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Two Fabulous Exhibits in May
“By Invitation Only”
A Review by Mary McCoy
“By Invitation Only,” on view at RiverArts through May 29, is a zesty collection of works by eight artists imported to Chestertown from Easton, the Baltimore/Washington area and California. RiverArts conceived this show as a strategy for introducing fresh, dynamic ideas to its gallery and asked Ellie Altman, former director of Adkins Arboretum, to curate the show. Although there is no stated theme, not surprisingly, it reflects her background by centering on works that explore nature and natural processes.
These artists bring a broad range of mediums and approaches, yet the whole show is alive with interactions like a multi-fold conversation.
Sculptor Marcia Wolfson Ray’s tall square tower constructed from vines, dog fennel and marsh elder stands beside Roberta Staat’s large oil pastel diptych of grazing cattle. Unrelated in materials and subject matter, they nonetheless share such rugged, energetic textures and warm earthy colors that they seem to belong together. It’s a curious but highly satisfying relationship.
It’s like that throughout the show. One artwork initiates thoughts, perhaps about the effects of light or natural patterns of growth or the flow of water, then another takes up the theme from a slightly different angle or even a radically contrasting one.
Wolfson Ray’s sculptures bristling with dried plants from dog fennel to hosta leaves are a total contrast to George Holzer’s large, shadowy photographs in which a root, a splinter or a leaf is isolated in a field of velvety black. The first is rustic, the second superbly elegant, yet both are skillfully crafted works that focus the viewer’s eye on the pure beauty and fascinating eccentricities found in plant forms.
Paint the Town- Second Look in Studio Gallery
At the Saturday night reception, the artists voted for their favorites. Doug Ashley Realty sponsored “Best of Show” which was won by Ray Ewing’s oil, “Still Standing”. “Best Body of Work”, sponsored by Home Mattress Center of Delaware, was awarded to Maria Reardon, one of the most prolific and talented of the artists.
On Sunday, there was a two-hour Quick Draw; the paintings were then shown in the RiverArts breezeway. The public voted for the “People’s Choice Award.” In addition, Mary Pritchard, founder of Paint the Town, and award-winning pastel artist, will judge these paintings for first, second and third place awards.
For those of you who missed the shows or are still thinking of a possible purchase, you will have a second chance. Read more
Both exhibits will be in the RiverArts galleries through the month of May.
RiverArts Seventh Annual “Paint the Town” A Great Success
Another year…another success! You might think that the “Paint the Town” weekend would suffer from the raw, rainy weather. You might think
that a plein air artist needs sunlight in order to capture the contrasts to make a painting interesting. In fact, that was not the case. Having cloudy, wet weather meant that the colors of the outdoors were bolder and though artists in many cases had to work from inside their cars, the results were wonderful. The “Wet Paint Show and Sale” and the “Quick Draw Competition” showed how resourceful, creative and prolific the participants were.
The artists worked in varied mediums – oil, soft pastel, and watercolor, sometimes along with pen and ink. The subject matter was extremely diverse from Chestertown street scenes and buildings, the train station, barns, gardens, fields, waterside views, storefronts, the Garfield Marquee, a lattice and so much more. The styles ranged from realistic to impressionistic and several artists used their palette knives to lay on the paint thickly to give it a lot of texture. Read more here
Only 3 Raffle Tickets Left for River Arts fabulous new fund raiser: “Get Away” Raffle!
We all need breaks from the hectic pace of our lives, and this is the perfect opportunity. You can win a trip to your choice of one of four fabulous locations below. Organized by RiverArts members Dave and Christine O’Neill, the “Get Away” Raffle will only sell 100 tickets at $100 each. When all 100 tickets are sold, RiverArts will have a public drawing. The lucky winner will receive their choice of one of the following four trips that includes airfare from major cities anywhere in the 48 contiguous states and that retails up to $9772. The winner will have 12 months to book the airfare and up to 18 months to take the trip. Don’t miss out on this incredible chance. Call RiverArts today (410 778 6300) to buy your ticket. Please share this awesome raffle with your friends and family! The sooner we sell 100 tickets, the sooner the winner will be selected. Click here to buy Raffle Tickets
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.