The Chestertown RiverArts Holiday Show and Sale will open to the public on Black Friday, November 28, in the Studio Gallery. On First Friday, December 5, it will expand into the Main Gallery. Last year the show included works by 39 artists and artisans; the show was so successful that we anticipate a large turn-out this year. All the artists are members of RiverArts and all of their work is hand-made, many one-of-a-kind. Most items are available for under $100.
Curators Sue Wright and Connie Schroth make sure that there is something for everyone. Popular items last year included a broad range of gift items including knitted wearables and other fiber items, jewelry, pottery, cutting boards, artwork and photography, cards, and so much more. The big sellers are described below; expect to see work by these artists again this year.
Fiber artist Alice Pickett-Lewis created felted pot holders for this show; last year they were so attractive that many buyers said they were going to be used in a decorative way. Katherine Trout’s woven chenille scarves were loved for their warm, soft textures and glorious color combinations. Knitters Sue Wright, Ronnie Edelman, Sheila Austrian and Connie Metcalf offered sweaters, shawls and more for both children and adults. Each of these knitters has a style of her own, using different types of wools and color combinations. To create her scarves, Judy Friis used personal photography, graphics, fine art, and a collection of images to develop unique designs which were then printed on 100% silk. Barbara Wilson made tapestry bags of all sizes.
Jewelry was also very popular. Joy Berghaus’ jewelry included different combinations of glass, shells, metal, semi-precious stones, antique jewelry and buttons; her necklaces, earrings and bracelets were individually designed using beading, knitting, and crocheting with wire. Charlotte Guschl created contemporary pieces with semi-precious stones from the southwest and other parts. Bonnie and Joe Masslofsky created jewelry using seaglass and semi-precious stones wrapped in sterling silver and 14k gold-filled wire.
“Marshland Farm” by Ed Blake is a wonderful photograph of a winter’s scene, snow everywhere with a red barn that breaks up the white. Last year the photograph was on sale either framed or unframed and matted ready for framing. He will be offering this photograph again as well as some others this year using the same price structure. Ed is a professional photographer who specializes in high quality black and white and color images.
Pottery by Donna Hickman and Doug Sassi stood out. Both create utilitarian pieces. Doug is known for making his own clay and glazes. Roy Mears, a local contractor, has taken his love of wood to a different level creating gorgeous cutting boards; they’re almost too beautiful to use. Marty Elvin’s hand-painted gourds were also well received.
Needless to say, there will be many other gift items from which to choose. So do your holiday shopping at RiverArts and support your local, talented artist community.
The Chestertown RiverArts Gallery and Gift Shop is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106. Through December 27 the gallery will have special hours: Monday-Saturday, 10-5, and Sunday, noon-4, except for the First Friday reception on December 5 when the gallery will be open 11-8. The show will then continue through January 3 and be open to the public during regular hours: Tuesday-Friday, 11-4 and Saturday, 10-4. For more information call 410-778-6300, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.chestertownriverarts.org.