Worth a detour: “Mother Nurture” in Maryland

mixed media sculpture by Jacqui Crocetta

Jacqui Crocetta, “Untitled”

Along with putting the people’s business on hold and the nation’s credit rating at risk, the government shutdown has closed the door on some of this town’s other, more appealing monuments—the museums and galleries that offer free entrée to the world’s greatest art.

So how can the poor, tired and furloughed escape the bickering, name-calling and dystopia? Where can we go for our creativity fix?

Outside the Beltway, of course. At BlackRock Center for the Arts (Germantown, MD), arts-deprived citizens can find solace in “Mother Nurture,” an exhibition featuring the works of three women artists who express their passions through oil, sculpture and mixed media. My favorite was Jacqui Crocetta whose intriguing 3D sculpture and installations “explore and question the natural world and human experience.” In her series, “Protect. Nurture. Release.,” she focuses on the mother-child dynamic, the “letting go that is necessary to realize human potential and the feelings of both loss and joy that are an integral part of transitions.”

It’s an exquisite tension that plays out in all her pieces, most especially in “Undercurrent,” a large installation created specifically for the gallery space. A meditation on a near-death-by-drowning experience and the “precarious nature of life,” it came about after Crocetta pursued Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a novel technique that uses eye movements to reprogram memories and give them a happier or, at least, a more positive interpretation.

EMDR is often recommended for those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Considering what this latest GOP insurrection has put us through, we should all put the nearest practitioner on speed dial.

The show runs until November 2. Fingers crossed that the government is back to work by then.



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