Not even the wintry mix deterred art lovers from the Kentlands Mansion recently to view the 6th annual Art League of Germantown (ALOG) multi-media exhibit “Colors and Imagination.” Juried into the show by Gonzalo Ruiz Navarro, an accomplished painter and native of Spain who teaches painting at Glen Echo’s Yellow Barn, the exhibit presents works in pastel, watercolor, oil, photography, acrylic, gouache, ink, polymer clay, mixed media, collage, graphite, intaglio and lithograph. ALOG was founded in 1983 to further careers of artists and crafters and meets monthly at BlackRock Center for the Arts in Germantown. The juried exhibit presented awards for Best in Show and first, second and third place in four categories: Oil/Acrylic, Water Media, Other Media and Photography.
The entrance foyer features the Best in Show “Lady of Letters” by prolific local mixed-media artist Jeanne Sullivan. “I am honored to have won Best in Show,” Sullivan said. “I was totally shocked as there are so many talented artists represented! I have been a member of the Art League of Germantown for almost 30 years and enjoy the friendship of the group and learning about different mediums and techniques. ‘Lady of Letters’ was created a few years ago when I challenged myself to work much larger. With collage, it can be difficult to make sure the papers are glued down correctly and the work is cohesive. ‘Lady of Letters’ depicts an era when letter writing was popular. Look closely to see the many postcards, letters and newspapers within the Lady and around her. ‘Lady of Letters’ plays with transparencies. Sometimes, you see the postcards over, some are hidden beneath her. When I create my collages, I like to use a wide variety of papers, including old books, maps and found papers. I often make my own papers by stamping, stenciling and painting assorted papers,” she shared.
Oil/Acrylic awards were presented to Bill Mapes for “Nataliya,” Pat Choquette for “New Beginnings” and John Duke for “Back Yard Beauty I.” Awards in the Water Media category went to Virginia Chandler for “Living Large,” “A Self Portrait” and “Serenity” and to Pritha Srinivasan for “Exhilaration.” Other Media awards were presented to Carol Moore for “Seeking Refuge,” Leonid Bendersky for “Self Portrait a la Escher” and Margaret Polcawich for “Sheltered.” Photography awards were given to Keith Mounts for “Gateways,” Thomas Germer for “Passage (Sterio 7)” and Craig S. Higgins for “Dahlia Delight.”
Most impressive was the work of Leonid Bendersky, a newcomer to ALOG. His abstract “Global Food I” was refreshing and contemplative.
Bendersky said, “The painting belongs to a series of semi-abstract works inspired by my observations and photographs from the local, rather exotic food store Global Food.” His charcoal rendering “Self Portrait a la Escher,” after the Dutch master of graphic art, which was awarded second place in the Other Media category, “initially evolved as achieving expressiveness through distorted perspective, with realization on a later stage that adding a palm will bring it close to the ‘Hand with Reflecting Globe’ by Escher—thus the title,” explained Bendersky. “The Sower,” his whisky-colored wood carving, “belongs to the extended period (1973-1995) of my artistic activity dedicated to woodcarving. The driving force and inspiration of my works are mainly in German Expressionism and Henry Moore,” he said.
Astrid Adler’s abstract “Relax & Breathe” is also impressive. The fiery background with circulating black and white ladder is mesmerizing. Adler commented, “I was experimenting with acrylic markers on a 3×5 scratch board. The yellow and orange looked like I could try something with a black marker. I was thinking of relaxing in a hammock and the ribbon of black came up almost automatically. The white came about because I had left some white space when laying down the yellow. I decided to add the white lines and, because I almost always include a circle or a spiral in my work, I threw in the white circles.”
Another notable work was Amy Lance’s serenely beautiful collage “Edge of Winter.” It is subtly colored and reminiscent of the season.
Colors and Imagination is on view through Feb. 24. The mansion’s regular hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. but call 301.258.6425 to confirm prior to your visit. Lean more about ALOG at www.alog.org.