Sandy Spring Museum has reopened to the public with a new exhibit showcasing art by informally-trained and early-career creators.
The exhibit, “Makers Among Us,” features D.C.-area visual artists who have yet to break into the professional scene. Curated by self-taught master of mixed media Gabi Mendick, “Makers” is both an opportunity for featured individuals to have their work appreciated by an audience, and for visitors of the museum to expand their definitions of gallery-worthy.
In a press release, Mendick explains that “her lack of formal training gives her freedom to explore and express her ideas.” She believes that art is “a way to begin to understand the least significant and the most significant similarities and differences between people”—but only if made accessible to all. Her exhibit encourages viewers to find beauty in the technical flaws, new perspectives and uninhibited creativity typical of inexperienced artists.
“We are a community-generated museum,” says Sandy Spring Museum Marketing Director Lauren Peirce. “I think that an exhibit like this encourages participation from the community and encourages people to really take ownership of being part of the museum.”
“Makers Among Us” includes works by Connor Czora, Hannah Becker, Dew Charmant, Mariah Gugel, Grace Roach, Daria Parsa and Naja Elon Webb, along with Mendick. Identity is a central theme in many. Czora, a genderqueer person, explores gender and sexuality in their ceramics projects. Charmant, self-described as “the people’s artist,” inks on his canvases studies in self-enslavement and Haitian culture. Webb’s paintings and drawings document her experience as a woman in a male-dominated world.
The exhibit will remain on display at Sandy Spring Museum through Nov. 23 and is open Fridays from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Admission is by donation. While you’re there, check out the museum’s free outdoor exhibit, “ARTINA 2020: LIGHT: A Sculptural Solar Dance.”
Due to COVID-19, guests must register their group of six or fewer for a 45-minute time slot online. Only four groups will be allowed in the exhibit at once, and the space will be sanitized between time slots. Social distancing and masks are required, and guests much sanitize hands upon entry.