Founded in 1931, and located at 401 Museum Drive, Hagerstown (MD), the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts (WCMFA) is one of four art museums in Maryland accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Each year, the Museum presents about 14 special exhibits in three galleries: the Bowman Gallery, Groh Gallery, and Baer Gallery. Running currently through September 23 in the Groh Gallery is: BAM! It’s a Picture Book: The Art Behind Graphic Novels.

BAM! … features works by Mark Crilley, Matthew Holm, Jarrett J. Krosoczka, Lincoln Pierce, and Raina Telgemeier. Graphic works will be displayed by some of the leading artists working in the arena of contemporary graphic novels today. On display is artwork from iconic books such as Baby MouseBig NateLunch LadyBrody’s Ghost, and Smile.

“The graphic novels are a form of art that people don’t think of as traditional, but they’ve gained immense popularity in recent years,” explained Museum Education and Marketing Associate Jillian MacMaster. “So that was part of the idea—we wanted to build on that momentum.”

Additionally, running currently through October 28 in the Bowman Gallery, Knoxville Narratives: Danny Lyon is an exhibition on loan from the Knoxville Museum of Art, presenting a group of black and white prints taken by American photographer and filmmaker Danny Lyon (born 1942)—best known for his epic photo essay, Bikeriders.

“Both exhibitions have been well received—especially the graphic novel exhibit,” added MacMaster. “What distinguishes us is that not everyone can get to the metropolitan area to see fine art, and for those folks, as well as everyone else, we’re able to bring that type of art into their area, and I think people really appreciate that.”

MacMaster is also excited about September 8, when Jeff Ridgeway of the Washington County Library will be reading a selection of Big Nate novels featured in BAM! at 10am. And on September 19, Chris Coltrin, Ph.D., an associate professor of art history and chair of the of the Contemporary Art and Theater Department at Shepherd University, will present his lecture: “The Political Roots of Abstraction in Art”—which is a lead-in to the opening of the abstract exhibit Mirror Universe: Recent Works by Carol Brown Goldberg on October 3.

In addition to several exhibitions throughout the year, WCMFA offers arts classes for youth, as well as adult classes for painting, drawing, wreath making, metalsmithing, photography, and watercolor—available for sign up.

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