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Smithsonian Exhibition on Impact of Fences Opens Jan. 17 at St. Mary’s

Local “Fences” Events Will Occur across Southern Maryland all Spring
December 20, 2010
Press Release #11-003

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A traveling Smithsonian Institution exhibition that examines the physical and sociological aspects of fences comes to Boyden Gallery at St. Mary's College of Maryland from January 17-March 4. "Between Fences," a collaboration between the Smithsonian and the Maryland State Humanities Council, also is a catalyst for a local related exhibition, "Facing Fences," which will be shown at the same time in the gallery and will include events, lectures, films, and programs across Southern Maryland. The exhibition will be open on January 17 after the 7th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Prayer Breakfast at St. Mary's College. An opening reception and listening circle is planned for 2 p.m. January 22 in the gallery. The reception and listening circle will be repeated at 2 p.m. March 4. See more information on events.

Why fences? There are as many interpretations of fences as there are actual boundaries. They can make us feel included, safe, protected; and then they can also make us feel excluded or left out. "Local fences play a large role in how we see and define ourselves," said Michael Glaser, professor emeritus and an exhibition organizer. "We have large physical fences around such places as the Patuxent River Naval Air Station and Calvert Cliffs. And we have metaphoric fences created by such things as membership fees, admission policies, vestiges of racism, and security clearances."

Some of the local groups participating: Patuxent River Keepers, the Daughters of Abraham, the Calvert Marine Museum, Walden Sierra, and the Unified Committee for Afro-American Contributions. Future activities include:

 • Non-credit film class exploring fences offered this spring: 7 p.m. the last Tuesday of each month starting in January.

• Fence-related tours and demonstrations at Historic St. Mary's City include a presentation by archaeologist Tim Riordan at 2 p.m. February 12 at the Visitor Center.

• "Intimacy, Power and Voice: How our hungers for intimacy and sex conspire to confuse and ennoble us," 8 p.m. February 15, Montgomery Hall, Room 151.

•  Picket painting by local grade school students – watch for these on display in your neighborhood!

• Release of SlackWater: A Journal on Environmental and Cultural Change in Southern Maryland's Tidewater  (Volume VII) in May on the topic of rights of way.

The gallery is free and open to the public 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

St. Mary's College of Maryland, designated the Maryland state honors college in 1992, is ranked one of the best public liberal arts schools in the nation by U.S. News & World Report. More than 2,000 students attend the college, nestled on the St. Mary's River in Southern Maryland.