By Gina Gallucci-White
Special to The News-Post
While working in the microbiology department at MedStar Washington Hospital Center for 30 years, Rob Baviello put art on the back burner.
“I promised myself once I retired, I would dedicate the remainder of my days to my true love: art,” he said. “I can honestly say that I have done that. No day passes without me working on projects in my studio.”
The Frederick resident usually has several paintings in the works at once. “There is so much I want to do that I can’t choose,” Baviello said. “Usually, one out of the lot will take lead and become completed before the others do. It is a fickle love, I guess, but I love them all.”
One of his acrylic paintings was recently featured in the annual Over 70 Show at the Delaplaine Arts Center in August. The portrait featured his friend Winston Tsung Han Chun, who was visiting him from Taiwan. “I love working with the acrylic medium and I have always loved working with the human figure,” he said. “...I was inspired to do (Tsung Han Chun’s) portrait as he rested on the recliner. It looked so natural, as a moment of life captured on canvas.”
This was the first year he had entered a piece in the show. “I have been working hard at developing my craft for over 10 years now,” Baviello said. “I enjoy sharing my efforts with other artists and seeing what they are doing. ...Art is a universal language and has importance in many ways. It is one way that humans can express themselves.
“Many people don’t have the time to pursue art until they retire. They have all this creativity bottled up inside them. It’s wonderful to have the chance to share these visions we’ve been harboring for years—to finally let it out and share it with others and to see what they have to say.”
The show featured a wide variety of mediums, including mixed media, jewelry, ceramics, photography, and sculptures, that were showcased after an open call from the Delaplaine.
“There are multiple people who have different experiences,” said Sydney Dexter, Delaplaine exhibitions manager. “The Over 70 Show is a great reflection of that. We have various artists with different skill levels—artists their entire lives or just in past 10 to 15 years. ...We want to celebrate those people in a way that is reflective of our community. These people are here and they are creating and we want to feature that.”
The show, open to both professionals and novices, has grown over the past few years. In 2017, the exhibit showcased 61 pieces. This year, 163 works were on display. With this year marking the show’s 15th anniversary, the Delaplaine displayed pieces created by students participating in the M&T Senior Scholarship in the Arts program, which provides free art classes for area seniors. “It is more of a comprehensive celebration than it has been in years past,” Dexter said.
Stephen Hung of Urbana submitted a photograph he took of a foggy sunrise while visiting Taiwan a few years ago. A member of a local photography club, this was the second year he participated in the show.
“I have always been fond of photography, but when I was working, I really didn’t have much time,” Hung said. After he retired, he devoted more time to taking pictures. He has asked friends why they don’t retire, and some say they don’t know what they would do if they did. Hung believes it is important to have some kind of hobby like art, painting or photography to keep a person active.
Barbara Kenny has participated in the show for more than a decade. “As an artist, I like to show as much as possible wherever I can,” she said. “I think a lot of artists are like that. To me, art is a kind of communication and I want to share it with people. I am fascinated with their responses to it.”
This year, the Frederick resident entered an oil painting called “Color Garden.” Her inspiration for pieces usually comes from nature and colors.
As a child, Kenny enjoyed using paints, pencils, crayons or whatever art supplies she could get her hands on. During her professional career, she did commercial and fine art and later maintained a psychotherapy practice in Virginia. When she moved to Maryland, she began painting again.
“Art is ageless, and I have had a lifetime of practice,” Kenny said. “What a wonderful venue to be able to say, ‘Hey we may be 70, (in my case 80,) but we can still paint, create and present a good show.’”