'House Guests' Showcases the Work of Evergreen's
House Guests, an exhibition of new work by artists
Patrick Burns, Denise Tassin and Micki Watanabe,
Evergreen House Museum's recent artists-in-residence,
opens on Tuesday, Oct. 19, and will remain on view through
Sunday, Jan. 2 An opening reception and two artists' talks
will accompany the exhibit [see below].
Every year Evergreen House offers a two-month summer
residency to a visual artist living outside Maryland. The
program provides housing, a studio and a stipend, allowing
the artist the time and space to produce new work in a
visually and culturally rich setting. In summer 2003, Micki
Watanabe was artist-in-residence. Throughout 2004, Denise
Tassin and Patrick Burns, visual artists who live and work
in Baltimore, also worked on-site, exploring the house and
its collections and learning about its history.
Says Evergreen curator Jackie O'Regan, "The residency
celebrates and continues the Garrett family's legacy." The
Garretts, who lived at Evergreen during the first half of
the 20th century, were collectors and patrons who hosted
many artists and musicians.
While at Evergreen the three artists had access to the
house's extraordinary and diverse collections, including a
library containing more than 30,000 books; 48 rooms filled
with fine and decorative art objects from around the world,
and the estate's 26 acres of gardens and meadows. "The
artists blend history with evocative imagery and bring the
Garretts to life, telling their intimate and unique stories
with imagination, subtlety and deep affection," O'Regan
says. In House Guests, the artists' work will be on display
throughout the house.
Tassin's Suppressed Desires Party, a series of 29
temporary installations, takes its title from a party given
in the 1930s at the Baltimore home of Sunpapers editor in
chief Hamilton Owens and his wife. The couple's Suppressed
Desire Costume Party, attended by members of the Garrett
family, was an invitation for guests to come dressed as the
person they most wanted to be. Mrs. Owens dressed as her
close friend Alice Warder Garrett, Mrs. Garrett came as
Charlie Chaplin, and John Work Garrett arrived as Albert
Einstein. Tassin's work reflects the transience of life and
art and the fleeting nature of Evergreen's
extravagant-party past, represented in the exhibition by
inflatable toys blown across the lawn, drawings made to
music and perishable paper pieces exposed to the elements.
Watanabe's Object of Literature is inspired in part by
architect Laurence Hall Fowler's 1928 addition to Evergreen
House, the Great Library, the room designed to hold the
Garretts' rare books. Drawn to the almost-sacred nature of
places where books are housed, Watanabe created a series of
miniature libraries and reading rooms, including replicas
of the Library of Congress and John Work Garrett's boyhood
room at Evergreen. Each piece is crafted with meticulous
detail down to the inlaid floors and furniture, allowing
the viewer to literally peek into these dearly held
Burns' Evergreen Drawings represent a vision inspired
by the 17th- through 19th-century illustrated insect and
botanical books in the Great Library. Burns initiates an
intriguing dialogue between beauty and repulsion, drawing
with graphite on an abrasive sandpaper surface. In his
smaller drawings, the solidity of stenciled elements and
primary colors is dissolved by the subtlety of a
transparent graphite wash or acrylic varnish. His series of
larger drawings suggests more of a narrative, depicting
vague but realistic interior and exterior settings.
Special Events for 'House Guests'
"Whispering in the Library"
Thursday, Oct. 21, 5-7 p.m.; $10/person, reservations
A fine wine tasting and an evening in Evergreen's Garrett
Rare Book Library with a welcome by Winston Tabb, dean of
Johns Hopkins University libraries. Robert Saarnio,
director of Evergreen, will discuss architect Laurence Hall
Fowler, his relationship with the Garretts and the
construction of the Great Library. Sculptor Micki Watanabe
will speak about her project, Object of Literature.
Saturday, Oct. 23, 2-5 p.m.; free
"Insects and Other Living Things: An Evening in the
Thursday, Oct. 28, 5-7 p.m.; free.
Artist Patrick Burns and JHU rare book curator John Buchtel
will explore the John Work Garrett Library's collection of
rare books on insects and botanicals that inspired Burns'
GO TO OCTOBER 19,
TABLE OF CONTENTS.
GO TO THE GAZETTE