Annmarie Garden's Grand Opening Celebration Is the Talk of the Town

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Annmarie Garden's Grand Opening Celebration Is the Talk of the Town


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Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park & Arts Center in Solomons enjoyed spectacular crowds and rave reviews during the three-day grand opening celebration, May 30-June 1. For the first time, visitors were able to explore the highly-anticipated new Arts Building and its two opening exhibitions, Re.action and Olga Hirshhorn Recollects. Guests also delighted in the new gift shop and sampled the fare in the café. Festivities began with a Friday night black-tie Gala, followed by two days of public programs, including engaging art activities, live music performances, public art projects, a kinetic bike parade, and more.

The Friday Night Grand Opening Gala

On Friday evening, nearly 300 elegantly-attired people gathered for the back-tie Gala. After walking the red carpet, attendees enjoyed the company of honorary guest Olga Hirshhorn as they explored the varied works from her private collection in Olga Hirshhorn Recollects. Featuring works by such art world luminaries as Picasso, Matisse, and Miro, this extraordinary exhibit marks the first time any of these artists have been publicly displayed in southern Maryland.

Guest juror of the Re.action exhibition, Mark Ward, was also present to mingle with guests and announce the award recipients for the exhibition. Andy Malone of Royal Oak, Michigan won Best in Show for his piece titled 1967 Rebellion Chess Set. The Merit Award went to Bradley Litwin of Philadelphia, PA, for his kinetic sculpture, The Rotapult. Randy McDaniel of Reading, PA received Honorable Mention for his musical metal sculpture, The Choir. These pieces were chosen for their effective portrayal of movement in artwork.

The evening also included heavy hors’ de oeuvres, libations, Pop Art portraits, and flashlight tours of Annmarie Garden. The Linden String Quartet played music on the East Plaza, while the Ian Dylan Trio lent their jazz sounds to the Main Gallery. Upon leaving, guests received a bottle of wine courtesy of Solomons Island Winery with a label featuring the new Arts Building.

The Weekend Public Festivities

With unusual art and complementary activities designed to appeal to a range of ages and interests, visitors all agree that Re.action is the perfect exhibit to open the new Arts Building. This exhibit invites you in to explore and delight in art. The first thing visitors noticed was the noise. This is no quiet gallery, but rather an active space with buzzes, clanks, dribbles, and even the click of Morse code. Most every piece in the exhibit requires the visitor to do something - push a button, stand a certain way, spin a pedestal, or perhaps turn a crank - all with the goal of exploring and enjoying the many ways artists create movement in their work.

Upstairs, for the first time in Southern Maryland, visitors enjoyed works of art by some of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Gaily hung on bright yellow and red walls, these works of art reveal through personalized inscriptions, the friendships that Olga and Joseph Hirshhorn enjoyed with the artists whose works they collected and treasured. Interspaced among these pieces are several works of sculpture on loan from private artists as well as loaned works from the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Together, the art installations in the boat-shaped Mezzanine Gallery are beautiful and offer a delightful refuge from the raucous Re.action exhibit in the Main Gallery.

Additional weekend festivities introduced new on-going programs such as Sunday FUNdays and Plaza Performances. This year’s summer public art project, Stick Together, also provided a fun art-making experience. Local artist, Alice Yutzy, began a new collaborative ceramic tile project which will be installed in the Garden. A kinetic bike parade on Sunday allowed the chance for little ones to turn their bikes into kinetic sculpture and ride them along the wooded path behind musical bandleader, Mark Guifridda.

Directions & Hours

Visitors can enjoy Re.action and Olga Hirshhorn Recollects, as well as other new programs throughout the summer. Admission to thirty-acre Annmarie Garden grounds is free. Free daily activities include: the summer public art project called Stick Together, a self-guided Sculpture Walk, scavenger hunts, and a toddler tour. Admission to the new Arts Building is free for members; $3 for adults and $2 for children; kids age 3 and younger are free. Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park & Arts Center features marvelous outdoor sculpture, the new Arts Building, and a budding new Studio School. A lively schedule of exhibits, creative programs, classes, and festivals make the Garden a wonderful place to explore how art and nature meet. Annmarie Garden is conveniently located just off Route 2-4 on Dowell Road in Solomons, Maryland. The thirty acre sculpture park is open daily, 9am to 5pm, the Arts Building & Gift Shop are open Tuesday through Sunday 10am to 5pm. To learn more call 410.326.4640 or visit

The opening was generously sponsored by Scheibel Construction, The Harbours at Solomons, Wheeler Goodman Masek Architects, Cozzens Construction Company, Solomons Island Winery, Southern Maryland Floor Company, Hilton Garden Inn Solomons, Gradient Construction, Collinson Oliff & Associates, Vincenzo’s at Calvert Marina, Waldorf Glass Company, Fantasy World Entertainment, Calvert Garden Club, and Solomons Daycare Center.

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