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Blanche Ames Gallery

UUCF's Art Gallery is currently open for IN-PERSON viewing or by appointment.


Blanche Ames Gallery is pleased to present the stunningly beautiful watercolors of long-time UU member, Maida Wright. The on-sight show with artist talk and reception opens Sunday, May 1 from 11:45-1:45, and the show will run through June 26.

The show is available for viewing in person on Sundays from 10-2:00 or on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, mornings from 10-12:00 or by appointment at other times for individuals or small groups. To request an appointment, email us at with your name, phone# and date/time of desired appointment.

Maida Wright was born and raised in the DC suburbs and grew up in a family that valued artistic expression. Her much older brother attended art school at the Corcoran Gallery in DC and was the soure of instruction, encouragement and constructive criticism of her early artistic efforts. Art class was always her favorite subject, so it was no surprise that she chose art as her major when she went away to college. "However, life - and love - intervened, and twenty five years and five children later she was the proud possessor of two degrees in Speech Communication!" Maida enjoyed a 27 year teaching career in that field, dabbling in art when there was time.

During those years she enviously watched as her mother progressed from painting china to creating beautifully framed oils and watercolors and her brother opened an art gallery in Georgetown, exposing her to artists from around the world. All of which kept alive her enthusiasm for art. With retirement looming she decided it was time to get serious about her own art and explore the medium which her mother had described as the ultimate challenge - watercolors!

"I remember approaching that Frederick Community College art class with trepidation, but I was soon put at ease by an excellent instructor who introduced me to the unique qualities of watercolors: the critical need to plan ahead, the amazing diversity of effects at one's disposal, and the necessity of knowing how to deal with 'mistakes'."

Since that early introduction she has enjoyed learning from other Frederick artists, who have collectively enabledled her to appreciate broad differences in style and techniques - everything from gorgeous abstract splotches to near-photographic accuracy. "I now know that all of us can make beautiful art with watercolors if we have the courage to try."

Maida continues to be an active member of the UUCF congregation and has been involved with the Blanche Ames Gallery since it began, including Gallery Manager. We are proud to present this retrospective show of her gorgeous watercolors. May it inspire us all to have the courage to "try."

Below first row left to right: "DumbartonOaks Garden Wall" and "Fenced In Flora" and Second Row "Scene Stealer"

For artists: Are you wondering how to Exhibit in our Gallery?

We invite artists working in any media that can be wall hung to inquire about an exhibit with us. The Blanche Ames Gallery features over 100 linear feet of art exhibition space in two light-filled hallways within the UUCF building. Sorry, our space does not lend itself to displays of pottery, jewelry, or three-dimensional work that is free standing.

Artists interested in showing their work should submit a completed application and digital images by email or USMail to the office at UUCF . Please download the Proposal Form. Blanche Ames Gallery's email address is gallery@frederickuu dot org.

The Visual Arts Committee plans, schedules and executes all art exhibits at UUCF. We schedule six art shows (two months each) during the year, with an art reception and artist's talk on the first Sunday of each show. Here are a few examples of artists' shows at our Gallery:

Who was Blanche Ames? Why her name?

Blanche Ames (1878-1969) was an exceptional woman and a member of her Unitarian Congregation in Massachusetts. She was a leader who serves as an inspiration to us today.

With her minutely observed drawings and etchings she illustrated her husband's 7-volume treatise on orchids. Ames' talent extended well beyond art. She was a feminist, a suffragist, a leader in civic and charitable affairs, an inventor, an engineer and an author.

A more extensive biographical sketch can be found by clicking on Blanche Ames. After her death, the Ames family homestead, including the mansion with her studio, became a Massachusetts state park with more than 1800 acres of recreational space. https://www.mass.gov/locations/borderland-state-park

A new documentary film - "Borderland: The Life and Times of Blanche Ames Ames"- was released in 2020. Go to https://www.borderlandthedocumentary.com to watch the trailer and find out how schedule a private viewing or sign up for a community event at which the film will be shown.

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(The short link to this page is frederickuu.org/gallery).