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Blanche Ames Gallery

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

Our gallery shows are 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.

"Being Led By The Spirit" is the latest exhibit in the Blanche Ames Gallery. This emotionally exciting show by artist Dr Debra Ambush opens on May 5 with a reception and artist talk at 11:45 a.m. that is sure to be an interesting look at Dr. Ambush's historical family connection to Farmville, Virginia and the 1954 Supreme Court vs. Brown and the Board of Education. The show runs through June 30. You don't want to miss this show.

Dr. Debra Ambush is an artist-scholar residing in Ijamsville, Maryland, with a doctorate in art education from The Ohio State University. She is a figurative painter, primarily concerned with the "Site of Memory" as discussed by Toni Morrison. In researching her ancestral heritage, she seeks to bring unspoken and unrecognized voices to light through image and text. In her current arts-based research, she is working with family material culture including letters, photographs, and other objects to reveal the deliberate framing of memory and faith practices that shaped their voice. These letters spaning from post emancipation to the closing of the Prince Edward County Public Schools in 1959 in defiance of the Brown decision are deeply moving.

Dr. Ambush recently completed a Master's at Wesley Theological Seminary with a specialization in Theology and the Arts as well as a certificate in African-American Church Studies. She is currently working on a mural exploring the "Black Sacred Cosmos" for Wesley, and preparing a course on Black visual culture and religion. Dr. Ambush works in a variety of mediums including woodblock and linoleum printmaking, acrylic and gouache painting, glass etching and mixed media. erations from Farmville.

Images left to right: "Encircling Angels" and "Reverberations from Farmville"

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:

Click here for a history of Gallery Exhibits since 2016.

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.

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