There’s something to be said about walking into your first day on the job and being so familiar with your surroundings it feels like coming home. That’s exactly how I felt when I came to work last month as the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts’ director of marketing and communications.
I spent my second- through sixth-grade years growing up on South Street, just blocks from City Park, and more importantly, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts.
I can still remember the echoes of our collective feet as my siblings and I stepped inside. We walked from room to room in awe. Sometimes we had to strain our necks to look at the paintings on the walls.
Our favorite stop would always be a visit to “Diana of the Chase.” In those days, she was still exposed to the elements as she looked out over City Park's lakes — and in our young minds, she was the keeper of the lakes.
Now here I am decades later, telling the museum’s story from the inside.
What I love about WCMFA is that there are not only some pieces that never change, such as “Diana,” but that there are new exhibitions throughout the year.
If you haven’t been here in years or even months, you are likely to see or experience something new. And there’s a wonderful mixture of the Old Masters and contemporary art, both of which can provide encouragement to the next generation of artists.
Add these events to your calendar this year:
• Art classes – Help us find the next generation of artists. We offer classes for children and adults, and some classes are tailored to the needs of homeschooled students. Check out the list here: https://wcmfa.org/art-classes/.
• Exhibitions – The “Bouke de Vries: War & Pieces” installation will be on display until March 13. Find out more about this artist at https://wcmfa.org/exhibitions/current/bouke-de-vries-war-and-pieces/.
Work from With Hands and Hearts Antietam Fiber Artists is currently on display in the Corcoran Corridor Case, and will remain there through February. They’ll host a free demonstration of fiber art from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Feb. 5.
The Cumberland Valley Artist and Photographers Exhibition opens Feb. 19 with a panel discussion featuring the award-winning artists. It will remain on display through March.
We’ll have a special exhibition coming in May that highlights some archeological discoveries from the recent Jonathan Street excavation in Hagerstown, as well as the story of the cabin, and will feature a contemporary art response created by Quielan Gantt (GraffDummy).
We will of course continue to highlight works of art by Washington County Public Schools students for the Annual Art Exhibition, which opens in May 7.
And one I’m especially looking forward to: “Allure of the Near East: Treasures of the Huntington Museum of Art” opens in June and features exquisitely crafted Islamic art and artifacts.
• Special events – Amazing Tablescapes!, where artists design elaborate tablescape designs, will be open for votes Feb. 1-28. See the entries and vote at https://wcmfa.org/amazing-tablescapes/.
Chef Steve Weiss, associate dean of Culinary Arts and Hospitality for Blue Ridge Community and Technical College in Martinsburg, W.Va., will have his students design sugar sculptures inspired by Bouke de Vries that will be on display from Feb. 19 to March 13. And the artist himself, Bouke de Vries will give us a virtual tour of his London Studio on Feb. 26; to take part, visit https://wcmfa.org/learn/virtual-experiences/ for more information.
And Art in Bloom, which pairs floral designers with a piece of art to create a display based on the art, is March 25-27; visit our website for more information closer to the date.
To find out more about these events, visit our website at https://wcmfa.org/, or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn or YouTube. Next time you’re in the museum and snap a photo of yourself or your family, be sure to tag us so we can share it with our fans.
Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is at 401 Museum Drive, Hagerstown. Free parking is available adjacent to the museum. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The museum is closed Mondays and major holidays.
Crystal Schelle is director of Marketing and Communications for Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. She can be reached at email@example.com or 301-739-5727, ext. 124.
This article originally appeared on The Herald-Mail: Museum's 2022 events offer something for every taste