RiverArts Starts the New Year with Exciting New Classes


RiverArts has something for everyone with the broad spectrum of classes offered throughout the year. In January, we’ve got workshops in woodworking, digital photography and iPhoneography, as well as several pottery workshops at RiverArts’ Clay Studio at its new downtown location, 204 High Street.

Holly Geddes facilitates Figure Drawing sessions on Wednesdays, 4:00-7:00pm at KidSPOT, located next to the RiverArts Gallery and Gift Shop. Featuring professional models of both genders, the sessions are valuable to artists who want to improve their sense of proportion, line quality, understanding of anatomy and overall drawing skill. Beginners are welcome. The cost is $10/session (with the purchase of a ticket book) or $15 at the door.

Master woodworker Vicco von Voss will teach Woodworking Workshop – Make a Side Table. Sessions will be held on one Saturday a month for four months, 9:00-3:00pm, at Vicco’s workshop in Centreville (145 Island Creek Road). Participants should have some experience with hand tools and be familiar with hand cut mortise and tenon joinery. The cost of the class is $450 for RiverArts members and $560 for non-members. Sign up soon, Vicco’s classes always sell out!

Want to learn about your digital camera and the great pictures you can take with it? Dick Lance offers his Basic Digital Photography class on Sundays, January 18, 25, February 1 and 8, 2:00-3:30, in KidSPOT. The class covers the basic steps in creating digital photographs, editing using proprietary and free software, and some special photographic techniques. The cost of the class is $135 for members and $165 for non-members.

The Art of iPhoneography with Anne Highfield will be held on Tuesdays, January 27, February 3, 10, and 17, 6:30-8:00pm at KidSPOT. The best camera for taking photos is the one that you always have with you. Shooting pictures with your phone adds a level of convenience, flexibility, and spontaneity to the photographic process. Students will get a solid introduction to using the iPhone camera, and a different app or technique will be examined each week. The cost of the class is $135 for members and $165 for non-members.

RiverArts is very excited about the Clay Studio’s new downtown location and is starting off the new year with five workshops in January, geared to beginner, intermediate and advanced students.

Karen Douglas invites everyone to explore the possibilities of what can be done with a slab of clay in her Handbuilding class on Mondays, January 5-26, 6:30-9:30pm. Each week students will make something

Cermamics by Doug Sassi

Ceramics by Doug Sassi

different and start to develop their own artistic style. The cost of the class is $115 for members and $145 for non-members.

The Potters Wheel will be taught by Marilee Schumann on Tuesday evenings, January 6-February 24, 6:00-8:30pm. and by Doug Sassi on Wednesday mornings, January 7 – February 25, 9:30-noon This class is geared to Intermediate/Advanced students who want to continue to develop their throwing and creative techniques through one-on-one teaching and self-directed projects. The focus is on aesthetics, craftsmanship, and personal expression. The cost of each of these classes is $230 for members and $285 for non-members.

Marilee Schumann

Marilee Schumann

Marilee Schumann will also teach Beginner’s Pottery on the Wheel, Thursday evenings, January 8-February 26, 6:00-8:30pm. Beginners will learn to make basic forms of functional ceramics on the potters wheel, including glazing. The cost of the workshop is $230 for members and $285 for non-members. The fee includes the first 25lbs of clay and the first glazing. Beginning students will need a $15 tool kit which is available for purchase at the first meeting.

Rick Bisgyer will teach Intermediate/Advanced Wheel Technique, Wednesdays, January 7- January 28, 6:30-8:00pm. This is the perfect class for accomplished students to hone their skills. A different technique will be explored each week. The cost of the class is $115 for members and $145 for non-members.

All or our instructors are extremely knowledgeable, creative, and great teachers. For more information and to register for any of these classes, visit chestertownriverarts.org/classes/, call 410-778-6300 or email riverarts@verizon.net. Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106 in Chestertown.

Eastern Shore School of Music Seasonal Showcase Dec. 18th and 20th


This weekend the budding musicians of the Eastern Shore School of Music located at Music Life in Chestertown are once again preparing for their seasonal showcase. After its second successful year, new musicians have grown by leaps and bounds and are ready to share their new found talents with the community.

Owner and founder, Bill Drazga is thrilled with the progress that his students all ages and instructional levels have made as the school has grown. The diversity of the students and teachers, from age 5 to 75, highlight that the region is ripe with people with a love for music ready to be nurtured. Students range from preschool school to adults have been
practicing and working towards this event for months.

The showcase concert filled with Christmas carols and holiday fare will be in two parts. On Thursday Dec 18, at 6:30 middle school, high school and adult students will perform holiday favorites on saxophone, guitar, trumpet, flute and more. On Saturday Dec 20 at 10am, the Little Mozarts class of pre-k and elementary children will sing and perform Christmas songs, followed at 11am with a piano recital of teen and adult learners.

Light refreshments will be served between performances and after the show.

The free concert will take place in the Upper Room of Music Life located at 241 High Street.  For more information about the school and its programs
call 410-778-7010, email info@musiclifedelmarva.com or visit www.musiclifedelmarva.com. Classes for the new year are enrolling now.

Eastern Shore’s Working Artists Forum Reports in


The Working Artists Forum (WAF), a nonprofit organization of professional Eastern Shore artists, recently resumed their monthly Board and Member meetings at the Academy Art Museum in Easton. WAF continues to enjoy a close collaboration with the Academy, and is most appreciative of their generous support. Since WAF’s original founding of 13 members in 1979, this expanding group of artists has grown to 93 members from the Eastern Shore of Maryland, Baltimore, Washington, DC and Delaware.

Each September, new members have an opportunity to jury into The Working Artists Forum. Prospective members must be sponsored by a WAF member in good standing and their work reviewed by jury prior to acceptance. Members of WAF show their work in various locations each year around the Eastern Shore, both separately and together. Upcoming group shows for 2015 will be held at Chesapeake College, Todd Performing Arts Center, (April), Heron Point, Chestertown, (June), Dorchester Art Museum (August), and The Selections Gallery at the Academy Art Museum (9/12-11/29).

In addition, each summer The Working Artists Forum hosts the Local Color Show at Easton’s Tidewater Inn. This show is held concurrently with and under the auspices of the annual Plein Air Easton Competition and Arts Festival. All artists living on the Delmarva Peninsula are invited to participate in this juried and judged event which attracts arts enthusiasts from across our country. Painting demonstrations and conversations with nationally recognized artists are provided to the public free of charge.

Each year, some of the proceeds from “Local Color” are used to supplement art supplies in elementary schools on the Eastern Shore. This year WAF is very pleased to increase the support by 25% and add two more schools. This year’s contributions will be distributed to: Denton Elementary and Federalsburg Elementary in Caroline County; Choptank Elementary, Hurlock Elementary and Warwick Elementary in Dorcester County; Galena Elementary and H.H. Garnett Elementary in Kent County; Chapel District and Easton Elementary in Talbot County; and Church Hill Elementary, Grasonville Elementary, and Kennard Elementary in Queen Anne’s County. The donations are made on a rotating basis and designed to foster visual arts programs and ‘keep the creative spark alive”, as members believe that teachers and students are an integral part of our vibrant art community.

For more information about The Working Artists Forum, please see their website at www.workingartistsforum.com


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Attached photo: WAF’s Board for 2015 attending the Holiday Member Luncheon at the Academy Art Museum, from left: Patty Mowell, Show Chair, Joan Bennett, Membership Chair Judy Specht, Corresponding Secretary Gerry Czajkowski, Archivist Betty Huang, President Georgette Toews, Vice President Barbara Zuehlke, Treasurer Nancy Thomas, Secretary Evie Baskin, Publicity Mary Louise Kleman, Newsletter

After Paris Comes Easton: Bill Viola at the Academy With Anke Van Wagenberg


Well before camcorders, flash cards, HD resolution, and a host of other components that make up our digital world these days, New York native Bill Viola decided to become a video artist.

That was in 1973, when video was still mostly used for commercial television and some instructional use. While film had been slowly embraced in contemporary art circles, Viola’s use of video was an extraordinarily rare and rather exotic medium in the 1970s. Equipment was expensive, image quality was inconsistent, and poor resolution analog television displays were the only option for displaying work.

And yet Viola, almost on his own, saw the profound impact video could have with art and began to master electronic, sound, and image technology to highlight fundamental human experiences such as birth, death and aspects of consciousness.

In her interview with the Spy this month, Anke Van Wagenberg talks about Viola’s methods and legacy than can be seen at the Academy Art Museum’s exhibition, “The Dreamers” over the next three months. She also talks about Viola’s growing following, including his very successful show at the Grand Palais museum in Paris earlier this year.

This video is approximately one minute in length

Poem: City Lights by Mary Avidano


City Lights

My father, rather a quiet man,
told a story only the one time,
if even then—he had so little
need, it seemed, of being understood.
Intervals of years, his silences!
Late in his life he recalled for us
that when he was sixteen, his papa
entrusted to him a wagonload
of hogs, which he was to deliver
to the train depot, a half-day’s ride
from home, over a hilly dirt road.
Lightly he held the reins, light his heart,
the old horses, as ever, willing.
In town at noon he heard the station-
master say the train had been delayed,
would not arrive until that evening.
The boy could only wait. At home they’d
wait for him and worry and would place
the kerosene lamp in the window.
Thus the day had turned to dusk before
he turned about the empty wagon,
took his weary horses through the cloud
of fireflies that was the little town.
In all his years he’d never seen those
lights—he thought of this, he said, until
he and his milk-white horses came down
the last moonlit hill to home, drawn as
from a distance toward a single flame.


American Life in Poetry is made possible by The Poetry Foundation (www.poetryfoundation.org), publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2013 by The Backwaters Press. Mary Avidano’s most recent book of poems is The Zebra’s Friend and Other Poems, 2008. Poem reprinted from The Untidy Season: An Anthology of Nebraska Women Poets, The Backwaters Press, 2013, by permission of Mary Avidano and the publisher. Introduction copyright © 2014 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Ted Kooser, served as United States Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 2004-2006. We do not accept unsolicited manuscripts.

Say Hallelujah! The Messiah Sing-In Helps the Food Pantry


Come to the Messiah Sing-In at the Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre at 8 p.m. Thursday, December 18 in Chestertown, and join with professional soloists, a string quartet, and members of the Chester River Chorale in joyous song to benefit the Kent County Food Pantry with your suggested $20 donations.

The program is called a “Sing-In” because the audience is invited to sing a dozen selected choruses from the first two parts of George Frideric Handel’s beloved three-part oratorio. Singing or not, don’t forget to stand in honor of the composition when the first “Hallelujah!” rings out.

If you wish to sing along, scores for will be available. Singers will join voices with amateurs from the Chorale and professionals such as Douglas D. Cox, the Chorale’s artistic director, performing the tenor solos. The Chorale’s Sam Marshall will provide the piano accompaniment.

The Messiah premiered in Dublin in 1742 as a charity concert to benefit imprisoned debtors and hospitals for the poor.

In that spirit, the Garfield Center and the CRC are again sponsoring the Sing-In to benefit the Kent County Food Pantry with your donations.

The Kent County Food Pantry can always use volunteers and non-perishable foods (more information at www.kentfoodpantry.org ), but we are unable to collect food at the Sing-In, so please donate only cash or checks made out to the Kent County Food Pantry.

For more information on the Sing-In, call (410) 810-2060.

Both the Garfield Center for the Arts and the Chester River Chorale are non-profit organizations sponsored in part by Yerkes Construction Company, the Hedgelawn Foundation, the Mid-Shore Community Foundation, the Kent County Arts Council, and by an operating grant from the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.

Kent County Public Library Offers Holiday Fun


Celebrate the holiday season with special programs at the library for the whole family.

Join us for a Gingerbread House making workshop and make a sweet treat to take home.  All supplies will be provided by the library.  Advance registration is requested.

Prepare yourself for a magical evening journey aboard the Polar Express.  All ages are welcome to enjoy this classic story, create some holiday crafts, and enjoy some treats.  Enjoy a special holiday performance by the Chestertown Ukelele Club and take home a piece of the magic with some holiday giveaways for the whole family!

Gingerbread Houses  
Thursday, December 18th • 11 a.m., North County Branch, Galena

Polar Express Holiday Night
Wednesday, December 17th 4:30 p.m., Chestertown

Mario Kart and Anime in the Afternoon
Monday, December 29th • 3 p.m., Wii Gaming – Chestertown
Tuesday, December 30th • 3 p.m., Anime in the Afternoon -Chestertown

Looking for some fun for the kids while they’re out of school this holiday season? Join us at the library for an afternoon of Mario Kart racing on the Wii U.  Each race will feature up to four players, so come to the library and get your game on. All ages are welcome.

For those interested in trying something new, the library will hold its second edition of Anime in the Afternoon.  This time we will be showing the first two episodes of Cardcaptor Sakura.   We will be taking suggestions for our next anime to watch after the screening.  All ages welcome.

About Cardcaptor Sakura:

Ten-year-old Sakura lives a pretty normal life with her older brother, Toya, and widowed father, Fujitaka. Or she did, until the day she returned home from school to discover a glowing book in her father’s study. After opening the book and releasing the cards within, Sakura is tasked with collecting each of these magical cards, while trying to live the life of a normal fourth grader. In the monumental task of collecting all the cards, Sakura must rely on her friends and family, and decide what she finds most important in life.

For more information please contact the library at 410.778.3636 or visit www.kentcountylibrary.org

Avalon Report: Mark Wills and the Crazy White Guy


Country music star Mark Wills will be pulling up to the Avalon Theatre this Friday night and it couldn’t be too soon for a growing fan base on the Shore.

One reason for his popularity is a unique ability to connect with crazy white guys, and the Shore, needless to say, doesn’t seem to lack this special breed.

These are the boys that like their toys. Pick up trucks, duck hunting, target practice with high powered rifles, a good dog, and some old friends joking after work.

Mark Wills, now a multi-platinum star with eight top 10 hits to his name, has musically nailed the world in his lyrics and performance.

This might be the ticket for all those bad boys, and those who love them.

Good Licking: Chicago Blues Sensation Comes to the Garfield


The inaugural season of the Chestertown Blues Series at the Garfield Center for the Arts in Chestertown concludes Friday, December 12 with some red hot Chicago blues courtesy of Shawn Holt and The Teardrops. Opening for Holt at 8 pm is Kent County’s own Blues-Keepers Band.

Son of legendary blues man Magic Slim, and wielding a mean Les Paul himself, Holt played in his own band as well as his father’s, Holt stepped in to front The Teardrops when his father became ill and passed away in 2013. He has been honored with two, “Best New Artist” for his debut CD, and nominated for a third. Expect to hear classic Chicago blues as well as some modern twists.

The second year of the Chestertown Blues Series, which is sponsored by the Eastern Shore Blues Society, will once again feature six national acts, from veteran blues performers to buzzworthy, hot new youngsters. Performances are the second Friday of the month; April 10, May 8, June 12, September 11, October 9 and November 13. Acts will include the Telecaster master Bill Kirchen, and a return of the slide guitar and pedal steel wizard Damon Fowler. Performers and dates will be confirmed by the beginning of 2015.

Tickets for all shows are available on line at www.GarfieldCenter.org or by calling the box office at 410 810 2060. For information on upcoming shows and to sign up for Blues Series updates, please visit www.GarfieldCenter.org.

Here’s a lick of blues to to entice you: