First Friday: See the Luminous Art of Steve Bleinberger at The Artists Gallery

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Port Tack” watercolor by Steve Bleinberger

On First Friday, August 4th, the Artists’ Gallery will present the work of Steve Bleinberger in “Water, Water, Everywhere,” with a reception to meet the artist that evening from 5-8 pm.   The show will hang in The Artists’ Gallery throughout the month of August.

Growing up as a teenager on the shores of Thomas Point, Maryland, Steve was surrounded by water and within the sight and sound of an active lighthouse.  It was there that he experienced firsthand, the waters of the Chesapeake in all forms- from capping waves to beautiful glassy calms and everything in between.  “Painting in the most wonderfully fluid of mediums – watercolor – I strive to capture the look and most importantly, the feel of an authentic Maryland treasure:  The Chesapeake Bay.”

“Bay’s Magic Light” watercolor by Steve Bleinberger

Steve Bleinberger holds a BFA degree with advanced art studies from Richmond’s Virginia Commonwealth University.  He is a member of local, regional and national art clubs, conducts watercolor workshops and demos, and judges creative competitions.  His work is exhibited throughout the mid-Atlantic region and has gained respect and admiration for depicting Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Chesapeake Bay waterscapes, Bay work boats and the dwindling ranks of those that man them.   Steve’s paintings can be found in private collections as well as the homes and offices of Chesapeake racing skippers, “Tall Ship” captains, Bay Pilots, tugboat owners, naval officers, a noted marine historian and a President of the United States.

First Friday, August 4, exhibit and reception for artist Steve Bleinberger from 5:00 – 8:00 pm. The Artists’ Gallery is located at 239 High Street in Chestertown and is open daily from 10-5, Tuesday through Saturday, and Sundays from 12:30-4:30.  For more information, please see the Artists Gallery website or call 410-778-2425.  

“Skipjacks” watercolor by Steve Bleinberger

“Dawn Patrol” watercolor by Steve Bleinberger

“Cap’n, We are Flyin’ Home!” watercolor by Steve Bleinberger

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Chainsaw Art at the Kent County Fair

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Josh Miller is a Kent County boy.  Born and raised.  He grew up in Chestertown, attended Kent County High School and graduated from there in 1999.  Then he began his wandering. First, he went to Nashville, Tennessee, to an automotive painting school.  He had always had an artistic side. That led to a career in building and custom-painting motorcycles.  Did I mention that he also had a mechanical side?  A very good one, too. Well, one thing led to another and pretty soon he was custom-painting drones for the military.  They loved his work.  In fact, they loved it so much that one of them was chosen to be hung in the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum where you can go see it any day.

This weekend, Josh Miller is wandering back to his old stomping grounds.  You can see him in action at the Kent County Fair this weekend, where he will be demonstrating the latest turn in his artistic and mechanical career – chainsaw art – specifically chainsaw wood sculptures.  Josh will be on-site all three days of the fair.  Several of his sculptures will be included in the Saturday evening auction.  Don’t miss your chance to own your own chainsaw sculpture!

For the past two years, Miller has been on the Eastern Shore, living in Felton, Delaware, with his wife and two daughters. Before then the family was in Shrewsbury, Pennsylvania.  It was there that Miller was first inspired to turn his chainsaw into an artist’s tool.  He had to cut down a tree and thought why not have some fun, turn this into art.  Thus was born Josh Miller’s chainsaw sculpture career.  He’s been making and selling chainsaw sculptures ever since.

Miller’s subjects range from the sacred to the profane, the ridiculous to the sublime, with an emphasis on nature.  His bears are especially popular.  His birds are beautifully detailed.  His humor is home-spun and pun-full, some visual puns, some verbal.  To see more, be sure to stop by his FaceBook page.  After you’ve been to the fair, of course.

Chainsaw sculpture by Kent County native Josh Miller.

 

Rifle-stand with boots. Every cowboy needs one!

Carving a bear

Three-person “butt bench” – we didn’t ask who the model was.

Horse bench – on display this weekend at the Kent County Fair

 

 

 

The Artists Gallery Features the Work of Barbara Zuehlke on First Friday

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Quiet Evening 2, watercolor by Barbara Zuehlke

This First Friday, July 7th, the Artists Gallery will feature the work of one of their partners, Barbara Zuehlke, with a reception to meet the artist that evening from 5-8 pm.  The show will hang throughout the month of July.

This body of work entitled, “Shadows and Patterns,” was inspired by the dramatic colors, glow and shadows of landscapes often found in late daylight, and by the cast shadows that create contrast and drama in still life and floral paintings.   Zuehlke says, “I feel that so much of good painting is about light. I am a triad watercolor painter, so all the paintings are created from three pigments: one red, one yellow, and one blue.”  Examples of three pigments Barbara uses are: Indigo, Quinacridone Gold, and Brown Madder or Permanent Rose, Indanthrene Blue and Lemon Yellow.

Having Tea, watercolor by Barbara Zuehlke

Barbara Zuehlke is an award winning Eastern Shore artist, and works in various mediums from serigraph to oil, with a primary focus on watercolor.  She enjoys working wet on wet (wet pigment on wet paper,) creating a softness and flow while combining the sharp edges of working on dry paper.  She believes that good drawing is the basis for good painting and the observer needs to feel the flow of watercolor or the rich gooeyness of oil.

The artist is a native of Grosse Pointe, Michigan and attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she earned a BFA in graphics and painting.  Her commercial experience began with J.L. Hudson Company in Detroit, Michigan designing large-scale animated and still display promotions, followed by display coordination management of John Wannamakers in Philadelphia.  She has also worked free-lance in wrapping paper and logo designs.

Backlit Lilies, watercolor by Barbara Zuehlke

Barbara continues to show her work extensively, from a one-person show at The Dorchester Center for the Arts to the Academy Arts Museum in Easton, the annual Oxford Art Show and Local Color in Easton.  She has garnered numerous awards and a multitude of recognition for her outstanding work.  In addition to her partnership with The Artists’ Gallery, Barbara is an active member of The Working Artists Forum in Easton.  She presently operates her art studio and a quality frame shop in her Eastern Shore home.

Western Glow, watercolor by Barbara Zuehlke

The Artists’ Gallery is located at 239 High Street in Chestertown and is open daily from 10-5, Tuesday through Saturday, and Sundays from 12:30-4:30.  For more information about Barbara’s work, please visit The Artists Gallery ‘s website or call 410-778-2425.

RiverArts 18th Annual Studio Tour

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Come visit behind the scenes at various artists’ studios during the Chestertown RiverArts Studio Tour during the last two weekends in October.

Ever wonder how an artist can look at an old, dilapidated barn and make it “pop” on canvas or paper? Would you like to visit with a metal artist who makes delicate vessels, unique wall art, and large outdoor sculpture, some of it displayed in his own sculpture garden? How is intricate jewelry made from polymer clay or from precious and semi-precious stones that sometimes have meanings associated with them? What are the different decorative techniques in pottery? How does the boldness of the Talavera style of painting on pottery compare to a multi-layered spray application of glaze that makes a piece of porcelain look so lacy and delicate?

Find the answers on the RiverArts 18th Annual Studio Tour that takes place over two weekends, October 21-22 and 28-29, 10:00-5:00, 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.

“Sheds and Silos” – pastel by Mary Pritchard

The art is as diverse as the artists who create it, with styles ranging from traditional to avant-garde, expressed in a variety of media that include painting, photography, sculpture, metalwork, pottery, fiber, woodcraft, jewelry, furniture, glass, and more. The venues vary from galleries and independent studios in small art complexes to artists’ homes – some detached from the main house and some inside the house itself.

Situated on a scenic peninsula where the Chester and Sassafras Rivers meander into the Chesapeake Bay, Kent County has retained its serene beauty despite the passage of time. Historic Chestertown, located on the banks of the Chester River, is the oldest mid-Atlantic port of entry in the state dating back to the 1640s. It has been designated by the state of Maryland as an Arts and Entertainment District. Its Mayor, Chris Cerino, remarked, “The downtown arts scene has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade….Chestertown is fast becoming a regional arts destination.” In addition to the charm of Chestertown, out-of-towners often remark on how much they enjoy the tranquility of the countryside, water views, and small, friendly towns.

Wearable Art by Joy Berghaus

Visitors are encouraged to start their tour at the RiverArts Gallery, 315 High Street – in the breezeway, by viewing an exhibit representing work by the various Studio Tour artists. The exhibit opens on First Friday, October 6, 11:00 am-8:00 pm and is up through November 29. Studio Tour brochures may be found at the Gallery and at restaurants and shops throughout Kent County.

If you are digitally inclined, note that the website is mobile ready and contains many features that will facilitate navigation, including interactive maps and pre-planned routes. Each artist is listed by name, location, and medium. It will even give you a list of the studios that are handicap-accessible, and find other attractions such as restaurants and B&B’s.

Combine your Studio Tour with other events! On Downrigging Weekend, October 28-29. Chestertown’s schooner, Sultana, is joined by many historic tall ships and Chesapeake Buy-Boats. Many of the art studios are within an easy walking distance of the ships. All this makes for a fun family outing.

“Japanese Maple Sphere” – metal sculpture by Rob Glebe

Just outside of town the Olde Kent Quilters Guild Show and Market includes approximately 60 quilts of all colors, shapes, and sizes at the Kent Center, 215 Scheeler Road. The show is also open on the 28th and 29th. For more information call 410-490-7102.

Chestertown is 90 miles from Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia, all well situated for a day trip. However, there are so many artists on the tour, it might prove enjoyable to spend a weekend or two. To help you plan your trip, go to the RiverArts Studio Tour’s website. You may also call 410-778-6300 or email us at info@chestertownriverarts.org. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11:00-4:00, Saturday, 10:00-4:00, Sunday 11:00-3:00. During the tour, hours are Saturday and Sunday 10:00-5:00.

For information on lodging, restaurants, and other attractions go to the Kent County website or contact our Tourism Development Office at 410-778-0416 or email tourism@kentcounty.com.

RiverFest – June 28 – A Celebration of Art & the River

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At 6:00 pm Wednesday, June 28,  RiverArts invites everyone to gather along the Chester River to celebrate the unveiling of new sculptures by three truly creative artists: Cindy Fulton, Rob Glebe, and Morgan Raimond. The unveiling will be followed by a party and dinner cruise aboard the Chester River Packet.  The artwork will be situated along the waterfront foot bridge between High Street and the marina and will remain up through Labor Day Weekend.

It will be visible in the evening as well, via solar lighting.

River Orrery by Patti & Dave Hegland & Breon Gilleran at the 2016 RiverFest

Cindy Fulton has created a 7 foot sculpture titled “Neptune’s Grasses” made of weathered copper. “My copper sculptures are reflective of things that I see in nature. We live in a forest next to a creek so I get my inspiration from grasses, trees, and bushes.” Cindy uses different types of copper and bends and pounds it into shapes that she sees around her. The colors of the copper vary depending on how oxidized it has become. The copper for “Neptune’s Grasses” has had many years of weathering helped by a bit of Cindy’s oxidation procedures.

Rob Glebe has created a 6 foot high bee hive, entitiled “Beekind.”  It is  made of Corten steel, which will develop a nice patina over time. “Last year I had a bee hive sighted on my property. And it has been a real learning experience. So I guess my thoughts are a continuing theme of how to bring attention to the world of bees. They play such an important role in our life cycle and people forget all they do for us. All they want is a little respect!”

Morgan Raimond’s sculpture, “Feeling the Pinch” is an  8 foot tall,  site specific copper sculpture of a Chesapeake Bay blue crab reaching out of the Chester River. The iconic blue crab claw represents aspects of the region presently. The dichotomy of the strong, menacing claw is juxtaposed with the fragile eco-system of its environment in its current threatened state.

Tickets are $75 and include a two-hour party and cruise on the Chester River Packet, a 1920 style, 65’ classic yacht completely restored by local craftsmen, as well as a champagne reception, appetizers, and dinner.

This is a celebration as well as a fundraiser for RiverArts. It helps keep the doors open at KIDspot, buy new equipment for the Clay Studio and supports our new ArtsAlive! Education Center. Half of the cost is tax deductible.

Tickets may be purchased online at www.chestertownriverarts.net  and click on Events. You may also call the RiverArts Gallery at 410-778-6300 or visit the gallery at 315 High Street (at the end of the breezeway). Gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11-4, Saturday 10-4, and Sunday, 11-3

All are welcome! Come for a delightful evening on the water while supporting one of Chestertown’s great community assets.

RiverFest – June 28 – 6:00 pm  at the Chester River along the foot bridge between High Street and the marina for unveiling of new statuary .  The art will remain up through Labor Day Weekend.

Mid-Shore Arts: The Beauty of Catch and Release with Photographer Todd Forsgren

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When you first look at Todd Forsgren’s photography, it is hard not to be slightly unnerved by the images that he captures. Some of the world’s most beautiful birds are photographed at the time they have entered into a ornithologists research net, and it’s difficult not to assume that the animal is under severe duress.

But after you find out that Todd has worked with some of the leading ornithology labs in the world on this project, and that it is part of an international effort to save these bird species, you warm up to this very brief moment of incarceration. In fact, you are left seeing them and their extraordinary grace on their own.

Todd’s photography, which is on display at the Academy Art Museum until the end of the month, is a striking reminder of how phenomenal these creatures are which makes it all the more important that they sometimes temporarily fall victim to a researcher’s net.

The Spy caught up with Todd as he was hanging his show to discuss his passion for his subjects, and the delicacy of his images.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about Todd Forsgren’s exhibition at the AAM, please go here.

Todd Forsgren: Birdwatcher And Ecologist
Academy Art Museum 
April 22, 2017 – May 30, 2017

Paint the Town! RiverArts Holds 8th Annual “Plein Air”

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Did you notice the artists around Chestertown this weekend? Painters with easels could be seen in the park, down by the river, along High Street, and throughout the Historic District.

They were among nearly 50 artists from around the Mid-Atlantic region who came to Chestertown over the weekend of April 30 to create images of the town. The occasion was the eighth annual “Paint the Town” event organized by RiverArts of Chestertown.

Instead of hotels or motels, many of them stayed with local artists who put up their out-of-town colleagues for the weekend. But most of the artists’ time was spent on the streets of town, doing plein air (outdoor) painting. They gathered at the RiverArts gallery Saturday evening to hang their paintings.

RiverArts “Paint the Town” April 27-23, 2017

Then starting at 5:3o pm, the public got to see three days’ worth of works by the fifty artists who had captured the varied scenes of Kent County. Prior to opening the “Wet Paint Show and Sale” to the public, the artists voted for their favorites.

Wet Paint Sale – Best in Show, Tara Will, Walnut Point Farm (sponsored by Coldwell Banker Chesapeake)

The “Best in Show,” sponsored by Coldwell Banker Chesapeake, went to Tara Will for “Walnut Point Farm.” She also won “Best Body of Work,” supported by Home Mattress Center.

Best Body of Work, Tara Will (sponsored by Home Mattress Center, owner Herm Bloom)

Second Place for “Best in Show,” sponsored by Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff went to Ray Ewing for “Quiet Reflections” who also won Second Place for “Best Body of Work”. “Honorable Mention” for “Best in Show” for “Morning Sun on the Dock” and “Best Body of Work” went to Anne Gibson Snyder. All were oils that had a painterly style, though the subject matter varied a great deal.

2nd Place – Best Body of Work – Ray Ewing

A Quick Draw contest was held on Sunday morning.  The artists had two hours – 8:30-10:30 am – to paint any local subject.  Then they all lined up their easels in Fountain Park on the sidewalk across from Emmanuel Church.  It was amazing what they had produced in just two hours!  There were depictions of the Chester River bridge, the fountain with its statue of Hebe, Stam Hall, and other local landmarks.  The judge had some hard decisions to make. The blue ribbon went to Ronaldo Dorado of Annapolis.  He said that this was his first time at Chestertown’s Plein Air, although he has participated in several others including those in Annapolis and Easton.

The judge for the Quick Draw competition was Sihnja Whiteley of Chestertown.  Sihnja is originally from South Korea where she studied art in private studios and as a member of a prestigious artists’ club. She continued studying at Washington College. Her work is eclectic, ranging from traditional Oriental painting to abstracts. She has taught classes at the Academy of Art in Easton for the past twenty years and has judged many, many shows. In judging plein air works of art she considers the composition, the artist’s personal expression and innovation, and the capture of light.

A number of the paintings created over the past four days have found homes in Kent County. In all, 28 paintings were sold –  including four sales from the Quick Draw. For those of you who missed the chance to purchase a painting of an iconic Chestertown landmark or scenic view, there is always next year!  See more Paint the Town photos below.

“Quick Draw” winner Ronaldo Dorado with his watercolor of Stam Hall.

First Place in the Quick Draw went to Ronaldo Dorado, Second Place went to Bradford Ross, and Third Place, sponsored by Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, went to Jane Knighton. A People’s Choice Award, supported by the Peoples Bank, went to Thomas Bucci for his painting, Chester Waterfront. Anne Gibson Snyder and Justin Wytowitz received Honorable Mentions.

Quick Draw

 

 

Quick Draw Oil of Chester River Bridge by Jim Rehak of Delaware. www.JimRehak.com

Jane Knighton of Glenwood, MD, member of River Hill Arts. Jane stayed with Nancy and Zane Carter. Watching in the background is Caleb Moore, age 4.

“Sultana” painting by Deborah Cole

Debra Howard of Crisfield, was camping at Tuckahoe with her dog, Bear.  Here she’s painting outside the Imperial Hotel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There were many who helped make this event so successful. Special thanks to the Chestertown Acme for providing the Artists’ luncheon and the Clay Studio which provided host family gifts.

For more information on Paint the Town, programs, and classes, visit www.chestertownriverarts.org or call RiverArts at 410 778 6300.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD 21620 – (in the breezeway behind Dunkin’ Donuts). Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 4 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM, Sunday 11 AM to 3 PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

 

 

 

 

Terry Wolf Art at Heron Point in May

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The paintings of local well-known artist Terry Wolf will be featured at Heron Point during the month of May. Wolf works in many mediums but says “watercolor, pastels, egg tempera and water gilding are most suited to express my ideas.” He paints in Maine and Maryland and has studied with John Dehlinger and Henry Peacock. He also studied “The Art in Painting” at the Barnes Foundation for three years. He will return to the Brandywine River Museum in Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania this spring and summer to demonstrate egg tempera painting in celebration of Andrew Wyeth’s 100th birthday celebration.

The paintings may be viewed daily from 10am until 5pm. A reception honoring Terry Wolf and his work will be held at Heron Point, 501 E. Campus Avenue on Saturday, May 6th, from 2 until 4pm. All are welcome.

Greg and Jon Mort Return to Massoniart with “Full Circle” April 1

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On April 1st, Massoniart welcomes father and son Greg and Jon Mort for the opening of the Spring 2017 exhibition – FULL CIRCLE. For over twenty-five years, the Carla Massoni Gallery has represented internationally acclaimed artist and amateur astronomer Greg Mort. His artwork reflects a fascination with the intersection of art and science and his passion for ecological issues. His work can be found in museums throughout the world and in the private collections of three United States presidents, two vice presidents, as well as in numerous embassies as part of the State Department’s Art in Embassies program. Greg serves as a member of the executive board of the Lowell Observatory and in 2007 established The Art of Stewardship Project, which supports and encourages artists to use their talents to promote awareness of the Earth’s fragile beauty and the delicate balance between sustainability and the needs of mankind.

Sunburst by Greg Mort

Sunburst by Greg Mort

His son, Jon Mort, is no stranger the gallery or the larger art world. He began participating in juried showings as a teen and has been in over twenty gallery exhibitions. His first showing at Massoniart was in the Next Generation exhibition in 2007. A graduate of Franklin and Marshall College, Jon went on to earn a masters degree in architecture from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. There is no effective way to measure the enormous value of the tutelage provided by his father throughout Jon’s life. Both father and son are balanced on the seesaw of art and science in virtually all of their undertakings.

Also featured in the FULL CIRCLE exhibition is sculptor and installation artist Sara Bakken. She holds a BFA in glass and fibers from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. Sara has exhibited widely and is also an alumna of the 2007 Next Generation exhibition. Her goal to create art and create a positive impact on the planet resulted in her selection to participate in a biophilia research residency this summer in Canada.

“Creative journeys often begin with wonder,” Greg Mort said when discussing his new body of work. “On a recent visit to the Uffizi in Florence, I viewed Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo and was captivated by the image: its circular design, and especially the three-dimensionality of the figures. This experience ignited my desire to transform a two-dimensional surface into a three-dimensional – as well as spherical – form, forcing the viewer to see and wonder beyond the image. I have long admired physicist Steven Hawking’s use of a sphere to illustrate that while the universe has no edges, yet it is limited, not limitless. He says, ‘Think of the surface of a sphere. On that surface you can travel North, South, East, and West and every direction in between. From this curved plane perspective you indeed never find an edge. That surface has a finite area but really no beginning or end… there’s only the surface; there is no place above or below the surface. So what is above the curved plane of the sphere becomes a meaningless question.”

Like a circle or a sphere, the Full Circle collection of Greg Mort paintings has no edges, borders, or endings. Mort wanted the images to relate to the continuous surface of our Earth and the mystery of space. The paintings are all the same size: 48 inches in diameter, coincidentally, the same size as the Doni Tondo.

In the last few years, Jon Mort has found himself captivated by circles.

Greb and Sphere PaintingThey have appeared more frequently in his work and once he noticed this happening and started looking for them, circles were everywhere: in art and architecture, and engineering and technology. In discussing his new work he shared, “Always a storyteller first, the cyclical, infinite narrative potential of circles settled over me, for the best stories in reality have neither end nor beginning; which is to say, they have both, and each is the other. Inalterably the son of an astronomer, I saw circles echoing both the false blue dome of the daytime sky and the inky, star-peppered abyss of night.”

Jon Mort’s work reflects his belief that there is an ancientness to the universe and to the heritage of living systems, that there is a connectedness of all living organisms and systems, that there is a connectedness of life to all non-living matter and structures, and there is a cyclicality to all living systems. It all comes Full Circle.

Full Circle is opens on Saturday, April 1st. There will be an Open House reception from 11-3 pm and an Artist Talk at 1 pm. For those unable to attend the opening reception, you are invited to Chestertown’s April First Friday town-wide celebration and a reception at Massoniart from 5-7:30 pm. All events are free and open to the public.

FULL CIRCLE
Greg Mort – Jon Mort
April 1-30, 2017
Also featuring sculptural installation by Sara Bakken

OPEN HOUSE
Saturday, April 1
Reception to meet the Artists – 11-3pm
Artists Talk – 1 pm

APRIL FIRST FRIDAY RECEPTION
Friday, April 7 – 5-7:30 pm