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The Sixteenth Annual RiverArts Studio Tour
Ever wonder what an artist’s studio really looks like? Chestertown RiverArts 16th Annual Studio Tour allows the visitor a chance to take a sneak peak inside Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties creative spaces. This free, self-guided tour on the picturesque Eastern Shore of Maryland takes place over two weekends, October 24-25 and October 31-November 1, 10am-5pm, rain or shine. Over 50 artists, many nationally known, invite visitors in to talk, check out how they work, and provide the opportunity to buy original artwork at studio prices.
The art is as diverse as the artists who create it, with styles ranging from traditional to avant-garde, expressed in a variety of media that include painting, photography, sculpture, metal work, pottery, fiber, woodcraft, jewelry, furniture, glass, and more. Studios are also varied with several galleries/studios, independent studios in two small art complexes and many at the artist’s homes – some detached from the main house and some inside the home itself. In a few instances there are artists displaying their work at a venue other than their own studio. This is in no way a reflection on the quality of their work, but merely an indication that the studio space they currently inhabit is not a suitable venue for a public art tour.
Situated on a scenic peninsula where the Chester and Sassafras Rivers meander into the Chesapeake Bay, Kent County has retained its serene beauty despite the passage of time. Located on the banks of the Chester River, Chestertown dates back to 1706, the oldest mid-Atlantic port of entry in the state dating back to the 1640’s. It has been designated by the state of Maryland as an Arts and Entertainment District; its mayor, Chris Cerino remarked, “The downtown arts scene has grown by leaps and bounds in the past decade…The State’s designation validates…Chestertown is fast becoming a regional arts destination.” In addition to the charm of Chestertown, out-of-towners often remark on how much they enjoy the tranquility of the countryside, water views and small, friendly towns.
It is recommended that visitors start their tour at the RiverArts Gallery, 315 High Street, Suite 106 where there will be an exhibit of works by the artists on the tour opening October 3. That way you can discover those artists whose works you are most interested in and arrange your tour accordingly. Brochures may be found at the Gallery and at restaurants and shops throughout Kent County. They provide a brief description of each artist along with directions to the studios and restaurants as well as a user-friendly map. And while you’re there pick up a free raffle ticket to win a prize. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday-Friday, 11-4, Saturday, 10-4. During the Studio Tour, Gallery hours are Saturday 9-5 and Sunday 10-5.
Combine your Studio Tour with Chestertown’s Schooner Sultana Downrigging the weekend of October 31-November 1. Sultana is joined by many historic tall ships and Chesapeake Buy-Boats (www.sultanaeducation.org). Many interesting art studios are within easy walking distance of the ships. All this makes for a fun family outing.
If you wish to make a weekend of it, information on lodging, restaurants, and other attractions is available at www.kentcounty.com or contact our Tourism Development Office at 410-778-0416.
We hope that you will join us for our sixteenth year.