Art in the Afternoon: a day spent with artist, poet, and inspirer, Joan Henderson Hodous

I spent yesterday at the inspirational home, Watersounds, of local artist, Joan Henderson Hodous and her husband, Dr. Buz, a retired dentist. Joan is an eclectic collector, world traveler, writer, painter, and has a lifetime of stories and memories which is clearly reflected in her home. The home is a family’s living gallery space of international memories, furniture, and artifacts. They found their chandelier in Prague, dining chairs in Spain, tiles in Mexico, stained glass in Austria, candlesticks in Berlin, fireplace mantle from a mansion demolition in Baltimore, various sculptures from Israel, Italy, and France, and almost all of the paintings displayed are Joan’s own work!


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I heard stories about rummaging through debris (aka dumpster diving) in 1950s Berlin, trips to Cuba “on the down low”, witnessing the partial raising of the Titanic, winters spent in Key West, an arm wrestle contest for a pub sign in England (and winning!), and so much more. Spending time with Joan and Buz feels as though you are reading a captivating historical novel the likes of Hemmingway.

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One of my favorite collections of the Hodous home, among the several hundred German beer steins and stacks of French pottery, Joan collects small figurines/ statues of women from every country she has visited. As I browsed just a small portion of this collection, I was almost inspired to write another dissertation for my Intercultural Studies program! How much we can learn from each countries’ depiction of the female role!


As someone who, let’s face it, gets most of her daily inspiration online, whether through reading travel blogs, finding a new recipe for butternut squash, browsing culture infographics or lusting after home decor photos on Pinterest, this day of real life inspiration was one that was much-needed.

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I took over one hundred photos of this home and event for Harford County’s Center for the Arts, if you would like to be inspired by even more photos, pop on over to Center for the Arts’s facebook page to view the album!


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