Annapolis Charter 300 1708-2008
—Commemorating the 1708 Royal Charter under Queen Anne to the City of Annapolis —
Annapolis Charter 300, the city wide commemoration in 2008 of the 1708 city charter granted during Queen Anne's reign, was especially rich in inspiring original public art, music and choral work, a ballet suite, films, sculpture, photography, theatrical productions, books, an academic symposium, tours and several lecture series.
As the capital of Maryland since 1695, and an international water gateway through the 18th century, Annapolis has drawn craftsmen and artists for three centuries. During the 18th century, creators of luxury goods flocked to this urban hub where a moneyed clientele required their services. In the years leading up the American Revolution, highly skilled cabinetmakers like John Shaw and Archibald Chisholm, metalsmith William Faris, and painter Charles Willson Pealle—Annapolitans all—created objects and art rivaling that fashioned in England.
The arts tradition has continued into the 21st century, including an Annapolis Impressionist style. To commemorate its 300th anniversary as Maryland's capital in 1995, the City of Annapolis began to commission art depicting the city's founding, and other historic events and person.
Annapolis offers an impressive array of sculpture, paintings, murals and stained glass in accessible public spaces. There are
many art collections available for viewing in Annapolis at the United States Naval Academy, St. John's College, Hammond Harwood House and in public buildings throughout the city. Private galleries abound along Main and West Streets and on Maryland Avenue.
Visit Annapolis each fall to discover the beauty of Mid-Atlantic Plein Air Painters Association who capture the interplay of streetscapes and light in the City.
2008 Art Works Honor Our Community Culture and History
The City's Art in Public Places Commission provided grants for three projects that use the universal languages of music and art to celebrate and honor the City's culture, history, and progress toward civil liberty for all.
Using the City streetscape as a gallery, ArtWalk presents a consortium of Annapolis area artists. In addition to the late Marion Warren, artists include Sally Wern Comport, Sy Mohr, Greg Harlin, George "Lassie" Belt and youngsters from The Stanton Community Center. The resulting large scale original works offer wide diversity of generation, gender, and ethnic perspectives to highlight the many different aspects of our city's 300th anniversary.
The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra
hosted an international Young Composers competition that resulted in the World Premiere four new symphonic works and a commemorative recording by the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra. Thai winner Narong Prangcharoen's ceremonial piece is included on this recording that also features works from 1708, 1808, and 1908.
Composer James Fitzpatrick created a marriage of first person narratives and music that illustrates in choral performances the themes reflecting Annapolis: The Charter Course,
a seven movement oratorio for soloists, chorus, gospel choir, and narrators uses original texts of historic documents, transcripts of interviews from descendants of Annapolitans living at the time of the Annapolis Charter, and the new texts written by the composer.
Art is a growing economic sector of the 21st century Annapolis community. The City of Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission, c.2002, continues to support performance and original public art installations throughout the city. Its commissions encourage artistic interpretations of the people, events and experiences of Annapolis over the centuries. Visual and performance arts, supported by private partnerships with the Art in Public Places commission, reflect the richness of our city's culture. Recognizing the economic engine art can provide, a portion of the City was designated a state Arts and Entertainment District in 2008.
Stanton Community Mural,
2004©. Cinvia Rankin and Diane Monday.
Photograph by Karen Engelke, 2006.
The Annapolis Symphony Orchestra with José-Luis Novo, Musical Director, 2008.
© Artwalk by Lassie Belt, Sally Wern Comport, and the children at the Stanton Center: Carron Anderson, Lavell Alexander, Tymisesha Barnes, DeAndre Branch, Gary Brown, Destiny Butler, Takiera Cook, DéZha Gilreath, Neje Gross, Rolando Holland, Ebone Johnson, Tavon Johnson, Precious Jones, D'Saun Metellus, Daylonte Scott, Taiyla Simms, Lakyra Smith, Carlos Wallace, Elisha Watson, Kelsey William, Keo Williams
Anne Catherine Green
© Sally Wern Comport First 18th c. Annapolitan woman printer-publisher in America, and a burly colonial pressman capture the energy and complexities of early printing in America. Green printed not only the Maryland Gazette newspaper, but colonial currency and official documents for the colonial legislature.
In May, 2007, a large assemblage of Sy Mohr's paintings of Annapolis, digitally collaged by artist Sally Wern Comport, was placed on display on the Harbormaster's Office at City Dock in downtown Annapolis.
With appreciation for their assistance: Maryland State Archives, Historic Annapolis Foundation, and the City of Annapolis Art in Public Places Commission.
We invite you to explore both yesterday and today's art in the public spaces of Annapolis, state and city office buildings, St. John's College and the United States Naval Academy. There are many private galleries throughout the City. Please note that photo ID is required to all state buildings and the United States Naval Academy.
This Annapolis Charter 300 project is being supported in part by a Preserve America grant administered by the National Park Service, Department of Interior. This material is based upon work assisted by a grant from the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Any opinion, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of the Interior.