6th Annual Art in Bloom Supported Camp Scholarships


People’s Choice Award Winner, “Fit to be Tied” by Jessica Coner

On Sunday, June 24, the RiverArts Galleries were filled with floral arrangements inspired by the artworks exhibited by RiverArts’ June exhibition, “Fine Arts and Contemporary Craft,” a multi-media juried show of paintings and 3D artwork.

Guests at the champagne reception viewed floral arrangements featuring everything from sunflowers to a giraffe sanctuary to a design incorporating part of a combine, while enjoying gourmet hors d’oeuvres, and a raffle featuring garden-themed gifts. Participating floral designers were Ronn Akins, Sydney Brookes, Zane Carter, Jessica Coner, Frank Creegan, Darla Downer, Galena Blooms, Inspired Creations artist Kelley Thayer, Latrina, and Carol Neimand. The People’s Choice award went to Jessica Coner, for her design, “Fit to Be Tied.”

The event raised $1000 in support of the RiverArts Summer Camp scholarship fund, enabling 6 children to participate in art camp. Sponsors included Figg’s Ordinary, The Finishing Touch, Kingstown Farm, Home and Garden, and The White Swan Tavern.

For more information on RiverArts Events, Summer Camp, Exhibits and Classes, visit www.chestertownriverarts.org, or call RiverArts at 410-778-6300.  Gallery: 315 High Street, Suite 106. Open Tuesday-Friday, 11-5:30, First Friday open until 8pm, Saturday, 10-5:30, Sunday 11 am – 3 pm.

Faces & Places of the Eastern Shore Exhibit Opens July 6


In July, Chestertown RiverArts will explore what makes life on the Eastern Shore a beautiful adventure as we ask artists to show us “Faces and Places on the Eastern Shore.” There will be an opening reception on the July 6th First Friday from 5 – 8 pm.

Everywhere you look, inspiration abounds! It is in the seasonal variations of color in the countryside and waterways where the light is ever-changing, from sharp sun shadows to stormy skies, to the soft, hazy glow of Ireland on the fields. It’s the ospreys returning each year to rebuild their nests and raise their young, or a female duck searching for a place to lay her eggs, followed closely behind by two or more drakes, who seem to call out, “pick me, pick me!”

View Across Shipyard Creek by Barbara Snyder

Please join us in our celebration of life in “Faces and Places on the Eastern Shore!”

Drop Off for Exhibit: Sunday, July 1, 2-4pm/Monday July 2, 10am – 1pm

Exhibition Dates: July 5 – 29
Opening Reception: First Friday, July 6, 5 – 8 pm

For more information visit www.chestertownriverarts.org and click on exhibitions, or call RiverArts at 410 778 6300.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD 21620 – (in the breezeway). Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30PM, Sunday 11 am – 3 pm, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

Last Call for RiverArts Annual Juried Photography Show Submissions


Photography by Juror Cal Jackson.

The photographer grasps a fleeting slice of time to capture an image that expresses what the mind perceives and feels. A strong image propels the photographer forward, inspiring the skillful use of tools to create a final image to be shared with others. “There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.” (Ansel Adams).

“Fragility” is the theme of RiverArts Annual Juried Photography Show. Photographers are challenged to create images that invoke a sense of fragility: delicacy, vulnerability, a passing moment, a threat of brokenness, frailty of life. Photographs created from a wide range of subjects and techniques will challenge the viewers to engage with their eyes, their intellect and their emotions about our fragile existence.

Artist may submit up to 3 photographic images to the juror. Artists will be notified of acceptance 4 weeks prior to drop off, thereby providing sufficient time for printing and framing. The show will be exhibited in RiverArts main gallery during the month of August.

Best in Show will be awarded $150. Merit Awards will be awarded with no monetary prizes. There will also be a People’s Choice Award.

Curator: Sue Basener
Juror: Cal Jackson
Judge: Anke Van Wagenberg

Exhibition Dates: August 3 – September 1
Opening Reception: First Friday, August 3, 5 – 8 pm

Online Submission to Juror Deadline: June 22, 2018
Artist Acceptance Notification: June 29, 2018

For more information visit www.chestertownriverarts.org and click on exhibitions, or 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.

6th Annual Art in Bloom Celebrates Floral Design


2017 People’s Choice award winner, designers Grotsky & McBeth

The public is invited to Art in Bloom, a celebration of the art of floral design on Sunday, June 24th from 4 to 6 pm. The RiverArts Galleries will be full of floral arrangements inspired by the artworks exhibited by RiverArts’ June exhibit, Fine Art & Contemporary craft, a multi- media show of paintings, fiber, ceramics and other 3D artwork.

Some dozen floral designers will interpret the art on the walls. Don’t expect to see all traditional bouquets!  Previous arrangements included roses coming out of a violin, brightly colored pinwheels, feathers and driftwood, and an arrangement incorporating kale.

Sunday, June 24, from 4-6pm all are invited to a champagne reception to view the arrangements and artwork while enjoying music, gourmet hors d’oeuvres, and a garden-themed raffle. Tickets for this champagne reception are $25.

Proceeds from “Art in Bloom” go to support scholarship opportunities for the KidSPOT Summer Camp program. In addition to creating art, campers participate in cooperative and art-based games and activities to build camaraderie and art knowledge.

Tickets may be purchased on line at the RiverArts website, www.chestertownriverarts.org, click on Annual Events, or by calling RiverArts at 410-778-6300.  You may also stop by the RiverArts Galleries at 315 High Street, Suite 106. Regular hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11-5:30, First Friday, 11-8, Saturday, 10-5:30, Sunday 11 am – 3 pm.

RiverArts Film Festival Offers New Film Series and Filmmaking Workshop


Pam Whyte

RiverArts, a dynamic, regional community arts center in Chestertown, launched a new program earlier this year that focuses on film as a visual art form and forum for social commentary. The RiverArts Film Society recognizes filmmaking as a complex and powerful art in our world and offers transformative cinematic experiences by screening films with diverse perspectives followed by thought-provoking discussions.  RiverArts is partnering with Sumner Hall and the Mainstay to show monthly films with talkbacks at their venues which offer large screens with an intimate, coffee-house ambiance.

The next series 1960’s Cultural Phenoms, curated by Pam Whyte, opens with The Graduate at 7:00 on June 15 at the Mainstay in Rock Hall. The Graduate is a biting satire/comedy about a recent East Coast college graduate who finds himself alienated and adrift in the shifting, social and sexual mores of the 1960s and questioning the values of society. It’s a groundbreaking film that helped set in motion a new era of filmmaking, mirroring the changes occurring not only in Hollywood but also the U.S. Today the influential film is ranked 17 on AFI’s 100 movies of cinematic milestones. The first series, curated by Robert Earl Price, featured three important films about African Americans – Nothing But a Man, Uptight, and Do the Right Thing.

In addition, the Society offers a series of filmmaking workshops and classes.  Coming up on Saturday, June 16 from 10 to 5:00 is an Intro to Filmmaking workshop taught by documentary film maker, Pam Whyte.  This will be a hands-on class where students will learn the fundamentals of motion picture production. Students will shoot and edit sequences assigned to them while games, demonstrations and analyses of professional films will be the basis for learning the language and personnel of pre production, production and post-production. There will be an emphasis on the basic techniques to create compelling, connotative shots and rhythmic editing.  To register for this class or find out more information on this and other classes, visit chestertownriverarts.org and click on Education in the navigation bar.

The RiverArts Film Society is a membership club with an annual fee of $30 for one person or $50 for two. Membership includes free admission to up to ten films per year that includes talkbacks and Q&A by engaging, knowledgeable presenters.More information about the film society, the film screenings, and filmmaking classes can be found on the RiverArts website.  Louise Miller and Lani Seikaly chair the RiverArts Film Advisory Board and welcome any ideas you have for future film screenings, classes or workshops.

RiverArts’ Annual Empty Bowls Raises $4500 for Food Pantry


Chestertown’s 8th Annual Empty Bowls, sponsored by the RiverArts Clay Studio, is pleased to announce that it raised $4500 in funds for to benefit the Kent County Food Pantry. This popular community event was held April 11 at the First United Methodist Church.

For the price of a $25 ticket, $10 for students with ID, guests enjoyed a meal of soup, bread, and dessert in a keepsake handmade pottery bowl. The Clay Studio potters  created the bowls, which are a reminder of all the empty bowls in the world.

This event was sponsored by Chestertown RiverArts, the Kent County Arts Council, Bookplate, MassoniArt, Mimi’s Closet, Peaceful World Enterprise, and Welcome Home.

No one should go to bed hungry.

Celebrating Black Entrepreneurs of the 50’s and 60’s Exhibition


Thanks to a Maryland Traditions preservation grant, RiverArts is able to stage an exhibition to celebrate local black entrepreneurs of the 50’s and 60’s.  Curators Lani Hall Seikaly and Airlee Ringgold Johnson share the stories of twenty-five black business owners, their family, employees and/or clients of businesses open during that time through videos, photographs and text.  Over 15 black businesses alone were located on a two block section of Cannon Street which residents described as a busy downtown commerce area during the day and a bustling place on Friday and Saturday nights.   The infamous Charlie Graves’ Uptown Club on Calvert Street added to the vitality of the time by bringing in big name singers including James Brown, Little Richard, Fats Domino, Patti Labelle, Etta James, Ottis Redding and Ray Charles to perform.

The exhibition features stories about thriving black businesses, the families and friends that patronized them and the compassionate and resourceful entrepreneurs that created them. The stories talk about a community with an incredible work ethic and a strong sense of caring. Glimpses of segregation and its impact are laced through the stories as well as the challenges of transitioning to integration.  Narrators share that the closing of the businesses was a loss to the black community that is still felt today.

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).  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30PM, Sunday 11 AM – 3 PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

RiverArts Photo Club Meeting April 26


Did you know that there is a place in Chestertown where novice, enthusiast and professional photographers alike have been meeting once a month to show each other their latest photos for comment, praise and offer of suggestions for improvement?  The RiverArts Photo Club has relocated to our new ArtsAlive! Education Center, 200 High Street where there is plenty of room and a large screen TV to show photos in all their glory.

Since relocating, the Photo Club has attracted many new people and a renewed enthusiasm to take on more activities. In addition to sharing photos, the Club now starts most meetings with a photo slideshow or short tutorial on some photographic technique by one of the regular attendees. The Club is also planning a photo outing this summer to a nearby flower garden. Club regulars will be showing some of their best framed photos on the walls of the Chestertown branch of Kent County Library during the month of June.

If you are fairly new to photography you may be wary of asking others to evaluate your work for the first time. But in this welcoming space, it is a great way to quickly improve your craft, become more creative and find new friends with similar interests. This is also an opportunity for more experienced photographers to progress as artists. We warmly welcome both enthusiast and professional photographers, as we may all learn from each other.

The public is welcome to attend the upcoming Photography Club meeting,  Thursday, April 26, 7 PM. The theme for this month is “Water.” Please submit up to two digital photos that have anything to do with water in jpeg format, via email attachment to Steve Kane at srkane@gmail.com by Wednesday April 25.  Or simply drop by, meet the group and enjoy! Bill Trainor will show travel and wildlife slides and some video of his and his wife Cece’s recent trip to Costa Rica and the Panama Canal.  The Club meets at 7PM every 4th Thursday at the RiverArts Education Center, 200 High St. (directly across from Evergrain Bakery)

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).  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30PM, Sunday 11 AM to 3 PM, open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

RiverArts’ 9th Annual “Paint the Town” Plein Air Festival


Talented artists from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and as far away as Connecticut and New Jersey will be arriving  to paint Chestertown and other local scenes in Kent and upper Queen Anne’s Counties in RiverArts’ 9th Annual “Paint the Town,” taking place April 26-29;

The artists will paint for three days, and it is great fun to watch them at work. On Thursday and Friday they will paint wherever they choose in Kent and Upper Queen Anne’s Counties. On Saturday  artists are encouraged to paint in downtown Chestertown.

The paintings will be framed and available for sale at the free “Wet Paint Reception and Sale” on Saturday, April 28, 5:30-8:00pm at RiverArts. The artists will have their own say by voting “Best in Show” and “Best Body of Work”. Sales tend to be brisk so visitors are encouraged to make their choices during the reception. However, if more time is needed, the paintings can be viewed again on Sunday.

Photo credit: Ken Young

In the Sunday morning “Quick Draw” artists have two hours to paint. Additional artists who were not able to participate during the week  have the opportunity to be part of “Quick Draw.” These paintings will also be for sale 11am-noon in Fountain Park and during the afternoon at the RiverArts Galleries in the breezeway.

Awards will be given for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. The public will also be invited to vote for the “People’s Choice.”

The judge for the “Quick Draw” is Sara Linda Poly. This award winning artist has participated in many regional and national shows and plein air competitions. She has spent many years living, traveling, and teaching around the U.S., Europe and Mexico.

Sponsors for the four day event include Cross Street Realtors,  Home Mattress Center, The Peoples Bank, Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff, ACME Markets, and Redner’s Markets.

For more information visit www.chestertownriverarts.org or call RiverArts at 410- 778-6300. Chestertown RiverArts Galleries are located at 315 High Street, Suite 106. (in the breezeway).  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30 PM, Sunday, 11 AM to 3 PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.