Mastering the Art of Gingerbread Cookie Decorating at KidSPOT

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Chef Stu Cawley demonstrates proper technique

Budding pastry chefs gathered at KidSPOT on December 3 for the annual Gingerbread Cookie Workshop.

Chef Stu Cawley demonstrated the proper technique using red, green and white icing and a variety of candies. The children then created their masterpieces with gingerbread cookies generously donated by Little Village Bakery.

This annual event is not possible without our sponsors: Evergrain Bread Company, Twigs and Teacups, and Yerkes Construction. It is presented by the Downtown Chestertown Association and hosted by RiverArts’ KidSPOT. Special thanks to Stu Cawley, Jayne and Paul Heckels.

Budding chef at work

 

Chesapeake Charities Awards Luncheon Spotlights Opioid Crisis

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Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble receives Chesapeake Charities Volunteer of the Year award from Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, with wife Mary Gamble and son, Josh Gamble.

Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford recognized the outstanding work being done to combat the heroin, opioid and fentanyl crisis, including that of Talbot County Sheriff Joe Gamble, at Chesapeake Charities’ packed awards luncheon last month in Stevensville.

Sheriff Gamble was honored as Volunteer of the Year for his tireless commitment to prevention and education efforts in Talbot County. Accepting the award, Gamble talked about the shock of learning that high school students he had once coached had become heroin addicts, and the desperate parents who asked him for help. Realizing the need for prevention, he inspired his community to take action, starting the “Talbot Goes Purple” campaign with Talbot Rotary to raise awareness in the schools about the dangers of prescription opioids. “Every business, every family that we approached for help has been impacted by this epidemic,” Gamble said.

Joe Gamble talks about “Talbot Goes Purple” at Celebration of Charity awards luncheon.

More than 190 people from the Eastern Shore, Anne Arundel and Calvert counties listened to stories of heartbreak and hope in the heroin and opioid epidemic. “This crisis is on everyone’s mind,” said Chesapeake Charities Executive Director Linda Kohler. “We thought it made sense to use our annual event as a kind of forum for the community to focus on solutions and share a message of encouragement and inspiration.” This was the 2nd annual Celebration of Charity event hosted by Chesapeake Charities.

The event program also included tributes to Bernie Fowler, Jr., founder of Farming4Hunger, as Philanthropist of the Year, and Samaritan House of Annapolis as Nonprofit of the Year. Fowler, who employs and trains former addicts and inmates to grow food and feed the hungry, was inspired to do something because of his painful experience with his daughter’s heroin addiction.

Mike Goldfaden, Executive Director of Samaritan House, heads up the men’s 25-bed long term residential recovery program. Goldfaden said there is at least a 30-day waiting list to get into Samaritan House and talked about their plans for doubling the size of the facility in 2018.

Keynote speaker Lisa Hillman told the story of her family’s experience with her son’s drug addiction and recovery. She advised families of addicts to tell someone about the problem and consider joining Al-Anon. Hillman pointed out critical areas for change: longer treatment times for addicts, more transitional housing to move addicts back into society, earlier education about addiction at the 5th, 6th and 7th grade levels

Chesapeake Charities Board Chair Audrey Scott announced that Chesapeake Charities has established The First Responders Fund to support heroin and opioid emergency response efforts for local fire, police, emergency and medical personnel. Provisions will include equipment, supplies and training needed to protect first responders. For more information about the fund or to apply for funding, contact info@chesapeakecharities.org.

A community foundation located in Stevensville, Chesapeake Charities supports a wide range of charitable causes including arts, education, health and human services, animal welfare, and the environment. All of its 85 component funds have a common cause – a passion for making a difference in their communities. Chesapeake Charities serves organizations in Anne Arundel, Calvert, Caroline, Charles, Dorchester, Kent, Queen Anne’s and Talbot counties. They have invested more than $9 million in the Chesapeake Bay region since 2005.

For more information, contact Chesapeake Charities at (410) 643-4020 or info@chesapeakecharities.org, or visit their website. Chesapeake Charities is accredited by the National Standards for U.S. Community Foundations.

(Photo credits: Executive Office of the Governor, Joe Andrucyk)

“Golden Ticket” Raffle at the Garfield Center”: Your Chance to Win – and Help the Garfield!

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Enter the Garfield Center’s “Golden Ticket” Raffle for a chance to win a theatre weekend in Philadelphia! Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased online at or in the theatre’s box office. This raffle serves as a fundraiser for the Garfield Center, with the winning ticket being drawn on February 16th during opening night of the theatre’s first play of 2018, The Little Prince. The winner will receive an exclusive weekend in the “City of Brotherly Love”, which includes:

 

Garfield Center for the Arts in Chestertown, MD

Two tickets to the historic Walnut Street Theatre

Dinner for two at the unique and romantic “M” Restaurant

Overnight lodging at the boutique style Morris House Hotel

Drink and snack at Six Feet Under – Washington Square’s newest           gastropub

The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown, MD.

 

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Academy Art Museum Opens New Exhibition – The Caprichos: Goya and Lombardo

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Emily Lombardo, Emily Lombardo Printer, Plate I from The Caprichos, 2013, Etching and aquatint, AAM 2016.032.

The Academy Art Museum will open The CaprichosGoya and Lombardo –  just in time for the holidaysThe exhibition will be on display from November 21, 2017 through February 25, 2018The Caprichos by Emily Lombardo is a series of etchings which are in direct conversation and homage to Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos, 1799. Both explore and present a satirical critique of contemporary culture and the forces that influence society along economic, racial, political, religious, and gender lines.

Emily Lombardo states, “Copying has been the defining component of the apprentice-mentor structure since the birth of art production. The relationship was successfully completed when originality became discernible in the hand of the apprentice. My earliest apprenticeship was with a newspaper, pen, and paper. I would tirelessly copy political cartoons depicting Nixon, Reagan, Castro, and countless others, with slight understanding of the historical significance and intent of the author. This method evolved into a personal narrative, born in reaction to a lack of resonance with mainstream conversations.”

Emily Lombardo is an artist who has lived and worked in Boston for over 15 years.  She received her BFA from The Massachusetts College of Art and Design and her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work has been shown and collected internationally. Lombardo applies her knowledge of sculpture and print across a wide range of conceptual projects. She engages with appropriative art practices as a mode of investigating personal and cultural identity. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

The Academy Art Museum recently acquired Lombardo’s The Caprichos series for the Permanent Collection. The edition was published by Childs Gallery and printed at The Center for Contemporary Printmaking (Norwalk, CT) by printer Paul DeRuvo. The Art Gallery of Ontario loaned the entire set of Goya’s Caprichos so that we can exhibit the two series of prints in parallel. A publication will accompany the exhibition. The exhibition is supported by the Childs Gallery, Boston.

The Museum’s exhibitions are generously supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council and the Star-Democrat. For additional information, visit academyartmuseum.org or call the Museum at 410-822-2787.

Miracle on 34th Street Opens Dec. 1 at Garfield

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Veteran Director Jim Landskroener has assembled a cast of new and familiar local faces for the production of Miracle on 34 th Street, which opens during the Dickens of a Christmas weekend, Friday, December 1st at the Garfield Center for the Arts. This play version is adapted from the Twentieth Century Fox motion picture, and based on the novel by Valentine Davies. &quot.

“This is a tale that we want to believe in, that creates a world we seem to desperately desire, free of the blatant commercialism that surrounds us, where love and decency and generosity of spirit are their own rewards. What we want Christmas to be all about.” So writes the Santa Cruz Sentinel of this most heartwarming holiday
story.

By chance, Kris Kringle, an old man in a retirement home, gets a job working as Santa for Macy’s. Kris unleashes waves of good will with Macy's customers and the commercial world of New York City by referring parents to other stores to find exactly the toy their child has asked for. Seen as deluded and dangerous by Macy’s vocational counselor, who plots to have Kris shanghaied to Bellevue Psychiatric Hospital, Kris ends up in a court competency hearing. Especially at stake is one little girl's belief in Santa. In a dramatic decision, the court confirms Kris as the true Santa, allowing Susan and countless other children to experience the joy of childhood fantasy.

The cast in order of appearance on stage:
James Diggs – Dr. Pierce
David Ryan – Kris Kringle
June Hall – Bag Lady
Rich Person – Laura Crabtree
Shellhammer (Shelly) – Lori Wysong
Doris Walker – Natalie Lane
Susan Walker – Izzie Southworth
Fred Gayley – Zac Ryan
Drunk Santa – Tom Dorman
Macy – Allan Price
Sawyer – Diane Landskroener
Gimble – Special Cameo
Judge Harper – Gil Rambach
Finley – Tom Dorman
Mara – Mike Heffron
Halloran – June Hall
Duncan – Laura Crabtree
Mara, Jr. – Aaron Sensenig
Assorted Elves: Ben Anthony, Thomas Martinez, Ellie Morton, Shane Saunders
Children & Parents: Lia & Sarah Schut, Quentin & Phyllis Bergenholtz, Joe Diggs, Aaron Sensenig and Josie
Merton.

Take advantage of the Garfield’s recurring opening night discount; get $5 off when you wear your Garfield t-shirt! The show runs three weekends, from December 1 to 17. Friday and Saturday shows begin at 8 p.m, and Sunday matinees begin at 3 p.m. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for military and.seniors 65+, and $10 for students.

Tickets can be purchased online at www.GarfieldCenter.org or by calling the box office at 410-810- 2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown. This production is sponsored by Sutton Building & Remodeling, who recently installed the Garfield’s new movie screen.

Photo credits — Jeff Weber

Doug Sassi: RiverArts Gift Shop Artist of the Month

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Pottery and crafts by Doug Sassi currently in RiverArts Gallery’s gift shop

“That’s the great thing about doing a job you love,” he says. “You never have to retire from it—you just do it until you can’t do it anymore.”

Doug Sassi, potter

Doug Sassi has been a potter since 1962. He has a BS in Art Education and an MFA with a major in Ceramics and a minor in Art History. He has operated his pottery in Still Pond, MD, since 1978. He taught Ceramics and Sculpture in high schools from 1971 until retiring in 2011. He has taught workshops for local organizations in Kent County three times. You can see his work on Facebook (Doug Sassi Pottery) and on Google+. Mr. Sassi makes his own clay and glazes and works primarily on the potters’ wheel. His work is high-fired stoneware and almost entirely functional.He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and the subsidiary of the American Crafts Council, American Crafts Enterprises. He has exhibited in prestigious craft markets such as the ACC’s Rhinebeck and Baltimore Winter Market fairs. In 1975 and 1976 he was an artist-in-residence in Pennsylvania public schools. In 1977 he was granted by the National Arts Foundation to host an apprentice for a year in his studio.

For more information, contact the artist at info@sassipottery.com.

RiverArts Holiday Gift Shop Hours:
Monday – Saturday10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday11 a.m. to 3 p.m
Located in downtown Chestertown on High Street in the breezeway behind Dunkin’ Donuts
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Play It Again — at Garfield Center

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Come and celebrate the 75th Anniversary of one of the all-time great films at the Garfield Center!

In 1943, “Casablanca” won three Academy Awards, including the Oscar for Best Picture. Today, 75 years after its release, the film is still considered a classic.

On Warner Bros. back lot in Burbank on May 25, 1942, the first day of shooting for the new film “Casablanca,” the production schedule called actors Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman and Dooley Wilson to the set at 9 a.m. to shoot a flashback scene set in Paris, where the romance between Rick and Ilsa began.

Seventy-five years later, the film has reportedly been screened more times in theaters and on television than any movie in history.

On Saturday, November 25, come to the Garfield Center for the Arts at 7 p.m. for a special 75th anniversary celebration of the film. The event is FREE with donations to the Garfield encouraged. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown and can be reached at 410-810-2060.

Illustrated Lecture: “Beyond Stereotypes: War, Warriors, and the Creative Arts”

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WarFront/HomeFront with new Kent Arts Building in background

The public is invited to an Illustrated Lecture this coming Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Kent County Arts Council Gallery, 101 Spring Avenue, Chestertown, Maryland.

“Beyond Stereotypes: War, Warriors, and the Creative Arts” will be presented by Tara Tappert, Founder and Principal of The Arts & The Military; and, Michael D. Fay, Retired Combat Artist and Founder of The Joe Bonham Project.  Both work with wounded veterans to help foster healing through artistic expression.  The works displayed show war through the eyes of those who lived it – and are still living with war’s impact.

Main Art Gallery in new Kent Arts Building

Tara Tappert, Art Consultant and founder of ThemArts and the Military

Tara Tappert, Founder & Director, The Arts & The Military (www.artsandmilitary.org) is an Award-winning scholar, researcher, writer, curator, collections manager, archivist/librarian, editor, graduate-level teacher, academic adviser, and tutor for cultural, educational, and business institutions, and for private individuals and families. Her scholarship is focused in 20th c. American craft – particularly as a rehabilitation tool for war trauma and in late 19th and early 20th c. American art and culture– particularly portraiture, biography, women and art, family history, and genealogy. She is also a noted scholar of the portraitist Cecilia Beaux.

Michael D. Fay, artist and founder of WarFront/HomeFront & Joe Bonham Project

Michael D. Fay, Founder, The Joe Bonham Project, first served in the Marines from 1975 to 1978 as an infantry man attaining the rank of sergeant. He left the service to pursue a college degree and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education from the Pennsylvania State University in 1982. He then re-enlisted in the Marines in December 1983 and served on active duty until September 1993. During this ten-year period he served in the Presidential Helicopter Squadron under President Ronald Reagan, and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Eastern Exit, and Provide Promise campaigns. Seven years later, he enlisted  into the Marine Corps Reserve in January 2000 in order to fill the billet of combat artist with the Field History Department supporting the Historical Division of the Marine Corps.

As an official Marine Corps combat artist, Fay has been mobilized for four extended periods, and has served two tours each in Afghanistan and Iraq. Fay’s paintings and drawings made during these deployments demonstrate how combat looks and feels in a very personal and immediate way. The focus of these works is the human face of war. In images of ordinary people conducting routine business in difficult and unfamiliar circumstances, he reminds us of individual sacrifice and heroism.

Drawings of soldiers in the WarFront/HomeFront Exhibit currently at the Kent County Arts Council Arts Building through Dec. 3.

 

 

 

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Art Review: WarFront/HomeFront at the Kent County Arts Council Gallery

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Silhouetted against a pinkish-red background, several doves perch on a rifle held high by a soldier’s arm. This poignant image is just one of many in “WarFront/HomeFront, Through the Eyes of Our Military” on view through December 3 at Kent County Arts Council. After languishing for years, the former Town Arts Building is open again and hosting a show that vividly celebrates the healing power of art.

Whether the glowing red background connotes blood and fiery violence or the radiant pink blush of sunrise, hope and love is not clear, and the tension behind this riddle tells the terrible truth that while war is waged to bring peace, peace never lasts.

“Birds over Peace,” Patrick Sargent (U. S. Air Force), screen-print on paper made from Walter Reed hospital scrubs, 13 ½ x 6 ½ inches, 2015

Created by Patrick Sargent, an Air Force veteran, at a workshop at Walter Reed National Military Center, “Birds over Peace” was screen-printed on paper made from worn-out scrubs from the hospital. Many of the show’s works were created in similar workshops, and many use handmade paper pulped from military uniforms by recovering soldiers in a powerful metaphor of transformation paralleling the soldiers’ transformative healing through making art.

“WarFront/HomeFront” is a heart-rending, provocative and soulfully beautiful exhibit drawn from the 600 works in the ART/ifacts Collection of The Arts & The Military, a grassroots organization that actively engages wounded veterans in the arts. They are joined by drawings and paintings of wounded soldiers from the Joe Bonham Project by artists from the Society of Illustrators and the International Society of War Artists.

Little boys love to play with toy soldiers, but the melted and mutilated toy soldiers scattered across Malachi Muncy’s “To Play Army” will never be played with again. The words scrawled across the paper pulp painting where they are imbedded blurt out a painful message that recurs throughout this show, “I Didn’t Know What It Meant To Play Army.”

“To Play Army,” Malachi Muncy (U. S. Army), pulp panting and ink with toy Army men embedded in paper made from pulped military uniforms, 11 x 17 inches, 2013

Military service was romanticized when Muncy was growing up as an Army brat, and like many young people with limited prospects, whether white, black, Latino or Native American, he chose the military as a way to obtain training and education. After two deployments to Iraq and a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder, he has turned to art, as well as other therapies, for healing.

Art engages experience on many levels. The viscous feeling of clay between the fingers and the sweep of an arm brushing color across a piece of paper are strongly physical. The artworks these actions create stimulate both eyes and brain in a process that probes memory and belief, digesting experience and feeling in order to work toward understanding.

Chosen by Guest Curator Tara Tappert, Executive Director of The Arts & The Military, and KCAC Co-Executive Director John Schratwieser, the exhibit includes paintings, drawings, ceramics, poetry, found object art, and many handmade paper works created from old uniforms. It’s a show in which art has a double mission, serving both as a therapeutic process and as a compelling advocacy tool teaching visitors about the inward experiences of individuals in the military.

It’s in some of the Joe Bonham Project drawings that personal stories come to life with intensely affecting strength. Civilian illustrator Jeffery Fisher’s watercolor “A Fitful Sleep” is a powerful image of a wounded soldier, arm bandaged, sheets pulled into sweeping diagonals, grimacing face turned away. The sense of aloneness in his nightmarish physical and mental pain is palpable.

“A Fitful Sleep,” Jeffrey Fisher (Civilian), watercolor and graphite on paper, 27 ½ x 18 inches, 2012

Through the process of creating, these wounded soldiers are able to discover ways to examine and express their wartime experiences in a safe and nourishing atmosphere. In one of the exhibit’s most inspired works, visitors may do the same. Across the gallery’s double windows hang several pairs of combat boots. These regulation boots have obviously been worn—despite the mandatory spit shine, they are scuffed and creased, each by an individual soldier. (No one wears a pair of boots in the same way as anyone else, as Van Gogh’s paintings attest.) Visitors are invited to write wishes, prayers or stories on paper provided and put them into the boots. Just a few days into the show, they were already brimming with handwritten notes which, at the end of the show, will be added to those collected from previous exhibits of the ART/ifacts Collection.

Interaction is crucial to the process of art, as it is to the process of healing. Wounded veterans worked together to pulp old uniforms into paper, to pose for drawings, and to organize workshops. It took great courage for them to open up through art to work on their own healing, and it takes courage to experience this show, but do it. You’ll be richer for the experience.

Mary McCoy is an artist and writer who has the good fortune to live beside an old steamboat wharf on the Chester River. She is a former art critic for the Washington Post and several art publications. She enjoys kayaking the river and walking her family farm where she collects ideas and materials for the environmental art she creates, often in collaboration with her husband Howard. They have exhibited their work in the U.S., Ireland, Wales and New Zealand.