To the delight of the employees, volunteers and clients of the nonprofit, the walls throughout the nonprofit’s administrative building on the John & Cathy Belcher Campus in Pasadena, Maryland, are once again alit with the work of local artists. It had been three years since the Maryland Federation of Art has been able to display their members’ art in Hospice of the Chesapeake’s Gallery 90.
Ann Cole, executive director of MFA, said the federation is very happy to be able to share their members’ work again. “We are excited to get back. It is an extension of our mission and something that we are excited to be able to do,” she said.
To realize the vision of creating a harmonious work environment for the hometown hospice’s staff, caregivers and volunteers who work directly with patients and their families, MFA and Hospice of the Chesapeake formed a partnership in 2013. In 2020, COVID-19 restrictions put any new exhibits on hold. Then, in the fall of 2022, the organization’s Integrative Arts Manager Alena Dailey reached out to Cole to bring the art back to the Belcher Campus walls.
The first post-pandemic exhibit was on display from October to January and featured the work of Patrice Drago, David Diaz and Tracy Barwick. It also included six pieces from a student art club out of Indian Creek School. Cole and Dailey thought it was important to include the students’ work near the grief support studios used by Chesapeake Life Center team members to counsel children and teens coping with the loss of a loved one.
A new display went up last week with work from Marisa Canino and Kate and Michael Gaudreau. The common thread is nature, and it includes a mix of whimsy contrasted with winter’s starkness.
Marisa Canino is a primarily self-taught artist who returned to artmaking during the pandemic. This series, “Vibrant & Wild” is a collection of animal portraits in bold, non-realistic color that captures and celebrates nature’s small moments and fleeting details before they vanish. It also highlights the connections we share with animals who inhabit our environment.
Kate Gaudreau is not driven by a desire for a realistic depiction or the grand view. Instead, she narrows in on a part of the landscape or a smaller piece of intersections of shapes and lines. Kate’s small gouache and mixed media paintings reflect her personal response and connection to the natural world and the beauty within it.
Michael Gaudreau grew up around water and woods. He finds himself at peace when he can totally immerse himself in studying light and shadow and surprising bursts of colors in the rural landscape. These paintings are what he calls the “moment of light,” where a burst of light illuminates the ordinary and makes them extraordinary.
The work of Canino and the Gaudreaus will be on display through March. Cole said MFA plans on changing the exhibits every three months. Due to COVID restrictions, the general public is not invited to see the exhibit, but MFA will have some of the exhibit available to view online at https://mdfedart.com/portfolio/hospiceoffice/.
Photos of work by participating artists follow below.