Montpelier Arts Center


The Sweater Set

A performance by the Wammie-award winning folk duo.
Through 3/29

46th Annual Laurel Art Guild Juried Exhibition

Organized by the Laurel Art Guild, this annual exhibit is juried by a regional professional and showcases works by artists ages 18 and older who live in the Washington metropolitan area.
Through 3/29

Third Annual Artists on the Rise: Juried Teen Exhibition

In honor of National Youth Art Month, this juried exhibition spotlights teens (ages 13-18) in the Washington metropolitan area and their talents in the visual arts.
4/10 - 4/11

Stefan Scaggiari

The pianist presents a program called "I Love Paris," featuring works by Chopin, Ravel and Gershwin, all composers studied, lived, or worked in Paris.

Keesun Kwon

The soprano performs.
4/4 - 4/26

Patrick Cromwell

Intaglio printmaker Patrick Cromwell presents his first solo show with works from his time at Yale University and in the studio at Montpelier.
3/26 - 4/30

Hidden Treasure

This restoration and archaeology exhibit features some of the 4,000 artifacts archaeologists found during Montpelier's year-long 2013 restoration.
5/1 - 5/31

Patricia Phillips Bowden

Bowden, who holds a BFA from the Corcoran College of Art & Design, continues her exploration of art making by utilizing mixed media.
4/4 - 5/31

Ellyn Weiss

The DC artist uses monoprints, acrylics, paint, oil bars, and other media, in this exhibit.
4/4 - 5/31


Painter and sculptor Wayson R. Jones's new work uses abstracted figures, a variety of textures, colors and objects to explore the association between imagery, memory and emotion.
6/12 - 6/28

David Brosch

The local architect's works uses strong colors and imagery in a variety of mediums. Reception June 12 7-9 p.m.
Through 8/2

34th Annual Invitational Sculpture Exhibition

This annual exhibition will take place in the Main Gallery at Montpelier Arts Center.

Editorial Review

A colony for local artists, a gallery for area art lovers and a classroom for artsy types of all abilities, the Montpelier Arts Center is well worth the drive beyond the Beltway to see what's new on contemporary canvases. A facility of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, it is just off busy Route 197 in Laurel, on the grounds of the Montpelier Mansion. You'll find the center in a pastoral setting, marked off by a post-and-rail fence.

A reconstructed barn with cupolas and a silo from the turn of the century, houses three galleries and lots of studio space. Visitors are invited to stroll through the artists' quarters any day of the week. Witness ongoing creations -- sculpture, printmaking, jewelry making, rug hooking and other media -- in these open studios, and stop to chat with the artists about their work.

They welcome your purchases, of course, and will take cash, checks, and the occasional credit card. Studio artists exhibit their work in the second-floor Resident Artists' Gallery. Also upstairs is the Library Gallery, where art selected from a biennial competition open to Maryland residents changes every two months.

The Main Gallery exhibits art in all media by local, national and international contemporary artists. The gallery is programmed by invitation. Artists are welcome to submit proposals and there are annual open juried competitions as well.

Between the exhibited art and works sold by resident studio artists, you can spend anywhere from $10 to $15,000 on a single purchase. (Attention artists: The arts center takes a 25 percent commission off the price of exhibition pieces.)

"Arts" covers plenty of creative territory here. The center offers classes and workshops in the visual arts for children, teens and adults. These include painting, drawing, sculpture, printmaking, ceramics, rug hooking and stained glass. There is a new digital lab which offers course in photography, animation and sound recording as well as traditional darkroom courses. The center also offers more unique classes: a bronze-casting foundry, a gas-fired reduction kiln, and an area for raku (an open-air, high-firing technique used to create rough, dark, lead-glazed earthenware). Classes in poetry, journal writing, and a special writing course for artists are also offered.

The A-frame pine roof in this gallery provides great sound quality, and the center has developed several performance series. Every spring and fall, the center's Main Gallery holds the Montpelier Jazz Series, where local fixtures like Buck Hill and nationally known performers like Marcus Roberts, play for an intimate audience of 120.

Sundays in the fall, the winners of the biennial Montpelier Recital competition play concerts. In May the center hosts the Folk & Blues series where musicians such as Odetta, Cephas and Wiggins, and local up and comer Lea have played.

A film series started in 2006, Dinner and a Movie, offers themed dinners four Saturdays every winter. All the centers performances are $20 ($18 for seniors and members). The recitals are free with a requested donation of $5.

To get to this arts oasis, take Baltimore-Washington Parkway to Route 197 (Laurel-Bowie Road). Head northwest about a quarter-mile toward Laurel. A shopping center marks the intersection with Muirkirk Road; take a left. The center's driveway is the first right.

-- Margaret Hutton