RiverArts’ 9th Annual “Paint the Town” Plein Air Festival

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Talented artists from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and as far away as Connecticut and New Jersey will be arriving  to paint Chestertown and other local scenes in Kent and upper Queen Anne’s Counties in RiverArts’ 9th Annual “Paint the Town,” taking place April 26-29;

The artists will paint for three days, and it is great fun to watch them at work. On Thursday and Friday they will paint wherever they choose in Kent and Upper Queen Anne’s Counties. On Saturday  artists are encouraged to paint in downtown Chestertown.

The paintings will be framed and available for sale at the free “Wet Paint Reception and Sale” on Saturday, April 28, 5:30-8:00pm at RiverArts. The artists will have their own say by voting “Best in Show” and “Best Body of Work”. Sales tend to be brisk so visitors are encouraged to make their choices during the reception. However, if more time is needed, the paintings can be viewed again on Sunday.

Photo credit: Ken Young

In the Sunday morning “Quick Draw” artists have two hours to paint. Additional artists who were not able to participate during the week  have the opportunity to be part of “Quick Draw.” These paintings will also be for sale 11am-noon in Fountain Park and during the afternoon at the RiverArts Galleries in the breezeway.

Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. The public will also be invited to vote for the “People’s Choice.”

The judge for the “Quick Draw” is Sara Linda Poly. This award winning artist has participated in many regional and national shows and plein air competitions. She has spent many years living, traveling, and teaching around the U.S., Europe and Mexico.

Sponsors for the four day event include Cross Street Realtors,  Home Mattress Center, The Peoples Bank, Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, ACME Markets, and Redner’s Markets.

For more information visit www.chestertownriverarts.org or call RiverArts at 410- 778-6300. Chestertown RiverArts Galleries are located at 315 High Street, Suite 106. (in the breezeway).  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30 PM, Sunday, 11 AM to 3 PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

Chestertown Celebrates Earth Day with Festival & Electric Vehicle Display

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Celebrate our planet and sustainability on Saturday, April 21 at the 8th Annual Earth Day Festival in Downtown Chestertown’s Memorial Plaza from 9 am to 1 pm.

This family friendly event, co-sponsored by the Town of Chestertown and Washington College Center for Environment and Society, features an array of eco-friendly goods, services, solar energy contractors, energy auditors, and conservation organizations. Learn about growing local foods, native plants, and living sustainably with the environment.

Recycle your batteries, CFL and fluorescent bulbs courtesy of Hanleyman Services. Free paper shredding will also be available on site from 10 am to noon.

Infinity Recycling returns with their popular “guess the weight” bales of crushed cans, plastic bottles and paper. Gift certificates will be awarded to those guessing the closest weight.

In addition, RiverArts is sponsoring a Recycled Art Contest open to all ages as part of the annual Earth Day celebration.  Media used must be composed of a minimum of 50% recycled materials; the bulk of the material used must be material that would be discarded were it not repurposed.  Each artist may submit up to four pieces, executed in any medium. Visit chestertownriverarts.org and click on KidSPOT for more info, or call 410 778 6300.

Judging and prizes will be awarded at the festival. Applications are available at RiverArts, 215 High Street, Suite 106, in the breezeway in downtown Chestertown, or call 410 778 6300. They must be received no later than April 18.

Other family friendly activities include face painting, a bounce house and live music. The Mt. Olive Church will have fried fish, shrimp  and other festival food, or grab something to eat at the farmers’ market or one of the locally run downtown cafes and restaurants. For information on sponsoring the event or vendor participation, please call Jon at 410 708 8951 or Andy at 443 480 1987.

RiverArts 9th Annual “Paint the Town”: A Plein Air Festival

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After a brutally cold winter, what better way to savor the warmth and beauty of early spring than to come to RiverArts 9th Annual “Paint the Town”, April 26-29, where more than fifty talented artists will paint Chestertown and the surrounding countryside and waterways.

Artists come from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and as far away as Washington, D.C. and New York. In fact, Chestertown has been voted the “best place to escape” in Maryland.

Many artists paint scenes of historic Chestertown and the surrounding small towns and countryside recommended by local artists, while some  arrive a day early to scout out Kent County,  looking for something that seems special to them. The result is a wonderful  range of paintings that include historic buildings and street scenes, gardens, rural expanses, seascapes, nautical views, and more.

The artists will paint for three days while visitors can watch them at work. On Thursday and Friday they will paint wherever they choose in Kent and upper Queen Anne’s Counties. On Saturday the artists are encouraged to paint in downtown Chestertown during which time one of Maryland’s most popular Farmers’ Markets is in town.

The paintings are framed and will be available for sale at the free “Wet Paint Reception and Sale” on Saturday, April 28, 5:30-8:00pm at RiverArts, 315 High Street. The artists will have their own say by voting “Best in Show” and “Best Body of Work”. Sales tend to be brisk so visitors are encouraged to make their choices during the reception. However, if more time is needed, the paintings can be viewed on Sunday morning.

On Sunday there will be a “Quick Draw” where artists have two hours to paint a scene. Several artists who were not able to participate in the four-day event, will be able to participate in the Quick Draw competition.  These paintings will also be for sale 11am-noon. They will be shown in Fountain Park. In case of inclement weather, the paintings will be moved to the breezeway near RiverArts. A judge will award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. Visitors will be encouraged to vote for the “People’s Choice Award”.

Chestertown is 90 miles from Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Phildelphia. It is worth making a day or weekend trip to see so many artists at work. For information on lodging, restaurants, and other attractions go to www.kentcounty.com or contact our Tourism Department at 410-778-0416.

For more information visit www.chestertownriverarts.org call RiverArts at 410 778 6300.

Chestertown RiverArts Galleries are located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD21620 – (in the breezeway).  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30 PM, Sunday (April – December) 11 AM to 3 PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

8th Annual Empty Bowls to Benefit Kent County Food Pantry

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The RiverArts community invites the public to attend their 8th Annual Empty Bowls on Wednesday, April 11 at the First United Methodist Church, 105 North Mill Street in downtown Chestertown. This popular community event raises funds for the Kent County Food Pantry.

For the price of a $25 ticket, $10 for students with ID, guests will enjoy a meal of soup, bread, and dessert in a keepsake handmade pottery bowl. The RiverArts Clay Studio potters  create the bowls, which are a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world. No one should go to bed hungry. The Chestertown Ukulele Club will provide entertainment.

Reservations are required, and the public is urged to purchase early, as seating is limited. There are two seatings, 5 pm and 6:30 pm. For tickets please go online at chestertownriverarts.org and click on events or call the RiverArts gallery at 410 778 6300.

This event is sponsored by RiverArts, the First United Methodist Church, Kent County Arts Council, Bookplate, MassoniArt, Mimi’s Closet, Peaceful World Enterprise, and Welcome Home.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD  21620 – (in the breezeway).  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30 PM, Sunday 11 AM to 3 PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

Voting Opens for Runway Designs

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“Carpet Bagger of the Chesapeake” modeled by Mike Pugh

RiverArts Reclaimed Runway designers are in various stages of finishing their creative designs made from recycled and repurposed materials for this Saturday’s event.  Emceed by John Schratwieser and judged by Marjorie Adams Marcy Ramsey, and Leslie Raimond, this is sure to be a fabulous, fun-filled event that will highlight the talent in this community.

Designer Harriet Olsen has knit the bodice of her dress out of plastic bags while Mary Pritchard added the kitchen trash bags sleeves to their design “Chic Plastique.”  Designer Anne Singer experiments with the use of bubble wrap to create her Tuesday Team’s “Bubbly Bride.” Meghan Dulin and Morgan Bench are making a social action statement by using homeless signs as part of her “Shared Hunger” creation.  The Runway’s two male designers haven’t updated us recently but Zane Carter’s “Knight on the Town” and Mike Pugh’s “Carpet Bagger of the Chesapeake” are sure to be exceptional as will all of our local talent.

In addition to the judges’ choice for a Best in Show design that evening, a People’s Choice award for the most creative design will be given to the designer with the most votes. Voting is now open online at http://chestertownriverarts.net/events/reclaimed-runway/ and will continue through Wednesday, March 28.  All are invited to vote for their favorite design, and the cost of each vote is $1.

Cheer on your favorite designer and the runway event by coming to the Reclaimed Runway this Saturday, March 24 from 5:00 to 8:00 at the Chesapeake Room, Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Dept.  Our favorite bartender Jeff Maguire will be doing his thing at the bar, an incredible silent auction will be in play and a specialty welcome drink and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served in addition to the Runway fun.

Check out the RiverArts website to buy tickets, vote and learn more about the event at http://chestertownriverarts.net/events/reclaimed-runway/ or call 410 778 6300.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD  21620 – (in the breezeway).  Winter Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

Fashion Event of the Season – the RiverArts Reclaimed Runway

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Designers are at work creating beautiful and/or outrageous fashions to strut down the runway for the fashion event of the season, RiverArts’ Reclaimed Runway at the Chesapeake Room of the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Department on March 24. In addition, RiverArts members have donated some extraordinary items for the silent auction.  Among the exciting options are a three-bedroom condo in Telluride, a Paul Reed Smith guitar, a behind-the-scenes private tour of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, gourmet dinners, and a sunset margarita boat cruise.

The luxury Telluride apartment sleeps up to eight people and has three bedrooms, three baths and a fully equipped kitchen sleeping up to 8 people.   Donated by Leslie and Andy Price, the apartment is available July 15 – 22 and is valued at $4995.  The resort is high in the San Juan mountain range in SW Colorado, and is a very short walk to two Gondolas, one which goes to downtown Telluride and the other to the food market in Mountain Village.   The Lodge will provide complimentary transportation between the Lodge and either the Telluride Airport or the Montrose Airport.

Telluride Condo

Is there a musician in your family? They will covet the Paul Reed Smith (PRS) SE Custom 24 guitar.  Played by internationally touring artists, gigging musicians, and aspiring players alike, this amethyst model features a maple top, mahogany back, wide thin maple neck, rosewood fretboard with bird inlays, and the PRS patented molded tremolo bridge.

Priceless! A behind-the-scenes private tour for two of the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York. Options include meeting curatorial and conservation staff.

Among the gourmet dinners are a fabulous September crab feast and garden party for six with Vida Morley and Bob Fox, a 4 course Asian fusion dinner for six with Ronnie Edelman, and a scrumptious paella dinner with a whole lobster for each of six guests with MaryJo and Champe McCulloch and Mary and Charlie Sjoquist.

A popular return auction item is a Margarita Cruise for 6 people down Still Pond Creek and along the Chesapeake Bay for a stunning sunset over the Western Shore with Nancy and Zane Carter.

Sandra and Neal Jackson have donated a two-night stay in their beautiful Washington, D.C., apartment with parking near the Washington Cathedral, Georgetown, and excellent restaurants.

Also on the auction table is a Tim Field’s framed photograph of Turner’s Creek, art classes at Hollycroft Studio with Cindy Fulton, knitting classes with Sue Wright, a Margaritaville blender and dozens of other unique, affordable items.

You can buy tickets, check out the full list of auction items, and vote for your favorite designer(s), online at chestertownriverarts.org, click on events. For more info call the gallery at 410 778 6300.

RiverArts Reclaimed Runway benefits RiverArts educational programming for children and adults. RiverArts currently provides programs at four locations:  children’s programs at KidSPOT and adult programs at the Education Center, the Clay Studio, and the Gallery.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD  21620 – (in the breezeway).  Winter Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

Meet the Talented Designers for RiverArts Reclaimed Runway

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Excitement is building to see the creations of twenty local designers at RiverArts inaugural Reclaimed Runway.  This upscale fashion show will feature fabulous, one-of-a-kind creations designed by artists of all ages using recycled or re-purposed materials.The twenty designers or their chosen models will be “strutting their junk” on the runway while John Schratweiser, executive director of the Kent County Arts Council, emcees the fun at the Rock Hall Fire House on Saturday, March 24 from 5 to 8:00.

Runway designers were asked to submit their plans and share the inspiration for their designs and the materials that they would be using to transform recycled and repurposed materials and other trash into high class fashion and costumes.

Zane Carter’s “Knight on the Town” creation will be constructed from aluminum cans, monofilament, discarded clothing, paint, and feathers. Harriet Olsen and Mary Pritchard’s design “Chic Plastique” will use plastic bags and yarn, old neckties and used placemats. Cindy Fulton will create “Fulton’s Flying Saucer Fantasy” from recycled paper plates and string. RiverArts Clay Studio’s Mike Pugh is creating “Carpet Bagger of the Chesapeake” from shag carpet, leisure suits, carpet bags, pop tops and oyster shells.  A&E director Kay Macintosh is using recycled 2017 Visitors maps to construct “Last Year’s Dress.”

The PFLAG Mid-Shore Chapter team has designed “Spring Pastels begin the Blossom” and stated the following as their inspiration, “Our gendered lives begin with the pastel color labels of pink and blue.  As we blossom, each person becomes their own color palette.  The results are all beautiful!”

Beryl Kemp was inspired by the J. Crew Christmas mailer packaging and wrote to the CEO of J. Crew to see if she could get a larger amount for her creation, “J.”.  He wrote back that he was delighted to do so.

Rounding out the design talent are Radcliffe Creek School, Nancy Bennington, Liza Brocker and her daughter, Alanna Berman, Meghan Dulin, Morgan Bench, Christine Firrito-Easton, Kent School, Dora Pelczar, Tuesday Team, WCTR’s Leslie Sea, and Wired Coast.

Looking for a creative fundraiser, the RiverArts board became enthused when Mary Pritchard described visit to the Finger Lakes Art Council Recycled Runway and voted unanimously to host their own.  Reclaimed Runways are popping up all over the country, and the fashion designs and event videos easily found online share the creativity, hilarity, and community fun these events spur.

RiverArts Recycled Runway benefits RiverArts educational programming for children and adults. RiverArts currently provides programs at four locations:  children’s programs at KidSPOT and adult programs at the Education Center, the Clay Studio, and the Gallery.

Learn more about the RiverArts Reclaimed Runway and buy tickets online at Chestertownriverarts.org, click on events.

Or call RiverArts at 410 778 6300.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD  21620 – (in the breezeway).  Winter Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

RiverArts Launches Film Society with Screening of The Butler

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RiverArts, a dynamic, regional arts center whose mission is to be the place where the arts meet the community, has launched a Film Society that focuses on film as a visual art form and forum for social commentary.  A screening of The Butler will kick off the 2018 season with a talkback by Wil Haygood at Sumner Hall on Saturday, March 3 at 5:00.  Register on the RiverArts website or call 410 778 6300.

The Butler tells the story of Cecil Gaines, the African American son of a sharecropper who serves as a White House butler to eight different presidents from Truman to Reagan. The film is based on a 2008 Washington Post story by Wil Haygood who served as an associate producer to the movie Haygood’s article, entitled A Butler Well Served by This Election, described Eugene Allen, who worked in the White House for more than 30 years, under eight different administrations, as “a black man unknown to the headlines.”

Filmmaking is a complex and powerful art form in our world.  The RiverArts Film Society mission is to provide transformative cinematic experiences by screening films with diverse perspectives followed by thought provoking discussions.  RiverArts will partner with Sumner Hall and the Mainstay to show monthly films with talkbacks at their venues which offer large screens and an intimate, coffee-house ambiance.

The RiverArts Film Society is a membership club with an annual fee of $30 for one person or $50 for two. Membership includes free admission to up to ten films per year that include talkbacks and Q&A by engaging, knowledgeable presenters.  You can join the 2018 Film Society on the RiverArts website, chestertownriverarts.org, click on film society, or call 410 778 6300.

The 2018 screenings are curated by Robert Earl Price and Pam Whyte.

They have chosen three films in each of four themes.  Screening dates will be posted as soon as confirmed.

The Butler

Films about African Americans
Curated by Robert Earl Price
Uptight
Nothing But a Man

Do the Right Thing

Bergman Films
Curated by Robert Earl Price
The Seventh Seal
Cries and Whispers
Persona

1960’s Cultural Phenoms
Curated by Pam Whyte
The Graduate
To Kill a Mockingbird
Butch Cassidy & The Sundance Kid

Documentaries
Curated by Pam Whyte
Anne Frank’s Holocaust
JFK:  The Lost Bullet
9/11:  Stories in Fragments

More information about the film society, the film screenings, and filmmaking classes can be found on the website, chestertownriverarts.org, click on film society.  Louise Miller and Lani Seikaly chair the RiverArts Film Advisory Board and welcome any ideas you have for future film screenings, classes or workshops.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD  21620 – (in the breezeway).  Winter Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

Call for Artists: “Birds and Bees, and Their Houses”

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Although we are amid this cold wintery season, it is not too early to be thinking about Spring. To usher in this delightful season, The RiverArts Galleries will be hosting an eclectic and unique show, Birds and Bees, and their Houses in March.

We invite you to exhibit your creative works that exemplify the birds, bees, and their houses.  Two and three-dimensional bird themed art, functional or non-functional bird houses, wild and whimsical, mixed media, will all be welcomed. Let your creativity run wild!

Artists are encouraged to submit works made from, but not limited to, wood, metal, natural materials, glass, tile, clay, or fiber. Combinations of materials are encouraged.

Bird –  themed two-dimensional paintings, drawings, etchings, fiber art, etc., are also welcomed.  This show will not include photography or water fowl, however.

The Birds and Bees, and Their Houses will be curated by RiverArts members Rob Glebe, accomplished Chestertown metal artist, and Laura Ventura, active potter at the RiverArts Clay Studio.

Exhibition Dates: March 1 – 31
Drop Off: Sunday, February 25, 2- 4 pm
Monday, February 26. 10 am – 5 pm
Opening Reception: March 2, 5 – 8 pm
Curator & Artists’ Talk: March 8, 5:30

Although online submission is not required for this show, we highly encourage artists to pre-register.

Please visit http://chestertownriverarts.org and click on Exhibits for more information. You may also call the gallery at 410.778.6300 or email info@chestertownriverarts.org.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD  21620 – (in the breezeway).  Winter Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.