Monday, July 23, 2007

Charlene Clark's Forgotten Maryland



For me the highlight of Artscape 2007 was painter Charlene Clark's booth on Mount Royal. Clark's oil paintings focus on nostalgic landmarks and folklore of Baltimore and Maryland, like The Enchanted Forest, Gwyn Oak Park, The Circle B-B-Q in Dundalk, the "haunted house" Viaduct Hotel in Relay MD, Koontz Creamery delivery trucks, and the Hess Shoes' "Monkey Town."

She has a website called Charlene Clark Studio.com that has pictures of many of her prints and paintings.

Here is her artist statement from her Website:
"There is an abundance of potent and visual memories inside my head and since most of these images no longer exist in reality I am compelled to put them on canvas,” says Clark. While definitely living in the present this obsession with the past is frankly revealed in her slightly quirky, atmospheric paintings of bygone eras.

Equally important to the combination of paint and imagination is her research with heavy emphasis on storytelling and myths. β€œIn the course of exhibiting at art shows, people, while looking at my work, often spontaneously share their memories that relate to the painting. I accept these stories as gifts and record as much as I can,” Clark explains. She uses this collected material to compose her folkloric descriptions which she includes with the sale of each painting and print."

She also has a series of paintings depicting various movie theatres and drive-ins. I like the one for the Edmonson Drive-In.

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