First Friday: Pam Foss Gallery Adds To Women’s History Month


In the Gallery: Come join sculptor Pam Foss this First Friday as she kicks off a month long celebration of Women’s History Month at her 200 High Street Gallery in Chestertown. The show includes thought provoking bas-relief sculpture, dynamic dioramas, jewelry, and bronze sculpture with each work of art honoring the contributions women such as Peggy Guggenheim, Inez Milholland and the artist herself have made to the advancement of women’s rights during the past 100 years.

In the Studio: See sculptor Pam Foss at work on the three life-size St Bernard’s models she is creating for the bronzes she was commissioned to create for Ohio State University. Two (June & April) of the three amazing clay sculpture models are nearly complete and ready for casting with the third (May) in progress and well on its way towards completion.

The show opens on Friday, March 6th at 4:00 PM. Light refreshments will be served. For more information please call (410) 490-1140 or visit the gallery’s website:

Pam Foss' tribute to Inez Milhollend who became active in the women's suffrage movement leading a huge parade on horseback demanding the right to vote.  The parade took place in 1913 in Washington DC one day before president Woodrow Wilson's Inauguration.

Pam Foss’ tribute to Inez Milhollend who became active in the women’s suffrage movement leading a
huge parade on horseback demanding the right to vote. The parade took
place in 1913 in Washington DC one day before president Woodrow Wilson’s

Four Named Finalists for Prestigious George Washington Book Prize


Washington College has named four finalists for the 2015 George Washington Book Prize. One of the nation’s largest and most prestigious literary awards, the George Washington Book Prize recognizes the best new books on early American history.  The $50,000 award is sponsored by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and Washington College. Now in its eleventh year, the award recognizes works that not only shed new light on the nation’s founding era, but also have the potential to advance broad public understanding of American history.

This year’s four honorees spark new thinking on the American Revolution: its causes and principles, the meaning of liberty and freedom in the young democracy, and the impact of the Revolution that reverberated throughout the 18th-century Atlantic world.  Nick Bunker’s An Empire on the Edge:  How Britain Came to Fight America (Knopf) probes Great Britain’s internal tensions on the eve of revolution.  In The Royalist Revolution: Monarchy and the American Founding(Harvard) Eric Nelson turns upside down the conventional image of the war as a rebellion against a tyrannical king.  Richard Dunn’s new book, A Tale of Two Plantations: Slave Life and Labor in Jamaica and Virginia (Harvard), tackles one of the American Revolution’s most challenging issues: human bondage in an age of liberty.  And rounding out the slate of finalists, François Furstenberg’s collective biography, When the United States Spoke French: Five Refugees Who Shaped a Nation (Penguin Press), explores how former French revolutionaries, émigrés to Philadelphia, influenced the growth of the new American republic.

An independent scholar in Lincolnshire, England, Bunker was formerly a journalist for the Financial Times and an investment banker, and is the author of Making Haste from Babylon: The Mayflower Pilgrims and Their World: A New History (2010)Dunn is Roy F. and Jeannette P. Nichols Professor Emeritus of American History at the University of Pennsylvania.  Among his many publications is Sugar and Slaves (1972), an acclaimed analysis of the Caribbean plantation slave society.  Furstenberg is an associate professor of history at Johns Hopkins. His first book, In the Name of the Father: Washington’s Legacy, Slavery, and the Making of a Nation, was a finalist for the 2007 George Washington Book Prize.  Nelson is Robert M. Beren Professor of Government at Harvard and the author of The Hebrew Republic: Jewish Sources and the Transformation of European Political Thought (2010) and The Greek Tradition in Republican Thought (2004).

Distinguished historians Rosemarie Zagarri, Philip Morgan and Ted Widmer served as the jury that selected the four finalists from a field of nearly 70 books published in the past year.  The winner of the $50,000 prize will be announced at a black-tie gala on May 20 at Mount Vernon.





More information about the George Washington Book Prize is available at For more information about the four finalists or to arrange interviews, please contact George Washington Book Prize Coordinator  Jean Wortman at jwortman2@washcoll.edu410-810-7165.

Catonsville Steel Band at the Rock Hall Fire House March 14


CHS Steel, the Catonsville High School Steel Band, perennial favorites at Rock Hall FallFest returns to the Eastern Shore for a full concert at the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company hall on Rock Hall Ave. in Rock Hall, Maryland on Saturday March 14 at 7:00 pm. Admission is $10. The concert is sponsored by the Mainstay and proceeds will benefit the Mainstay and the Rock Hall Volunteer Fire Company.


CHS Steel

Celebrating its 24nd anniversary, CHS Steel, the Catonsville High School Steel Band, was founded in 1991 and for seven years was the only school steel drum program in the state of Maryland. From a four-piece ensemble, the band has grown to its present size of 25 musicians.

Formed as a means for students to study and perform music from a culture other than their own, the band shares the music of Trinidad and Tobago with audiences throughout the Maryland region. Over 25 performances are presented annually in settings as diverse as school assemblies, jazz festivals, university conferences, state and national conventions of music educators, community festivals, church and synagogue social events and services, and on the back of a flat-bed truck in the local Catonsville Fourth of July Parade.

Their annual mid-day slot at Rock Hall FallFest is always the best attended of any FallFest event. Hundreds of people crowd together to catch a glimpse of the students and hear the thrilling tropical sounds of the steel drums.

The repertoire of the band ranges from classical to jazz and rock. Emphasis is placed on learning to play calypso and soca, the most popular styles of music heard in the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago.

Most students in the band are also members of the school chorus, orchestra, or band program and represent all grade levels in the school. Two-hour rehearsals are held after school three days every week. Each year, auditions are held for the few open positions in the band. None of the students in the band have had prior experience playing steel drums.

The band has been featured in articles in the Baltimore Sun, Baltimore Magazine, and Newsday from Port of Spain, Trinidad.
Through the efforts of the Mainstay’s Director, Tom McHugh, the band was introduced to the organizers of the Berks County Jazz Festival in Reading, Pennsylvania. Over the years, the band has performed at Festival concerts with jazz composer and pan master, Andy Narell, pannist Robert Greenidge of the Jimmy Buffett Band, and David Samuels with the Caribbean Jazz Project.

Each year, an internationally-known steelpan guest artist is invited to Catonsville to rehearse with the band for four days then present a concert. In just two weeks, on March 27, Trinidadian steel pan recording artist, music arranger, and steel band leader, Ken “Professor” Philmore, will return to Catonsville to perform on the CHS Steel Guest Artist Concert.

The Mainstay (Home of Musical Magic) is the friendly informal storefront performing arts center on Rock Hall’s old time Main Street. For information and reservations call the Mainstay at 410-639-9133. More information is also available at the Mainstay’s website

RiverArts Offers Two Special Exhibits in March


Opening First Friday, March 6, 5-8pm, and running through the 28th are two exhibits at RiverArts. “Fiber Show and Works on Paper” will be in the main gallery and “iShow – Digital Art” will be in the Studio Gallery.

Hat, cowl, scarf and sweater by Julia Ramsey

Hat, cowl, scarf and sweater by Julia Ramsey

Curator for the “Fiber Show and Works on Paper”, Sue Wright, challenged artists to think creatively and stretch traditional boundaries be it watercolor painting, altered books, knitted garments or grass baskets. RiverArts hasn’t done a fiber/paper show before and think there could be great synergy.

To give a feel for the caliber of works in the show are fiber art by Julia Ramsey who does both fiber painting and knitwear. Julia has an M.S. degree in Knitted Textile Design from the Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science. Her personal collections of knitwear and textile art have been exhibited both nationally and internationally. She also designs knitwear for companies such as Anthropologie, Patagonia, and Neiman Marcus.

Antoinette Smith’s passion is origami. Her work is influenced by Jason Barnes, the former production manager of the National Theatre of Great Britain, and Lillian Oppenheimer who is the creator and founder of the Origami Society of North America.

Christine Kamon has been a prolific and passionate quilter for more than 25 years. A BS degree in Design and Environmental Analysis from Cornell laid the foundation for her creative process.

“iShow – Digital Art is RiverArts second annual modern art exhibition. Curator, Zane Carter, reached out to artists to work in any genre that incorporates contemporary expression in imaginative ways. This exciting exhibition will showcase area artists working with sound, video, light, animation and digital images. Artists were encouraged to demonstrate innovative techniques that transform traditional mediums in surprising ways that challenge our perceptions.

Charles Bergen, both an architect and sculptor, will be entering “A Capitalsaurus Chasing a Falcarius”. In 1898 bones of the Capitalsaurus were discovered a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol. This sculpture portrays the carnivorous Capitalsaurus chasing a feathered but flightless dinosaur known as Falcarious. This fanciful interaction occurred when the area around the Capitol was a savannah and populated by dinosaurs. It is made of water jet cut aluminum that has been sand blasted and then painted with automobile paint for flashy durability.

RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106. Regular hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11-4, First Friday, 11-8, and Saturday, 10-4.

Capitalsaurus Chasing a Falcarius Sculpture by Charles Bergen

Capitalsaurus Chasing a Falcarius Sculpture by Charles Bergen

RiverArts Offers Three Workshops in March


“Introduction to iPhone Photography” will be taught by Karen Klinedinst on Sunday, March 8, 2015, 1:00-5:00. The class will be held in the Studio Gallery at RiverArts, 315 High Street, Suite 106.

More than just a snapshot device, the iPhone is a powerful tool for creating photographs and photo-based art. In this 4-hour workshop, you’ll learn camera techniques that are exclusive to iPhone photography; find out which apps are best for image capture, editing and stylizing your images; and study combinations of apps that transform your images into photo-based art.

The workshop requires a working knowledge of the iPhone 4s or later. Please have the most recent iOS downloaded on your iPhone. A list of apps that we will be working with in the workshop can be downloaded from the class description on the RiverArts website ( Please download these apps to your iPhone prior to the workshop.

Karen Klinedinst is a landscape photographer and graphic designer from Baltimore. She graduated with a BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA). She has exhibited her landscape photography in galleries throughout Maryland and the East Coast, including a 2013 solo exhibition at Adkins Arboretum of her landscape iPhoneography.

The cost of the workshop is $120 for members and $150 for nonmembers. The maximum number of students is eight.

Delaware Tulip by Nancy Barch

Delaware Tulip by Nancy Barch

A four-day workshop, “Watercolor Plus Mixed Media”, to be taught by Nancy Barch, will take place March 9-12 from 9:30-3:00. In this class students will learn to create fabulous mixed media images by applying acrylics, collage, and pastels. Also students may experiment with stamping onto new watercolor paintings or old ones to be revived. This workshop is about utilizing various techniques. The choice of subject matter is up to the student; everything is fair game!

As a signature member of the American Watercolor Society and the Philadelphia Water Color Society, the work of Delaware County Artist, Nancy Barch, has traversed the United States. Nancy has garnered many coveted awards for her work in a variety of media including Best of Show in the Pennsylvania Watercolor Society, the Elizabeth Shober Hooper Award and the Emerton Heitland Memorial Award from the Philadelphia Watercolor Society, the Paul Remy Award from the American Watercolor Society, NY, the Daler-Rowney Award and Silver Brush Award from the Kentucky Aqueous Touring Exhibition, and the Peterson Memorial Award from the National Society of Casein and Acrylic Painters. In 2011, 100 Artists of the Mid Atlantic, published by books, included a feature article on Nancy’s experimental work. Needless to say, her work is included in many corporate collections.

The cost of the class is $275 for members and $335 for nonmembers. The registration deadline is March 2.

“Baltimore Painted Screens” will be taught by Brenda Foehrkolb on Sunday, March 22. 1:00 -5:00. This class is an introduction to Baltimore Painted Screens, covering their place in folk art history and how they are used today in both traditional and modern ways. Students will go over the history of how this art form began 100 years ago and how it is unique to Baltimore.

Students will learn to prepare their screen for painting, using primer and basecoat to ensure longevity and durability and review organizing the design and setting up the work space. Brenda will discuss suitable types of paints available for this application and the traditional colors used.

Baltimore screen painting by Brenda Foehrkolb

Baltimore screen painting by Brenda Foehrkolb

Brenda fell in love with the Painted Screen art form when her husband introduced her to it through a tour of his childhood neighborhood in Highlandtown, Baltimore. She loves the traditional scenes of a red-roofed cottage with a pond and swans – in its many variations. Painted screens were so popular in the Baltimore row houses because “no one can see in, but you can see out”. This once forgotten folk art is enjoying a new interest as more people embrace its history.

Brenda has been painting screens since 2004 when she took a class with Dee Hergert at the Baltimore Historical Society. She is an active member of the Painted Screens Society and participates in many of their events, often giving demonstrations on this art form.

The cost of this workshop is $135 for members and $165 for nonmembers. The registration deadline is March 16.

Both workshops, “Watercolor and Mixed Media” and “Baltimore Painted Screens” will be held at KidSPOT, next to RiverArts, 315 High Street, Suite 104. It is important for participants in these classes to go to RiverArts’ website, to get a list of supplies.

For more information and/or to register you may go to our website. You may also contact RiverArts at 410-778-6300 or email If you wish to stop by the gallery, hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11:00-4:00, First Friday, 11:00-8:00 and Saturday, 10:00-4:00.


WC’s Poet Acclaimed New Collection Inspired by Her Mother’s Youth


Arranged-Marriage-Cover-Poet Jehanne Dubrow, director of the Rose O’Neill Literary House at Washington College, has published her fifth collection, a book of prose poems praised for their searing insights about the lasting impact of trauma and the complexities of marriage.

The Arranged Marriage (University of New Mexico Press, March 2015) is based on several years’ worth of interviews with Dubrow’s mother, who shared stories from her Jewish-Latina childhood and early adulthood in Honduras and El Salvador.  It is the first collection of prose poems from a poet who usually works in traditional verse forms. “For this book, I felt that the prose poem would be the most effective form for exploring the themes of violence, captivity, and different kinds of forced intimacy or closeness,” she says. “On the page, the poems in The Arranged Marriage are narrow, like newspaper columns; they speak in a detached manner, allowing me to engage in a kind of reportage and to write about my mother’s experiences in a way that is simultaneously personal and clinical.”

Fellow poets had strong words of praise for the new collection. Kevin Prufer, who teaches creative writing at University of Houston, wrote, “Jehanne Dubrow has a storyteller’s gift for suggesting, with enviable economy of language, the complexities of our relationships with those we love and the inescapable past that surrounds us. Elegant, intimate, and unsettling, The Arranged Marriage is a terrific—an important—book.” And Hilda Raz, Mary Burritt Christiansen Poetry Series editor and former editor of the literary journal Prairie Schooner, said Dubrow’s book “tells us a story so compelling that we put down our tasks and turn to her voice.”

jehanneWhile still in manuscript form The Arranged Marriage was honored as the recipient of the 2012 Poetry Society of America’s Alice Fay di Castagnola Award. In her Judge’s Statement for the book, nationally known poet and playwright Claudia Rankine wrote, “Details in these stunning prose poems are presented like mini still lifes creating patterns of preparation for victimization, retaliation, or escape. …  Dubrow understands that before the moment of trauma, the break in time, there was a thing or a thought put in place. The poet here is positioned to observe, to picture, and to record in order to communicate coherence in the face of incoherence.”

Dubrow says being honored by Rankine was a great encouragement, “a message that I should keep writing these poems.” More reassurance came when three poems from the collection were awarded the Anna Davidson Rosenberg Prize for Poetry on the Jewish Experience.

The poet will read from the collection at a book launch event at the Literary House, 407 Washington Avenue on Saturday, March 7, at 2:30 p.m. (RSVPs are requested; email to

The Arranged Marriage is Dubrow’s fifth book. Her first, The Hardship Post, won the Three Candles Press Open Book Award in 2009, and her second, From the Fever-World, won the Washington Writers’ Publishing House Poetry Competition, also in 2009. Northwestern University Press published Stateside in 2010 and Red Army Red in 2012.

Dubrow’s poetry, creative nonfiction and book reviews have appeared in numerous journals, including Southern Review, The New Republic, Poetry, The Hudson Review,and The New England Review, as well as on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and Fresh Air.  She co-edited The Book of Scented Things: 100 Contemporary Poems About Perfume (2014). It was published through The Literary House Press, where Dubrow is Series Editor.

She has received many awards, including an Individual Artist’s Award from the Maryland State Arts Council, the 2012 Towson Prize for Literature, a Walter E. Dakin Fellowship and Howard Nemerov Poetry Scholarship from the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, and a Sosland Foundation Fellowship from the Center for Advanced Holocaust Studies. In addition to directing activities at the Literary House, Dubrow is associate professor of English as well as editor of Cherry Tree: A National Literary Journal @ Washington College.

Spy Profile: The Academy Art Museum’s New Director Dennis McFadden


During his several decades in the museum world, including the highly regarded Wellesley College’s Davis Museum and Carnegie Museum of Art, Dennis McFadden has always been drawn to the smaller institutions of art. Part of this is due to the unique intimacy they create in their modest galleries, but also for their intellectual nimbleness. Those are some of the reasons there seems to be a perfect fit with the Academy Art Museum‘s aspirations and Mr. McFadden’s commitment to art education.

In his first interview with the Spy, the new AAM director talks about his background, opinions on small museums, and his hopes for AAM over the next few years.

The new director is a native of Bethlehem, Pa. He received his undergraduate education at Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis. and earned a Master of Architecture degree and completed additional graduate study in Art History at Columbia University.

Mr. McFadden is married to Judith Hull, an architectural historian who holds a Ph.D. from Columbia University in architectural history. Her areas of specialization include modern and American architecture, architecture in the Nordic countries, landscape design, and women in the design professions.

Chestertown Futures Case Study 1: Alex Castro


Editor Note: This interview was originally published on April 19, 2010.

Rarely does a newcomer to Chestertown come with such unique qualifications to comment on its possible future than Alex Castro. The architect of the acclaimed Visionary Art Museum in Baltimore, the designer of the renovated Charles Theatre, co-founder of the award winning magazine Urbanite, and accomplished artist and sculptor, Castro brings over thirty years of studying the urban experience through his trained eye to Chestertown’s challenges and opportunities in the next ten years.

Next month – Case Study 2:  Town of Chestertown Manager Bill Ingersoll

Chestertown Futures is a two-year project of the Chestertown Spy to provide a sustained community conversation on Chestertown’s future and aspirations through the unique voices of twenty-four members of the community representing all aspects of greater Chestertown.

Church Hill Theatre Auditions Set for “Carousel”


Auditions for Church Hill Theatre’s June production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, Carousel will be held on Sunday, March 1 from 6 to 9 pm, Tuesday, March 3 from 6:00-9pm, and Saturday March 7 from 1 to 4 pm.

Director Sylvia Maloney, music Director Sam Stenecker and choreographer, Cavin Moore are seeking actor/singer to audition for Church Hill Theatre’s production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s musical, Carousel. We welcome actors of all ages, sizes, and levels of skill and experience. The show will be performed at Church Hill Theatre opening June 5th through June 21, 2015, Friday and Saturday nights with Sunday matinees. The musical is known for such songs as If I Loved You, June is Bustin’ Out All Over and You’ll Never Walk Alone.

This musical is set in New England in the 1880’s and has roles for 30 people ranging in age from 8 to 70’s, with special roles of a young woman and man with dance training to play Louise and the Carnival Boy.

Needed for principal and supporting roles are 6 women, ages 15 to 60’s, 7 men, ages teens to 60’s, 5 children, ages 7 to teens, along with a singing and dancing ensemble of 7 men and 7 women. Please come with a prepared song and sheet music (2 copies) and plan to read from the script and to learn a brief dance routine. Technicians are also needed for this show and should come to one of the auditions to sign on as part of the technical staff.

For more information or questions, call Sylvia Maloney at 410-778-3783 or email