This Friday was the opening of the Humor Me show at Annmarie Sculpture Garden down near Solomons Island in Southern Maryland. We have been looking forward to going there for months for their Annmarie After Hours event to open the show,

It didn’t start out auspiciously. Because neither of us tend to read instructions very well, we didn’t notice that the invitation said “Adults only” so the boys who made the trip with us would have to stay in the hotel (yeah, they weren’t too broken up). Also, I’m deaf-ish, and I didn’t hear Mary ask me to pack her clothes in the bag I brought. Yeah, it was that kind of setup.

Then, as we got closer, things started to go better. We stopped for dinner at EZ Thai in Prince Frederick and had some ridiculously good Thai food. Then, I got the military discount at the hotel and saved $30 on the room, which was right on the Bay.

And, to top it off, we show up at the Annmarie Sculpture garden and we see that the poster they used to advertise the show features one of Mary’s portraits, Bruce Glee. Things were going so well.

The artist honored

The artist honored

And the place was just gorgeous.  It is an avant garde building, and the grounds are beautiful. Definitely worth a visit.

We walked around and looked at the different pieces in the show, and there were so many incredible sculptures and paintings/pictures, that at first it was daunting. Its hard for Mary to take herself seriously, she just recently admitted that she was an artist (I know, crazy!).

We talked to the lady who ran the show, and took a few pictures of the show, mostly of her art. It’s so satisfying to see it hanging on the wall of a real gallery that has chosen her (twice!) to be a part of what they are putting forward.

Here is a shot of the two pieces with the artist to one side.

The two pieces

The two pieces

There was a magician/comic wandering around, adding to the atmosphere, and I can’t say enough good things about him. His act is fresh and engaging, without any pretension or eye-makeup. Reggie Rice certainly made our night better.

We also saw the juror, Andrew Wodzianski (fancy word for art show judge) and talked to him for a while. He was simply one of the most pleasant people I’ve ever met. And no, it wasn’t an open bar, so I wasn’t chemically predisposed or anything. He is an art professor at the College of Southern Maryland. If you click the link by his name you’ll find his data at RateMyProfessor, and I’d say that most of it follows my impression of him.

He had some great feedback for Mary on her art, and on the artistic process in general. Mary was particularly please that he noticed the significance of some of her fabric choices and the impact they had on the overall feel of the work.

The juror discussing Alfred and the Byrds with some attendees.

The juror discussing Alfred and the Byrds with some attendees.

Then the big part of the night came. And no, I don’t mean the amazing braised short-rib sliders from The Ruddy Duck, although they were crazy good. I mean the awards.

Mary won! There was no grand prize, rather three juror’s awards. With the pieces being so disparate, I don’t see how you could pick an overall winner (something that ALWAYS pisses me off about dog shows), but Mary’s won a Juror’s award.

We left, and she was walking on air. After the show, we went to opening night of the new Carrie movie (which was just fabulous) and even slept well (which is hard in a hotel).

It wasn’t until the next morning that we realized the full import of the win. Remember how I mentioned we don’t always read instructions fully before proceeding? Well, there’s a positive side to that, too.

Some other things we failed to notice before hand:

1) there is a cash award for winning. Not huge, but significant enough that our trip was more than covered. Woo Hoo!
2) Annmarie Sculpture Garden is a Smithsonian Affiliate. This is a pretty big deal, and will look great on Mary’s art CV. It also speaks to the quality of this organization, which was quite evident to both of us while we were there. She was in a show at a REAL gallery.

and the big one:
3) All Juror Award winners will get a solo show or be part of a group show at Annmarie in the coming year.

I think I need to stop now, or I will certainly burst with pride. My baby, with her own show, at a Smithsonian affiliated museum.

The artist and the winning portrait.

The artist and the winning portrait.