TO DEC. 27

There’s something heartening in Ann Krumrein’s 22 Cibachrome and black-and-white photos of leaves, flowers, and plants. And though her images are both wistful and lyrical, it’s her sense of humor that stands out. It appears that Krumrein, a Lanham, Md., sculptor and photographer, has no trouble acknowledging the levity in her attempts at making the plant kingdom a stand-in for the most profound and basic of human feelings. Take Dignity, which features as a slightly worm-eaten leaf lying facedown on the ground, its decaying body brightened by the sun. Or Resignation (pictured), which portrays a red leaf inked with bright green veins lying in a bed of grass, looking like a catatonic Pillsbury Dough Boy toppled over on his side. There’s also a tight shot of raindrops hugging the surface of a large leaf, titled Intimacy; Readiness is a close-up of a mass of cactus thorns. Krumrein got the inspiration for these photographs from a Ute prayer. “Sometimes when I read, I’ll visualize something and feel compelled to express it,” she says. “I’ve always believed this about nature: that it can teach us if we just listen to it.” Krumrein listens with her Nikon F3 and a macro lens; then she lets her lyrical images do the talking. Her work is on view from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily (except Wednesday, Dec. 25), to Friday, Dec. 27, at the Montpelier Cultural Arts Center, 12826 Laurel-Bowie Road, Laurel. Free. (301) 953-1993. (T.R. Goldman)

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