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BERLIN – Artists from Berlin to Brooklyn are coming together on Friday in a collaborative art show that will feature pieces of “monstrous” work.
As in years past, the Berlin Maryland Arts and Entertainment District will host its annual art show Jan. 13 from 5-8 p.m. at The Globe Theatre. Curator Brian Robertson, of The Berlin Printery, said the overarching theme for their fourth event will coincide with the show’s title, “Monstrous.” “It is like a regular art show opening but it will be more contemporary than that,” he said. “It gets the artist to think differently.”
This year, artwork must meet two conditions – a 10-by-10 inch size limitation and work that conveys the show’s subject. Heather Layton, chair for the non-profit and owner of Bungalow Love, said the theme is not meant to restrict artists, but to introduce different perceptions of the word “monstrous”. “We don’t want artists stressing over the theme,” she said. “It’s meant to be fun. It’s neat to walk around and see everyone’s interpretation of the theme. It keeps the shows fresh.” In the three years prior, the shows consisted of broad concepts – small things, medium and big ideas. Robertson and Layton said artists come with their own interpretations each year and added that some themes introduced a play on words. For instance, “medium” could describe the material used to make the artwork or the size of the piece. This year’s theme, “monstrous”, gets its inspiration from the date on which the event takes place, Friday the 13th. Robertson said the event and its theme will be an opportunity for artists to let loose. “We couldn’t do our (monthly) art stroll in Januarys because of the weather, so we decided to use that time to create a fundraiser and give time for artists to enjoy the month off,” he said. “They can celebrate.” Robertson said there is no cost to attend the event and money will be raised through a portion of art sales that take place. Layton said work will be on display that night on the second floor of The Globe, where it will remain for purchase through the month of January. “Several pieces usually sell each year,” she said. “We have several attendees that come out each year looking specifically for the year’s themed work and we also have lots of new attendees as well.” Twenty percent of sales from the event will benefit the Arts and Entertainment District, which will use the money for future public art projects, such as live music events, movie series and murals. Layton said the district’s new non-profit status will facilitate future fundraising and grant requests, which will support the remaining phases of the organization’s public art mural, displayed on the Northern wall of the town’s welcome center. “Phase three is scheduled to be completed this spring,” she said. “Each phase is a cost of $5,000, and all monies put towards the mural had been through fundraising as there has not been any town money allotted for (Arts and Entertainment) through the town over the last few years, hence the importance of becoming a nonprofit. Layton encourages people to attend the reception Friday to meet the artists and purchase their work. “It’s a nice kick-off to the year, giving us an opportunity to make sure area artists are registered with the Berlin (Arts and Entertainment) district, to hand out tax forms for those who need them and to update everyone on what Arts and Entertainment has planned for the year,” she said. Officials said as of last Wednesday, 12 artists from Baltimore, Delaware, Brooklyn and other nearby areas have submitted more than 20 pieces of work.