I was decades removed from things such as the Great Depression, I was living in their shadows, walking among those who experienced them, feeling the residual energy. As an adult, I’ve seen historical events come and go, writing themselves into newspapers, textbooks, and into the creases of every human face. I would suggest that everything we do is somehow recorded in the molecules surrounding us. History is also the blueprint for today. It preserves ideas, succeeded and failed, and offers up an architectural draft for improvement so that repetition is not absolute (even though it often occurs, sometimes for the better and sometimes not). Up.St.ART Annapolis strives to preserve Annapolis’ thoughtprovoking history with our AGO section in hopes of keeping such stories alive and in the hands, eyes, and ears of each generation so that we can continue to nurture a healthy, vibrant community. Is there something in Annapolis’ past that you think would make a good story? Was there a character, event, or happening—big or small—that deserves to be shared? As history geeks, we’d love to hear from you! Email your AGO idea to UpStartEditor@gmail.com.

upstart-annapolis.com | 7


Nancy Hammond Editions

Nancy Hammond Editions features original art, prints and custom designed gifts by Nancy Hammond

192 West Street Annapolis MD 21401 Open Daily 410-295-6612 NancyHammondEditions.com Heron and Sweet Gum Heron and Shining Sumac

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Limited Edition signed and numbered giclee print, 30” x 40” Signed Artist Proof, 22” x 30” Originals available, call for details.


ART+CULTURE+LIFE

ANNAPOLIS

Publisher & Creative Director Jimi Davies jimihaha@gmail.com Editorial Director Andrea Stuart upstarteditor@gmail.com Copy Editor Leah Weiss Associate Editors Michele Callaghan ZoĂŤ Nardo MacDuff Perkins Contributing Editors Amy L. Cruice Christine Fillat Julia Gibb Jennifer Kulynych William F. Rowel Theresa C. Sanchez Mark Schatz Desiree Smith-Daughety Leah Weiss Brenda Wintrode

Art Director Cory Deere cdeere@gmail.com Photography Director Alison Harbaugh alison@sugarfarmproductions.com Contributing Photographers Jay Fleming Paul W. Gillespie Alison Harbaugh Sarah Jane Holden William F. Rowel Advertising Jimi Davies jimihaha@gmail.com

facebook.com/UpstartAnnapolis twitter.com/upstartnaptown instagram.com/UpstartAnnapolis

SUBMISSIONS: For article submissions, email proposal to upstarteditor@gmail.com. Up.St.Art Annapolis Magazine is published quarterly. Subscription rate: $40, payable in advance. Single copies $10. Back issues, if available, $15 (includes shipping and handling). For subscriptions and all other inquires, send an email to jimihaha@gmail.com or call 410-212-4242. Entire contents Š 2019 by Up.St.Art Annapolis MagazineTM unless otherwise noted on specific articles. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or part is strictly prohibited without Publisher permission.

10 | Fall 2019


Desiree Smith-Daughety

Christine Fillat

Julia Gibb

Jennifer Kulynych

William F. Rowel

Brenda Wintrode

Leah Weiss

Theresa C. Sanchez

WRITERS PHOTOGRAPHERS Amy L. Cruice

Jay Fleming

William F. Rowel

Paul W. Gillespie

Alison Harbaugh

Sarah Jane Holden

upstart-annapolis.com | 11


CANVAS

14 | Fall 2019


Stepping Inside the

Vision by DESIREE SMITH-DAUGHETY

W

here a person may view an object and see only its utilitarian use, artist Cindy Fletcher Holden will likely be drawn in by its pattern. Repetitive shapes in a sail loft. Linear rows of thread spools. Conical push pins. Such patterning may spark the subject of her next project. When she was a college student, Holden visited boatyards with her father and ended up buying a wooden boat. Her father, who was helping her replace the boat’s engine, informed her that she

needed to search for engine parts. “He saw parts, I saw art,” says Holden. Her paintings are inspired by what hits her in the moment. For example, on a walk along the Sassafras River on the Eastern Shore, a section of pokeweed gave her pause and was later interpreted onto a canvas. She prefers to paint on either really big or really small canvases, not caring for sizes in between. In her studio, many canvases dwarf her as they rest against the wall. A current work in progress features cars, outlined and roughed in.

Auto Aberrant by Cindy Fletcher Holden. Oil on canvas, 4' x 6'.

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In Annapolis, she hosts the biannual art show “Art Between the Creeks,” in which she displays her work along with those of a revolving group of other local artists. “There’s a lot of talent in Annapolis,” she says. Hosting the show compels her to produce at least one large work every six months.

Alacrity Affirmed by Cindy Fletcher Holden. Oil on canvas, 6 'x 8'. Opposite Page: Lincoln Sunset by Cindy Fletcher Holden. Oil on canvas, 7' x 5'.

16 | Fall 2019


upstart-annapolis.com | 17


After her apprenticeship, she piloted her wooden boat down the Intercoastal Waterway . . .

More finished works present a zoomed-in effect, exploring twists and turns of beads around curated objects or displaying an image within an image, such as a scene reflected on the shiny side of an automobile. Holden draws out and showcases such details. Ever since college, she has been drawn to photorealism, now her dominant style. The act of smearing paint makes her

Beetland by Cindy Fletcher Holden. Oil on canvas.

18 | Fall 2019

happy, coaxing it into a crisp finish. Sometimes she paints what she sees—bold renderings transformed into images that bring the smallest details to the forefront. Other times, she experiences what she terms a delayed reaction, and a metamorphosis of the subject matter transpires. She will figure and reconfigure one or more images into a cohesive composition. One way Holden makes a living as an artist is by taking art commissions. One of her primary clients is Starbucks. Hired to execute other people’s art, she travels to various sites in different states to paint murals onto interior walls. Narrative is sometimes included, such as a description of how coffee is grown, which Holden scripts. She employs her handlettering skills for which Starbucks hired her before her work for them evolved to also include painting. Her work with the company is highly valued; one company representative referred to her as a “rock star.” In Annapolis, she hosts the biannual art show “Art Between the Creeks,” in which she displays her work along with those of a revolving group of other local artists. “There’s a lot of talent in Annapolis,” she says. Hosting the show compels her to produce at least one large work every six months. Holden’s parents encouraged her to pursue artistic expression, proffering sketch pads and bouquets of ballpoint pens for her. Her parents saved her early works, which Holden now has. She took her own skills for granted, including her awareness of spatial relationships. But it may also be her birthright; her grandfather was a professional sign painter and muralist. Her first


Obsessive Compulsive Diesel Disorder by Cindy Fletcher Holden. Oil on canvas, 6' x 4'.

upstart-annapolis.com | 19


The artist works on her newest mural, dedicated to the 150th anniversary of the Annapolis neighborhood of Eastport. Photo by Keith Fletcher.

Murphy's Oil. Commissioned mural in Pasadena, MD.

20 | Fall 2019

job was in freelance signage art, and she used the same type of brushes, techniques, and gold leaf that her grandfather used in his work. Born in Annapolis, Holden and her family lived in Severna Park before moving to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she attended a high school that boasted a healthy art department. She was commissioned to paint murals in people’s homes while in high school. She relocated back to Maryland (the family had maintained a boat in Pasadena) when she decided to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art. She was second in her graduating class, which, she says, coupled with her art degree, inflated her ego. “I had to slap myself into humility,” she admits. Holden needed work, so she applied at a sign company for a job as a signwriting apprentice and learned hand lettering.

After her apprenticeship, she piloted her wooden boat down the Intracoastal Waterway until she ran out of money around Beaufort, North Carolina. She stayed there, learning sign work. When her father became ill, she brought the boat back north to Maryland. Holden looked for a job, but found that sign shops had moved beyond traditional hand lettering to computerdesigned products. She drove around, searching for boats needing work and leaving her business card, struck by the realization that she needed to find a way to make it. Of that experience, Holden says, “Probably best—I think everyone should go through that.” Having eventually developed into her passion and livelihood, lettering also became a hurdle when she suffered an overuse injury to her shoulder this year. She was told she needed surgery, which would require


not taking on any work for six months. Being a solo entrepreneur booked with projects, she decided to chance an alternative solution. In winter 2019, she had stem cells taken from her hip bone and inserted into her shoulder. Thus far, it’s working, but she has had to change her method and be mindful of her movements while her shoulder heals. Right now, she can’t engage in the same body mechanics that boat lettering requires, such as lying with her weight on her hips and thighs, reaching down from the top of the boat, hooking her foot onto rigging to hold herself in place. She also began painting on smaller canvases, which she found she loves and views as her fallback if, at some point, she can no longer handle the oversized ones. She still loves mural work. Her Starbucks projects have helped spawn such work locally, including a

two-story shed she was commissioned to make look like an old general store. These types of projects provide her with a challenge she enjoys—having a puzzle to solve. She especially looks forward to commissions where the parameters are loose, giving her more leeway to be creative and do as she pleases. With her personal art pieces, Holden never wonders what her next project might be. She is always a step ahead, inspired by the opportunity to experiment and see what she can compose. Moving forward, what will she create next? According to Holden, “The best answer? We’ll see.” For this painter who trusts her vision to pilot her toward new horizons, she can literally be taken at her word. █ To see more of Cindy Fletcher Holden’s works, visit www.fletcherart.net.

Cindy Fletcher Holden. Photo by John Bildahl.

CANVAS

A mural along Margaret Avenue in the Design District off of Chinquapin Round Road.

upstart-annapolis.com | 21


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upstart-annapolis.com | 23


WAVES

24 | Fall 2019


The Road Not Taken by BY THERESA C. SANCHEZ

I

f you had the opportunity to start over again, would you? What would it take to press the reset button and begin anew? For local singer-songwriter Joey Harkum, once he made that decision, all he needed to see it through was a full tank of gas, his guitar, and the courage to defy the odds. One night in September 2017, Harkum was performing with his folky reggae rock group, Pasadena, to a sold-out crowd at Baltimore Soundstage. But only 48 hours later, he was playing for about a dozen people at a dive bar in Raleigh, North Carolina as the Joey Harkum Band. “I wouldn’t have put 15 years of my life into that brand, building that up to have a national following, only to start all over from scratch,” says Brandon Hardesty, lead singer of the Annapolis-based Bumpin Uglies, musing on Harkum’s decision. He attributes Harkum with giving him his first big break over a decade ago and admired the singer

for his willingness to stick it out with Pasadena until he was the last original member left. “Talking about Joey as a musician is one thing, but Joey as a man, I think it’s almost a more important thing. He’s super principled and didn’t compromise his values for a buck. I wouldn’t have done that. He really took the harder road.” Harkum, 34, grew up in the Riviera Beach neighborhood of Pasadena, Maryland, where he witnessed firsthand the harmful effects of addiction. Music was his refuge and salvation. His father and maternal Irish grandfather played guitar and sang at home and at family gatherings. His father gave him his first and only electric guitar, and while he thought the flashy instrument was “super cool,” he didn’t take to it. He had become accustomed to the acoustic guitar sounds that he’d heard his father play at home. When Harkum started writing songs, he emulated what he knew,

Illustration by artist Zoro Rodriquez.

upstart-annapolis.com | 25


“We'd see bands roll up . . . all stinky and tired, and we'd look at each other and say, ‘We need to do that!’”

26 | Fall 2019

which was the lyric-driven content of the greats his father played, such as Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson. It was fortuitous that his mother owned a karaoke business and operated a machine with recording capabilities. A friend heard Harkum play at a party, requested a tape of his songs, and liked it so much that Harkum ended up making and distributing more tapes. At age 16, while enrolled in a worktraining program to earn his GED, Harkum realized that he could either play music or demo houses. “I really do think playing in that band got us away from [addiction],” says Harkum, who wrote many of his songs about struggles with drugs and alcohol. “We couldn’t sit around. We jumped into touring, touring, and more touring, just trying to make a name for ourselves.” With Pasadena, Harkum embarked on the open mic circuit and stumbled upon the Carriage House, an interactive artist haven in Southwest Baltimore. There, the music director for the Sowebo Arts and Music Festival saw them perform and booked the band in 2001 for the free, annual event. Shortly thereafter, the band members moved into a little basement apartment of a rowhouse on St. Paul Street in the Mount Vernon neighborhood. Their neighbor, a local music promoter named Steve Gordon, would hear them practicing downstairs and eventually befriended them. When Gordon needed to fill an opening spot at the nowdefunct venue SONAR, he called upon Pasadena to perform. That’s where they got the itch, admits Harkum. “We’d see bands roll up with a trailer, get out of the van all stinky and tired, and we’d look at each other and say, ‘We need to do that!’” By 2008, Pasadena secured a manager, toured the country, and released its debut full-length album, Sick and Tired (Mothership Records). The stripped-down wording and delivery of the record’s title track resonated with Matt Pinfield, veteran radio DJ and former MTV host. “It just hit me in this unbelievable way. I related to it on so many


upstart-annapolis.com | 27


different levels,” says Pinfield. “There was something absolutely beautifully simplistic . . . it just connects.” He was compelled to invite Harkum to New York to perform on air. “I’ve always been the guy who supported the underdog. I hoped that someone who had a vision like me would hear it and give these guys the break that they deserved.” Pasadena got a fair shake in 2011, at the final HFStival at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, Maryland. Nathen Maxwell, bassist for one of the show’s

28 | Fall 2019

headlining acts, Flogging Molly—one of Harkum’s favorite bands—caught the end of the band’s set and told Harkum how impressed he was. That conversation turned out to be a transformative moment, as the critically acclaimed Celtic punk rock band subsequently asked Pasadena to support it on a monthlong tour at the end of 2014. Unfortunately, the added exposure and the subsequent release of a fourth album, Hurricane (Audio & Visual Labs, Inc.), in 2015, was not enough to

sustain the band in the face of its changing needs and growing families. Harkum was at a crossroads, but knew that continuing to play music was the right thing to do; he had spent half his life as a nomadic troubadour, building a following one fan at a time. His music’s content and style had evolved into a type of Americana, which incorporates elements of roots music styles such as country, folk, and bluegrass. He also realized that his followers had changed their tastes as well. In 2016, he released a solo album, Love and Labor, and while


after performances, he’s able to have the kind of heartfelt exchanges that help fuel his writing. The lyrics, "It’s never too late to start again," are a testament to his life and how far he’s come. “I’m at the point where I haven’t lost any of that original drive, and I’m still writing honest music. The fire is there.” █ The Joey Harkum Band is currently on a solo tour with Irish singer Keith Harkin and working on new material in the studio. Harkum will be performing solo with Flogging Molly aboard the Serenade of the Seas Salty Dog Cruise for f ive days in November, departing from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on November 8, 2019. For more information, visit www.floggingmollycruise.com and www.joeyharkum.com.

WAVES

he had intended that record to be a side project, its success encouraged him to take the final steps needed to dissolve Pasadena. He curated a new cadre of musicians to join him on the road and worked with DreamWorks designer Ignacio Rodiguez to develop a logo that embodied stability and the nautical spirit of the Chesapeake Bay. A lot has changed, but nothing has changed. Harkum’s new lineup includes Nate Clendenen on bass, Jay D’Annunzio on drums, and Charles Kavoossi on lead guitar and keyboards. Kavoossi emphasizes the importance of what Harkum has already accomplished, including amassing valuable music scene knowledge and industry contacts. “Those are some of the hardest parts, and now he knows what not to waste time or money on,” he says. “It was reassuring to discover that Harkum’s work ethic and lyrics were not a facade. I see so many bands and people who are fans of bands, but people are fans of him, and it just happens to be that he writes excellent music.” Harkum’s lyrics have made an indelible impact on many listeners, and while that is humbling, it also inspires him. “I learned everything in the school of life the hard way, so it’s nice to talk with other people who get it,” say Harkum, who was recently appointed as a PRS Guitar ambassador. No matter the venue size, his main priority is playing his music, and last year he traveled to over 250 locations to do just that. By making himself readily available

upstart-annapolis.com | 29


ART & WIT L

American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection

The Life and Art of Mary Petty: A Shared Sense of Humor

For information about all exhibition-related events including tours, lectures, and book club,

visit www.sjc.edu/mitchell-gallery or call 410-626-2556.

Expect the Unexpected St. John’s College | 60 College Avenue | Annapolis, MD 21401 Robert Henri, Kathleen, 1924. Oil on board. )Huntington Museum of Art. Photo Credit: John Spurlock

American Impressionism: Treasures from the Daywood Collection; Organized by the Huntington Museum of Art and toured by International Art and Artists, Washington, DC

Mary Petty, Fay Replacing Bulb in Chandelier, "The New Yorker Magazine," September 24, 1955 (detail). Watercolor and ink on paper.


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SNAP

32 | Fall 2019


Grief Exposed by LEAH WEISS photography by PAUL W. GILLESPIE

“I

t’s odd, bringing people into my dirty basement,” says Paul Gillespie with a slight smile and a nervous laugh. More cluttered than dirty, the area provides a visual collage. An abandoned woodworking setup dominates the space. Boxes and wood abound. A figurehead from a ship’s bow hangs on the far wall. A dryer hums, rotating its load. Then there’s the tiny room with lights on boom stands, handcrafted backdrops, and memorabilia from the Capital Gazette hanging on the back wall—the photography studio where Gillespie dreams big. “It’s very tight,” he says, moving equipment just to turn on a light. “It’s like a guerilla-style photography, just doing what you gotta do to get the pictures.”

A photojournalist from New Jersey who’s now in his late 40s, Gillespie has been a staff photographer at the Capital Gazette for 18 years. The pictures to which he’s referring, however, are not work related. He’s been spending most of his free time this year creating new black-and-white portraiture photography that culminated in a project titled “Journalists Matter: Faces of the Capital Gazette.” It’s also been his path towards healing from a series of traumas he’s recently experienced. Gillespie is well known professionally for his sports photography and personally for his humor. “When people first meet me, they might think I’m a little bit surly, maybe. Once people get to know me, they see I’m goofy.

Capital Gazette reporter Pat Furgurson.

upstart-annapolis.com | 33


I say crazy stuff, and my wife writes about it [on Facebook].” After he begins speaking, any outer brashness vanishes, and his straightforward, open manner reveals a core of empathy and thoughtfulness. Bill Horin, founder and creative director of ArtC in Linwood, New Jersey, was Gillespie’s first photography instructor at Atlantic Cape Community College and hired him as his assistant, giving the then-24-year-old his first photography job. “He is one of the most reliable people I’ve ever met,” says Horin. “He was delivering pizza at night, and it didn’t matter what time he finished work. If he got done at 2 a.m. and I had a 7 a.m. shoot, he was there, waiting for me. He had a lot of energy for doing this kind of work.” Over the years, Horin mentored Gillespie as he committed to the craft and blossomed as a photographer. “We developed a friendship after working together, and we’ve stayed friends ever since,” says Horin. “He’s been there for me a lot. There’s only a handful [of people] you meet in your life like Paul.”

Andrea Chamblee, wife of slain Capital Gazette journalist John McNamara, has shown strength in the months since her husband's tragic murder by working to stop gun violence and completing her late husband's book.

34 | Fall 2019

In 2014, Gillespie’s mother passed away after battling cancer (his father passed away some years before). A few years after, his brother, his only sibling, who lived in the basement room in Gillespie’s modest Brooklyn Park home, died suddenly. Fourteen months later, while Gillespie was working at his desk in the Capital


Former Capital Gazette associate editor Jimmy DeButts.

Capital Gazette sports writer Katherine Fominykh.

Gazette offices in Annapolis, a gunman opened fire on everyone. Five of his colleagues were killed. “It didn’t start off to be a project. It started off as something for me to do, in my down time. I was having problems with depression and PTSD [posttraumatic stress disorder] and anxiety,” he explains. After the incident, he only had energy to do his job; otherwise, he felt drained, withdrawn, and extremely anxious. “I was sitting in here, just going on Facebook. I wasn’t doing anything. My head would get swirly, I’d have this chest feeling. My body would twitch, sometimes.” Charlotte Byrd, a local psychotherapist specializing in trauma, sheds light on Gillespie’s symptoms. “An animal surviving a life-threatening event will literally just shake it off. It will shake and jerk until the energy of surviving that traumatic event is dispelled,” she says. But human beings are more complicated—we tend to freeze up in the face of trauma while cortisol and other stress chemicals release into our brains. “That’s when we get severe anxiety and hypervigilance,” she says. “And we start developing a strong neural network of negative beliefs, about the world and about ourselves.” This past January, Horin called Gillespie. “I said, ‘Paul, I just watched this documentary on this photographer’s style, it’s really cool. I think you’ll get a kick out of it.’” The film, part of a Netflix series titled Abstract: The Art of Design, featured Platon, a British photographer known for his highly contrasted black-and-white

“An animal surviving a life-threatening event will literally just shake it off.” portraits. “Next thing I know,” says Horin, “he’s starting to send me pictures that he did, and I’m like, holy man, these are really, in my opinion, his best work.” Platon’s work resonated strongly with Gillespie, bringing up excitement and motivation, feelings he had not experienced for a while. “The black-and-white images spoke to me. The contrast was amazing. I said to myself, ‘I want to make pictures like that!’” Once the idea took hold, Gillespie got to work. He cleared out his brother’s things from the basement room— not an easy feat emotionally—and turned it into his studio. He brought out his old studio lights, supplemented them with a newly purchased used light, and bought supplies from the Dollar Store. The small studio, with its seven-foot-high ceiling, presented technical difficulties, limiting the type of pictures Gillespie could take. Subjects had to sit rather than stand, and he couldn’t light his subjects and use backdrops in the ways that he wanted to. He improvised, deviating from Platon’s specifications, making the style and approach his own.

Capital Gazette environment reporter Rachael Pacella.

upstart-annapolis.com | 35


Former Capital Gazette reporter Phil Davis.

Without any fixed plan, Gillespie first took pictures of a friend and himself. He converted the images to black and white, cropped them, and then spent hours toning them to look exactly as he envisioned. He then began photographing his other friends— his colleagues at the Capital Gazette, starting with Selene San Felice. The project took form organically, and “Journalists Matter” came to the fore as its focus. “I want to show people who you are,” he told his colleaguesubjects. He asked them to bring whatever they wanted to their sessions. In the photographs, one sees items of significance that connect to the incident and its aftermath—pictures of lost loved ones, a cell phone, a reporter’s notebook, an article of clothing, the newspaper. 36 | Fall 2019

Capital Gazette reporter Chase Cook.

The time that Gillespie spent with each person before clicking the shutter is apparent in the pictures. They convey a range of emotions, as if capturing each person’s essence and grief, and tell a story. The intimacy is palpable because of who Gillespie is, as a person, friend, survivor, and photographer. “I am very careful that I am not taking something from them,” he says. “They are giving me a gift by coming to do this for me. We’re sharing something. It’s not me being an outsider, asking them to show emotion. I take photos as we’re talking—about everyday stuff, and over time, we start talking about that day. It’s a shared experience.” It was obvious to Horin, when he started looking at the photographs, that there was a real

Self portrait of Paul W. Gillespie in his studio.

connection between Gillespie and his subjects. “He thought about things, like the placement of the hand, the expression, and what this or that person went through. With sports photography, you’re capturing the moment. With this, he’s creating the moment. He’s bringing people into those situations and guiding them. And that’s not easy.” Since the project’s inception, Gillespie chronicled his progress on Facebook, letting friends and followers see the latest picture, learn about his relationship to the person photographed, read hints previewing his next session, and understand how the project was helping him move through trauma. “The pictures are really striking,” says Alison Harbaugh, owner of Sugar Farm Productions and

previously a Capital Gazette staff photographer. “I like that they are simply lit. I like that he kept every ounce of the character in each face and didn’t mask the reality of where they were in that moment. Each time he would unveil a new portrait or talk about it online, it was as if you’re part of this project. He brings everybody into it and he makes people care by giving them insight into what he’s doing.” Says Elyzabeth Marcussen, communications specialist at Hospice of the Chesapeake and formerly the Capital Gazette’s community news editor, “Paul is very humble and always a little surprised by the [online and media] attention. He’s not looking for validation. He’s just trying to get through what he’s gotten through.


Capital Gazette reporter Selene San Felice.

Gillespie acknowledges that his project has helped him with his PTSD. “It’s given me some control back in my life that, over the last year, has been somewhat out of control because of the shooting. It got me doing something creative in my down time. And just the positive reaction has helped me in my healing.” He continues, “This project has been for me, and it’s for the world, to talk about the journalists and what we deal with. But it started off for me.” Horin sensed a difference in Gillespie, once he dug into the project. He saw how it gave him the diversion that he needed— something to put his energy, heart, and soul into for a while—and

how it became something of great importance. He expects his friend to take some of the techniques learned and apply them to his newspaper work as well as other projects. “He’s got to keep growing,” says Horin. “With the show, he’s not only getting the word out about his work, but he’s also getting out the word that journalists matter, and I think that’s a very important topic right now.” █

SNAP

And I think he wants to make sure that the truth is out there. This is his presentation of the truth.” It takes time to heal from trauma, even longer when it involves losing friends, and not surprisingly, Gillespie still experiences anxiety, depression, and other PTSD symptoms. Being creative can help with the healing process, says Byrd. “When we are in our grooves, as artists, we are in relaxed, meditative states,” she explains. “In that moment, at least, you stop having all those chemicals flood your brain. You’re able to have thoughts and ideas and start establishing your positive neural network. It allows us to start sorting through the information.”

“Journalists Matter: Faces of the Capital Gazette” will have its premier opening at ArtFarm Studios in Annapolis on October 6, 2019, 5–8 p.m. For more information, visit www.journalistsmatter.com.

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ANNAP OLIS SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA J OSÉ- LU I S N OVO, M U S I C D I R EC TO R | T H E P H I L I P R I C H E B O U RG C H A I R

Opening Night Celebration | September 27 & 28 Overture Party | 6:00-7:30 PM Meet The Musicians | 10:00-11:00 PM (Tickets required for these events)

September 27 & 28 | Stewart Goodyear Beethoven Gershwin Rachmaninov

Egmont Overture Piano Concerto Symphony No. 3

November 8 & 9 | Lisa Pegher Barber Richard Danielpour Chadwick Beethoven

Overture to The School for Scandal Percussion Concerto, The Wounded Healer Hobgoblin from Symphonic Sketches Symphony No. 4

SUBSCRIPTIONS AND SINGLE TICKETS ON NOW! For tickets, call the box office: 410.263.0907 | Purchase online at annapolissymphony.org

Holiday Pops: December 13 | 8 PM The Broadway Tenors Presented by RBC Wealth Management


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Okay, I Belong Here! by CHRISTINE FILLAT photography by SARAH JANE HOLDEN

T

June 2019: Annapolis Pride Month. Rainbow flags line West Street. Soundtrack: “I’m Coming Out” by Diana Ross

he Earth has revolved around the Sun 50 times since the Stonewall Uprising, the event in New York City (NYC) that placed Gay Pride in the forefront of society. Whereas NYC and San Francisco once served as the epicenters of LGBTQ+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning, plus others) Pride life, Pride celebrations now take place in towns and cities around the world.

In the summer of 2017, Annapolis resident Jeremy Browning came upon a rainbow flag flying from St. Luke’s Church in his Eastport community. It stopped him in his tracks. For him, this was a sight that wouldn’t have seemed out of place in cities like Baltimore or DC or in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. Says Browning, who grew up in Annapolis, “That’s the first rainbow flag I’ve ever seen in Annapolis, ever, and it’s at a church. And then I realized that

they’re an open and affirming congregation, and that there are actually several other very friendly churches in Annapolis.” It got him thinking. Browning brainstormed with a group of friends about how to get more Pride accessibility in Annapolis. He and others knew that there were LGBTQ+ people in the community, but socially, they seemed fragmented. “So, we thought, ‘Let’s try to bring the community together,’” says Browning.

Rainbow flags adorn Main Street in celebration of LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

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Belly dancers from Tribe NukTia dance during the inaugural Annapolis Pride Parade and Festival.

Tribe Cycle dances its way along during the Annapolis Pride Parade.

On May 25, 2018, Annapolis Pride launched a Facebook page. Browning and his friends put together a schedule of events, including happy hours, picnics, and drag shows. People from all over the state, from far-flung areas such as the Eastern Shore, Prince George’s County, and Saint Mary’s County, attended those get-togethers. One year later, the internet site has close to 6,000 followers, a decidedly robust base with many allies. Given the popularity of its Facebook page, Annapolis Pride initiated a website. A local design company donated the logo and graphics. “I don’t know that Annapolis Pride would be what it is today without the logo and the brand,” says Browning. “It looks very professional. We have a look that is polished. It gained momentum really fast.”

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More than simply a social calendar, the web page is a valuable resource where folks in the Annapolis LGBTQ+ community can find out about support groups and Mayor Gavin Buckley pauses to shake the hands of Tatyana places to go for legal Gaskins-Wallace during the Annapolis Pride Festival. advice, spiritual support, and medical services. of local leadership and the mayor’s In June 2018, Annapolis Pride office.” went to Annapolis City Hall and The Pride Parade and Festival Mayor Gavin Buckley’s office to ask took place on June 29 and included, for a proclamation to declare June to a large majority, grassroots LGBTQ Pride Month. “Not only organizations that directly supply did the City enthusiastically come services to the LGBTQ+ community. back and say yes,” says Browning, With approximately 5,000 people “they said, ‘We want a parade and in attendance and 130 diverse and festival next year.’ What we thought varied groups dancing, marching, might take two or three years to and making their rainbow-hued way organize and develop happen[ed] down West Street that inaugural in less than a year. We’re really Pride Parade day, the vibe was one excited for the first Pride Parade and Festival and to have the support of joy, love, and acceptance. Jeremy


St. Anne’s Parish walks in the Annapolis Pride Parade.

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A drag queen struts down Main Street during the Annapolis Pride Parade and Festival on June 29, 2019.

Browning describes the amount of support as being “overwhelming.” He recalls the day as “. . . an amazing and historic day for the LGBTQ+ community in Annapolis.” Browning is planning for Annapolis Pride’s future endeavors. “My hope is that Annapolis becomes known as a friendly and welcoming place, and that we see more visibility and more safe spaces,” he says. He wants people in the LBGTQ+ community to think of Annapolis during their travel or social planning. “We can really build [our website] out so that anyone who lives here, works here, and travels here can go to AnnapolisPride.org and find what they need [here].” He is driven to make Pride a part of life in Annapolis, and explains that visibility increases safety and a sense of belonging. “If, for example, a young person or a queer, questioning person sees a rainbow flag or a trans flag in their community, they might feel like, ‘Okay, I belong here,’” says Browning. Transgender and other LGBTQ+ people have been the target of prejudice, and they need allies, people in the community to stand up for them. The Annapolis Pride website says it best: “We love our city and want it to be a place where all people feel safe and included, where those who may need help or support can find it, and where our business and civic leaders embrace the vision that an inclusive community is a thriving community.” █

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Providing Levity Gravity

TO THE

by JENNIFER KULYNYCH photography by ALISON HARBAUGH

“S

o, here’s what happened: I wanted to win!” Jonathan Seningen, the 41-year-old who was, until recently, executive chef at Blackwall Hitch in Annapolis, is explaining why, on the eve of the annual Eastport Oyster Roast competition last March, he ditched his idea for an Asian-influenced soypoached oyster with katsuobushi (bonito flakes) and started all over again. “It was missing a certain zing,” he decided, “and I hated it.” Going back to the drawing board with hours to go meant he wouldn’t have time to order new ingredients. Also, Seningen needed an oyster dish he could assemble quickly in a tight space. He’s tall, and the next day in the Maritime Museum, he’d be hunched over a little table while prepping 300 servings.

With small-town bragging rights on the line, he was feeling the pressure. But Seningen is no stranger to highoctane cooking. Classically trained at the French Culinary Institute in New York, he paid his dues in demanding kitchens, including Le Paradou, where, under Yannick Cam, the chef who brought nouvelle cuisine to Washington, DC, Seningen says he practically lived on-site. Seningen later became executive chef at several different DC restaurants. Considering his oyster dilemma, Seningen remembered a time when, working under the renowned chef Paul Liebrandt in Manhattan, he’d poach oysters and wrap them with thin slices of ribeye. He considered riffing on that dish by adding a quintessentially Maryland touch—crab imperial. In the Blackwall Hitch freezer, he happened to have a crab cake mixture and a richly marbled beef filet. A dish with oysters, beef, and crab sounds complicated, but Seningen

The award-winning oyster dish prepared by Chef Jonathan Seningen while he was executive chef at Blackwall Hitch in Annapolis.

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He loves living on f ive acres in West River with his wife and two children . . . and his garden . . .

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realized he could simplify it by splitting the prep. In the restaurant kitchen that night, he would butter poach the oysters and return them to their shells, topping each with a shaving of filet. The next day, at the Maritime Museum, he would add the crab imperial and quickly gratinée the topping with a blowtorch. The idea for his oyster dish began taking shape. After one taste, Seningen he knew he was on the right track but wasn’t there yet. “It was just unctuous,” he concluded. Rich and creamy, but too monochromatic, it needed a lighter note. So he blended herbs—green onion, lemon, oil, and salt—to make a vivid green sauce that Seningen’s wife, Katie, calls “fresh grass and sunshine.” Laced across the imperial topping, the sauce lent a playful balance to the richer flavors of the meats. “It provided the levity to the gravity,” Seningen concluded. The crowds at this year’s Oyster Roast agreed, returning to Seningen’s station to enjoy a second or third taste before voting him the People’s Choice Award for the dish he calls Butter Poached Oyster Imperial with Kobe Beef and Lemon Parsley Sauce. Telling this story, Seningen laughs, jazzed by the happy ending, and slaps the table. His brown hair is tugged into a point at the top of his head like a middle-school skateboarder. In his faded red T-shirt and jeans, Seningen looks more college student than the guy in charge. But when he talks food, he’s suddenly serious, his comments are thoughtful, and the executive chef emerges.

Seningen reveres technique. When asked which chefs he admires, he singles out Thomas Keller for his ability to coax diverse flavors from simple foods using various cooking methods. The conversation takes a deep dive into molecular gastronomy and the right and wrong ways to emulsify food into the foams of modernist cooking. One might wonder why a professional chef with an obvious passion for the art of cooking and experience in fine restaurants in New York and DC would take a career detour, showing up at an upscale-casual restaurant in Annapolis, a small city where the seedlings of food culture may be sprouting, but where the typical diner may often want the familiar steak or crab cakes, traditionally cooked, preferably with water-view seating. Without the long commute to DC, Seningen has more quality time to share with his family. He loves living on five acres in West River with his wife and two children— Amelia, age seven, and two-yearold Ronin—and his garden, which he insists was “freaking gorgeous” last year until heavy rains took their toll. That garden is also the source of fresh local ingredients for Seningen’s dishes. In Blackwall Hitch’s kitchen, Seningen kept a big plastic tub of his kale, fresh from the garden. While store-bought kale doesn’t always look appetizing, Seningen’s was so inviting that you could imagine eating it raw. Although many of Blackwall


Seningen chops vegetables that were picked fresh from his home garden.

Seningen prepares the oyster dish for which he won the People’s Choice Award during the Oyster Roast and Sock Burning at the Annapolis Maritime Museum.

Hitch’s clientele weren’t looking for adventure when eating out, the restaurant provided Seningen a venue to connect with those who might be, by offering monthly “chef’s table,” prix fixe dinners, evenings featuring a unique menu composed by Seningen. “We’ve done bone marrow, pig trotter, sweetbreads, octopus,” he says. Given the chance, he is willing to take a diner beyond her comfort zone. But these dinners (limited to 30 guests, often sold out months in advance) were never only about the food. At Seningen’s chef’s table, one could explore the creative process behind fine cooking. For example, when

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Assembling the oyster dish.

“Food is a language,” he insists, and he's excited about teaching children the vocabulary of cooking.

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Seningen served roasted Maine lobster with fresh rhubarb, vanilla, and Sauternes, if you were curious enough to try sweetened fruit and dessert wine on your lobster, then he helped you appreciate the artistry of the dish and quality of its ingredients. Recently, Seningen left Blackwall Hitch and is working from home for a company that recruits chefs while he grows some creative ideas of his own. “Food is a language,” he insists, and he’s excited about teaching children the vocabulary of cooking. One possibility is “Ask Chef Dad” videos, in which his daughter can ask

questions that children most want to know about cooking, and then together they explore answers. Even if he winds up not cooking professionally, Seningen hopes to help build a vibrant, discerning food culture in Annapolis. He senses that momentum and mentions several cooks doing interesting work in the city, but is mindful that many Annapolitans prefer crab cakes to innovative cuisine. Changing their minds will take time. The process, he reflects, is much like a slowturning boat. █


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Chef Jonathan Seningen checks on his tomato plants at his home garden.

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A Leading-Edge Community with Annapolis at its Heart.

Staying true to the heart of Annapolis, Bay Village Assisted Living and Memory Care embraces the rich culture and arts for which our city is renowned. Prospective residents will be able to enjoy a number of artistic-focused events at the Bay Village Sales Center prior to opening. But even better, after opening, residents will enjoy an art studio with a variety of classes taught by local artists. And, of course, world-class care for the ones we love most. To learn more, call 888.687.5440 or visit BayVillageAssistedLiving.com

Visit our Sales Center:

947 Bay Ridge Road • Annapolis, Maryland 21403

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8/15/19 10:48 AM


AGO

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CONVERSATIONS IN THE

by JULIA GIBB

I

n 1950s Annapolis, a small group of artists gathered in the industrial ambiance of the old Pepsi-Cola plant on West Street. Easels propped up colorful, exuberant art as cigarette smoke hung in the air. Donald Coale, director of the Coale School of Art in Baltimore, walked the gallery and critiqued the works. Among the artists present were Missy Weems, Esther Levy, Virginia Ochs, and Michel Freinek. Selected works by those four women, whose paths first crossed more than six decades ago, are currently on exhibit in

Four Artists: Moving Through Abstraction, at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts. Today’s generation will receive a reminder of a unique time in our City’s art history, when Annapolis nurtured a highcaliber and accomplished avantgarde of abstract expressionist painters.  The exhibit is the brainchild of local artist Thackray Seznec and her daughter, Gwenann Manseau, a lawyer and gatherer of oral histories. Seznec and Manseau, working with artist and curator Sigrid Trumpy, have compiled the works and raised

Nocturne (Eastport from Market Quay) by Missy Weems. Oil on canvas, 30" x 22". Collection of Thackray Seznec.

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money through their nonprofit, Fox Road Productions, to help fund and organize the show. After World War II, a fundamental transformation in American painting took place, and the locus of artistic influence shifted from Europe to the United States, primarily New York City. Abstract expressionism

emerged as the most influential of new artistic tendencies brought about by the war’s upheaval, as artists searched for a way to navigate a culture shaken by the unimaginable atrocities of war and genocide. Along with well-known male abstract expressionists, Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Mark

Color Study (c. 1960) by Missy Weems. Oil on masonite, 34" x 48". Collection of Thackray Seznec.

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Rothko, were the talented and equally groundbreaking artists Lee Krasner, Elaine de Kooning, Helen Frankenthaler, and Grace Hartigan. Hartigan later moved to Baltimore, where she was embraced by that art community, taught at Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), and stayed involved for four decades. She also served as a link between the core group of artists and intellectuals who met at the legendary Cedar Bar in New York City’s Greenwich Village to drink, argue, and plot their next moves, a firsthand messenger from the big-city front lines. Hartigan also served as inspiration and teacher to the four artists featured in the exhibit. Missy Weems was an Annapolis native, the daughter of revered master air and celestial navigator Philip Van Horn Weems. The Navy career of her husband, Charles R. Dodds, created a life of frequent travel for the artist, and she dedicated herself to studying and practicing art wherever his assignments took them. Once she and her husband settled on a farm just outside of Annapolis, Weems dedicated her energy to the local arts community. Weems studied at MICA, and her artistic accomplishments included exhibitions at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Baltimore Museum of Art, among other respected institutions. She helped establish the Maryland Federation of the Arts, which has for decades exhibited thousands of local and national artists. When people asked her how, as a wife and mother, she managed to spend so much time in the studio, Seznec remembers her mother saying crisply, “I make the time.”


Weems would work late at night and into the morning hours, rising late to start her day. She made time for occasional late-night bohemian parties, rowdy with music and singing. Seznec, who remembers feeling serious about art by the age of eight, sometimes attended the critiques. Weems’ work is distinguished by hard edges and pronounced diagonals dissecting the work into rectangular or triangular quadrants of color. In Nocturne (Eastport from Market Quay), Weems employs a horizontal composition, repeating long rectilinear shapes in dusky blues and greens. A strong diagonal suggests a boat sail and disrupts the rhythm of the horizontal elements. In Color Study, she takes a turn toward vibrant colors, the exuberance of which is echoed throughout the vertical composition. Areas of fractured color suggest movement, evoking the iconic Marcel Duchamp painting Nude Descending a Staircase (circa 1912). The motion draws the viewer to a bright gold area of the canvas that lends a sense of opening to an unspecified, mysterious scene. Combining saturated colors and gestural lines, Interior I suggests a room in refracted shapes and hues. Some elements are rendered representationally—one gets a glimpse of some clearly rendered lathe-turned furniture legs. The feeling is of a transparent layering of time, a residue of perception and memory. Born in Ohio, to Russian immigrants, Esther Levy moved with her family to Baltimore when she was 13 years old. Widowed at age 26, she immersed herself in the study of art, marrying it

Missy Weems painting at her home on Franklin Street, Annapolis. Photo courtesy of the Evening Capital.

Virginia Ochs in an undated photo. Photo courtesy of the artist’s son.

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In curating the exhibit, says Seznec, they were careful to choose paitnings that have “conversations" between each other.

with a passion for music. Levy moved with her second husband, Buddy Levy, to his hometown of Annapolis, where, in 1952, they opened Capital Drugs, a pharmacy and gathering place for the community on West Street. They both loved jazz and frequently played it on the phonograph in the pharmacy. Now occupied by Light House Bistro, the pharmacy building is fittingly located in the Annapolis Arts District. On its external wall, facing Monroe Street, a mural by Sally Comport pays homage to the building’s history and the Levy family.

Levy often worked at large scale, on canvases sometimes taller than herself. Her love of jazz carried into her artwork, as she would listen to the music as she worked, letting the sounds influence her art, sometimes appropriating song titles to name her paintings. In Way Down Yonder in New Orleans, Levy creates a smoky, hot ambiance, rendered in warm reds, purples, and an accent of blue, colors transitioning smoothly from one to another. The composition is punctuated by sharp gestural linear markings. On the left, some lines suggest

The Bridge (Annapolis) by Gertrude St. Michel Freinek. Oil on canvas, 47" x 49". Collection of Chris Michel.

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Gertrude St. Michel Freinek in an undated photo. Photo courtesy of the artist’s son.


Spa Creek (1961) by Virginia Ochs. Oil on canvas, 36" x 24". Collection of Charles Feldman.

rhythm, while in the upper right, others trail off into a meandering solo. In Untitled (Orange), there is a sense of spaciousness. A few hard edges dissolving into softly blended areas suggest mountains receding into the distance. Two lines in contrasting blue and green anchor the composition with a stabilizing triangular element, and a horizontal ellipse suggests water in a pond. A single blue square in the upper left quadrant draws the

viewer’s eye. Her compositional arrangements are both expressive and deliberate. New York City native Virginia Ochs came to Annapolis via her marriage to Dr. Irving Ochs, whose practice was on Southgate Avenue. She began studying art seriously later in life, when her son Max was a teenager. Though her husband was hesitant and perhaps somewhat intimidated by the world of abstract art, he was also

an artist—a photographer—and would support his wife at events. Max Ochs recalls his mother feeling a sense of complete power and agency when she was creating. “Knowing what it’s like to be free—that’s what art represented to her,” he says. She asserted her right to study seriously and set aside time to paint in her attic studio, studying under Baltimore artists James Gilbert, Grace Hartigan, and Donald Coale.

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Woman with Chicken by Missy Weems. Oil on masonite, 15¾" x 20". Collection of Thackray Seznec.

Her son recalls Coale’s persistent focus on the positive in the artists’ work during Pepsi-Cola factory critiques. “He would keep emphasizing what they got right, so that soon, since [the canvas] is a limited space, there wouldn’t be

60 | Fall 2019

room for anything wrong.” Ochs has the most subtle palette of the four artists, often working in pastel tones, grays, and blacks. In her oil paintings, she shows a sparing touch, seemingly letting areas of canvas remain unpainted.

In Bridge at Eastport, brush marks are left raw and sparse, roughing out the shape of a bridge in this panoramically formatted painting. Eventually she began experimenting with cut or torn pieces of canvas, collaged onto other canvases and painted in grays and blacks. Many of these compositions have consistently leveled rectangles placed in graphically pleasing proportions, painted with colors that differ subtly from each other. In Imperfection, however, a large white rectangle sits askew from the rest of the composition, creating a sense of tension not found in some of her other collage pieces. Other compositions introduce curiously precise circular shapes. In Chanticleer, the fabled rooster is depicted by a series of circles and circle fragments. The body is perfectly round, the tail an upsweep of pointed crescents. Composition 92, horizontal with a single, carefully constructed circle, confined into and visually superimposed within surrounding rectilinear pieces, exudes a sense of curiosity. Its rough-edged rectangles lend a sculptural feel, the paint thick and tar-like. The arrangement creates a space in which to wander, reminiscent of Louise Nevelson’s iconic monochrome wall-mounted sculptures, and seems to represent a journey from tentative to bold. Gertrude St. Michel Freinek, also known as Michel Freinek, signed her paintings “M i c h e l.” Born in Trier, Germany, she spent her teen years in New York City, but after the death of her father, returned home. She studied color theory and color chemistry at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna, Austria. Her marriage to Dr. Wilfried R.


Esther Levy, an early artist-tenant at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts in Annapolis, prepares to take home a finished canvas. Photo by William Hotz.

Terrace, a medium-scale oil on canvas with a light, airy palette, triangles and trapezoids form trees, houses, rooftops, and terrace tiles. Providing a bird’s-eye view of a village. A cat, curled in the lower left corner, provides a sense of scale and life to the scenery. In Untitled (Spa Creek Bridge), Freinek employs an aquatic palette of blues and greens, accentuated with fragments of white, suggesting iconic elements of Annapolis, with triangular shapes appearing to signify boat sails and church steeples. Having lived and studied in major art cities from New York to Vienna, Freinek delivered a high-caliber punch of art world experience to Annapolis. Fox Road Productions’ founders, board members, and advisory board assembled earlier this year to collect and view the four artists’ artwork and share stories and remembrances about their careers and lives. Aware that it is impossible to reconstruct the nature of the friendships or working relationships between the women, the group is doing its best to honor their memories. In curating the exhibit, says Seznec, they were careful to choose paintings that have “conversations” between each other. Seznec laughs, “They’re going to be just so noisy at night when they close the gallery, just chatting with each other.” █ Four Artists: Moving Through Abstraction is at the Chaney Gallery at Maryland Hall for the Creative

AGO

Untitled by Esther Levy. Oil on canvas, 42" x 60". Collection of Joyce Gomoljak.

Freinek took her back to New York and then to Annapolis, where she became part of the community of artists exploring abstract expressionism. Seznec remembers her as a husky-voiced, worldly woman. When Seznec was preparing to go abroad to study and paint, Freinek generously shared some of her experiences traveling and creating art, giving her specific instructions and tips on what to bring and how to remember the essence of a place. “She told me,” says Seznec, “‘wherever you go, bring back a stone, or sand, or a leaf pressed in a book, and you will immediately remember the place—vividly!’ It’s true!” Freinek experimented with different media, including prints on paper, watercolor, scratchboard, and oils. Her work appears to have a strong foundation in line drawing. Some works reveal a visible infrastructure within a layered painting, composed of varied intersecting lines forming a gridwork of geometric shapes. Others use the practice of contour drawing, or continuous line drawing, as evidenced in Ancestors, a 1967 print on paper depicting a mass of faces that dominate the composition, linked together by a singular line. In Untitled (Church) a 1960 watercolor, strong, angular, and thin but deliberate outlines suggest the shape of a church. Heavy, muted swaths of color rendered with various degrees of control, lend this work an overall gestural painterliness. In The

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THE ANNAPOLIS COLLECTION GALLERY EXHIBITION OF HISTORIC ANNAPOLIS EVENTS

GREG HARLIN, ARTIST

GREG HA RLIN

NEW EXHIBIT INCLUDES STUNNING WATERCOLORS OF THE ANNAPOLIS CONVENTION LAFAYETTE’S ENCAMPMENT WASHINGTON’S RESIGNATION AT STATE HOUSE

OCT 19 DEC 2 1 ANNAPOLIS COLLECTION GALLERY 55 WEST STREET ANNAPOLIS, MARYLAND 21401 410-280-1414 www.AnnapolisCollection.com Katherine@AnnapolisCollection.com

OCTOBER 19, 2019 OPENING DAY CELEBRATION SATURDAY MORNING 10-11AM GUIDED TOURS OF CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION EXHIBIT AT ANNAPOLIS WESTIN HOTEL SATURDAY AFTERNOON: 1-4PM GUIDED TOURS OF ANNAPOLIS SITES DEPICTED IN GREG HARLIN’S WATERCOLOR PAINTINGS SATURDAY EVENING 7-9PM MEET ARTIST GREG HARLIN IN THE GALLERY MUSIC AND LIGHT REFRESHMENTS


UPSKILL

Blessed Are the Peacemakers by BRENDA WINTRODE Photography by JAY FLEMING

It’s not our job to toughen our children up to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.

–L. R. Knost, Author and Social Justice Activist

E

ighth-grader Sage still remembers her first day at St. Anne’s School of Annapolis. “Everybody welcomed me in such a big way, and I made friends on the first day,” she says. The private day school was her fourth elementary school. She sits up straight at the head of the conference room table, where five of her schoolmates, all clad in burgundy and khaki school uniforms, give her their earnest attention. She tells us in a soft voice that she was shy “back then,” but her teachers and friends have since pulled her out of her “shy place.”

Embedded in the school’s culture is the edict that every human being has worth and deserves dignity. “We want our students to feel safe and known and included,” says Head of School Lisa Nagel. Upon her arrival in 1999, Nagel led the introduction of a progressive curriculum that prioritizes ageappropriate social and emotional learning and conflict resolution skills alongside traditional academics. St. Anne’s School was founded in 1992 in the Episcopalian tradition, but remains independent of any one Parish and is nondoctrinaire in its religious

Students transitioning from seventh grade to eighth grade, during their summer trip to Costa Rica.

64 | Fall 2019


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Teachers model positive relationships, inclusion, and healthy conflict resolution from the earliest grades.

teaching. “Our goal is to prepare the children to be theologically literate. We’d rather a child go out into the world and have thought about the religious experience of other people and how religious experiences inform all of our political and cultural lives,” says Nagel. The environment in which students learn and how they learn is just as important as what they learn. The lower school classrooms resemble cozy living spaces. “We’re thinking

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about the whole child when we’re setting up our classrooms. We’re thinking about classroom climate,” says fourth-grade teacher Detra Watson. Table lamps cast soft lighting on workspaces. Upholstered seating, rugs, and floor pillows complement common desks and chairs. Students move about the classroom as needed during lessons. Watson’s class this past school year completed a unit on the Chesapeake Bay, the environment, and the economy. They heard from

watermen and seafood restaurant owners about the impacts of water quality and bay restoration on the businesses in their community. “Our hope is that social justice action will take place. We may not have caused a problem, but we’re a part of something bigger and can make change,” says Watson. Teachers model positive relationships, inclusion, and healthy conflict resolution from the earliest grades. Sully, 10, has personalized his polo shirt by popping his collar. “At a young age


they just teach us not to disclude [sic] people. So, you just sort of grow up with that background. You’re taught that, and you still know it,” he says. He shrugs his shoulders as if to say, “It’s just what we do here.” Will and Betty, both 12, and Peter, 11, agree. Sully’s fellow fourth-grader, Alana, says: “It’s more about the person’s feelings. You can’t say, ‘You can’t play,’ so we just find a way to include everyone.” In fourth grade, all students take an eight-week friendship unit. The school’s counseling and wellness specialist, Katie Streett, who teaches the unit with the fourth-grade teachers, explains how nine- and ten-year-olds are developmentally primed for conflict. “Fourth-graders are moving from being really concrete thinkers to being more abstract thinkers. They’re deciding who they want to be friends with,” she says. Fourth graders first learn about healthy friendships, and a segment called “peacemaking” teaches students how to resolve interpersonal conflicts—their own and those of others. “The purpose is not to keep conflict from happening, but to give students the tools to use when conflicts arise,” says Streett. Instructors role-play responses to conflicts in class when emotion is not a factor. Sully remembers a time when he and a buddy used peacemaking skills to resolve their own conflict. “I just reminded him of what we learned in friendship class that day, and we took a step back and looked at the problem we were facing and solved it,” he explains.

Head of School, Lisa Nagel, with students at the APACOPE School in Kigali Rwanda as part of the Connect Rwanda exchange.

upstart-annapolis.com | 67


Once the students have completed the unit, they practice by performing “peacemaker duty” at recess. They don peacemaker caps so students in the lower grades who might need help can recognize them, and they carry clipboards with reminders of resolution tools. Peacemakers ask students in conflict to stand and face each other. They brainstorm solutions with the students in conflict and coach the children through “I feel” statements so that everyone can express how they have been affected by the conflict. Peacemakers request those seeking help to give each other a fist bump or a handshake before parting. “We teach the children it is not their job to solve the conflict for someone but to provide the space and guidelines for others to find their own solutions,” says Streett. Newly acquired peacemaking skills are not only reserved for the playground. St. Anne’s seventh grader Will says he used his peacemaking skills to resolve a conflict at home. His parents were having a debate that got a little heated, and he tried to help calm them down. “I just kinda tried to make them stop and listen to each other because they weren’t talking to each other,” he says. He relates that he was only in fourth grade at the time and could probably do a better job now.

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Students enjoy their summer trip to Costa Rica.


UPSKILL

Second grade teacher Matthew Hiller works with students on a nice day.

Like many school children, St. Anne’s students admit they have days they would rather stay in bed, and they will tell you candidly how they feel about homework. However, they also admit that they have learned skills and discovered interests at St. Anne’s that they did not have before. Betty and Sage learned that they love playing instruments. Alana now challenges herself to push past her comfort zone. Fourth-grader Peter wants to be an author, and lately he’s been writing a memoir. “I have a habit of writing about friends,” he says. “Friends give you a sense of belonging and personal connection.” The children will leave St. Anne’s having learned conflict resolution techniques and relationship tools to keep in their toolbox of life skills. Will believes the logical thinking he’s learned in pre-algebra helps him “think stuff out, even if it’s not math related,” he says. The most important thing he’s taking with him, he says: “I feel like it’s kindness, just being nice to everybody. You don’t have to like them or be their really close friend, but you should not be mean.” Sage graduated from St. Anne’s this past academic year after completing eighth grade, the school’s highest grade. She says she feels academically prepared for high school and then some. She knows because she tested her knowledge on how well she could answer her older brother’s homework questions. She says, “He’s a junior in high school, and I already knew what to do!” █

upstart-annapolis.com | 69


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Havana Immersion by WILLIAM F. ROWEL & AMY L. CRUICE photography by WILLIAM F. ROWEL

H

avana Cuba, with its mix of Spanish and African roots, has a myriad of seemingly incongruous attributes. It is romantic, magical, and gracious while also gritty, antiquated, and inscrutable. We learned about Cuba solely from US textbooks and television, and chose to experience it in the moment, from what we would see, hear, and feel. Everything evoked strong senses and emotions, and we fell deeply in love with the city. Being in Havana felt like being transported back in time. Everything looked different—the casual clothing and hairstyles (reminiscent of the 1970s and 1980s), the mix of colors, the closeness of buildings and neighborhoods, the old classic cars, and the breathtaking

weathered buildings. We discovered a collage of Art Deco, Art Nouveau, and Moorishinspired Spanish colonial architecture and Russianinfluenced structures—from a stunning patina of peeling, soft pastel paint on masterfully crafted old buildings on the verge of ruin to majestic historic buildings such as El Capitolio, Hotel Nacional de Cuba, and Museo de la Revolución (Museum of the Revolution). Each building told stories, reflecting a rich history of world politics. We rode bicycles through a labyrinth of side streets and boulevards that snake through the city’s three main areas: Old Havana, Vedado, and the newer suburban districts. It was a photographer’s paradise that answered questions and begged even deeper ones.

A series of vibrant murals by artists Stephen Palladino, Entes, and Mr. MYL. Murals appear on the top floor of the new restaurant Jesus Maria 20 in the San Isidro Neighborhood of Old Havana.

72 | Fall 2019


upstart-annapolis.com | 73


Colorful classic cars parked in front of Hotel Armadores de Santander along Parque Aracelio Iglesias.

Throughout the city, alongside the gorgeous architecture, are iconic, commanding sculptures, statues, and monuments decorating public spaces, airy courtyards, and pocket parks. Given its political history, with the Cuban Revolution and the Conquistadors, and the presence of the Catholic Church, Havana finds itself rich with cultural iconography and political propaganda. In the middle of Plaza Vieja, a large, open public plaza, Girl on a Rooster, a bronze

74 | Fall 2019

sculpture by Roberto Fabelo, is a whimsical installation. A few blocks away, in Havana’s Central Park, is a towering statue of national hero José Martí. Alongside the Malecón, a broad esplanade, roadway, and seawall stretching five miles along Havana’s coast, we found a striking, controversial statue of Martí clutching a child and pointing in the direction of the US Embassy. Marti is celebrated for his poetry and journalism and for fighting for Cuba’s

independence from Spain. Also along the Malecón, as the sun set over the water, we stumbled upon a sculpture of a man with a fish on his head and found its African influence tantalizing. As powerful waves crashed beneath us, we sat on the seawall with a man carving a beautiful, dark wood sculpture in the likeness of a Nubian goddess. Habaneros— the people of Havana—young and old, are drawn to the Malecón to socialize and celebrate.


Street art by Stephen Palladino in San Isidro neighborhood of Old Havana.

Street art by Stephen Palladino in San Isidro neighborhood of Old Havana.

Street art by Noe Two in Old Havana.

Street art by Entes in Old Havana.

upstart-annapolis.com | 75


While free speech is not guaranteed in Cuba, artists express themselves . . . all over the city.

Amy Cruice emerging from the Museo de la Revolución in Havana.

In the visual arts, religion, music, language, and virtually every other form of expression, the African roots of modern Cuban identity are profoundly deep and highly visible. AfroCuban culture appears to be celebrated as an integral part of Cuban culture. The two-block alley in Centro Havana known as Callejón de Hamel is a shrine to AfroCuban religions through the artwork of Salvador González, with buildings lined with brightly colored paintings, murals, sculptures, and objects

William Rowell standing in front of James Brown on Calle Cárdenas, a street of historical importance in Havana.

76 | Fall 2019

depicting rituals and deities. Vibrant street art cover every visible wall. Music and street festivals seemed to pop up around nearly every corner. Performances combined rhumba, Afro-Cuban jazz, salsa, soukous, West African re-adaptations of Afro-Cuban music, Spanish fusion genres, flamenco, and hip-hop. On our first day, we stumbled upon a hip-hop performance; hundreds of young people were jammed into a narrow side street, dancing to a bass-laden mix of Spanish and African-American rap music. Another night, while walking home through Central Park, we discovered a huge outdoor concert with a diverse line-up of music and an audience that knew all the lyrics. We went to an underground jazz club called La Zorra y El Cuervo, where the entrance is an old London phone booth and live Cuban bands perform every night of the week. While free speech is not guaranteed in Cuba as it is in the United States, artists express themselves through street art, mosaics, screen prints, and paintings all over the city. Their use of color varies, from bright and vibrant, to black and white, to muted, weathered hues. The street art is witty and confounding, its symbolism and characters left us feeling intrigued and apparently uninformed. The city’s streets are outdoor galleries, its walls presenting political statements and other expressions. Cuba has a culture of necessity, and Havana artists transform unusual materials into art. Much of the


artwork we were drawn to was postrevolutionary and hyperrealist, with themes of preserving culture, obtaining freedom, and nationalist patriotism. As a local artist said, “In America, you have ten choices, in Europe they have five choices, here in Cuba, we only have two choices.” Havana’s murals speak to Cuban life, people, and families, incorporating history, political statements, AfroCuban religion, and pop culture icons from around the world. Since 2016, well-known local street artist Fabián has painted his masked character Supermalo (Superevil) more than 100

times. Next to each painting is Fabián’s signature, 2+2=5?, a direct reference to the passage from the book 1984, in which George Orwell writes, “In the end the Party would announce that two and two made five, and you would have to believe it.” Mr. MYL, another renowned street artist, places a character named Caníbal who represents the Caribbean people in his street art. International street artists such as Noe Two, Stephen Palladino, Axel Void, and Entes have also made their mark on Havana’s facades. On the cutting edge of the street scene is a

clothing line, Centro, inspired by the community of skaters, street artists, and hip-hop musicians that populate Havana. It is giving a platform for Cubans to collaborate and share their creativity. Our Cuban experience was an exchange course on the transformative, emancipating power of artistic expression. We learned, through total immersion, that despite political, social, economic, geographic, and individual suppressions, art continues to float. █

TREK

Mural by Mr. MYL on the facade of Jibaro's.

upstart-annapolis.com | 77


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thE annapolis arts District is comprisED of uniquE vEnuEs, bars, anD rEstaurants With local artists ExpEriEncED in an array of mEDia. ExpEriEncE annapolis from thE flip siDE of thE looking glass – from WEstgatE circlE to church circlE, With a fEW spots in bEtWEEn!

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Think Teach Transcend

Pokeweed by Cindy Fletcher Holden. Oil on canvas, 4' x 6' (cropped).

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UpStART Annapolis Fall 2019  

ART + CULTURE + LIFE

UpStART Annapolis Fall 2019  

ART + CULTURE + LIFE

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