RiverArts Workshops for 2018


Chestertown Riverarts invites you to step into 2018 with one of these exciting workshops from the ArtsAlive! Education Center.


Bright River by Mary Pritchard

Intro to Pastels

Three days: January 10, 11, 12

9 a.m; – 4 p.m.

Instructor: Mary Pritchard

This classroom-based workshop is for beginners and others who want to explore this flexible and forgiving medium. Students will be introduced to a variety of pastels, painting surfaces and pastel techniques as well as work from still life set ups and photographs.

 More Info and to Register.


Video Editing Techniques and Strategies

Adele Schmidt

Wednesday, January 17

9:00am – 3:00pm

Instructor: Adele Schmidt

Did you always want to know how to edit your video in a way that it flows seamlessly and with progression? In this course, you will learn techniques and strategies to take control over the edit of your video, creating smooth and coherent cuts.

More Info and to Register. 


Websites for Artists and Arts-Based Businesses

Sunday, January 21

10:00am – 4:00pm

Instructor: Raven Bishop

Designed for the beginner (no coding skills necessary!) this class will cover the basics of design-selecting colors, fonts, layouts and branding as well as tools to help drive traffic to your site-including ways to get noticed on search engines and on social media.  

More Info and to Register

Classes and Workshops are Great Gift Ideas!!



Call for Artists: Color Blind — The Art of Black and White


Two Women – Kevin Harris

River Arts Gallery invites artists to submit original works in black and white – and shades in between – that explore the use of line and tone in the absence of color. Works in all media are welcome, including traditional and abstract drawings, on paper or canvas, sculptural, or three-dimensional pieces.

Drop Off:

Sunday, January 28: 2 – 4 p.m.

Monday, January 29: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Opening Reception: First Friday, February 2:  5  – 8 p.m.

Pick Up:

Sunday, February 25, 2 – 4 p.m.

Monday, February 26, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

To register and for more information- CLICK HERE

Questions: info@ChestertownRiverArts.org  or 410.778.6300

Mastering the Art of Gingerbread Cookie Decorating at KidSPOT


Chef Stu Cawley demonstrates proper technique

Budding pastry chefs gathered at KidSPOT on December 3 for the annual Gingerbread Cookie Workshop.

Chef Stu Cawley demonstrated the proper technique using red, green and white icing and a variety of candies. The children then created their masterpieces with gingerbread cookies generously donated by Little Village Bakery.

This annual event is not possible without our sponsors: Evergrain Bread Company, Twigs and Teacups, and Yerkes Construction. It is presented by the Downtown Chestertown Association and hosted by RiverArts’ KidSPOT. Special thanks to Stu Cawley, Jayne and Paul Heckels.

Budding chef at work


Call for Artists: RiverArts to Launch 2018 Year of Exhibitions


Last Dune – Cindy Bowers Fulton

RiverArts Annual Members’ Show will soon open our 2018 year of exhibitions. All member artists are invited to submit work for this show. Open to all media and with no theme, the Members’ Show offers our artists the opportunity to exhibit some of their best work.

A favorite of artists and viewers alike, the Members’ Show both celebrates and proves the variety and vibrancy of the arts in our community. January’s show is curated by Cindy Bowers Fulton.

A note from the curator:
“This is the show you all have been waiting for.  The members’ show honors you, our wonderful members. Without you, there would be no RiverArts.

We hope you all participate so we can show our public the artistic diversity that represents our community arts center on the Eastern Shore. We have members not only from the Eastern Shore but across the bridge, and we welcome everyone to participate in this show. Let us show off our many different styles and media that we work in!!
Cheers, Cindy Fulton, curator”

Drop-off dates for the January 2018 Members’ Show differ from usual drop-off dates because of New Year’s Day.

Drop Off:

Tuesday, January 2: 10 am – 3 pm

Wednesday, January 3: 10 am – 1 pm

First Friday, January 5:  5  – 8 pm

Pick Up:

Sunday, January 28, 2 – 4 pm

Monday, January 29, 10 am – 1 pm

To register and for more information click here.

Questions: info@ChestertownRiverArts.org  or 410.778.6300



Doug Sassi: RiverArts Gift Shop Artist of the Month


Pottery and crafts by Doug Sassi currently in RiverArts Gallery’s gift shop

“That’s the great thing about doing a job you love,” he says. “You never have to retire from it—you just do it until you can’t do it anymore.”

Doug Sassi, potter

Doug Sassi has been a potter since 1962. He has a BS in Art Education and an MFA with a major in Ceramics and a minor in Art History. He has operated his pottery in Still Pond, MD, since 1978. He taught Ceramics and Sculpture in high schools from 1971 until retiring in 2011. He has taught workshops for local organizations in Kent County three times. You can see his work on Facebook (Doug Sassi Pottery) and on Google+. Mr. Sassi makes his own clay and glazes and works primarily on the potters’ wheel. His work is high-fired stoneware and almost entirely functional.He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen and the subsidiary of the American Crafts Council, American Crafts Enterprises. He has exhibited in prestigious craft markets such as the ACC’s Rhinebeck and Baltimore Winter Market fairs. In 1975 and 1976 he was an artist-in-residence in Pennsylvania public schools. In 1977 he was granted by the National Arts Foundation to host an apprentice for a year in his studio.

For more information, contact the artist at info@sassipottery.com.

RiverArts Holiday Gift Shop Hours:
Monday – Saturday10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday11 a.m. to 3 p.m
Located in downtown Chestertown on High Street in the breezeway behind Dunkin’ Donuts

RiverArts Holiday Show and Sale Opens Friday


Glass Ornaments

RiverArts artists – and possibly their elves – have been busy creating hand-crafted gifts for men, women, children, pets and the home for the annual Holiday Show and Sale which opens Friday, Nov. 17.  There are gifts for every pocketbook – from stocking stuffers to the perfect present for that special someone.

Ready to decorate? We have gorgeous holiday wreaths and ornaments galore: glass, origami, origami, painted oyster and crab shells. Looking for a hostess gift?  Ice cream scoops to ceramic teapots and espresso cups, practical to whimsical, you will find it here.

Don’t forget the cards! We have them for every occasion, boxed as well as individual. And don’t overlook the decorative gift tags.

Paintings include miniatures and small works, some of which are displayed on tiny easels.  There are collages, and photography;  subject matter ranges from landscapes and nautical scenes to still lives and abstracts.

Jewelry lovers, plan on spending time as there are so many possibilities:  necklaces and earrings that are made of precious and semi-precious stones, silver and copper, and origami, as well as fun fiber jewelry.

There are gorgeous knitted, woven, and hand-dyed silk scarves, knitted sweaters, gloves, and caps for men, women and children.

Other types of art include furniture, decorative wood art and many ceramic pieces from the RiverArts Clay Studio artists; cups, platters, bowls,  hand-built and wheel thrown, with decorative designs and glazes.

Gallery hours are Gallery hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.  First Friday open until 8 p.m. The show will run through the end of December.  For more information visit  the RiverArts website or call 410-778-6300.

RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, in the breezeway.

New Artists Keep RiverArts Studio Tour Fresh and Fun


Lesley Campana at her loom

Now in its 18th year, the RiverArts Studio Tour promises to be exciting as always. Fifty artists and artisans will be opening their studios to the public on this free self-guided tour on October 21-22 and 28-29, 10-5, rain or shine. In addition, the RiverArts galleries feature examples of art by the artists on the tour.

There are many artists who have been a part of the tour for years. Visitors enjoy revisiting their favorite artists to see their latest work and how it has evolved. This year there are six new artists on the tour whose work you must see.

Fifteen years ago, Lesley Campana was looking for a challenging art form.  An interest in textiles led her to a week-long beginner weaving class at The Mannings in East Berlin, PA. She is now a member of the Harmony Weavers’ Guild in Wilmington.

Lesley’s weaving uses classic designs that she modifies to make unique. She also creates many of her own original designs. “When I’m learning a new weave structure I follow an established design to learn the technique. Then I create my own designs using that structure. I have even obtained a copyright on an original design.”  In addition to exploring new weave structures, Lesley likes experimenting with color.

Lesley’s work includes infinity scarves, table runners, and kitchen towels. The towels are a great medium for learning new techniques because they are relatively quick. All of her scarves and shawls are unique.

Decoy carver Doug Gates has been a waterfowl hunter since the 1950’s and collected wooden ducks. He came to admire each one of them for their artistic characteristics. Along the way, he got to know a few carvers and became friendly with the late Charlie Joiner, a nationally recognized local carver. Doug decided to try carving in 1989 and has been whittling ever since. “I’ve made more canvasbacks and blackheads than anything else and quite a few black ducks too. I have tried my hand at different birds including barn swallows, owls, crows, snipe, a few swan, geese and a slew of shorebirds.”

Doug Gates

For Doug, carving has been more of a therapeutic endeavor, a challenge, a desire to create something that pleases him. Of late, he has been focusing on rescuing old wooden decoys that have seen their day, yet retain a character of form and use, with an untold history and mystery.  And so he cleans them up and resurrects what he can, not to their former glory, but out of respect for their proud past. He probably has a hundred or more decoys in his collection, some of which will be displayed during the Studio Tour.

Robert Lasus’ art background includes an MFA in Sculpture. He creates sculptures in stainless steel, wood, and found objects. “The artistic challenge is to take heavy, lifeless materials like wood and evoke a sense of lightness and movement.”

With all his work there is an environmental consciousness. Re-use is the best recycling. “I work with found objects, found wood, especially from trees I have known. I limit the use of toxic materials and when I do use them, I am careful of collateral effects.

After years of working with other materials which require varying degrees of maintenance to retain their pristine looks and survival, stainless steel seemed to be the material of choice. Most of Bob’s major public works have been stainless steel horses. They can be found in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia, at AstraZeneca US Corporate Headquarters in Wilmington and in private collections. There are a number of pieces visible in and around his Rock Hall Studio.

Joanne Lantzy Plum

Joanne Lantzy Plum’s interest in art developed from her father. He was an oil painter but worked another job and had a farm. By age nine, Joanne wanted to paint. Her father gave her a brush, oil paint, and a board. Her first painting was a snow scene with a tree, stream, and bridge. Her major was art in college but she dropped out and eventually studied with well-known local artists she admired. The last artist she studied under was Sean Wyeth.

Through the years, Joanne worked at a gallery/frame store and as a floral designer. In 1998, she began teaching private art lessons at her studio in Pennsburg, Pa. She moved to Worton last year but still travels once a month to Pa to teach some of her remaining students.

Currently, Joanne is concentrating on painting. She works in oils, soft pastels, acrylics, color pencils and some graphite and charcoal. Her subject matter ranges from landscapes, seascapes, still life, and portraits of pets and people for which she takes commissions. Her favorite medium or subject matter happens to be what she is working on at the moment.

Alice Ritchie took art classes as a child and enjoyed that immensely. She got back into art after retiring from a career as a lawyer and child advocate. She is now able to indulge her passion for travel and her art is often based on those experiences. Alice studies pastels with Mary Pritchard and acrylics with Cindy Fulton, both very popular local artists who will also be on the tour.

Alice is a very adventurous pastel painter in that she tackles complicated compositions, particularly those of people and architecture. Her portrait of “Market Man” has a Van Gogh-like vibe because of its vibrant colors and graphic shapes, while her pastel of Cuban ballerinas uses subtle shades of ochre, gray and green to depict the light of the ballet studio enveloping the young dancers. Her landscape paintings that are inspired by her travels are also notable for their strong shapes and textures, particularly the street scenes in which she uses pastel’s unique ability to show light raking across brick and stone. Alice continues to explore media, subject matter, and style. She finds the exploration exciting.

Sherrie Von Sternberg started to explore photography by watching her daughter, Morgan. Nine years ago, when Morgan was 13, she begged for a camera. Sherrie started watching her create and thought “I would like to try that. It sparked in me the creative light I remember that I had from childhood through my early 20’s…the creativity I gave up for the corporate world.”

Sherrie’s greatest mentor has been Dawn Gardner, a photographer in Manassas, VA., “who is technically amazing. I am encouraged by her, especially by her telling me she can always recognize my work! That gave me a lot of confidence by knowing that I had a voice that a professional recognized.”

Sherrie uses three different cameras. The Nikon D750 is a tool she can use in any situation. It is a full frame camera with an infinite range of uses. Her subject matter ranges from a simple stalk of corn to a complex human being.

Sherrie’s iPhone 7+ has a great app. Technical camera advances in this iPhone as a camera have made it very similar to using film. She can see what she is shooting and manipulate it in the camera. “Sometimes it is like a toy; it is so much fun to use. I use it every single day.”

Sherrie just started using the Polaroid 600 Plus which is definitely a challenging camera – you have no control over it. Photos come out the way they come out – it is a surprise every time. “I use it for getting a different perspective on a project. It lets me show a different kind of art.”

Studio Tour brochures may be found at the Gallery and at restaurants and shops throughout Kent County. Examples of each artist’s work are included on the Riverarts website and will be on display at RiverArts, 315 High Street, in Chestertown. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11-4, First Friday, 11-8, Saturday 10-4 and Sunday, 11-3. During the tour, the gallery will be open Saturday and Sunday, 10-5.

Special thanks to our sponsors: Chesapeake Bank and Trust, Kent County Tourism and Development Office, WYPR Delmarva Public Radio.

First Friday: RiverArts Reception and Exhibit


Opening Reception: First Friday, October 6, 5 – 8 pm.  Join us for refreshments and the new Artists Exhibit for October. Be sure to vote for your favorite in the People’s Choice award. The exhibit will be on view through October 29.

Join the HP Festival fun with RiverArts!

This is your chance to

learn how to mix magic spells and potions to take home! 

Friday 5pm-7:30pm: Register here

Saturday 10am-4pm: Register here




At KidSpot – Friday5-7pm


Collage created by students at Kent County Schools with Aimee Boumeia

Concentric Circle Quilt by Kindergarten and 1st Grade classes

Triangle designs by 2nd and 3rd-grade classes

Wall Hanging by 4th and 5th-grade classes

Want to learn more about upcoming events, exhibits, classes?

Read all about it on our website.

Jewelry and Portrait Painting Workshops at RiverArts


Is it possible to have too many earrings? Jewelry artist and instructor Melissa Kay-Steves is teaching a one-day workshop in basic metalsmith techniques on Saturday, September 30, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the ArtsAlive! Education Center.

Melissa Kay-Steves

Students will explore different forging and wire wrapping skills to create two pairs of earrings. Kay-Steves will supply a kit complete with copper wire, earring bases, crystals, as well as jeweler’s torch.  Cost for the class is $50 for members, and $65 for nonmembers. There is an additional kit fee of $25 payable to the instructor.  This class is a must for those who wish to expand earring design knowledge!

Marcy Ransey

Interested in improving your portraiture techniques?  On Saturday, October 14, Marcy Ramsey will explain and demonstrate the basics of drawing the head/figure and portraiture – plus impart some dos and don’ts ‘tricks of the trade’.  Workshop will include live models. Workshop runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a break for lunch.

For more information and to register for these workshops, and others, visit www.chestertownriverarts.org and click on education, or call 410 778 6300.

RiverArts Gallery is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, Md. – (in the breezeway).    ArtsAlive! Education Center is at 200 High Street.

Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and First Fridays until 8 p.m.