A Brand New Day

A Brand New Day

Perry Hall resident to have art featured in an exhibit for artists with developmental disabilities

Oct 20, 2021, PERRY HALL — Since Crystal Wagner, of Perry Hall, started expressing herself through art over a decade ago, she has learned to use more intricate details in order to capture the splendor of nature in her work, and now she has completed paintings on plants, flowers, and animals.

Her latest piece of a rooster against a sunrise background, which she titled “A Brand New Day,” will be displayed on Oct. 22 at The Arc Baltimore’s Art in the Round, an annual exhibit and auction featuring pieces created by artists with developmental disabilities. “I have an eye for what is in nature,” Wagner said. “I love to go out in nature. It makes me feel good, and it makes me happy.”

“A Brand New Day,” which took Wagner two months to finish, is one of 50 art pieces out of 150 submissions that were selected for the juried exhibition, and she said that she is proud to have her work featured. “I am excited and thankful,” she said, adding that she has a wonderful art teacher, Sandee Widomski, who helped her finish her painting. Widomski, a Community College of Baltimore County adjunct professor, helped Wagner with “A Brand New Day” over a 14-session class that started in June that was part of contracted work with The Arc. She met Wagner 13 years ago when she first joined her art class at The Arc and said that Wagner has progressed in her artistic interest and ability over the years.

“Crystal has gained more confidence as an artist and has become much more creative with the use of color and detail,” she said. In fact, “A Brand New Day,” she said, is one of the most detailed art pieces that Wagner has ever done. “She is very enthusiastic and is willing to put in the work,” Widomski said about Wagner. “And it truly makes her happy.” Wagner’s latest work was inspired by her brother and sister-in-law, who keep roosters and chickens on their property. She decided to use one of the roosters, named Fred, as her subject and set it against a background of a sunrise that was based on a photo taken by her brother in his front yard. She named the piece “A Brand New Day,” she said, because “every day is a new day.”

In her art class, she first drew the sketch and then transferred it onto canvas, starting with the background and finishing with the rooster. In addition to painting, she also makes pieces using stained glass, ceramics, and other forms of art. “I feel so much joy and love for what I do,” she said.

By Logan Williamson lwilliamson@chespub.com, The Avenue

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