First Friday Attendees Vote for  People’s Choice Award

Hidden Treasure, by Cindy Fulton

Hidden Treasure, by Cindy Fulton

Despite the stormy weather, over two hundred and thirty people cast ballots for their favorite work in RiverArts’ current main gallery exhibit, Rural Life.  Cindy Fulton’s work, “Hidden Treasure,” received the most votes, runner up was “Barclay Valley,” by Jeff Arbogast.

Barclay Valley, by Jeff Arbogast

Barclay Valley, by Jeff Arbogast







The visual celebration of rural life  – paintings, photographs, jewelry and fiber art exhibition and sale continues through the month of July.


RiverArts Celebrates Rural Life & Humans of Kent County in July
Guarding the Melons, David Biehler

Guarding the Melons, David Biehler

Residents and visitors to the Eastern Shore love spending their time here because of the quality of life. Much of that joy comes from the natural surroundings. On First Friday, July 1, the RiverArts Main Gallery will have an eclectic exhibit, “Celebrating Rural Life”. First Friday guests are asked to vote for the Peoples’ Choice Award, which will be announced at 8 pm that evening. The show runs through July 30.

Curators, Jack and Barbara Fancher, have challenged artists to interpret this theme broadly, capturing the beauties, wonders, and perhaps even the oddities of rural life. Some artists may be inspired by the seasonal rhythms of planting, a bountiful harvest, an early frost, or how light and shadow play across a changing environment. Some enjoy capturing the bustle of parades, fairs, summer parties, farmers’ markets. Others are taken by the wildlife.

When Master Knitter, Sue Wright, enters a piece in a show, it is always special. Friends of hers raise sheep. Sue has knit a vest from the wool of a sheep named Snuggles. It is made of lambswool, so called because it is made from the wool that comes from the first shearing of the sheep.

Tom McHugh, long associated with the Mainstay, is an award winning artist in his own right who has painted all his life. When his children were born he began to paint in mixed media using all kinds of medium from glue, to acrylics, newsprint, glitter, etc. Some have called his work whimsical; others have described it as “outsider art”. For this exhibit he will use mixed media to capture Bay fisheries caught by watermen including crabs, oysters, rock fish, perch, clams, etc.

In the Studio Gallery, there will once again be an exhibit of “Humans of Kent County”. People from all walks of life are interviewed to capture something special about them and/or the times they have lived in. A broad range of volunteers conduct these interviews and photograph the individual being interviewed. It certainly encourages the viewer to appreciate the diversity of Kent County.

RiverArts is located at 315 High Street, in the breezeway. It is now open on Sunday from 11 – 3 pm in addition to Tuesday-Friday, 11:00-4:00, and Saturday, 10:00-4:00. First Fridays the Gallery and Gift Shop are open until 8:00pm.


Art in Bloom 2016 Enjoyed by All

Striking and Fun Design by Darla Downer

Striking and Fun Design by Darla Downer wirh  “Big Boradcast” painting by Cindy Holden Fletcher

On Sunday June 19 and  Monday the 20th , the RiverArts Galleries were full of floral arrangements inspired by the artworks exhibited in RiverArts’ June Fine Arts show. This celebration of the art of floral design was sponsored by Chestertown RiverArts and Community Mediation Upper Shore.

Arangement by Hannelore Henry, photo by Lani Seikaly

Arangement by Hannelore Henry, photo by Lani Seikaly

"A Walk in the Forest" by Jessica Coner

“A Walk in the Forest” by Jessica Coner



Sunday guests enjoyed complimentary hors d’oeuvres, including sushi courtesy of Bob Fox, while  viewing and voting  on the fabulous arrangements. Designs ranged from the whimsical to traditional, exotic flowers to woodland and native greenery. Jessica Coner and Hannelore Henry were tied for the People’s Choice award.

Those attending Monday’s Fashion Show and Champagne Celebration viewed  the latest styles  from Houston’s Dockside Emporium, Mimi’s Closet and Houck’s Menswear while sipping Crow Sparkling Vidal Blanc and sampling  luscious hors d’oeuvres made by Vida Morley and her talented culinary team.

Funds raised from the two events benefit RiverArts and Community Mediation Upper Shore.

Arrangement by Sandy Hudson, artwork by Ronn Akins

Arrangement by Sandy Hudson, artwork by Ronn Akins

Cile Cummings colorful arrangemnt- "Triple Dutch"

Cile Cummings colorful arrangemnt- “Triple Dutch”

Gilleran Sculpture Garners “Best of Show” in RiverArts June Exhibit

Breon Gilleran, Best of Show winner, with Judge Michael Bell

Breon Gilleran, Best of Show winner, with Judge Michael Bell

Artists and art lovers gathered in the RiverArts galleries Saturday, June 4 for the Fine Arts Exhibit Artists’ Talk and Awards Ceremony.  Curator and RiverArts board member Raven Bishop, Juror Marcy Dunn Ramsey and Judge Michael Bell, all artists in their own right, spoke to the audience and assisted with presenting awards.

Ramsey, whose award- winning work focuses on “kayak- view” marshes and wetlands, discussed her criteria for admission to the show, and emphasized the importance of an artist finding his or her focus and concentrating on making it “pop. “   Judge Michael Bell urged artists to keep the creative process flowing.

“Best of Show,” presented by Lisa Raffeto, in memory of her mother, Elizabeth Dixon Purnell, longtime Chestertown Arts League member, was awarded to Breon Gilleran for her interactive piece, entitled “Leeuenhoeks’ Dream.” Breon also won Excellence in 3D for her sculpture, “Singularity.”  Karen Klinedinst received Excellence, 2D for her IPhonography  “Blue Bay.” The People’s Choice award, sponsored by Cassinelli Distributing, was presented to David Terrar for his painting, “February on the Marsh;” the work also received the Excellence Open prize.

Cindy Fletcher Holden won a Merit Award for "Big Broadcast"

Cindy Fletcher Holden won a Merit Award for “Big Broadcast”

Anne Charles presented Martin Ali the Eastern Shore Life award (in honor of her father, Frederick Keer, for Ali’s photograph, “The Maryland Dove.” Charles also presented the Libby Keer Memorial Award for Best Watercolor to Christine O’Neill for “Race Over.”

read more

Quick Links

Calendar of Events

Volunteer Schedule

Public Arts Master Plan

RiverArts Mission:  To engage our community in the creation, appreciation, and support of the arts through education, events, and exhibitions.

RiverArts Vision:  To inspire and foster creativity as a positive and sustainable force that enriches our community and establishes the region as a premier arts destination.



Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.