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.


Join RiverArts for a Day at “Grounds for Sculpture”


“Dejeuner Deja Vus,” by Seward Johnson at Grounds for Sculpture museum and arboretum, in Hamilton New Jersey

Join RiverArts on a day-trip to Grounds for Sculpture on Thursday, October 12, 2017.

Grounds for Sculpture, in Hamilton New Jersey is a 42-acre sculpture park, museum, and arboretum founded by artist and philanthropist Seward Johnson.

Ground for Sculpture “a magical place where art and nature are always at play.

At its core are more than 270 sculptures by renowned and emerging contemporary artists, each thoughtfully positioned on meticulously landscaped parkland full of thousands of exotic trees and flowers. It is a feast for the senses.
The works, many of them monumental, include those of such distinguished artists as Clement Meadmore, Anthony Caro, Beverly Pepper, Kiki Smith, George Segal, Magdalena Abakanowicz, and Isaac Witkin. They join the enchanting works of our visionary founder Seward Johnson as well as many others by the finest up and coming artists of our time.”
Relax with your friends, enjoy the trip, and leave all the arrangements to us, and don’t forget your camera!
Leave Chestertown: 8 am, Thursday, October 12
Return Chestertown: 5 pm
Lunch Options:
Van Gogh Cafe: French inspired street food
Peacock Cafe: Grab & Go -sandwiches (picnic boxes may be preordered) click here
Rat’s Cafe: Country French cuisine – reservation required
(outside food is not allowed in the park)

Click here for more info and to register.

 Wear comfortable clothes and most important, bring your camera!

 Relax with friends and let us take care of all the arrangements.

“Damascus Gate,” by Walter Dusenbery at Grounds for Sculpture museum and arboretum, in Hamilton New Jersey

Life on and Around Eastern Shore Waterways at RiverArts



Touchdown, by Cal Jackson


Touchdown Wins People’s Choice Award in RiverArts’ September Exhibit

Artists were urged to share their interpretations of “Life on and around Eastern Shore waterways” in the current RiverArts exhibit, which opened September 1, First Friday. This popularly themed show, curated by Barbara and Jack Fancher, was open to all media, both two dimensional and three-dimensional art.

The People’s Choice Award went to Cal Jackson for Touchdown, his photograph of a blue heron, wings spread wide, landing in a marsh. Runner up was Ronn Akins for his painting of an old workboat. The artwork depicts a range from paintings and photographs of sunrise to sunset, Chincoteague ponies, herons and gulls, work boats and pleasure boats, in paint, wood, ceramics, and photography.

The exhibit will remain up through October 1, plenty of time to come in to view the work, and perhaps find a place for a favorite in your home or office.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD  21620 – (in the breezeway).  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.

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


RiverArts Workshops: Garden Fairies, Harry Potter Wands, Journaling & More


 RiverArts has a number of workshops on offer for the late summer and fall. From the whimsical – Garden Fairy House and Ollivander’s Wand Workshops to practical-
Mobius Infinity Scarf and Journaling Workshops, there is something for every interest.

The Clay Studio has two fun workshops this week. Potter Wanda Brumwell is teaching a two-day Garden Fairy House (or Toad Prince) Workshop beginning August 30.  On First Friday, September 1, all Harry Potter fans are encouraged to join instructor Dianna Frymiare for Ollivander’s Wand Workshop. Perfect for families. Construct your own colorful magic wand in 15 minutes!  The wands will later be glazed and fired for you and ready in plenty of time for the Harry Potter Festival. Seating is limited for these workshops, register online at ChestertownRiverArts.org, click on Education or call RiverArts at 410 778-6300.

Master Potter Marilee Schumann will teach two, 8-week evening pottery wheel courses starting in September: Intermediate/Advanced Pottery Wheel, (Tuesdays), and Beginner’s Pottery Wheel, (Thursdays).

The ArtsAlive! Education Center at 200 High Street in Chestertown is host to a variety of workshops and art sessions. Mary Pritchard is offering a 4-week Intro to Pastels class beginning September 13. Going on a trip? Watercolorist Jim Mahla will teach you how to develop a watercolor journal in a Journaling Workshop, September 16 and 23.

Calling all fashionistas!  Master Knitter Sue Wright is teaching a one-day Mobius Infinity Scarf workshop on Saturday, September 23.

Ongoing sessions and clubs: Life Drawing- every Tuesday evening with a live model, 5 -8 pm, hosted by Brady Hart, and every 4th Monday afternoon, 2 to 5 p.m., hosted by Holly Geddes.  The RiverArts Photo Club meets every 4th Thursday at 7 p.m.

Please pre-register for any upcoming class. To register or for more information visit chestertownriverarts.org, click on education, or call RiverArts at 410 778 6300.

Chestertown RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown (in the breezeway).  Gallery hours 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 open on First Fridays until 8 p.m.

The Clay Studio –  204 High Street  |  ArtsAlive Education Center – 200 High Street

August Fun at RiverArts – Drawing, Leaf Platters & Fairy House Workshops


Leaf Platters

Ready to explore more of your creative side? RiverArts has a variety of workshops and classes of offer this August- as well as weekly life drawing sessions and a monthly photography club.

RiverArts Clay Studio potter Wanda Brumwell is teaching two classes, a whimsical Garden Fairy House Workshop -2 days, August 30 and September 13, and a perhaps more practical but no less fun one-day Leaf Platter Workshop on August 9.
For those of you who are tempted by the potter’s wheel, the Clay Studio has a two hour Try It! class Friday, August 18, specifically designed for you to play with clay on the wheel. There are also Beginner and Ongoing Potter’s Wheel class starting in September.

For those interested in learning to draw, or practicing drawing from observation, Raven Bishop is offering her popular, 4 week, Drawing From Observation Class, beginning Thursday, August 10.

Not interested in a class but want to practice technique?  RiverArts also hosts weekly Life Drawing sessions with a live model, Tuesday evenings from 5- 8 pm, and every 4th Monday afternoon from 2 – 5 pm.

To register for classes, and more information, visit the RiverArts website and click on Education, 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 4 pm, Saturday 10 am to 4 pm, Sunday 11 am to 3 pm, and open on First Fridays until 8 pm.


RiverArts Elects New Board Members


Meghan Efland

RiverArts is pleased to announce the election of Meghan Efland, William Madar, and Tim Fields at the Annual Meeting, held June 20 at the new ArtsAlive! Education Center on High Street in Chestertown.  The new board members bring a wide array of experience and expertise to the organization.

Meghan Efland is director of the supply chain for PRS (Paul Reed Smith) Guitars, and an avid traveler as well as Clay Studio potter and open studio monitor.

William Madar

In addition to serving on the RiverArts board of directors, William Madar is currently a member of the Cleveland Museum of Art Board of Trustees, and honorary strategic development committee chair of Sultana Education Foundation, and formerly a CEO of Nordson Corporation and Executive Vice President of Standard Oil Company.

Tim Fields is Director of Operations and Technology at Washington College, previously Director of Admissions Technology and Web Development at the college. He is a photographer and member of the RiverArts Filmmaker’s group.

President Mary Jo McCulloch and Executive Director Andy Goddard reviewed highlights of the year for members at the annual meeting.  Elizbeth Healy, KidSPOT instructor, described the KidSPOT After School Enrichment Program and the Kids in the Gallery visual literacy program. Clay Studio manager Mike Pugh discussed plans for more special topic clay workshops. After the meeting adjourned, members gathered outside for a ribbon cutting in celebration of the new ArtsAlive! Education Center.


Tim Fields

For more information visit RiverArts website 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 4 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 4 PM, Sunday 11 AM to 3 PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

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