New Art and New Artists Keeps Studio Tour Fresh and Fun

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Now in its 17th year, the RiverArts Studio Tour promises to be exciting as always. More than fifty artists and artisans will be opening their studios to the public on this free self-guided tour on two weekends, October 22-23 and 29-30.

Many have been a part of the tour for years. Visitors enjoy seeing how the work has evolved. For example, in 2006 Rob Glebe entered the art world with open work metal vessels. He loved creating patterns and texture as well as exploring metal finishes and patinas. He added wall art to his repertoire, attaching metal leaves or pods to create three-dimensional pieces. His more recent interest in creating furniture has led to several collaborative pieces made with his wood-working wood-worker and fellow Studio Tour artist Bob Ortiz. Rob is now exploring garden sculptures, benches, and other garden design elements.

Cindy Bowers Fulton has participated all but one year. She works primarily in acrylics and pastels, and each year features a completely new series. Past themes have been Water and Sky, Abstract, Canyons of the Southwest, Photorealism Paintings, Nudescapes, and copper tubing garden sculptures. This year she plans to exhibit one piece from each of her previous series in addition to new forest work.

There are eight new artists on the tour whose work should not be missed. Mediums include photography, printmaking, painting, ceramics, painted glass, and quilting.

Sue Basener says that taking pictures was imprinted on her as a child when watching her grandfather work in his darkroom. After retiring from teaching, she bought a film camera and learned darkroom techniques. In 2008 she switched to a digital camera. Sue says, “My photography is an expression of how I see and relate to my world; it is an attempt to capture and even enhance the feeling of a specific time and place.” She is exhibiting in Studios at Hawk Point.

Blue Canary Letterpress, newly opened on High Street, is owned and operated by Jodi Bortz. Jodi is a second generation printer; her dad was a printer and her mom made the plates. She still uses her dad’s ink knife for mixing colors. Blue Canary Letterpress specializes in custom creations for special events, businesses, and other art quality print needs.  Of special interest are local inspired items like the Kent County Map and Tall Ships coasters. You can also schedule a printing party and participate in the printing of your custom created design.

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Talavera painted ceramics by Fredy Granillo

Jennifer Deskins creates realistic and abstract pieces using paint, pen-and-ink and graphite to tell stories without the use of words. Her work, on view in her High Street studio, is inspired by reflections on her own life. She is currently working on a drawing/ painting series entitled “An Unlikely Pair – Trees and Oysters.”

Dara Friel works with oil on canvas and loves the color, texture, and smell of it. Much of her work is abstract with bright colors. She has been an artist for 25 years, off and on. Sometimes her day job took precedence, but she always came back to painting. Dara is located in the Cannon Street Studios.

Fredy Granillo is a painter and a potter from El Salvador. In Central America he researched the use of local plants and wood ashes as a decorative material for Pre-Columbian ceramics. Since moving to Maryland in February he has been inspired to experiment with local wood ash to create similar clayslips which he applies to his pottery for decoration. He will be showing decorative Talavera painted pottery as well as terra cotta toned pottery and miniature Talavera tile earrings. He will be exhibiting with Marcy Dunn Ramsey at her studio.

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Kevin Harris

Kevin Harris works with acrylics and house paints on glass, sketching and painting in reverse on the back of the glass. He enjoys working in this medium because it is so challenging. His subject matter is an expression of his experience as an African-American living on the Eastern Shore. Previously he was a graphic artist but has been painting now for five years. This year the quality of his work enabled him to be accepted to Artscape in Baltimore. His work may be found at the Wilson Schumann Gallery on Cannon Street in Chestertown.

Ellen Jacobson has had her hands in clay since she was 12 years old. She spent many years running pottery programs in community art centers while maintaining a studio in her home, currently in Rock Hall.  She works in both porcelain and terra cotta. Function is her main source of inspiration. She wants her pots to be used and for a relationship to develop between the user and the pot.

Christine Kamon is passionate about quilting. Her work has a fresh and exciting feel of abstract and original contemporary designs. She approaches her craft with enthusiasm and creativity at every turn. “With bursts of color and geometric diversity she offers a visual feast of color.”  Her studio is in Kennedyville.

Examples of each artist’s work and will be on display at RiverArts, 315 High Street, in Chestertown. Interactive maps, artist information and a downloadable brochure are available at www.studiotour.chestertownriverarts.org.  For additional information call the gallery at 410 778 6300. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11-4, First Friday, 11-8, Saturday 10-4 and Sunday, 11-3. During the tour the gallery will be open Saturday and Sunday, 10am to -5pm.

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