Curator Interview: Melissa Langley


Last week participating in the Living Gallery at Annemarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center was a wonderful experience, and I'll be posting about my stay there soon. While there, I had the opportunity to talk with Melissa Langley, Curator of Exhibits, to learn more about her and this wonderful program.

Q: How long have you been at Annmarie Gardens?
A: I've been the curator for three years, ever since the Arts Center was built. Before that, I had been here for seven years managing special events and marketing for the sculpture garden.

Q: How long has Annmarie Gardens offered the Living Gallery residency program?
A: This is our second year.

Q: Approximately how many artists per year are selected?
A: In 2010, ten participated, and we have sixteen for 2011.

Q: Where do the artists come from?
A: There's a mix of local artists from the tri-county area -- Anne Arundel, Calvert, and St. Mary's -- plus artists as far away as Indiana and New York. In 2011, six participants were from outside the local area, with several from the DC area.

Q: What do you look for when selecting artists?
A: We don't look for a particular style or medium. We do look for someone working on a body of work. We hope that artists use this opportunity to get work done while offering the public the opportunity to see this work evolving. The Living Gallery is great for both emerging and established artists.

Q: How has the community responded to the Living Gallery?
A: We receive a lot of positive feedback. The public likes that people are in here working. Plus the artists get a lot from each other during their time here.

Q: How have you and other staff benefited from this program?
A: It gives us the opportunity to learn about their work as well as the chance to see work for possible inclusion in future exhibits.

Q: What's the horizon for Annmarie Gardens in terms of new sculpture from the Smithsonian or future shows?
A: We have calls out for About Face and Supersize Me exhibit opportunities, and we'll be installing a piece from the National Gallery in a few weeks. Spring and summer brings more visitors to the area, plus we're always changing up our robust programming, which includes a variety of classes taught by experienced teachers.

Thanks, Melissa! Taking part in the Living Gallery was the whole package for me -- a great space, supportive staff, a chance to interact with other artists, and time to paint away from distractions. If you want to take some time and work on a new series in 2012, look for the next call for the Living Gallery in late 2011.

New Favorite Quote


…as all the stories that had ever been told and many that were still in the process of being invented could be found here, the Ocean of the Streams of Story was in fact the biggest library in the universe. And because the stories were held here in fluid form, they retained the ability to change, to become new versions of themselves, to join up with other stories and so become yet other stories…”

Salman Rushdie, Haroun and the Sea of Stories