Spy Eye: Fired Up! Academy Art Museum’s Crafts Show Opens on Friday

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Your first minutes at this weekend’s vibrant 2017 Academy Craft Show – Fired Up will give you even more proof of the delightful revitalization of the Shore’s own Academy Art Museum.  This regional jewel is becoming a ‘destination museum’ because of its exhibits, its creativity and its first-class events like the prestigious, juried, annual Craft Show happening October 20-22 in Easton.

Half the 70 artists are ‘new to this show’ for 2017. “That keeps us so fresh,” says Holly Fine, Museum Board member, artist, and 2017 Craft Show Chair. “The entire Shore should be proud,” she adds, “that so many nationally recognized artists ask to be invited into our show.”  This year, the applicant pool was twice as large as the show itself.  The large pool results from outreach by Fine and her team to high-caliber artists, aided by the Show’s growing reputation that now – apparently – travels alone and can sometimes get there first: “A number of artists,” Fine says, “are now finding us.”

The Academy Craft Show has grown in significance in its 20 years:  The 2017 show has more total artists than ever, more exhibits than ever, more artists-new-to-the-show than ever and more artists applying than ever and even a larger wait-list than ever.  And the Show’s public Raffle of artworks donated by show artists has more high-end artworks to win, than ever.

A teapot by ceramicist Lucy Dierks.

The 2017 artists hail from 18 states, coast to coast, including Maryland.  “So many,” Holly Fine says, “are at the top of their game, and certainly give us the ‘WOW factor’.”

The word “honored” signals they are talking about internationally celebrated ceramicist Bennett Bean who returns with his wisdom and quick humor to be the 2017 Academy Craft Show Honorary Chair and Visionary

Artist for all three days.  The phrase “real legend” signals that they are talking about the return of Mary Jackson herself, the MacArthur Fellow who preserved the Gullah tradition of weaving exquisite sweet-grass baskets.  And they say “thrilled” rightfully about so many other artists invited again, like J.J. Reichert who imagines and makes one-of-a-kind handbags that other people just, can’t.

And “exciting” is the word for every ‘new-to-show’ artist: Vermont goldsmith Jacob Albee combines gems and slices of meteorite – yes, meteorite – into pins, rings, wearable things men and women will happily attach to themselves.  Geoffrey Roth of Sedona styles ‘statement watches’ for men and women, timepieces of such immaculate precision that his work is deemed “watch engineering.”  Laurie Olefson makes sure you can actually use her “Optical Art,” her playful, pretty, eyeglass frames, through connections with actual Opticians.

Paul Willsea blows swirling colored luminous glass forms that will own the wall on which they will hang.  Designer Andrea Geer’s unique clothing gracefully floats on you while being completely cutting-edge.  Lucy Dierks’ ceramics mimic nature, hoping you’ll hear the clay birds perched on her teapots and vases.  Maryland’s Mea Rhee turns her clay vessels into the sweet bell-shape of Korean traditional dress and also turns an endearing pottery-salute to Asia’s elephants. 

Glass by glass blower Paul Willsea.

And this year, Shore businesses and neighbors set records as more than ever stepped up to sponsor the Craft Show and through it, the Museum; dozens of Shore businesses, starting with Easton Utilities, Ameriprise International and PURE Insurance.  “These businesses do not have to do this,” Fine says, “but they genuinely understand the critical role of art in a community’s overall health.” Fine also says the public should thank them: “We put every one of the sponsor names on the Craft Show website and encourage the public to take a look and learn who the good guys are.” However, she adds, “Support is never a spectator sport: Everyone can support the arts, this time while having real fun with the Craft Show.” “Every purchase of one Party ticket,” says Fine, “and one Show admission ticket, every Raffle ticket, helps the arts and yes, it matters.”

All 70 artists will be at all events on all three days at the Academy Art Museum in Easton.  The Preview Party with the Artists is Friday, October 20 from 6 to 9 p.m. “The party is elegant and fun,” says Fine. “There will be artists, oysters, libation stations, all to the music of Kentavius Jones.”

Raffle items this year are worth more than $75 each; most are worth many times that.  Yet Raffle tickets are only $5 each, and five tickets bundle for $20. They can be bought online at AcademyCraftShow.com.

Check out one more “first-ever,” AcademyCraftShow.com, the new, information-packed website.  Every 2017 artist is there, illustrated, profiled, and linked.  The donated Raffle artworks are there.  So are the names of the business and citizen sponsors who deserve public thanks.  And the links are active for everyone to buy their Admission, Raffle and Preview Party tickets online.

To be there, go here for all information and online ticket sales: AcademyCraftShow.com.BOX

The 2017 Academy Craft Show – Fired Up! The Academy Art Museum, 106 South Street, in Easton, Maryland

Preview Party with the Artists, Friday, October 20, 6 to 9 p.m. Tickets: $100 each and include complimentary show admission ticket and Raffle TicketShow Admission tickets for Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, October 22 from 10 a.m.  to 4 p.m.  Tickets: Museum members $10 each; Non-members $12 each. To celebrate the Show’s 20th year: ONE ADMISSION TICKET IS GOOD FOR BOTH DAYS OF THE SHOW! Academy Craft Show Raffle TicketsTickets: $5 per ticket OR Five-ticket bundle for $20. No limit on ticket purchases.

 

Call for Artists: Adkins Arboretum to Sponsor 2018 Juried Art Show

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Adkins Arboretum in Ridgely, Md., will sponsor its nineteenth annual Juried Art Show, to exhibit in February and March 2018. The theme of the show—Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore—celebrates the Arboretum’s mission of conservation. Named in honor of the Arboretum’s first benefactor, the Leon Andrus Awards for first and second places will be awarded.

“Chives” by Paige Billin-Frye was awarded first prize in Adkins Arboretum’s eighteenth annual Juried Art Show.

The juried show is open to original two- and three-dimensional fine arts in all mediums, including outdoor sculpture and installations. It will be juried by Benjamin T. Simons, director of the Academy Art Museum in Easton. Simons previously worked for the Smithsonian American Art Museum/Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., and was chief curator of the Nantucket Historical Association. He holds a master’s degree in art history from The Courtauld Institute of Art in London, a master’s degree from Yale University and an AB from Harvard University. He also attended the Getty Leadership Institute for museum professionals in Claremont, Calif. Simons has authored collections and exhibition catalogues, written two books on private art collections and served as editor of the award-winning quarterly Historic Nantucket.

The deadline for submissions is Dec. 28, 2017. Digital images of up to three pieces of art by each artist should be sent to art@adkinsarboretum.org. Submissions should include title, medium, dimensions (maximum of 6 feet in any direction, excluding outdoor sculpture) and artist’s name, address and phone number. Works should reflect or interpret broadly the show’s theme of wild nature and landscapes of the Mid-Atlantic coastal plain region.

Artists whose work is selected will be contacted by Jan. 13 to submit the original work ready to hang by Feb. 3. The exhibit will run from Feb. 5 to March 30, 2018, with a reception on Sat., Feb. 10 from 3 to 5 p.m. There is no entry fee, but artists are responsible for all shipping expenses. Selected artists may be considered for future exhibits at the Arboretum.

For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org, call 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or send e-mail to info@adkinsarboretum.org.

The 2018 Juried Art Show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists.

The 2017 Academy Craft Show – Fired Up!

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The 2017 Academy Craft Show – Fired Up! happening this weekend.

The Preview Party with the Artists on Friday, October 20, 6 to 9 p.m. Awards & Brief Program: 7:30 p.m.

Craft Show Hours: Saturday, October 21, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Sunday, October 22, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

70 Artists, Live Demonstrations, Raffle of Artists’ Works, and “Little Crafters” at the Academy Art Museum & Waterfowl Armory.

This weekend’s 2017 Academy Craft Show – Fired Up (AcademyCraftShow.Com) – the prestigious, juried show which has grown into a mainstay resource for the Academy Art Museum — is fresh and full of “firsts” for the Show’s 20th Anniversary.  This weekend, it brings 70 nationally-acclaimed artists to Easton from more than 18 states and a dozen fields of high-end craft. Breathtaking ceramics, sparkling glass, cutting-edge fashion and bags, precision-engineered watches, jewelry fused from meteorite and gems and much more.  The 2017 Academy Craft Show has more total artists than ever, more exhibits than ever; more artists-new-to-this-show than ever; more artists applying than ever; and even a larger wait-list than ever. And the Craft Show’s public Raffle of artworks donated by show artists has more high-end artworks to win, than ever.

All 70 artists will be at all events on all three days starting with Friday evening’s elegant and fun Preview & Awards Party featuring oysters, libation stations, and the music of Kentavius Jones.

The Craft Show is an important, major fundraiser for the Museum and a delightful way for the entire community to support its many community-based programs for all ages.

Wind Ensemble Concert Celebrates Fall

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Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble in rehearsal

The Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble celebrates autumn in its first concert of the season, “Festive Fall.” Music Director Keith Wharton will conduct this free concert, beginning at 4 p.m. on Sunday, October 29, at Emmanuel Episcopal Church at Cross and High streets, Chestertown. The church is handicapped-accessible, via the ramp and automatic doors on the courthouse-green side of the building.

Two works on the program were written in memoriam. “Almost Autumn,” by Gary P. Gilroy, is a loving tribute and celebration in memory of a well-loved, respected, and successful colleague. “In These Last Days of Autumn,” by Randall D. Standridge, was written in memory of a young, aspiring rock musician.

On a lighter note, “Dance of the Trolls,” by Mike Forbes, is a fun and colorful work that depicts the mysterious trolls of Mount Horeb, upon which Moses received the Ten Commandments. “Cut to the Chase” has melodic fragments that dart around the band as if every instrument is being chased or is chasing something.

Beautiful melodies are represented by an arrangement of the jazz standard “Autumn Leaves,” by Joseph Kosma, and by “Highlights from Wicked,” the blockbuster Broadway hit with songs “No One Mourns the Wicked,” “I’m Not That Girl,” “Defying Gravity,” “No Good Deed,” and “For Good.”

“Celebration Overture,” by Darren W. Jenkins, is a musical celebration of life and the wonderful, positive events we experience. At the other end of the spectrum, “Echoes in the Woods” is a piece that reflects the quiet beauty of Wisconsin forest and lakes after the passing of logging camps. In a more dramatic vein, “Music from Carmina Burana,” by Carl Orff, denotes primal forces and the whims of Fortuna, the goddess of luck.

The Eastern Shore Wind Ensemble is an all-ages community concert band. It was formed in 2001 to offer area wind and percussion musicians the opportunity to continue or return to the pleasures of playing quality music in a large ensemble. New members are always welcome, without audition or fee.

Rehearsals start promptly at 7 p.m. and run until 8:30 p.m. in the Washington College band room (no. 116) in Gibson Center for the Arts. For further information, call 410-778-2829, send a message to ESWEemail@yahoo.com, or go to facebook.com/EasternShoreWindEnsemble. The ensemble is partially supported by a grant from the Kent County Arts Council.

Academy Art Museum Announces November Events

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Bennett Bean, M# 1806 Triple on Base, 2015 Pit fired, painted and gilded earthenware clay Photographed by Barbara Livar.

EXHIBITIONS

Exhibitions are generously supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council and the Star Democrat.

Bennett Bean: Be Careful What You Fall in Love With
Through November 5, 2017
Curator-Led Tours: Wednesday, November 1, 11 a.m.
Bennett Bean (1941) is an American ceramic artist best known as a ceramicist for his treatment of vessels post firing. He works in a range of media including stone, precious metals, wool and silk weaving, and painting. The Easton exhibition, his first solo museum exhibition.

David Driskell: Renewal and Form, Recent Prints
Through December 31, 2017
Noted artist and scholar, David Driskell, PhD, (1931) is widely respected as an artist, curator, educator, and scholar of African-American art. He is Professor Emeritus of Art at the University of Maryland, College Park, and where the David C. Driskell Center for the Study of the Visual Arts and Culture of African Americans and the African Diaspora honors his contributions to the field. The exhibition comes to Easton from the Center for Maine Contemporary Art, in Rockland, ME, and was curated by Greenhut Galleries in Portland, ME.

The Caprichos: Goya and Lombardo
November 21, 2017–February 25, 2018
The Caprichos by artist Emily Lombardo is a series of etchings which are in direct conversation and homage to Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos, 1799. Both series address major cultural issues of their times through the medium of print. The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has generously agreed to lend the complete set of Goya’s Los Caprichos, 1799 for the exhibition. The exhibition is supported by the Childs Gallery, Boston.

David Driskell, The Hibiscus, Linocut.

The Soothsayers: 3D Works on Paper by Emily Lombardo
November 18, 2017–March 11, 2018
The Soothsayers is an installation of sculptural prints which represent excavated hearts from Magic 8 Ball toys that are positioned as divine relics of cultural nostalgia. The Magic 8 Ball was created in 1950, invented by Albert C. Carter, inspired by a spirit writing device used by his mother, a clairvoyant.

Helen Siegl: Fantasy Creatures from the Museum’s Collection
Through November 26, 2017
Helen Siegl (1924–2009) used an unusual printmaking technique—often combining various kinds of blocks and plates to create an image, including handmade plaster blocks. She designed these when wood was scarce in Vienna during World War II. Siegl gained a reputation for both her individual signed and numbered prints and for her book illustrations.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Open MIC
Second Monday Each Month
7 to 9 p.m.
The Academy Art Museum’s Open Mic is a monthly occasion for our community to share and appreciate the rich tapestry of creativity, skills and knowledge that thrive in the region. The theme for November 13 is “Gratitude.” Contact Ray Remesch at RayRemesch@gmail.com for additional information.

Fall Portfolio Night
Wednesday, November 29th, 2017, 6–8 p.m.
Free
Area high school students are encouraged to bring their artwork to the Museum’s Annual Portfolio Night to receive expert tips on what makes a winning portfolio from a panel of art school representatives and professional artists. Contact the Museum’s Director of ArtReach and Community Programs, Constance Del Nero, at cdelnero@academyartmuseum.org or 978-902-1993 for more information.

Francisco de Goya, Spanish, 1746 1828, From Los Caprichos, 1799, Art Gallery of Ontario, 1999.

LECTURES

Kittredge-Wilson Lecture Series
These lectures feature an exciting array of speakers who impart a diversity of perspectives on subjects such as art, architecture, history and literature. Series Tickets: (6 lectures) $125 Members, $150 Non-members. Pre-registration is suggested. Register online at academyartmuseum.org.

Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Leslie Greene Bowman, President of the Thomas Jefferson Foundation
Friday, November 17, 6 p.m.
Individual Tickets: $24 Members, $29 Non-members

ARTS EXPRESS BUS TRIPS

Vermeer and the Masters of Genre Painting: Inspiration and Rivalry
National Gallery of Art
Tuesday, November 7
Cost: $60 Members $72 Non-members

CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING

Mini Masters Academy
An Early Enrichment Program for Children ages 2–5 Years Old
In Partnership with the Smithsonian Early Enrichment Center
Morning or Full-Day Program – Classes through May 24, 2018
Mini Masters Academy introduces young children to new ideas through a thematic approach to learning that emphasizes relationships and the ability to make meaningful connections. The rich resources of the Academy Art Museum offer a wonderful venue for teaching these sensory explorations. Enrollment is ongoing. Contact Janet Hendricks for program details at jhendricks@academyartmuseum or (410) 822-2787.

Helen Siegl, Goose Waddle, Woodcut on tissue paper, AAM 2012.012.34.

Painting with Photoshop
Instructor: Chris Pittman
Students Grades 4–8
Dates: 6 classes–Mondays and Wednesdays: October 30, November 1, 6, 8, 13, 15
Time: 4:30–5:30 p.m.
Cost: $85 Members, $95 Non-members

ADULT PROGRAMMING

Adult Classes

Drawing

The Landscape in Ink Washes
New Instructor: Daniel Riesmeyer
5 weeks: November 1–December 6 (no class November 22 for Thanksgiving)
Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Cost: $175 Member, $210 Non-members

Painting

Get Painterly! Palette Knife Painting in Oil or Acrylic
Instructor: Diane DuBois Mullaly
2 days: November 4 & 5 Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.
Cost: $145 Members, $174 Non-members

Rosemary Cooley

Oil Painting: Creating Color Harmonies
Instructor: Bradford Ross
4 weeks: November 7 – 28, Tuesdays, 10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Cost $125 Members, $155 Non-members

Pastels

Pastel: Sunrise, Sunset and a Nocturne
Instructor: Katie Cassidy
4 weeks: November 29–December 20
Wednesdays, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Cost: $160 Members, $192 Non-members

Printmaking

Printmaking Exploration Evenings
Instructor: Sheryl Southwick
Session 3–November 7, 14, 16, 21
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 5:30–8 p.m. Cost: $80 Members per session, $96 Non-members per session (plus $25 materials fee paid to instructor on first day.)

Printmaking Workshop: The Poetry of Water Woodcut Resist Monoprint
Instructor: Rosemary Cooley
3 days: November 3, 4 and 5 Friday, Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.
Cost: $185 Members, $222 Non-members (plus $35 materials fee paid to instructor on first day.)

Digital

Movies, Music and Smart TV – – Holiday Entertainment for the Whole Family
Instructor: Scott Kane
2 Days: Wednesdays, November 29 and December 6, 6–8 p.m.
Cost per class: $50 Members, $60 Non-members
High School Students Outreach

For additional information, visit academyartmuseum.org or call the Museum at 410-822-2787.

Mid-Shore Arts: Marc Castelli’s ‘Swinging the Lantern’ at Massoni Gallery Begins October 20

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For nearly a quarter of a century, Marc Castelli has been exhibiting his stunning watercolors of the workboats, watermen, historic log canoes and sporting events of the Chesapeake at the Carla Massoni Gallery in Chestertown, Maryland.  Swinging the Lantern, his annual one –man exhibition opens on October 20 and continues through December 2.  Collectors and friends will have the opportunity to visit with Castelli and attend the Collector’s Reception on Friday, October 20, from 6-8 pm.

The festivities continue the following week with the Sultana Education Foundation’s annual Downrigging Weekend from October 27-29.  Massoniart is proud to have been an event sponsor of this premier tall ship and wooden boat festival since its inception.  The Gallery is hosting a reception for the opening of Downrigging on Friday, October 27, 5-7:30 pm where they will welcome the return of the Kent County Watermen’s Association to shuck oysters out on the sidewalk followed by Sultana’s Fireworks at the foot of High Street.  During the weekend we sponsor an Open House on Saturday from 10-7 pm and Sunday From 11-3 pm.  But wait – there’s still more – plan to stay in the party mood through Chestertown’s First Friday Celebrations November 3, 5-8 pm and December 1, 5-8 pm.

During Downrigging, Marc Castelli will be honored with a special exhibition, Building Sultana – A Selection of Marc Castelli Paintings, at the Sultana Education Foundation’s new center. Between 1997 and 2001, Castelli captured the construction of the schooner SULTANA in more than 50 vibrant watercolor paintings. Taken together, these works represent one of the finest and most complete artistic surveys of the construction of a traditional wooden schooner produced over the last half century. Most of Castelli’s paintings of Sultana’s construction were rapidly acquired by private collectors, and haven’t been seen by the public for almost 20 years.  With the assistance of Marc Castelli, MASSONIART, and multiple private collectors, the Sultana Education Foundation is assembling a selection of these paintings for a special Downrigging Weekend exhibit. Also of note, Castelli’s “Building Sultana” exhibit shares its name with a new limited-edition book of his pen and ink drawings of the construction of Sultana that will be released during a special event at 6:00pm on Saturday, October 28 at Sultana’s Holt Center.

Castelli is considered a master of his genre.  He is on the water over 100 days a year gathering material to paint. Forty years of crewing on racing sailboats, and over twenty years actively participating on workboats has enabled him to get past the spectator view that represents the majority of marine and regional art.

The potential for abstraction, still life, figurative, atmospherics and sharp focus vignette, may exist in all the subject areas he explores but for Marc it is the strongest when on the water. It is the light, as it moves on and in water and is then reflected back on the watermen and their boats, that pulls at him.  Wherever he trains his focus, from the Sultana to the simplest of skiffs, he brings to the viewer a deeper understanding of the magic of the Chesapeake.

This year his annual exhibition, Swinging the Lantern, features over forty new watercolor paintings with a full range of subjects guaranteed to delight both collectors and those new to his work.

For additional information please contact Carla Massoni at 410-778-7330 or visitwww.massoniart.com. To learn more about Sultana Downrigging Weekend visitwww.sultanaeducation.org

Downrigging at Garfield Center

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Jonahtan Boulware, Executive Director of the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City

Celebrate the tall ships coming to Chestertown with a full schedule of events at the Garfield Center for the Arts.  Captain Jonathan Boulware lectures on the recovery and rebirth of New York’s South Street Seaport Museum on Friday October 27  and The Pam Ortiz Band plans to pack the Garfield for an 8pm concert on Saturday, October 28.

On Friday October 27, Capt. Jonathan Boulware, Executive Director of the South Street Seaport Museum in New York City will provide an entertaining, historical, celebratory tour through the history of the port of New York; the Museum that aims to interpret that history; and an overview of the recent, multiple-award-winning restoration of the mighty 1885 iron sailing ship Wavertree. Join the Captain for an hour of history, hyperbole, and a photo journey through New York’s port. This event is free and begins at 8 p.m.

Pam Ortiz

Then join us at 8 p.m. October 28 for an evening of songs of the sea, water and ships. It promises to be a fun night of new songs, old and new friends. The Pam Ortiz band has performed sold out Downrigging shows for the past five years. Join the celebration on Saturday night at the Garfield Center for the Arts. The band will perform a set celebrating songs of water, sea and sailing and a set of original tunes and stories written by songwriter Pam Ortiz. Tickets are $15.

Tickets for the Pam Ortiz Band concert can be purchased at the Garfield Box Office, online at the Garfield’s website or by calling 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts at the Prince Theatre is located at 210 High Street, Chestertown.

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Old Oysters, New Corn

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Environmental art installation by Howard and Mary McCoy currently on the lawn outside the KCAC Buliding across the street from the Post Office.  Photo credit: Peter Heck

Howard and Mary McCoy, Queen Anne’s County artists, were at the Town Arts Building in Chestertown, Sunday, Oct. 15, to install their environmental art piece, “Old Oysters, New Corn.”

Sited on the lawn next to the building, across the street from the post office, the piece is constructed of centuries-old oyster shells from a Native American midden and newly harvested corn, both from their farm near Centreville.

Twelve stakes form a circle around an interior circle filled with old oyster shells.    Photo credit: Peter Heck

The artists began by sketching out two circles on the lawn; the inner circle was filled with the oyster shells, then 12 stakes were set in the outer circle for attaching the corn stalks. They began with the four cardinal compass points – North, South, East and West, then went around the circle clockwise beginning at the north.

The corn stalks, a modern variety genetically modified to resist the herbicide Roundup, still have ripe ears of corn on them. “The squirrels are going to love this sculpture,” said Howard.

The sculpture, Mary told us, while reminiscent of ancient harvest customs, is not based on any particular tradition.  Rather, it is “a meditation on the bounty of this fertile region and the ever-changing ways humans have used its resources.”

The sculpture will remain in place through the end of the month for the RiverArts studio tours, which take place on two weekends,  Oct. 21, 22, 28 and 29, at sites throughout the area. The large exhibition space in the Town Arts Building will also host exhibits by several artists who wanted to take part but couldn’t make their actual studios available. The McCoys will have an exhibit along the wall overlooking the lawn where their sculpture stands.

Artists Howard and Mary McCoy, with Kent County Arts Council Director John Schratwieser (center) Old Oysters, New Corn” environmental art installation by Howard and Mary McCoy. Photo credit: Jane Jewell

The Kent County Arts Council, which owns the Town Arts Building, obtained permission to install the sculpture on the lawn adjacent to its building from the Chestertown Mayor and Council. The property belongs to the town, which received it in a gift a number of years ago.

Old Oysters, New Corn” environmental art installation by Howard and Mary McCoy. Photo credit: Peter Heck

The installation’s sign notes, “Oysters were an important food for Native Americans. Over the centuries, the shells they discarded built up in layers several feet deep, but because of their small population, this food source remained sustainable. More recently, due to disease, pollution and over-harvesting, oyster populations have plummeted.

“For nearly two decades, the corn grown in this area has come from seed genetically modified to withstand spraying with the herbicide glyphosate, also called Roundup. Promoting efficient weed control, this farming practice helps boost harvest yields but is controversial in terms of the safety of genetic modification, as well as glyphosate’s possible hazards to human, plant and animal health.”

Howard, Mary and John play “scrarecrow” by the corn field.

Howard and Mary McCoy are collaborative artists. Much of their work is created directly in the landscape and is based on archetypal motifs concerned with the earth and how people have approached their own relationship with the earth through the centuries. Made primarily of natural materials, their work aims at honing viewers’ awareness of particular environments.

In addition to their ongoing site-specific installations created as Artists in Resident at Adkins Arboretum, their installations have been shown in the U.S., Ireland, Wales and New Zealand.

Howard McCoy has a B.A. in art from Georgetown College and an M.F.A. in painting from George Washington University.

Mary McCoy

Mary McCoy has a B.S. in studio art from Skidmore College and has written on art for several publications, including The Washington Post. She also writes for The Chestertown Spy.

“Old Oysters, New Corn” is part of RiverArts’ upcoming Studio Tour weekends, Saturdays and Sundays, Oct 21- 22 & 28-29, 10:00 am – 5:00 pm, rain or shine. This free self-guided tour on the picturesque Eastern Shore of Maryland includes close to 50 artists, many of them nationally-known, who will invite you into their studios to talk about their art, demonstrate their techniques and offer original art for sale at studio prices.

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CFF Preview: Tom Horton and the Rising Sea Levels of Dorchester County

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The Chesapeake Film Festival has gone out of their way this year to emphasize the important theme of conservation, and has consequently assembled a first rate collection of the most current documentaries on climate change, sea level rising, and other global warming issues to screen in the last weekend in October in Talbot County.

Ranging from Leonardo DiCaprio to short films on forestry and the fishing, the festival’s curatorial hand has carefully vetted out the the very best in international filmmaking, but it is suspected that the film that will have the most impact locally is case study of rising sea levels in Dorchester County.

The local dream team of filmmaker Sandy Cannon-Brown, photographer David Harp, and environmental author Tom Horton, who were responsible two years ago for the popular Beautiful Swimmers Revisited, a documentary inspired by William W. Warner’s classic book on of the Chesapeake Bay, have now reunited to tell the sobering tale of the disappearing landscape of Dorchester and the possible for the thirteen other Counties.

The Spy caught up with High Tide in Dorchester writer and narrator Tom Horton a week ago at Bullitt House to talk about the film and its mission to send an important warning to the entire Chesapeake Bay region.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about the Chesapeake Film Festival please go here