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Walters Exec Director Julia Marciari-Alexander on Art, Life, and Weather in Baltimore

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courtesy of Sachs Photography, Baltimore
courtesy of Sachs Photography, Baltimore

Julia Marciari-Alexander, the newly christened executive director of the Walters, can’t wait for July first. It’s not that the museum’s launching some grand new exhibit on that day; instead, July 1 marks the date her husband, John Marciari, will step down as curator of the San Diego Museum of Art and call himself an official Baltimorean. This early summer, he, Marciari-Alexander, and their twins, Jack and Beatrice, nine, will all finally reside together in their house in Homeland, embarking on a busy life guaranteed to bring extreme change.

Drawing with Steel: Lat Naylor’s Art Strikes Mount Vernon

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"meditation drawing #3" 2013 -- watercolor, oil stick, lumber pencil, varnish, wax, drywall tape and stitching on paper -- 28 x 25 in.
“meditation drawing #3” 2013 — watercolor, oil stick, lumber pencil, varnish, wax, drywall tape, and stitching on paper — 28 x 25 in.

Lat Naylor, Baltimore Fishbowl’s inaugural resident artist, whose inventive painterly constructions pair sculptural abstraction with architectural savvy, is currently showing work at Jordan Faye Contemporary. The exhibition, “Drawing Intervention,” presents more than a dozen well-chosen new Naylor classics — both drawings and sculptures — including many ambitious pieces that mix watercolor, iron, stainless steel, varnish, wax, and hand-stitching to arrive at geometrically grounded images popping with unpredictable color, light, and organic life. We recommend the show because we’re fans of Naylor’s unique eye-pleasing style, to be sure; we also recommend the romantic Mount Vernon space curated by Jordan Faye Block, housed on the first floor of the historic Park Avenue building that fabled hairdresser/bad boy/party person John Salconi lopped the top off…for his own airily aesthetic reasons.

Scenes from a “Flip”: The Volunteer Fire Department That Could!

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all photos
all photos courtesy of John Sheridan; first and second taken at the Baltimore County rescue scene; third photo taken at the Old Joppa Road accident

Yesterday morning brought freaky, nonstop emergency action for our Joppa-Magnolia volunteer firefighter heroes, with three huge crises landing like life-threatening dominoes before lunch — you may remember these inspiring citizens from last week’s back-to-back fox-rescue reports. So here’s what happened!

Tragic Twist in Baby Fox Rescue Narrative

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courtesy of
courtesy of Joppa-Magnolia VFC

Tragic twist in the baby-fox-rescue story we reported yesterday. (To review: Volunteer firefighters in Harford County responding to an emergency call in Edgewood Tuesday night saved a small fox trapped in a storm drain. The fox was taken to Chadwell Animal Hospital Wednesday morning, and Phoenix Wildlife Center welcomed the fox once he was stable.) Thoughtful reader “Jeremy” posted this comment yesterday afternoon: “The firefighters should be commended for showing such kindness, but this is far from a cute story now that the Harford County Health Department ordered the fox pup to be euthanized and tested for rabies just because an unknowing kind firefighter touched the pup without gloves. This unfortunately is the reality of what happens if you innocently touch foxes or raccoon babies and Maryland DNR or a health department finds out. So let’s all learn from this and make sure this poor little baby fox did not die without something important being learned.”

Heartbroken, I called the fire station; volunteers hadn’t heard a word. I followed up with Chadwell to confirm that the fox was indeed euthanized, which is sadly true. I contacted David Reiher, Harford County Health Department Rabies and Vector Control Program Coordinator, who declined to comment but sent an official statement via Public Information Officer William Wiseman.

Baby Fox Rescued by Harford County Firefighters

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Handout photos courtesy Joppa-Magnolia VFC / May 1, 2013
All photos courtesy Joppa-Magnolia VFC / May 1, 2013

Once in a while Harford County Volunteer Firefighters get a frantic request from a resident whose cat is stuck up a tree or trapped in a gutter, and they’re happy to rescue the terrified pet, according to Lieutenant Volunteer Firefighter John Terrell, 30. But it’s a much rarer moment when a 9-1-1 call comes through like the one the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Station received around 10 Tuesday night from a development in Edgewood: Help! Wild baby fox trapped at the bottom of a storm drain.

Devil’s Baseball Bargain: “Damn Yankees” at Gilman

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Yankees3

First produced on Broadway in 1955, Damn Yankees tweaks and transplants the story of Faust to 1950s D.C., when the New York Yankees’ winning streak seems unbreakable to diehard Washington Senators fan/protagonist Joe Boyd except by clever devil’s bargain. The beloved comedic show, featuring rousing monologue-style song and spirited ensemble dance, premieres this Thursday, May 2, at Gilman in the Alumni Auditorium and runs through May 5.

As always, the Upper School musical, directed by John Rowell, features a cast of skillful high school kids whose busy schedules leave little time for the memorizing of lines and dance steps. I talked to Rowell about the glitches and glories of making ambitious musical theater succeed at the secondary-school level.

Unlikely Hangover Cure: The BMA’s Cool Contemporary Wing

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drink

“Art” lovers, I don’t mean to pry: Have you ever enjoyed a cold Negroni (one part gin, one part Campari, one part sweet vermouth) on a warm spring evening? And have you ever experienced the work of American modernist painter Max Weber (one part Matisse-trained, one part Picasso-influenced, one part Rousseau-befriended) on the following sun-drenched afternoon?

Weekend recipe advice from a novice: If you gulp your gorgeous pre-prandial Negroni too quickly tonight – it tastes like sweet, spiky red juice – as I did just last weekend, you may feel it tomorrow. If you feel it tomorrow, especially if your head pulses with a heat as red as the cocktail you chugged, reconsider staying in bed all day – instead, consider visiting the BMA’s immense new Contemporary Wing instead, which you can comb through calmly, mounting stairs in slow motion, soaking up the soothing gray walls, and when you’re ready, and only then, you may begin to process the elegantly simple, user-friendly story of Weber’s formative years in Paris, “when he transformed his painting style from classical representations of figures to bold interpretations of cubism and futurism,” according to the wise BMA website. You’ll also tour a number of important paintings from the artist’s personal collection by Matisse, Rousseau, and Picasso. (Note: When Weber returned to America in 1909, he brought with him the first paintings by Picasso and Rousseau to enter the U.S., plus reproductions of Cezanne and one of the first African sculptures to be presented in this country. This exhibit runs through June 23rd.)

Muslim Artists Enliven Ellicott City

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islam

This Saturday, April 27th, from 1-5 p.m., more than a dozen dedicated creatives — visual artists and writers alike — will gather at Ellicott City’s Miller Branch Library to present and perform their work. Light snacks will be served. If this sounds like another Baltimore-artsy salon story you’ve read 100,000 times, it’s not. All of the participating artists are Muslim visionaries who want to bridge a gap and begin a dialogue. And you’re enthusiastically invited.

Coco Chanel Cameo at MDSPCA March for the Animals 2013

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At the March for the Animals yesterday at Druid Hill Park, owners young and old sported spirited looks in honor of the nonprofit's top fundraising event of the year: I saw dogs dyed pink for the day, not to mention this pet owner with her bright red hair, and plenty of pets in festive light spring attire.
At the 18th annual Maryland SPCA March for the Animals yesterday at Druid Hill Park, owners young and old sported spirited looks in honor of the nonprofit’s top fundraising event of the year: I saw dogs dyed pink for the day — not to mention these stylish pet owners with their bright red and jet black hair — and plenty of pets in eye-catching light spring attire.

As of 10 p.m. last night the fundraiser had received an impressive $205,499, surpassing their $200,000 goal quite nicely — according to the event website. We’ll update as the tally is finalized. Keep in mind it’s never too late to donate to the MDSPCA, the independent organization that receives no government funding, yet adopts out more than 3,000 unwanted pets each year. The MDSPCA also educates the community to reduce pet abandonment, offering behavior counseling and training and affordable spay/neuter services. Miss the activity-packed Druid Hill event this year? Take a quick photo tour below. And consider registering next spring to walk the lovely 1.5-mile loop that affords Maryland’s dogs and cats in need a — sorry, I can’t resist — new leash on life.

World Book Night Baltimore: “Books Can Only Make People Better”

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Jamie Watson reads Jon Green -- all photos by Howard Yang.
Jamie Watson reads Jon Green — photos by Howard Yang.

On Wednesday evening, five Baltimore book lovers shared excerpts from works they’ve adored for some time, novels and nonfiction that landed on the World Book Night reading list for 2013. Afterward, volunteers with Moveable Feast were all set to deliver boxes of great paperbacks to less fortunate Baltimoreans in need of a great read.

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