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Picasso Going to Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park & Arts Center in Southern Maryland

SOLOMONS.- Annmarie Garden Sculpture Park & Arts Center in Solomons, Md., will unveil its spectacular new 15,000 sq. ft. Arts Building during a two-day public celebration, Saturday and Sunday, May 31 and June 1, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. each day.

Guests at the weekend celebration are invited to tour the new space complete with a gift shop, cafe, and outdoor plaza and view the inaugural art exhibitions in the new galleries. Each exhibition will contain interactive interpretative materials allowing visitors a hands-on approach to the artwork.

A variety of other celebratory activities will be dispersed in and around the new building, including live music, a kinetic bike parade, a pop art photo booth and the summer public art project, to name a few.

Inside the new Arts Building, visitors will find three significant sculpture additions on view. Stainless Stealer, by Alexander Calder, hangs above the main gallery and is a main feature of this space. This large mobile is a reflection of Calder's approach to design, likening his art to the structure of the universe; forms in varying shapes and sizes seem to float in space, revolving around others that remain at rest.

In the mezzanine gallery, Arnaldo Pomodoro's Traveler's Column stands tall against a beautiful bank of windows looking out over the surrounding forest. A highly polished bronze column that is characteristic of Pomodoro's work, this piece has an aesthetic that is both futuristic and ancient.

Vasa Melizar Mihich's Dragan, also in the mezzanine gallery, offers new perspectives of color and light from every angle as visitors walk around the giant acrylic prism-like sphere.

These pieces are on loan from the Smithsonian's Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. In addition to these three works, the Annmarie Garden grounds feature an ever growing collection of more than 25 outdoor sculptures, much of them on loan from the Smithsonian Institution.

In the boat-shaped mezzanine gallery, guests can contemplate the varied works in Olga Hirshhorn Recollects, an extraordinary exhibit of modern art, including works by Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Joan Miro.

Made up of works on loan from the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., this exhibition surveys a large donation made by Mrs. Hirshhorn to the Corcoran. Many of the works were created specifically for Mrs. Hirshhorn and her husband, the late Joseph H. Hirshhorn, founder of the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C. The show provides an intimate look at the friendships the Hirshhorns enjoyed with some of the greatest artists of the twentieth century. Olga Hirshhorn Recollects will be on display in the new Arts Building from May 31- September 21.

In the main gallery, viewing art becomes a highly interactive experience in Re.action, an exploration of the language of movement in art. Juried by Mark Ward, Deputy Director of the Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, Re.action includes works that literally move as well as pieces that suggest movement visually. Discover the various media and techniques contemporary artists use to examine the role of movement in their artwork; push a button, turn a crank, spin a pedestal, or experience the optical illusions that seem to wave and pulse as the work is closely examined. Re.action will remain on display from May 31- August 31.

The 15,000 sq. ft. structure was designed by Richard Kleponis, architect with the Annapolis firm of Wheeler Goodman Masek & Associates. With a need to achieve a flexible floor plan while providing as much exhibit space as possible, Kleponis designed what at first glance appears to be a simple rectangular building.

With the addition of a boat-shaped second floor and a glass enclosed bow and stern that protrude from the second floor at each end of the building, a simple building design has been transformed into something special. The gray and bright red exterior hides a beautiful interior of high ceilings and lovely floors. Large windows let in filtered light and allow someone inside to enjoy all the sculpture displayed outside around the building.

The opening has been generously sponsored by Scheibel Construction, Wheeler Goodman Masek Architects, Cozzens Construction Company, Solomons Island Winery, Southern Maryland Floor Company, Hilton Garden Inn Solomons, Gradient Construction, Collinson Oliff & Associates, Vincenzo's at Calvert Marina and Waldorf Glass Company.

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