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Griffin Blog

A periodic insight of events, activities and art work created at the Griffin Art Center by Resident Artists, Students or Instructors.

  • 01 Aug 2014 8:32 AM | Alice Hoxie (Administrator)

    Kids learn plein-air at the Griffin Art Center

    By Grace Toohey News-Post Staff | Posted: Friday, August 1, 2014 2:00 am

    She sat watching a white pony with brown markings. It grazed and sauntered through Laboring Park, the sunlight and shadows changing with each movement. Yet, before her were only colorful oil pastels undefined oranges, pinks, purples, greens, blues and yellows. Her challenge was to see the colors within and beyond the pony’s coat, and she did.

    Zoe Poppert was the only student in the “Birds, Bugs and Trees” art class at Griffin Art Center, giving her the opportunity to absorb all of instructor Brian Coyne’s artistic knowledge.

    During the class, Coyne took Zoe outside of the studio to be able to draw, paint and sketch the natural world, up close and personal. She drew ducks on the pond, trees in the park, and one day, Coyne brought a pony from D&D Pony Rides, so the 12-year-old artist could practice painting a live animal.

    Inspired by the Griffin Art Center’s co-owner and director Walt Bartman, Coyne pushed Zoe to “see the colors that you don’t really see ... see the hidden colors,” he said. “Zoe is really talented, and she picked up on them.”

    Coyne’s art class is one day camp the Griffin Center offered this summer, but many were not your typical art classes, as many of them took children beyond the studio and out to paint in the open air, or plein-air.

    “Most of the time they’re in school or inside,” said Courtney Behnken, who instructed a week of Artist Adventure camp, where they created art in Baker Park and in downtown Frederick. “It’s something really new for them. Plein-air drawing and painting has been around for decades, but that was very exciting for them.”

    Along with Coyne’s and Behnken’s camps, the Griffin Center offered ones on sculpting live animals, drawing in 3-D, art through the ages and even a rock ‘n’ roll camp, but some didn’t get enough interest to run this year.

    “I think the Griffin is known more for their adult artists; they’re not as well known for the kids,” Zoe’s mom, Traci Poppert, said. “I think as more people find out about them and see what they’re doing, I think they’ll become very popular ... because they have fantastic programs.”

    She made sure to register Zoe for their youth Quick Draw competition in June, where Zoe and she first met Coyne.

    “He just has a great way of relating with them and talking with them,” Popper said of Coyne. “He just has a dynamic personality and is a lot of fun to be around.”

    That, along with her daughter’s passion for art, made Coyne’s nature art class, and then his 3-D class


    “Usually when you send your kid to an art class, they are sitting at their desk working, looking at a picture or looking at a vase ... but field trips, that was really cool,” Poppert said.

    Griffin Art Center opened in June two years ago and offers a variety of classes for adults and children, as well as studio space for artwork.

    “We like to tie nature into our art instruction ... drawing and painting nature firsthand is really powerful,” Coyne said.

    The Griffin also makes a point to teach young artists, like Zoe, more fine art skills, techniques they won’t get in art class at school, Behnken said, who also teaches at Middletown Primary School.

    “Once they get in there, they are learning how to be artists, they are learning more,” she said. “It’s fine art skills that I learned in the beginning of art school that I’m modifying for students. Getting kids involved in art programs will make them better in other aspects, like thinking outside the box, higher level thinking, and a confidence boost ... making something is a really special thing.”

    Poppert said being an artist is a part of who Zoe is. She said they will be back at the Griffin Center, because Zoe really enjoyed Coyne’s instruction and her pieces undefined especially the live animals.

    “It’s good practice because they’re moving around,” Zoe said. “It just has a feeling that’s so different from photos; photos take away something undefined some of the life is missing. ... I just like putting colors on paper.” 

    Click here for full story with Images....

  • 15 Feb 2014 11:02 PM | Alice Hoxie (Administrator)
    Yoga and live drumming this morning, Sat 10:30-11:30 in the Blue Elephant Gallery at the Griffin Art Center. — with Robert Strasser and Eric Lofhjelm 

  • 05 Dec 2013 1:47 PM | Anonymous
    Annual Holiday Celebration & Benefit for Young Griffin Scholarship -- Winter Cows Heading Home by Wa

    Ring in the Yuletide with family fun for everyone on December 14th from 9AM-4PM at the Griffin Annual Holiday Celebration. This event is free an open to the public. All proceeds benefit the Young Griffin Scholarship Fund for young artists in need. 

    Activities continue all day long including holiday music by the Martin Family Band and art demonstrations by Griffin resident artists and instructors. Urbana Dance and Performing Arts Studio will perform excerpts from the Nutcracker at 1:00PM. Free children's craft activities, complimentary refreshments and light holiday fare will be provided during the event. Win an original piece of art by one of 23 Griffin resident artists and visit their studios and 3 galleries featuring original art for sale by instructors and resident artists.

    Canned good donations will be collected for The Frederick Rescue Mission. View the complete schedule events here.



    Located in beautiful Frederick County Maryland near the Villages of Urbana. Urbana Dance Studio offer a variety of classes to choose from, such as ballet, tap, jazz, hip hop, break dance, pointe, tumbling, contemporary, Latin & much more for both the recreational and competitive student. Urbana Dance is focused on providing high-quality service and customer satisfaction.

    Urbana Dance and Performing Arts Studio

    Visit their website at



    The Martin Family Band has an unmistakable signature sound that draws on the traditions of Old Time Appalachian string band music, dance music of Ireland and Colonial music. The family started playing at home for enjoyment, and has steadily risen to performing nationally and internationally since 1995.

    The Martin Family Band is played regularly on radio stations across the United States and in Europe, including D.C. and Maryland stations WAMU 88.5 and 89.7 WTMD.

    Visit their Facebook page at
  • 05 Sep 2013 1:06 PM | Anonymous
    Anne Quinlan - From the Inside Out

    Griffin Art Center is  pleased to announce the debut of new work from mixed media and Resident Artist, Anne E. Quinlan. The opening reception will be held this Saturday, September 7th from 5-8PM. 

    From the Inside Out is a visual narrative of the inner world. Inspired by thought, dream, memory, and emotion, Quinlan explores the primary conflict of human existence: the juxtaposition of fear and loneliness with compassion and love. Although each piece stands alone, together they represent a story about the shared human experience.

    Quinlan is an artist, art therapist, and yoga instructor living in Mt. Airy, MD. Additionally, she is a resident artist and instructor at the Griffin Art Center in Frederick, Maryland. In 1996, Quinlan earned a Masters Degree in Art Therapy from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA. She’s published and presented her work on art therapy and trauma at various local and national conferences. In 2010, Quinlan was invited to facilitate a professional workshop on healing through the creative process in Thessalonikki, Greece. She currently practices art therapy at Clearview Communities in Frederick.

    Visit Anne Quinlan's Facebook page here:

    From the Inside Out runs month long from September 6th through September 28th. Gallery hours are Fridays 5-8PM and Saturdays 3-8PM.
  • 05 Sep 2013 12:28 PM | Anonymous

    Griffin at Artomatic@Frederick

    Demonstrations, Lectures & a Twitter Contest.

    After a two year hiatus, Artomatic has returned to Downtown Frederick. Resident artists and instructors from Griffin Art Center will be conducting lectures and demonstrations open to the public during the epic, 5-week event. With over 300 artists from all over the mid-atlantic, this is one experience that will require several visits to appreciate. Visit our Griffin Art Center Room #3 in Building 2 (117 E Church Street) and the Young Griffin Room #14 in Building 1 (115 E Church Street). 

    For the full schedule of lectures and demonstrations, visit Artomatic@Frederick's website at or download our PDF Schedule of Events.

    Tweet your Favorites, Win $25!

    Griffin Art Center's invites children of all ages to express themselves artistically on our Children's Chalkboard Wall (Young Griffin Room #14). Stop by the wall at Artomatic and photograph, tweet and tag your favorite artwork with #griffinartomatic. You'll automatically be entered to win a $25 Downtown Frederick gift card! One winner will be selected each week of Artomatic starting this Friday, September 6th. Be sure to follow us on Twitter @griffinarts.
  • 01 Sep 2013 8:26 AM | Alice Hoxie (Administrator)

    Noah McWilliams presents: 3x5²

    Noah McWilliams presents: 3x5²

    FREDERICK, MD – September 7th, 2013 – Artist Noah McWilliams will be displaying his much anticipated audio installation, 3x5², at the Talon Gallery in Frederick, MD. This work represents the culmination of 6 years distributing over 20,000 thousand flyers under the windshield wipers of cars parked along North Market Street in Frederick, MD. Each flyer had the same equation printed on it, along with a phone number for callers to leave their responses. Because the flyer became infamous within the Downtown Frederick community, holding the exhibition in this location will allow both unfamiliar guests and past recipients of the flyer to interpret what the recorded responses reveal about the callers’ lives, emotions, interpretations and math skills (or lack thereof).

    This exhibit will be opening Saturday, September 7, from 5 PM - 9 PM, and again on Saturday, September 14, from 5 PM - 9 PM during Frederick’s In the Street Festival. The Talon Gallery is one of several galleries housed within the Griffin Art Center, but has a separate entrance at 2B West 5th Street in Frederick, MD.

  • 03 Sep 2012 8:52 AM | Alice Hoxie (Administrator)

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