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Weekend Viewing

Joan ErbeJoan Erbe has an amazingly fertile imagination. She once told me of an experience she had in the grocery store check out line, where to the chagrin of the cashier, she was attracted by something she saw in one of the paper shopping bags. Joan pulled out a pen and started sketching. It’s a tale that fits her to a T: her creative mind is always on.

If you happen to be an artist living in Baltimore in the past 50 years, you either know Joan or know of her and her work. She has been a pivotal part of the art scene here going back to the Beat days, when everyone hung out at Martick's Restaurant and the museum of art played a supportive role in the careers of the area artists.

We haven’t seen much of Joan lately -- she’s been slowing down a bit -- but through March 11th, Heinemann Myers Contemporary, in Bethesda, has an exhibit of Joan’s paintings, and the best part is that much of it is new work; she’s still got her quirky, brilliant take on life, too.

j.t. KirklandBack in Baltimore, way over on the East side, in a nondescript row house, I ventured to my first show at Cubicle 10, a 15-artist exhibit titled Yarns of the Material World. I was drawn to this gallery by artist/blogger J. T. Kirkland, who is also one of the 15 artists. Check out his blog, Thinking About Art. This past week, while in NYC for business (he also works for a tech company), he staged a stealth exhibit of his work in his hotel room and invited guests, a very bold move for sure. If the galleries won’t give you a show, have your own.

J. T. is showing one of his most interesting pieces, shown at right, using his signature assembled wood with precisely drilled holes.

Gallery owner Billy Colbert is showing a series of vintage mug shots, which he enlarged and silkscreened on vellum. He even has the background story to each image, a bit of an homage to Warhol. Thank to Colbert and others for art-steading the east side of town. It’s a great step towards the future development of the east side and a much-needed new venue for shows.

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