Exhibit Captures the Colors of Summer

moira ratchford next to "souvenirs de Paris"During July, 2013, I’ll be the featured artist at the Montgomery Art Association gallery in Wheaton mall.

We’re having a great opening reception on June 30, 1-5pm, with free wine, food and plenty of art not just by me but by all the other fabulous local artists shown at the gallery.

MAA Gallery is the only cooperative gallery in Wheaton, and it’s worth the trip to check it out, along with some other cool digs unique to Wheaton. We’ve got Barbarian Comics and the Toy Exchange, with vintage comics and toys harking back decades. Grab some Peruvian-style charbroiled chicken for lunch, then swing by Marchone’s for a freshly-filled cannoli. Or if you want to stick to the mall, Mayorga Cafe just opened with empanadas and incredibly rich coffee.

So come on by the gallery, it offers a great respite from the cacophony of the mall, a place where you can zen-out to some quiet jazz and beautiful images.

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ART HOP TAKOMA 2013

It was a fabulous day at  Art Hop Takoma 2013! I was exhibiting at Now and Then, the coolest little gift shop in Takoma Park, and with the fine, sunny weather, we had streams of people coming through.

Art Hop is like a living organism: every spring, this creative symbiosis emerges between store owners and artists, to create a unique experience that allows both determined art aficionados and the serendipitous passers-by to chance upon a variety of artistic works as they meander from one shop to another down the winding main street. It’s quite unique, and I wish that we in Wheaton had something like this. But the village-community feel of downtown Takoma Park, with its walkable streets and mom-and-pop stores, lends itself perfectly to this kind of event.

Many thanks to Kate Rhudy for organizing everything, and to Jude Garrett, the owner of Now and Then, for hosting me and photographer Jan Morales!

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Never give up

On many mornings, I walk to our neighborhood library to pick up a book. While much of the neighborhood is  residential,  in front of the library there is a major six-lane road that is constantly streaming with cars.

A couple of days ago, I noticed a mockingbird perched at the very top of a tree in front of the library, and only a few yards from the rushing traffic below. It was singing the most beautiful song, nearly imperceptible above the roar of the cars and trucks. Were it not for its song, I would not even have looked up and noticed this plucky little bird.

It was almost impossible that other mockingbirds could hear it. And yet the bird continued, undaunted, performing the most beautiful melody you had ever heard, completely unique, completely original. It seemed as if it could not do otherwise.

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That little bird made me realize how important it is to create something beautiful even if it seems that there is no one there to see or hear it. Artists must work against the din of our tech-heavy lives, where distractions abound and finding the time to appreciate a work of art eludes even the most well-meaning people.

But because that one mockingbird kept on singing above the traffic, I stopped in my tracks and just stood there, enjoying the music, nearly forgetting  the cacophony of diesel and steel. That’s what art is for. To help us tune out the din and tune in to the beauty that is around us.

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