Sculpture park ready for two days of music, art and fun

Friday, Sept. 17, 2010

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File photo by DARWIN WEIGEL
Visitors to Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park and Arts Center's annual ArtsFest will find a sculpture of an oyster tonger near the entrance. The event features continuous live performances and more than 100 artists.

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File photo by DARWIN WEIGEL
Lusby's Nicholas Parr, right, worked at his foot-powered treadle lathe during last year's ArtsFest. Below, children's performer Barry Louis Polisar will appear on the main stage at 1 p.m. Saturday.

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Barry Louis Polisar will appear on the main stage at 1 p.m. Saturday.

Calvert County has a 30-acre sculpture park; many pieces are on loan from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Another way to look at it: Calvert County has a 30-acre, open-air art museum; along the walking path, it's up to you to decide whether, say, Israeli sculptor Menashe Kadishman's massive Jenga puzzle of steel pieces — "Open Suspense" — is as suspenseful as, say, nature itself.

That's what the grounds of Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park and Arts Center can feel like during some afternoons: a quiet spot to think.

This weekend, the site offers new energy: lots of people, constant sights, constant motion, constant sound.

Between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, more than 100 artists (painters, potters, sculptors, jewelers, wood turners, photographers) will display their best stuff and perhaps even show you how they made it. All the while, live music will fill the air, as two stages (a main stage and "council ring") will host bands and solo acts in addition to spinners and weavers, a ballet troupe, belly dancers and a man who creates "healing sounds."

Artsfest was first held in 1993, the same year Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park opened in Solomons.

Here is more of what you might see and hear (and perhaps even smell).


The emerging artist: New York City's Kirsten Laursen Muth's multi-media works include silkscreen images and pillows plus collages which broadcast an array of colors and textures, not to mention her experiences from traveling and living in 35 countries.

The festival's emerging artist dreams of creating more artistic opportunities for women in some of the countries she has visited. You can visit her at spot 23.

Jensen Turnage Pottery: A classic potter, Russ Turnage of Lanexa, Va., who creates functional and decorative pottery, can be found in the tent circle, spot 7a.

Music-inspired paintings: Laurel's Michael Spears' mixed-media paintings incorporate charcoal, graphite, inks and paint. He's indoors at spot 7.

Not for kids only

A performance for children (and adults): With a boost from the Maryland State Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts, ArtsFest will feature Barry Louis Polisar, an author, songwriter, storyteller and poet who has written songs for "Sesame Street."

No doubt, a lot of people who are not familiar with Polisar's name are at least familiar with his voice: His sweet, folksy tune, "All I Want is You," plays in the opening credits of "Juno," a 2007 Oscar nominee.

He performs at 1 p.m. Saturday on the main stage.

A book for children (and adults): A Cove Point artist and CalvART Gallery member, Mary Beth Harry, will sign copies of her new children's book, "Bay Babies," which she illustrated in collaboration with poet Cathy Green.

The book's intent is to introduce young children to the other "youngsters" (even the jumbo-sized ones) who call the Chesapeake Bay home.


Local country: Stephanie Williams' 2008 album, "Real Fire," was recorded in Nashville. The Calvert County native grew up listening to Patsy Cline and Loretta Lynn and has bridged those influences with today's female country singers. She plays at 2 p.m. Saturday.

A Broomes Island trio: No Hard Feelings will follow Williams on Saturday. The band, which blends mellow '90s vocals with more aggressive alt-rock instrumentation, plays a mix of originals and covers.

The lineup features Andy Hood (vocals, guitar), Nancy Elliott (vocals, bass and keys) and Shawn Elliott (drums).

Good eats: According to a press release, your food options will include Philly cheesesteaks, Italian sausage, crab cakes, beer-battered brats and sweet potato fries.

Cool beverages will include lemonade, frozen fruit smoothies and frozen coffee.

ArtsFest brings a chance to sample both wines and microbrew beers.

Getting zany: All visitors, of course, will have a chance to peruse more than 150 artists' booths.

But, either way, whether you decide to buy something or just look, you will also have the chance to create: The Discovery Tent will offer painting, clay and drawing activities. You can also check out demonstrations in the Studio School.

Kids, meanwhile, can feel free to be kids. The Zany Zone offers games, hula hoops and beach balls.

If you go

Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park and Arts Center will host its annual ArtsFest from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sept. 18 and 19.

More than 100 artists will participate in a juried show and musicians will play continuously throughout the event.

There will be food vendors. Beverages for sale will range from lemonade to beer and wine.

The entry fee is $6; children younger than 11 get in for free.

Free parking is available in a field adjacent to the site; there is a handicapped drop-off area in front of the gates.

The event is at 13480 Dowell Road, Solomons.

Call 410-326-4640. Go to

Live performances Saturday, main stage

11 a.m.: Jim & Kathy (folk)

Noon: Acoustic Stew (jazz fusion)

1 p.m.: The Seven*17 Band (gospel)

2 p.m.: Stephanie Williams (country)

3 p.m.: No Hard Feelings (rock)

4 p.m.: Fractal Folk (Folk, jazz, indie)

Saturday, council ring

11 a.m.: Doris Justis, Scott Morgan (folk)

Noon: Joyce K. Kinser (jazz)

1-3 p.m.: spinners and weavers

3-5 p.m.: Garret Music Academy

Sunday, main stage

11 a.m.: Scarlet Chord (Christian rock)

Noon: Captain John (folk, Celtic)

1 p.m.: Barry Louis Polisar (children's performer)

2 p.m.: Sahffi & Her Band (folk)

3-5 p.m.: Calvert Brass Consortium

Sunday, council ring

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Mark Giuffrida (healing sounds)

1 p.m.: Cutting Paper Dolls (belly dancing)

2-3:15 p.m.: Abigail Francisco School of Ballet

3:15-4:15 p.m.: Patuxent Voices (choral)

4:15 p.m.: COSMIC Flute Choir