Adkins Arboretum’s 2018 Juried Art Show on View through March 30

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“The Scout” by Baltimore artist Karen Klinedinst.

There’s a powerful sense of the spirit of the Eastern Shore in Discovering the Native Landscapes of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Adkins Arboretum’s nineteenth annual Juried Art Show. On view in the Arboretum Visitor’s Center through March 30, the show celebrates the Arboretum’s conservation mission and captures multiple aspects of our landscapes and waterscapes, from the familiar to the playful to the stunningly beautiful.

The show was juried by Benjamin T. Simons, director of Easton’s Academy Art Museum. Both he and the artists will be on hand for a reception from 3 to 5 p.m. on Sat., Feb. 10 to talk with visitors about the work in the show.

From 115 entries submitted by 45 artists from Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, Georgia and Washington, D.C., Simons chose 23 works for this show.

“I was mindful that the works would cohere as an exhibit and also relate to our landscape,” he explained. “There are various traditions represented, like plein-air, pastel, oil and sculpture, and I was glad to see there’s an etching because we’re introducing etching at the Museum, and there are some nice drawings, as well. A skillful drawing is really a pleasure.”

Simons awarded the annual first-prize Leon Andrus Award, named in honor of the Arboretum’s first benefactor, to Baltimore artist Karen Klinedinst for her three haunting photographs shot and processed on her iPhone. Although her work was new to him, Klinedinst is a frequent visitor to the Arboretum, photographing its grounds and teaching workshops in iPhoneography. Taken at the tidal Black Marsh Natural Area in the upper Chesapeake, this trio of photographs focuses on egrets in the expanse of their native habitat and calls to mind the radiant beauty and nuanced details of nineteenth-century Romantic paintings.

Speaking of the luminescent quality of Klinedinst’s work, Simons said, “To me, it has a kind of ‘nature-photography-meets-Civil-War-era-photography’ feeling, and that’s what I found so appealing about it. They’re printed on vellum with white gold leaf, which gives them really a special glow.”

Simons awarded the Leon Andrus second prize to Francesca Blythe of Potomac for “Wood Shell,” a sweeping driftwood sculpture burnished with velvety smoothness to a deep warm brown.

“She’s seeing something there that’s very spectacular,” he said. “It’s got an elegance of line to it, sort of a pointing finger quality, kind of an ancient hand, or a dragon head.”

Simons also awarded three Honorable Mentions, choosing two paintings and a drawing. The drawing, “Silhouette: Caledon Marsh I” by Donna Frostick of Henrico, Va., is a very unusual work made with a Sharpie marker. Drawn with intricate strokes of stark black on bright white paper, it hums with energy.

“Wood Shell” by Potomac artist Francesca Blythe.

“It’s a strange effect that that produces,” Simon commented. “It’s funny because you get a reflection off the water just by leaving it blank.”

The two paintings he chose are very different from one another. “Pioneer Point,” by Washington artist Carol Rowan, is a skillful and meticulous rendering in oil paint of a traditional Eastern Shore scene with two workboats moored in a quiet cove. “Foggy July (Leonard Cove, Trappe, MD),” by David Leonard of Easton, is also an oil painting, but its loose, spontaneous style captures a momentary impression of a small dock and pilings shimmering in the heat and humidity of a summer day. Simons was pleased to find such singularly varied approaches to the Eastern Shore landscape.

“That’s probably what unifies the show the most, the sense of place,” he commented. “Almost all of them convey a sense of place that’s one of the most powerful parts of living here.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through March 30 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or info@adkinsarboretum.org for gallery hours.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum is the region’s resource for native plants and education programs about nature, ecology and wildlife conservation gardening. For more information, visit adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

The Little Prince Opens February 16th

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The Garfield Center for the Arts opens its 2018 season of plays with Antoinne de St. Exupéry’s The Little Prince on February 16th at 8pm. A beautiful portrayal of the importance of imagination, this story teaches us valuable lessons in loss, heartbreak and death, while showing us that imagination and understanding are some of the most important parts of the human experience.

A young pilot (Paul Cambardella) crashes his plane in the Sahara Desert where he meets a child dressed as a prince (Alden Swanson) insisting that he draw for him. The child tells the pilot that he comes from another planet, asteroid B-612, and he is on journey to understand his feelings of affection for an overbearing rose (Zuzu Kusmider) that bloomed on his star a year prior. The little prince recounts feats from an intergalactic adventure and tells of various characters, each of whom face their own sort of selfishness, but respectively teach the Prince important lessons. He befriends a fox (Aaron Sensenig) on earth, and makes a deadly agreement with a sly snake (Ben Anthony). He teaches the pilot how to express his feelings and imagination beyond what is expected of an adult in the modern world.

Directed by the Garfield’s theatre manager, Bryan Betley, The Little Prince runs for just two weekends, from February 16th – 25th. Shows are on Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm with Sunday matinees at 3pm. Tickets are $20 general admission, $15 for members of the US military and seniors 65+ and $10 for students. Visit www.garfieldcenter.org or call the box office at 410-810-2060 for tickets and reservations. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown.

A Valentine’s Day Tea and Talk with Professor Elena Deanda

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Washington College’s very own Elena Deanda-Camacho will be giving a faculty tea and talk on Wednesday, February 14, as part of the spring Literary House Series. The event will be held at 4:30 p.m. in the Rose O’Neill Literary House, and it is free and open to the public.

Elena Deanda-Camacho is an associate professor of Spanish and Director of the Black Studies Program at Washington College. She received her BA from the University of Veracruz, Mexico, and her PhD at Vanderbilt U. She studies transatlantic Spanish literature from the Middle Ages to the Enlightenment in Spain and New Spain. Her research focuses on literature deemed obscene by the Spanish Inquisition in Spain and the Americas, and more broadly in obscenity, censorship, and freedom of speech. She has published essays and articles on Cervantes, Lope de Vega, and Teresa de Cartagena, among others. She is currently writing a book entitled Pornopoetics: The Poetics of Pornography in Eighteenth Century Europe.

For more information on this and other events, view our annual Literary Events Calendar brochure here: www.washcoll.edu/live/files/7406-2017-2018. For more information on the Literary House, visit www.washcoll.edu/centers/lithouse/.

Two Exceptional Exhibits Open Friday at RiverArts

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The RiverArts galleries offer two exceptional exhibits for the month of February.  Opening reception is First Friday, February 2, 5 to 8 pm.

In the main gallery, ‘Colorblind: The Art of Black and White,” artists invite viewers to discover the power and beauty of an image reduced to its essential black and white values. The show includes works in all media: traditional, and abstract drawings, sculpture, fiber, ceramics, and photographs.  There will be a curator and artist talk on Thursday, February 8, 5:30 pm.

Joanne Scott, Orme’s Buy Boat

“Elements,” a Joanne S. Scott retrospective on view in the studio gallery, features acrylics, watercolors, etchings, and lithographs, primarily from the past five years   She has lived on or near water all her life, thus her imagery reflects that.

Joanne has taught watercolor and exhibited her watercolor works widely in the area. In 1960 she expanded her painting to the medium of acrylics. She became involved in the local art organizations and founded the Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts Anne Arundel County Cultural Arts Center in 1981. There will be a separate reception for Joanne Scott on Saturday, February 10, 2 – 5 pm.

Both exhibits are on view through Saturday, February 25.

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

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

Last Chance to Purchase Garfield Center’s Golden Ticket

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As the deadline of February 16th approaches, this is the last chance to purchase a ticket for anyone wishing to enter the Garfield Center’s “Golden Ticket” Raffle for a chance to win an expenses-paid evening in Philadelphia. Tickets are $50 each and can be purchased online at www.garfieldcenter.org or in the theatre’s box office. This raffle serves as a fundraiser for the Garfield Center, with the winning ticket being drawn during opening night of the theatre’s first play of 2018, The Little Prince.The winner will receive an exclusive evening in the “City of Brotherly Love”, which includes:

• 2 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 winner need not be present at the February 16th drawing to collect the prize. Only 100 tickets will be sold, get one while you can! The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown, MD.

Jewelry Artists Featured at The Artists’ Gallery for First Friday

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On Friday, February 2nd, the Artists’ Gallery will feature their jewelry artists, just in time for Valentine’s Day. And, to boot, February 2nd is also Groundhog’s Day, so the partners of the gallery – Bonnie Foster Howell, Sally Clark, Nancy R. Thomas, Barbara Zuehlke and Evie Baskin – are predicting that this will be the place to find a special something special for the one you love.

One of the featured jewelry artists in February is Michelle Armitano (MAFA,) a native of Massachusetts whose creative work in sterling silver and semi-precious stones was inspired by the natural beauty she found while living in Venezuela. Roseannette Cooper’s handcrafted jewelry is composed of argentium silver, beading and stones, making it easy to wear and a delight to the eye. Also featured this month are artfully designed necklaces composed of found objects by Carol Casey (Smash and Grab) and a variety of pieces in crocheted wire, freshwater pearls, stones, glass beads and leather by Jeannette Silva (Silva Wear.)

A reception for the public will be held at The Artists’ Gallery on February 2nd from 5-8 p.m. The Artists’ Gallery is located at 239 High Street in Chestertown and is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10-5 and on Sundays from 12:30-4:30 p.m. For more information about the gallery, please see their website: www.theartistsgalleryctown.com,
and remember…Valentine’s Day is coming soon!

Biloxi Blues Closing Weekend at Church Hill Theatre

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Chase away the winter doldrums for one more weekend with the heat and hilarity of Biloxi Blues, one of Neil Simon’s funniest comedies.  Reviewer Peter Heck calls it, “a boot camp hoot!”  Based on Simon’s own memories of boot camp in Mississippi during World War II, the play finds humor in the coming of age experiences of young draftees way outside their comfort zones. Michael Whitehill deftly directs the fast paced verbal exchanges and physical humor that make Biloxi Blues so much fun. His cast has obviously enjoyed the chance to inhabit Simon’s memorable characters.  Heck notes that the opening night performance was, “up to the high standards local audiences have come to expect.”

These soldiers do curse and engage in activities not included in letters home to their mothers. Older teens might learn some useful lessons about the transition to adulthood but this show is not recommended for elementary and middle school students.

James Hennesey (Jeff Rank) explains the joys of Army chow time to the newest recruits. From the left they are Timothy Daly as Joseph Wykowski, Troy Strootman as Eugene Jerome, and Robert Spray as Arnold Epstein. Photo by Steve Atkinson.

John Haas is “well cast” as Sgt. Merwin J. Toomey, and “convincing as the hard-nosed drillmaster” according to Heck.  Troy Strootman as Eugene Morris Jerome, “effectively strikes the balance between the character’s youthful naivete and his innate intelligence and insight into his fellow recruits.” Robbie Spray portrays Arnold Epstein, a draftee who is Toomey’s mentally tough nemesis.  The other soldiers in the barracks are Anthony Daly as Roy Selridge, Timothy Daly as Joseph Wykowski, Morgan Jung as Don Carney, and Jeff Rank as James Hennesey.  Since soldiers spend an inordinate amount of time thinking about women, Biloxi Blues gives us a couple of archetypes. Kendell Irene Davis plays Daisy Hannigan, with, “a very warm performance, given an extra dimension by Davis’s dancing.”  Christine Kinlock plays Rowena, a woman with no last name but quite a past.  The cast is rounded out with Scarlett Chappell, playing a guest at a USO dance.

Michael Whitehill has assembled an experienced and creative production team for Biloxi Blues.  Sylvia Maloney pulls together the before-the-show-opens details as Producer and Steve Atkinson wrangles the behind-the-scenes details as Stage Manager. Working with Designer Brian Draper, Whitehill designed and constructed the set. Douglas Kaufmann put together the lighting plot. Laura Crabtree, Katie Sardo, Wendy Sardo and Janice Selby complete the back stage team.

Biloxi Blues continues at Church Hill Theatre through February 4, 2018 and runs with weekend performances at 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 pm on Sundays.  Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students, with special prices for groups of ten or more. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at www.churchhilltheatre.org

Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra Offers Thematic Approach to Winter Concerts

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Dan Visconti

The only professional symphony orchestra on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra (MSO), is celebrating “Reaching Ever Higher,” 20 years of bringing enchantment to audiences from Ocean City, MD to Wye Mills, MD. On Thursday, February 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Avalon Theatre in Easton, MD, and on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 7:30 p.m., the MSO will present “A Roaring Movies Valentine” at Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD. The concerts will celebrate romance with silent movies and the music of the Roaring Twenties.

On Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. at the Easton Church of God in Easton, MD; on Saturday, March 10, 2018 at 3 p.m., with a Pre-Concert Lecture at2:15 p.m. at Mariner’s Bethel in Ocean View, DE; and on Sunday, March 11, 2018 at 3 p.m., with a Pre-Concert Lecture at 2:15 p.m. at Community Church in Ocean Pines, MD, the MSO will present “In Their Twenties.” The first half of the concerts will feature Phil Munds on the French Horn performing Mozart’s Horn Concerto No. 3, in conjunction with a composition titled “Black Bend” (2005) by composer Dan Visconti, which was originally commissioned by the Cleveland Museum of Art and first presented in a version for string quartet. The piece, which takes its inspiration from an old ghost story about a train derailment and a supposedly haunted stretch of Ohio’s Cuyahoga River, features many special techniques in order for the unamplified stringed instruments to produce a raw, distorted tone more typical of electric guitars. “In Their Twenties,” will also feature George Bizet’s “Symphony No. 1” on the second half, who along with Mozart, both composed when they were in their twenties.

The MSO, whose mission is “to enrich life in the Mid-Atlantic region through the power of live classical music,” is supported in part by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council, the Worcester County Arts Council, Sussex County, Delaware and the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, Inc. Tickets to the concerts are available online at midatlanticsymphony.org, or by telephone (888) 846-8600.  For further information, visit midatlanticsymphony.org.

Garfield Center Announces Open Auditions for Musical Sweeney Todd

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The Garfield Center for the Arts is holding open auditions for their spring musical, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street on February 6th& 8th at 6pm and February 10th at 11am. Seasoned director Shelagh Grasso will be casting her Garfield Center debut show, which is scheduled to open on April 27th and run for three weekends.

Sweeney Todd, one of the darkest musicals ever written, creates an environment of dirty, oppressed, class distinctive London in the Victorian era of the mid 19th century; an environment that allows the distinction between the wealthy and the lower classes to be quite evident. It presented opportunities for the rich to control the poor, to “squash them like cabbage leaves” to quote another famous musical. This is the premise of the story of Sweeney Todd; a barber who plots his revenge against Judge Turpin who sent him to prison on false charges. When revenge eludes him, Sweeney swears vengeance on the entire human race, murdering as many people as he can, while his business associate, Mrs. Lovett, finds interesting use for the bodies. Against this darkest of dark back-grounds it is also a love story and a reflection of the class system in England at that time.

Sweeney Todd is perhaps composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim’s perfect score. It is lush, operatic and full of soaring beauty, pitch black comedy and stunning terror.  It won multiple awards and presents one of the most complex stories and music in the musical theatre tradition.  It is an amazing, artistic and complicated challenge for all who become involved in it, including the audience.

Anyone interested in auditioning needs to prepare 16 measures of Broadway music, (music should not be from Sweeney Todd. There will be an accompanist at auditions and they should bring 2 copies of the music), Prepare a short, preferably memorized monologue and be prepared for cold readings.

The director is looking for a cast of 20 to fill 6 male singing roles, 3 female singing roles, 1 male non-singing role and a chorus of about 10.

Sweeney Todd …age 40-55…Bass baritone
Mrs. Lovett…age 35-50….Mezzo-Soprano
Anthony Hope…age 20-30….Bari-tenor
Johanna…age 20ish…Soprano
Judge Turpin….age 50-60…Bass
Tobias…….age 15-25…Tenor or Boy Soprano
Beadle Bamford…Age 30-50
Beggar Women/Lucy… Age 40-55… Mezzo-Soprano
Pirelli…age 40ish…Operatic tenor

Any inquiries about Sweeney Todd auditions or any other event at the Garfield Center can be directed to Executive Director Tess Hogans at thogans@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.