Fiber Artists on Display at Heron Point


“Fiber Dimensions”, a group of fiber artists from both Maryland and Delaware, will be exhibiting at Heron Point during the month of December. The seven artists enjoy exploring mixed media, color and texture in fiber art.

Karen Schueler has created “Kansas Sunflower”, a patched, stitched and manipulated painted fabric. Arlene Favreau-Pysher explores many aspects of fiber and incorporates her sense of God, whether symbolic or humorous. Ruth Oatman’s detailed and realistic fiber wall-hangings are inspired by photos of buildings and landscapes which incorporate just the right fabric and thread. Cotton, silk and polyester fabrics are used as a base by Barbara Tinsman in her collages. Wall art artist Deborah Tiryung Sidwell loves beads and embellishments along with painting and stamp techniques. Mickey Irr is primarily a weaver and uses thread colors to paint images. Former member Virginia Abrams’ work reflects representations from photos from industry and nature.

The exhibit may be viewed daily from 10 am until 5 pm. A reception honoring the artists and their works will be held at Heron Point, 501 E. Campus Avenue, on Sunday, December 9, from 2 until 4 pm. The public is invited.

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


After a brutally cold winter, what better way to savor the warmth and beauty of early spring than to come to RiverArts 9th Annual “Paint the Town”, April 26-29, where more than fifty talented artists will paint Chestertown and the surrounding countryside and waterways.

Artists come from throughout the mid-Atlantic region and as far away as Washington, D.C. and New York. In fact, Chestertown has been voted the “best place to escape” in Maryland.

Many artists paint scenes of historic Chestertown and the surrounding small towns and countryside recommended by local artists, while some  arrive a day early to scout out Kent County,  looking for something that seems special to them. The result is a wonderful  range of paintings that include historic buildings and street scenes, gardens, rural expanses, seascapes, nautical views, and more.

The artists will paint for three days while visitors can watch them at work. On Thursday and Friday they will paint wherever they choose in Kent and upper Queen Anne’s Counties. On Saturday the artists are encouraged to paint in downtown Chestertown during which time one of Maryland’s most popular Farmers’ Markets is in town.

The paintings are framed and will be available for sale at the free “Wet Paint Reception and Sale” on Saturday, April 28, 5:30-8:00pm at RiverArts, 315 High Street. 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 on Sunday morning.

On Sunday there will be a “Quick Draw” where artists have two hours to paint a scene. Several artists who were not able to participate in the four-day event, will be able to participate in the Quick Draw competition.  These paintings will also be for sale 11am-noon. They will be shown in Fountain Park. In case of inclement weather, the paintings will be moved to the breezeway near RiverArts. A judge will award 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. Visitors will be encouraged to vote for the “People’s Choice Award”.

Chestertown is 90 miles from Baltimore, Washington D.C. and Phildelphia. It is worth making a day or weekend trip to see so many artists at work. For information on lodging, restaurants, and other attractions go to or contact our Tourism Department at 410-778-0416.

For more information visit call RiverArts at 410 778 6300.

Chestertown RiverArts Galleries are located at 315 High Street, Suite 106, Chestertown, MD21620 – (in the breezeway).  Gallery hours are Tuesday – Friday, 11 AM to 5:30 PM, Saturday 10 AM to 5:30 PM, Sunday (April – December) 11 AM to 3 PM, and open on First Fridays until 8 PM.

The Artists of Heron Point


Members of the Heron Point Art Interest Group in front of large canvas painted by HP residents in an art therapy class. L-R Standing Joanne Scott, vice-chair; Olga Owens; Karen Fitzgerald, treasurer; Collette Moffatt, chair; Barbara Finneson, secretary; Seated – Leslie Baldwin, head of permanent collection; Linda Atcheson, studio chair & coordinator for outside artists

Chesertown is a thriving arts community, with many active and well-recognized artists. But while the local tradition of art goes back a long way, it has certainly gone to a new level at Heron Point. Shortly after the retirement community opened some 25 years ago, a group of residents formed an art group — which quickly established itself as one of the focal points of the local arts scene.  And now artists at Heron Point are looking forward to a new, purpose-built, studio, currently under construction by Yerkes construction of Chestertown and scheduled to be completed by spring 2018.

Collette Moffatt, chair of the Heron Point Art Interest Group, in the current Artists Studio.

Collette Moffatt, the current chair of the Art Interest Group, said in an interview that artists of all levels of experience are members. The gamut runs from former art teachers and professional illustrators to neophytes  — like herself — who decided to pursue an interest in art after retirement. There are classes for all levels of artists. One class is “Zen Art,” which is designed to give aspiring artists a chance to try their hands at creating work without some of the more intimidating aspects of a typical art class. Moffatt said about 16 members have signed up for space in the new studio when it becomes available.  The art group as a whole has 44 members, though not all work in the studio.

Joanne Scott with one of her paintings in the Heron Point studio

Joanne Scott, whom the Heron Point artists consider their “artist in residence” because of her extensive experience – including exhibits of her work at Chestertown RiverArts and nationwide — is perhaps the best known of the group. (Click here for a Spy feature on Scott from 2012.)

Scott, a retired professional artist and art teacher who lived in Annapolis for 30 years, has given classes to other Heron Point residents for about 5 years, and has been instrumental in encouraging other residents to take up art for the first time. She also continues to exhibit regularly, with a show, “Elements,” scheduled for Chestertown RiverArts Feb. 1-24. An opening reception for the show will take place Feb.2, First Friday.

Several Heron Point artists, including Linda Atcheson, Jack Fancher, and Olga Owens, have works in the current members’ exhibit at RiverArts.  The exhibit will be on display through the end of January.

The hallway along the administrative wing of Heron Point regularly features a rotating exhibit of Heron Point artists, including Fancher, long a fixture of the local arts community and now a Heron Point resident. While the hallway is currently being refinished, with fresh paint on the walls, a new exhibit will be up as soon as the work is completed. And there are pictures spread around Heron Point from artists who belonged to the group from the early years of the program — Anne Frye, Hilda Green and Loraine Hall among them.

Other works by the resident artists hang at various points around the facility – a large painting by Scott is above the stairway leading to the dining room, and a triptych by Fancher is on the wall outside the current studio. A large abstract canvas done by members of the art therapy program hangs at the foot of the main stairway.

As the latter painting indicates, art is a pervasive feature of the Heron Point community, with an active art program available for residents in the assisted living section of the facility. “Even dementia patients can paint,” said Scott, noting that the ability to express oneself often survives past the point where verbal communication becomes difficult.

The paintings shown here are from a display of Heron point residents’ art last fall.  In addition to regular shows of artwork by Heron Point residents, the Art Interest Group also arranges for visiting exhibits by outside artists.

All this is in addition to the permanent collection of art which is displayed throughout the main building and outside on the grounds.  While most of the artworks are paintings, there are also statues, ceramics, and large installations such as the wooden boat which sails the ceiling of the lobby and the whimsical “larger than life” Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel that currently sits beside the main staircase.

Main parlor in lobby of Heron Point with sail boat

The current studio also hosts a weekly bird-carving group led by the  Bill Reinhold. A display cabinet with some of their work is visible on one wall of the studio.

The artists are especially excited at the news that they are about to get a new, larger, purpose-built studio.  Leslie Baldwin, one of the members of the Art Interest Group, said there is now studio space for about 10 artists. Also, the limited space doesn’t allow sufficient ventilation for some media, notably oils and pastels, which can generate dust and odors that bother many people. Even so, when visitors from one of the other retirement homes in the Acts group visited Heron Point, they were “very jealous” of the local artists. Heron Point is the only facility in the chain with a dedicated studio space. Linda Atcheson said the studio is “a big selling point” for prospective residents. “Many Chestertown people see Heron Point’s art program and want to come here because of it,” she said.

At present, the art studio is in an unoccupied apartment along the river side of the complex – offering permanent working space for about 10 members, though others get to share the facility. Because apartments in the facility are in high demand, the location of the studio has changed three times since it was set up. However, about two years ago when planning began for the new permanent studio began, Heron Point’s executive director, Garret Falcone, promised the artists that they wouldn’t have to move again until the new permanent facility is completed.  And now that time is almost here.

The new studio, being built on the front of the building near the main entrance, will have room for about 14 artists at a time – and will have upgraded ventilation. It will also have generous windows in the “bump-out”, allowing plenty of “wonderful light” for the artists to work in. There will also be space for classes and other individual and group projects.

The studio space, being built by Yerkes Construction, is expected to be ready by Spring 2018.

Photo Gallery – photography by Jane Jewell.

Snoopy in his Sopwith Camel guards the staircase at Heron Point

Statuettes of herons grace the circular drive in front of main Heron Point building.

Architect’s rendering of Artists Studio at Heron Point as it will look when completed in spring 2018

Map of Heron Point main building

Carved wooden bird in display case in a corner of the Heron Point art studio

Carved wooden bird in display case in a corner of the Heron Point art studio





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:  or 410.778.6300

Spotlight on Evie Baskin and the Artists’ Gallery


You may have stopped and looked at the display window of the Artists’ Gallery as you’ve walked down High Street. It’s the little shop past the Music Life store and just before the White Swan Tavern as you head toward the river. This month, you’ll be struck with a couple of familiar faces looking out at you —  pianist Phil Dutton and bookstore owner Tom Martin, as captured by local artist Evie Baskin.

Gretchen Hoffecker Knowles with Lizzie      Portrait by Evie Baskin

Be sure to go inside to get a look at  the other works that are part of “Passion” – a new series of portraits by Baskin – on display at the gallery along with the works of of several other local and national artists.  The exhibit will be up through the end of the year, although in December the display window will be taken over by the gallery’s Annual Artisan Sale, which will feature a delightful array of arts and crafts, all available for purchase.

“Passion” is Evie’s fifth portrait series since she arrived on the Eastern Shore in 2008.   The portraits’ subjects are all people who live on the Eastern Shore and who are following their passions and by doing so, provide inspiration to us all.  A statement posted on the wall adjacent to each portrait, describes the passion of each person, providing both a visual and literary element to this show.  The portraits have an exuberant style that combines a soft painterly approach with near photo realism and beautifully expresses the joie de vivre the subjects clearly have for their particular passion. Among the subjects are poet Robert Earl Price, horsewoman Gretchen Knowles, and others.

Artist Evie Baskin next to her portrait of local resident Jim Barry.

Evie was born and raised in Jacksonville, Florida and has a BA in Visual Arts from Florida State University.  After relocating to Alexandria, Virginia in 1999, she studied figurative work in oil with Danni Dawson and Robert Liberace at the Torpedo Factory.  When she moved to the Eastern Shore, Evie began working with pastel, studying at various times with Mary Pritchard, Claudia Post and William Schneider.  She has garnered numerous awards over the years for her work in pastel and oil and is a partner with The Artists’ Gallery, a member of the Maryland Portrait Society, The Working Artists Forum, and RiverArts of Chestertown.


Robert Earl Price, poet and playwright, teaches at Washington College      Portrait by Evie Baskin

Sandra Willett Jackson           Portrait by Evie Baskin

In addition to Baskin’s “Passion” exhibit, the works of several other artists are on the gallery walls through December, including the special window display of crafts and jewelry. Bonnie Foster Howell,  a partner in the gallery, has hung several of her maritime paintings, all of them showing a beautiful mastery of  light on water.  Jonathan Shaw’s wildlife paintings have exquisite detail, feathers that seem about to flutter as the bird takes wing.  The landscapes by Nancy Thomas, another partner in the gallery, shine with autumnal colors,  while Jeanne Saulsbury paintings brings out the beauty of such everyday objects as cans and cars. There is much to admire in the variety of styles and subjects in this exhibit.

Painting by Bonnie Foster Howell

Painting by Bonnie Foster Howell


The Artists’ Gallery is a cooperative effort of five local artists. In addition to Baskin, the partners are Sally Clark, Bonnie Foster Howell, Nancy Thomas and Barbara Zuehlke. The gallery shows the partners’ work on a continuing basis, with additional displays by other prominent regional and national artists.

The Artists’ Gallery is located at 239 High Street in Chesterton, and is open Tuesday- Saturday from 10-5 and Sundays from 12:30-4:30.  It will be closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas days.  Call  410-778-2425 or check the website for any other closings or extended holiday hours. For  information about the gallery and Evie’s work, please see or

See photo gallery below for more works by Evie Baskin and the other artists currently exhibiting at the Artists’ Gallery.  Photos by Evie Baskin, Jane Jewell, and Peter Heck

Helga Orrick, 93 years young with a passion for yoga       Portrait by Evie Baskin

Art by Jeanne Saulsbury at the Artists’ Gallery through December 2017


Art by Jeanne Saulsbury at the Artists’ Gallery through Decembe

Jim Barry        Portrait by Evie Baskin

Jim Barry – Portrait by Evie Baskin


























Paintings by Nancy R. Thomas at the Artists’ Gallery

“Frozen in Time” encaustic /oil on panel by Bonnie Howell

Artists’ Gallery on High St.

Even the refreshments table is artistically arranged at the Artists’ Gallery First Friday openings.

Everyone has a good time at the Artists’ Gallery!

Paintings of Sailing Ships by Steve Bleinberger

Metal Scuplture of Mahi Mahi Fish by Rob Forrester

Art by Mary Ellen Mabe at Artists’ Gallery

Bonnie Foster Howell in front of her maritime paintings.

Jane Welsh, Executive director of the Kent County Humane Society        Portrait by Evie Baskin

Wildlife paintings by Jonathan Shaw at the Artists’ Gallery

Philip Dutton, pianist and founder/leader of the band The Alligators          Portrait by Evie Baskin




Illustrated Lecture: “Beyond Stereotypes: War, Warriors, and the Creative Arts”



WarFront/HomeFront with new Kent Arts Building in background

The public is invited to an Illustrated Lecture this coming Sunday, November 19, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the Kent County Arts Council Gallery, 101 Spring Avenue, Chestertown, Maryland.

“Beyond Stereotypes: War, Warriors, and the Creative Arts” will be presented by Tara Tappert, Founder and Principal of The Arts & The Military; and, Michael D. Fay, Retired Combat Artist and Founder of The Joe Bonham Project.  Both work with wounded veterans to help foster healing through artistic expression.  The works displayed show war through the eyes of those who lived it – and are still living with war’s impact.

Main Art Gallery in new Kent Arts Building

Tara Tappert, Art Consultant and founder of ThemArts and the Military

Tara Tappert, Founder & Director, The Arts & The Military ( is an Award-winning scholar, researcher, writer, curator, collections manager, archivist/librarian, editor, graduate-level teacher, academic adviser, and tutor for cultural, educational, and business institutions, and for private individuals and families. Her scholarship is focused in 20th c. American craft – particularly as a rehabilitation tool for war trauma and in late 19th and early 20th c. American art and culture– particularly portraiture, biography, women and art, family history, and genealogy. She is also a noted scholar of the portraitist Cecilia Beaux.

Michael D. Fay, artist and founder of WarFront/HomeFront & Joe Bonham Project

Michael D. Fay, Founder, The Joe Bonham Project, first served in the Marines from 1975 to 1978 as an infantry man attaining the rank of sergeant. He left the service to pursue a college degree and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Art Education from the Pennsylvania State University in 1982. He then re-enlisted in the Marines in December 1983 and served on active duty until September 1993. During this ten-year period he served in the Presidential Helicopter Squadron under President Ronald Reagan, and participated in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Eastern Exit, and Provide Promise campaigns. Seven years later, he enlisted  into the Marine Corps Reserve in January 2000 in order to fill the billet of combat artist with the Field History Department supporting the Historical Division of the Marine Corps.

As an official Marine Corps combat artist, Fay has been mobilized for four extended periods, and has served two tours each in Afghanistan and Iraq. Fay’s paintings and drawings made during these deployments demonstrate how combat looks and feels in a very personal and immediate way. The focus of these works is the human face of war. In images of ordinary people conducting routine business in difficult and unfamiliar circumstances, he reminds us of individual sacrifice and heroism.

Drawings of soldiers in the WarFront/HomeFront Exhibit currently at the Kent County Arts Council Arts Building through Dec. 3.





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.

Young Artists Shine at KidSPOT!


Kaela Covey, grade 4, mask; Sukie Tilghman, grade 3, owl; Saraia Wilmoree, grade 3, doll; Elizabeth Healy, instructor; Alden Swanson,grade 4, owl

KidSPOT! is an after-school art program for, well, kids. Sponsored by RiverArts,  KidSpot has year-round activities including drop-in sessions.  This Friday will be the last day of  a special six-week KidSPOT! session in coordination with the Kent County Public Schools for students grades K-8 .  The younger kids made masks, dolls, cut-paper art and more. The middle school students did drawings in various media. And their KidSPOT! exhibit was up on the walls at RiverArts by First Friday.  And you can see it, too!

The People’s Choice award for the middle school went to Emma Porter, grade 8 for her big cat.

RiverArts will run another six-week after-school program starting in the new year.  Contact RiverArts for information.  The program runs from 3:30 to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

Gabriel Nailor, grade 5, Super Dog; Sei-Aun Thompson, grade 3, doll; August Swanson, K, cut-paper art; Kato Swanson, grade 2, cut-paper art

Joy Maine was curator and instructor for the Middle School exhibit.  She has taught art in the Kent County Middle School in Chestertown for over 30 years.  Elizabeth Healy was curator and instructor for the elementary school students. She taught elementary school in Montana for 25 years before moving to Chestertown in 2014.  She is currently the co-chair of KidSPOT.

The RiverArts Gallery at 315 High Street, Suite 106 (behind Dunkin’ Donuts)is open Tuesday through Friday, 11 am to 4 pm, Saturday 10 to 4, and Sunday 11 to 3 pm.  Don’t miss it!

The KidSPOT! exhibit is in the second and third rooms at RiverArts.  The main room has another exhibit that is also worth taking a look at. The Spy article on the Chester River School of Art Student Exhibit is here.

Photo Gallery below by Peter Heck and Jane Jewell

Masks and dolls by artists ages 5-10



















Monster by Grant Barry, grade 6

Lexi Sullivan, grade 8

Trista Strong, grade 8

Caleb Schultz, grade 8

Chloie Massey, grade 8

Sebastian Aquilar, grade 6




























































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