The Playful Spirit is April Gallery Exhibit Theme

March 28, 2011

Two Frederick artists are collaborating together on an art exhibit at the Cultural Arts Center. The show, entitled “The Playful Spirit” will feature the work of artists Vince Coates and Anne Quinlan. The exhibit runs from April 1 to May 1 with an opening reception on Saturday, April 2nd from 5:00-9:00 p.m.

This interactive art exhibit includes mixed-media painting, collage, sculpture, photography, and performance art, inspired by the playful spirit of childhood. In honor of The Playful Spirit, visitors are invited to participate in the creative process through interactive story, community art-making, and performance art. Coates and Quinlan hold a shared belief that everyone is an artist.
The word create is derived from the Latin “crescere”, meaning to arise, to grow. Whether expressed through painting, sculpture, music, movement, poetry, storytelling, gardening, cooking, engineering, teaching, or parenting, to create is to share a universal experience, to be human.
Pablo Picasso said ‘Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up.” Therefore, the natural, unrestrained creativity of children is at the heart this exhibit. Both artists enjoy exploring the creative process, and aspire to do so with the openness so easily lost to age, maturity, and fear of judgment. This show is a visual narrative of the artists’ process of recovering their own playful spirits and everyone is invited to join them on the journey.
Quinlan is an art therapist and mixed media artist living and working in Mt. Airy. Encouraged to paint as a very young child, she completed her first large composition at the age of 2 when she painted the kitchen cabinets with butter. Since then, she’s gone on to explore a variety of media including drawing, painting, photography, collage, fiber, bookbinding, and assemblage. Quinlan’s love for story is reflected in her artwork. Using a variety of painting, collage, and photographic techniques, she draws on personal experience to create visual narratives reflecting universal human experience. Her work is inspired by the authentic creativity of children at play whose voice has yet to be squelched by the inner critic.

Quinlan’s artwork can be found in various shops and galleries in Frederick, MD, including The Muse, Dragonfly, and Blue Elephant Art Center. Her work has also been featured in several international mixed media publications including Cloth Paper Scissors published by Taunton Press, and Belle Armoire published by Somerset Studios. As an artist, she enjoys sharing the creative experience, and teaches art technique and creative process workshops throughout Maryland. She teaches The Art of Allowing: Embracing the Wisdom of the Creative Process. Using the stages of the archetypal hero’s journey as a foundation, this workshop introduces guided meditation, journaling, and art making as tools to explore personal mythology. Besides teaching it locally, she also taught The Art of Allowing in Thessalonica, Greece in September 2010. Quinlan received her Master’s degree in Art Therapy in 1996 from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She is a professional art therapist registered with the American Art Therapy Association. In addition to her clinical work, Anne has served on the Board of Directors for the Maryland Art Therapy Association and various other non-profit organizations.

Coates has exhibited his artwork all across Frederick County, including Frederick Community College, the Muse, Angles Art and Framing Gallery, Frederick County Public Libraries, and more. He also had a solo exhibit at the Napredak Art Gallery in Shumen, Bulgaria. In addition, he has tried to inspire others to embrace their own spontaneous creativity through interactive instruction and performance art during First Saturdays in downtown Frederick. Coates has collaborated with others on various projects, including co-chairing the Reflections Art Project for middle and high school students, worked with employees of the Scott Key Center for The Cradle Project in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and was a lead artist for the Keys to Frederick project in 2007 by the Frederick Arts Council. Furthermore, he has participated in community art instruction through local schools in painting, poetry, and other art forms. And finally, Coates published “My Life is Water,” a book of poetry, art, and photography that celebrates friendship, art, and sport as a means to encourage and embrace international community in December 2009.

The Cultural Arts Center gallery is open Thursday through Sunday and additional hours are available by appointment. The Cultural Arts Center is located in downtown Frederick at 15 N. Market Street. The facility is managed by the Frederick Arts Council, whose mission is to be the primary catalyst and advocate for arts opportunities in Frederick County. For more information, call the Frederick Arts Council at 301-662-4190.