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Artists In Action

Solomons, MD – Art provokes thought. Art asks questions. Art invites discussion.

Fitton Center Director of Education and Outreach Kate Rowekamp does all those things, whether in the office, in the classroom or as an artist working in watercolors and printmaking.

Rowekamp takes that creativity to Maryland for a week on a national stage.

She is one of five artists from across the country working in residence at Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Art Center May 16 to 19 as part of its Artists in Action program. She and her fellow artists spend a week on the 30-acre grounds creating and interacting with visitors.

According to its website, Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Art Center “is committed to connecting people to art and nature. Through a wide variety of engaging exhibits programs, classes, public projects and annual events, Annmarie opens up opportunities for creativity, collaboration and reflection.”

“We are incredibly proud of Kate,” said Fitton Center Executive Director Ian MacKenzie-Thurley. “We have amazingly talented artists on our staff and Kate getting this residency affirms what we already knew about her work.

“This opportunity enhances her standing both as an artist and as a teacher, which in turn enhances the Fitton Center’s ability to meet its mission to build community excellence through the arts and culture.”

For her part, Rowekamp seems to have answered the age-old question – which came first, the pineapple or the egg.

The punk rocker or the egg.

The beaver or the egg.

The king or the egg.

Wait… what?

Turns out Rowekamp won’t be doing her usual printmaking or watercolors when she’s in Maryland. Instead, she’s concentrating on her Dozens Series, in which she takes solid ovals slightly larger than a standard chicken egg and turns them into a

variety of engaging small sculptures.

“It’s almost like a form of artistic play for when I need a little break from my other work,” Rowekamp said of her egg work. “You already have the basic shape; I let the forms determine what comes out of that. It’s more about applying your creativity to an existing form than trying to create something entirely new.”

Rowekamp would rather avoid the attention associated with her residency, but likes the idea of growing her audience.

“I’m more introverted, so art I feel is my way of having a conversation, of showing some of myself to somebody else,” she said. “You’re expanding your conversation when you get to be part of a program like this. You’re bringing more people in.”

Rowekamp isn’t the first person affiliated with the Fitton Center to earn a spot in Solomons; printmaking instructor Billy Simms won an Artists in Action position in both 2018 and 2019.

Like Rowekamp, Simms diverged from his usual artistic medium in Maryland; he made one-of-a-kind baseball caps while he was there.

“I think they are looking for a wide variety of artists, not just a room full of people painting portraits,” he said. “My wife was kind of tired of me buying hats everywhere I went, so I just started making them myself. The caps as a canvas are kind of unique and they were a way to incorporate my art into something people might use on a day-to-day basis.

“I think it’s good when your people – your teachers – are part of a nationally recognized program like this. I think Kate will have a great experience there.”

The Fitton Center for Creative Arts is located at 101 S. Monument Avenue on the Riverfront in downtown Hamilton, Ohio.

Building Community Excellence through the Arts and Culture

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