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Hunting for Pearls

Artists bring their Pearls to Annapolis for a high-stakes hunt

Lee Boynton paints an effigy of one of the String of Pearls, which will be the quarry in a scavenger hunt to win a real pearl necklace.

The Pearls are going public in a high-stakes scavenger hunt for their effigies, with a real string of pearls rewarding success at the finish.
    To wear this string of pearls, you’ll have to find paintings of Pearl properties hidden around downtown Annapolis from June 21 through 23.
    The hunt was inspired by Lee Boynton, founder of Paint Annapolis, who recruited artists to paint the Pearls.
    “It’s really a win-win situation,” says Boynton. “It celebrates the properties very poetically in a visual, low-impact way and brings awareness to the String of Pearls vision.”
    Used to recruiting artists to paint out of doors for Paint Annapolis, Boynton had no trouble rounding up 10 regional artists to join him. Each is painting one of the Pearls; many are contributing several paintings.
    “These artists are a string of pearls themselves,” Boynton said, praising the diverse group who agreed to lend their talent to the event.
    Their paintings will be unveiled at a ceremony adding each property to the Registry of Pearls.
    When the ceremony ends, paintings will be whisked away to their temporary hiding places. Hunters will be guided by a list of 12 places where the Pearls can be found. Knowing where the paintings are hidden will not be enough. To win the real string of pearls, you will need to visit each location and write down the name of the artist as well as the number of Pearl paintings they have made.
    At 4pm Friday, the hunt begins. At its end at jeweler Ron George’s is a 48-inch string of white freshwater pearls with black pearl accents, valued at $430.
    Good hunting!

Ceremony 2pm Friday, June 21 at the Historical Society of Talbot County in Easton. Scavenger hunt 4pm Friday, 4pm Sunday, directions at MFA’s ­Circle Gallery, Annapolis. Winner announced at Sunday’s artists’ reception (4:30-6:30pm) at MFA. Original paintings of Pearls are for sale, with 40 percent of the price split between String of Pearls and the Eastern Shore Land Conservation.