Opener: March 2017

Posted on 03.06.17 – Insider, Lifestyles

Gloria Condon
Members of the Inaugural Party planning committee of the Spring Ridge Friends and Neighbors (FAN) Club celebrate with their favorite candidates. The non-partisan gathering on Jan. 21 was at the home of Gary and Nancy Compton.  The party has been a tradition every four years since 1996. From left are: Rita O’Neil, Jean Wright, Diane DeMarco, Lynn Schumacher and Connie Hameedi.

Home Show to Unveil Senior Cottage

The Frederick County Housing Trust in partnership with the Career and Technology Center has created a senior cottage that will be featured at this year’s Home Show & Builders Olympics, presented by the Frederick County Building Industry Association on March 18 and 19 at the Frederick Fairgrounds. The show will be held 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.

The tiny house concept has gained popularity in recent years and longtime local builder and industry advocate Mark Lancaster put forth the notion of a senior cottage that could be built by Career and Technology students. For years, students have built traditional houses that are sold and the money used for the next house. “I said, ‘Why not build a house on site [at the school] and off site?’” Lancaster says. “They thought it was a great idea.”

The tiny house has a living room, kitchen, bedroom and a bathroom that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Added flourishes include a front porch and fireplace.

“Frederick County’s population is growing older,” Lancaster says. “We have more people who are age 65 and older than we have in the school system, and it’s only going to increase every year. … What are other types of housing that we could look at” for the senior population?

Lancaster believes the tiny house is an ideal way for aging parents to live near loved ones while still maintaining their independence. “I go back to my own mother. She has told me the places she will and will not live,” including not in his house, but the idea of a backyard house was appealing, he says.

The tiny house would also be great for a boomerang son or daughter, or parents might decide to take the little house and have their children and grandchildren live in the larger house.

Organizers are working with Leslie Schultz of Supporting Older Adults through Resources (SOAR) to find a person to lease or buy the student-built house and have it installed on their property. “I think the model could absolutely spark more” senior cottages, Lancaster says. www.frederickbuilders.org

Happy 40th Frederick Arts Council

The Frederick Arts Council will commemorate its 40th anniversary with a “Celebration of the Arts” on Saturday, March 11, at the Weinberg Center for the Arts, 20 W. Patrick St. The program will feature keynote speaker David Rubenstein, board chairman of the Kennedy Center, and a performance by musician Sally Taylor, daughter of James Taylor and Carly Simon.

The celebration begins at 7 p.m. with a ticketed VIP reception where guests can mingle with Rubenstein and Taylor. The program will start at 8 p.m., and from 9:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. is a post-program reception that all may attend.

This year marks important anniversaries for a number of foundational arts organizations in Frederick, including the Maryland Ensemble Theatre and the Frederick Art Club, and the Weinberg event will celebrate the strength of the local arts community as well.

“Frederick has a vibrant arts scene that attracts major talent and we look forward to the next 40 years of supporting our members and making the arts even stronger,” says Louise Kennelly, Frederick Arts Council executive director.

Rubenstein is one of the principal philanthropists, businessmen, arts advocates and humanitarians in the United States. His generosity has allowed the restoration of the Washington Monument, Monticello and the Lincoln Memorial, among other national treasures. He purchased one of the last privately owned originals of the Magna Carta so that it could be displayed at the National Archives. He has long been an active proponent of the importance of the arts to a vibrant society and speaks eloquently on topics ranging from American history to the citizen artist.

Taylor is an accomplished artist and musician and her albums include Tomboy Bride, Apt #6S and Shotgun. She has done a TEDX talk on her arts education initiative ConSenses, an effort dedicated to enlarging the scope of artistic collaboration, the recognition of art as a journey and the exploration of human perception. She has also established a record label.

Tickets for the pre-program VIP reception (which include program admission) are $125 and can be purchased through the Frederick Arts Council’s Eventbrite link at frederickartscouncil.org. General admission tickets are $25 and can be purchased on the Weinberg’s website at www.weinbergcenter.org.

Looking Out for People to Watch

We are preparing our annual “People to Watch” list, which will appear in the May issue of Frederick Magazine. This is a salute to local people who are contributing to the community —and we want to acknowledge them. Their gifts and talents may be in the arts, business, education or helping the less fortunate—just for starters. If you have a special person in mind, we’d love to hear from you. Send nominations to editor@fredmag.com.

The Artist’s Life — And Gallery

Just like the layers of paint on her canvases, Gloria W. Condon has led a multi-faceted life, first as a farmer’s wife, mother of three sons and for 18 years owner and manager of an insurance agency. Since retiring from that career, Condon tried an art class at Frederick Community College in 2005 and has been painting ever since. “I’m certainly not a Grandma Moses,” she likes to say, but her enthusiasm for painting is apparent the minute you meet her.

“I love color,” she says, and in her daily life is always looking for subjects to paint, whether it’s meeting a stranger’s dog, noticing the majestic poses of two horses in a field or the way sunlight falls on a landscape. She has taken her love of art to another level recently with the opening of GWC Art Studio, 328 E. Patrick St., where she used to have her insurance office. Fellow artist friend Deborah Butts is a gallery partner.

With her beloved classical music playing in the background and an unfinished painting on an easel, Condon talks about her plans for the space, which include featuring other artists. For some this will be their first showing in a gallery. She also wants to encourage youngsters to display and sell their works and is offering charities a way to raise money through the gallery.

The space is small, but Condon uses every available inch, including hanging paintings in the rest room. She has a knack for pairing her art with an appropriate frame and in addition to her original oils she also sells prints of the paintings done at Imagination Center on 2nd Street. Tea, alpaca wool socks, greeting cards and handmade soap also have a niche as Condon likes to promote other local entrepreneurs.

Painters and photographers who will be showing at the gallery in the coming months include James Worthington, Ted Robertson, Rebecca Jackson, Hope Hollaand, Linda Zvaleaski, Peter Plant, Debbie Turotte, Chris Carr and Tom Saylor. www.gwc-artwork.com

Behind the Scenes

Ever wonder what happens backstage at the Weinberg Center for the Arts? The theater is offering free backstage tours on a regular basis, giving access to areas normally off-limits to the public. Through May, tours will start at 2 p.m. the first Tuesday of the month. No reservations are required; just show up at the box office ready to experience the backstage magic. Tours take 45-60 minutes. Beginning in June, tours will be offered on a more frequent basis. Private tours are also available, upon request, as well as shorter versions. Contact Rebecca O’Leary at 301-600-2870 or visit www.weinbergcenter.org/tours.