Shake off the winter blues and celebrate Family, Art, Food, and Culture on the Chestertown Art Crawl, Saturday, February 22 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will highlight the rich network of arts and cultural producers at work in Chestertown right now. The overarching theme of the event is FAMILY, and stops along the crawl will feature special exhibitions exploring the theme. Participating venues include MassoniArt, RiverArts (all locations), Sumner Hall, The Book Plate, Heron Point Art Gallery, Casa Carmen Wine House and The Retriever bar/restaurant.
The event will also feature two stops at Washington College: Kohl Gallery and the studio of WC Art Professor Julie Wills. The FAMILY theme builds upon the Kohl Gallery exhibit, Intimate Generations, a six-person exhibition exploring family connection in contemporary art curated by new Kohl Gallery Director and Curator Tara Gladden.
The Art Crawl encourages participants to also enjoy the seventh annual Chester Gras celebration while they are downtown. Hosted by Peoples Bank to raise funds for the Kent County Community Food Pantry’s Backpack nutrition program for children, Chester Gras takes place in a heated tent on Spring Avenue, in front of Peoples Bank, from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. It offers a parade, New-Orleans-style music, a selection of Louisiana specialties prepared by local chefs, a costume contest, and a silent auction. For information, visit chestergras.org.
Kohl Gallery director Gladden suggests starting the Art Crawl at Kohl Gallery (open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.) in the Gibson Center for the Arts on the Washington College campus, followed by a visit to the studio of WC Art Professor Julie Wills, who will have selections on view from her family-related series, Split Void. Wills’s studio (508 Washington Avenue) will be open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Visit Heron Point (501 Campus Avenue) any time between 10 a.m and 5 p.m. to view Shore Love Little Quilts!, an exhibit of art quilts, wall quilts and other small works.
Spend the bulk of the day downtown where you can take in more walkable venues, all open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. MassoniArt (203 High Street) has invited gallery artists to exhibit artwork in its companion exhibition, Intimate Generations, Too. Sumner Hall (206 S. Queen Street) will showcase works by Kent County native Kyle Hackett in an exhibit entitled Spirits Rejoice. RiverArts will have artworks on display in the main gallery (315 High Street, Ste. 106) and the Arts Alive Education Center (200 High Street) will feature a family-themed pop-up exhibit and a drop-in hands-on activity for all ages. At the Clay Studio (204 High Street) you can paint Porcelain Easter figurines of bunnies, teddy bears, and eggs throughout the day.
At Book Plate (112 S. Cross Street), Ezra Greenspan will lecture at 4:00 p.m. on the family Frederick Douglass left behind in Talbot County. The Garfield Center for the Arts (210 High Street) will offer a special exhibition in its lobby featuring portraits of the comedic families from the current show, Greater Tuna. Also on display will be Leslie Raimond’s portrait quilt made in the late 90’s and featuring images of many of Kent County’s elders.
Ortiz Studios (207 S. Cross Street) will feature heirloom quality Shaker & Japanese inspired furniture with additional works on display by Latin American ceramic artists and metal artist, Rob Glebe. The Artists’ Gallery (239 High Street) will have members works on display.
The décor of two downtown eateries focuses on themes related to past generations. Casa Carmen Wine House (312 Cannon Street) will offer its tapas menu from noon to 10 p.m., with the owners’ family photos as backdrop. And at The Retriever bar/restaurant (337 High Street), you can enjoy cocktails and dinner surrounded by antique and vintage family portraits.
A map and directory will be provided for visitors to tailor the crawl to their preferences. If you are an arts and culture producer in Chestertown and would like to be featured on the crawl, please contact Tara Gladden, (347) 768-4930, firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information and updates, visit the Kohl Gallery washcoll.edu/kohl-gallery.
Bring friends and family and build your own cultural adventure while celebrating the wonderful art, food, culture, and community that ever-evolving Chestertown has to offer.
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