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Don and Jane Dunsmore

The Blanche Ames Gallery presents “DUNSMORE DUO”, an exhibit by Jane and Don Dunsmore from January 27 – February 24, 2013. They will share their creative and artistic qualities through their own chosen medium. Jane will be showing her works of clay and Don his photographs of butterflies and birds. This couple is well known for the exceptional work they produce.

JANE DUNSMORE, a 40 year resident of Frederick County, graduated from Hood College. Her teachers, Mary Ellen Randolph and Elaine Gates were strong mentors of women in the arts. She studied ceramics at the Visual Arts Center, Columbia, MD. The influence of that center’s Oriental aesthetic can still be observed in her works. After teaching art and ceramics at Middletown High School for seven years, Dunsmore credits her students with inspiring her to take risks with materials and personal expression.

In her Libertytown studio Dunsmore creates pieces which are often impressed with natural items from her rural surroundings. Items such as feathers, plants, bark from trees, are arranged and pressed into clay; then stained and colored to heighten the imagery. “These images in texture quiet the heart and soothe our longing for a bond with the powers of Nature” says Dunsmore.

Dunsmore teaches an adult class, “Escape to Clay,” at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center. In the last 10 years, beginners, as well as established painters and other artists have attended the class in order to find their own expressive possibilities in clay.

Jane's Artist’s statement:

Clay is my drug of choice. When I work with clay to make sculpture or wall murals, endorphins course through my brain and make me happy.

When I want to know if it’s “art,” I check to see if it makes me happy. “Happy” means satisfied that it expresses my intention. My experience is that an artwork is unlikely to sell or be accepted in a juried show unless it makes me feel joy. The “happy ones” tend to sell quickly.

When working in clay, I try to balance my work between my love of new techniques and materials such as paper clay and the bright colors of manufactured ceramic stains, against the classic values of proportion, elegance, and meaningful content. While I love the power of the new techniques to enliven the message of my art, I don’t want it to be a transient message. I would rather send a message that can be understood centuries later by people of a different culture. Fired clay lasts a long time. Look at the Qin Dynasty army of ceramic soldiers buried since 200 BC. They remain remarkably vibrant. I want my work to be timeless.

DON DUNSMORE'S diverse 50 year art experience includes theater, music, portrait and nature photography. A self taught photographer, he appreciates the valuable insight into the mysteries of art provided by his good friends and family members.

The digital revolution has removed many of the restraints that come with traditional photography and allowed Don to have a virtual darkroom in his desktop computer. This allows him to develop and alter photographs the way a painter might render a scene on canvas. The resulting images are printed using high quality ink jet technology and special papers that produce archival quality art works.

Don's photos won awards at the 2000 Delaplaine Regional Art Show and 2002 Frederick County Art Association Spring Art Show. He presented a solo show (2008) and participated in a 3 photographer show (2010) at the The Unitarian Universalist Congregation. He also presented two solo shows and one 2-person show at the Delaplaine Visual Arts Education Center.

Currently, Don is a contributing artist at the Delaplaine's Gift Gallery and this November he is one of a group of featured photographers in the Gift Gallery's Featured Photo Artists show.

John's Artist's statement

Butterflies and birds are the subject of my share of this 2 person show. I enjoy watching and photographing the way they interact with one another and their surrounding environment. Many butterflies are extremely small (less than an inch in size) and spook easily which make photographing them challenging. Many of my pictures are enlargements so that we can see the beautiful patterns on their wings and intricacies of their bodies. Considering their size, I am always amazed that they can function like they do. Birds are similar although most are much larger than butterflies, even the smallest birds are 3 or 4 inches in length.

On January 27th a reception for the Congregation and public will be held from 12:30 PM till 2:00 P.M. at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Frederick, 4880 Elmer Derr Road; Frederick, Maryland 21703. To view the show on another day, please call 301-473-7680 to assure the building is open. The gallery hours vary.

Examples of the art that will be available for patrons follows: