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CONTACT: Barbara Vann
CHESTERTOWN (August, 2012)
WHAT DO THEY ALL HAVE IN COMMON?
What does a sail maker/yacht captain/Olympic windsurfer, a biotechnology patent attorney, a toxicologist, a nurse, pediatrician, stay-at-home mom, office worker, cook and deck hand on tall ships, a special education teacher, a computer consultant and a bank executive all have in common? Each is now an artist or artisan who for the first time will be on the 13th Annual Chestertown RiverArts Studio Tour, October 27-28 and November 3-4. As you might imagine there is great diversity in media and lifestyles; clearly, all have a story to tell.
Rick Bisgyer was surrounded by the graceful curves of both fine ceramic art and sailboats in his youth. For the last ten years Rick has been juried into national and regional shows as a full-time studio ceramic artist, creating curving sails rising as a motif in his work, inspiration drawn from his love of sailing. He chose sailing as his first profession, elevating it to an art form while working as a sail maker and yacht captain, before becoming a member of the US Olympic Windsurfing Team. He has displayed his work at a variety of regional and national fine art and craft shows having received awards in 3 dimensional art and best in ceramics. He has been represented by and shown his work in galleries across the country. He teaches in several community clay studios including RiverArts Clay studio.
Cindy Brittain creates inspirational photographs. Each one of Cindy’s photographs are spiritually charged with a wish, prayer or an affirmation, hoping to give strength and uplifting joy to the recipient. Her work tends to focus on beauty in nature, human emotion, light patterns, and water. It is her hope to turn a two dimensional piece of paper into a thought-provoking, inspirational, and moving experience. Over the years Cindy has “done it all”. She has been a gourmet baker, a cook and a deckhand on Tall Ships (the first Pride of Baltimore, Te Vega), and a commercial fisherman, She now teaches English as a Second Language for Chesapeake College, is a Spanish translator for the Kent County Public Schools and Health Department, and caters with Occasions Catering.
Norm and Linda Dulak are nature photographers striving to bring the beauty of the world to the viewer. They take control of all aspects of creating a photograph from image capture in the camera to processing to printing. Both Norm and Linda obtained Ph.D degrees in Physiological Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and had academic careers for a time. Norm also obtained a J.D. from Fordham Law School and practiced as a biotechnology patent attorney. Linda got further training in toxicology, worked for several companies, and then had her own consulting business for ten years. The technique of quality photography has been a welcome change of pace now that they are retired. “We’ve transformed our property as a haven for birds and take advantage of it for photographing local birds. The love of travel as well as the love of photography combine for some interesting times and beautiful photographs.
Chuck Engstrom tries to combine graceful shape with excellence of execution and finish in his beautifully turned wood products. Chuck thinks of himself as a self-taught craftsman though he has studied woodturning. He has taken many workshops with several world-renowned turners and studied at the Arrowmount School of Arts and Crafts. Chuck has done various woodworking jobs over the years. In 2000 he went to work for a shop that produced chandeliers with turned wooden spindles and was invited to take over that part of their production. Though devoted to his craft, he still works part-time as a computer consultant/instructor.
Breon Gilleran calls herself bricoleur or tinkerer, making sculpture from cast metals, forged steel, assorted detritus and found objects evocative of the Industrial (machine) Age. Breon’s most recent sculptural installations ask questions about memory and its power to change perceptions and stimulate the imagination. Breon has received many honors and awards both nationally and internationally. Her work has been featured in such publications as Sculpture Magazine, The Anvils Ring, The Baltimore Sun, and Baltimore Magazine. Breon currently teaches part time at Goucher College. She maintains an active studio practice and exhibition schedule, working privately with students and giving workshops at Area 405 in Baltimore.
Laura Hall is a life-long knitter beginning in her high school years. She makes hats, scarves, shawls, baby blankets, and toddler dresses. Laura is drawn to the knit shops’ lonely and beautiful last skeins; she enjoys the challenge in finding a place for each. Laura’s career is in Pediatrics. She has worked as a pediatrician for over 30 years in a variety of settings in Pittsburgh, Latrobe and now in the AI Dupont Nemours system with her office in Middletown, DE. In her spare time she knits routinely getting in an hour or so on a work day and more on weekends and off days.
Jody Primoff’s primary subject is landscape. She moves back and forth among different mediums and materials, painting in watercolor, acrylic and pastel, combining them with pen and ink and collage in mixed media pieces. Jody was introduced to painting at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute in Utica, NY where she started taking art classes at the age of ten. After graduating from Syracuse University with a major in English and a minor in art, she studied with Reginald Marsh at the Art Students’ League in NYC. After she married and raised three children, she taught special education, while continuing to paint whenever she could. Now she is retired and her work can be found at galleries in Chestertown, Cooperstown, NY and in Manteo, NC.
Sabra Richards uses kiln formed glass and steel to create unique sculptures that can be placed indoors or out. The results are striking pieces which leave the viewer in awe of how a delicate medium of glass can be combined with the boldness of steel. She creates decorative tables and benches, a lot of garden sculpture, and wall pieces. Her work varies in size from very small to as much as ten or more feet. Sabra’s work is in many public and private collections, IBM, KODAK, Xerox to name a few. She is also listed in Who’s Who in American Art.
Maria Smith has been quilting for almost thirty years. Patchwork, paper-piecing and machine quilting are some of her favorite things to do. Maria took several art courses in high school and attended an arts college in Philadelphia, now known as Philadelphia College. Most of her working life was spent working in Philadelphia area banks, where she retired as an executive with a major Philadelphia banking corporation in 2001. She is a member of the Country Crafts Guild and has done shows in Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties as well as in Delaware and Philadelphia.
Barbara Snyder paints in pastels and oils. When looking at the landscape she looks for repeated shapes and colors. She is also interested in light and color and how they create contrasts. This results in painting the feeling of the landscape. She went to Moore College of Art for one year, got married and had four children which made for busy years. When the children were leaving the nest, she started painting, taking courses at Chesapeake College and painting with Terry and Pam Wolf. It was through them that Barbara had the opportunity to study at the Barnes Foundation for three years. She now paints at home and with the Kent Plein Air Group.
Heidi Wetzel is a fiber artist and basket weaver. She came to love art late in life and most of it developed after taking many workshops with different weavers and fiber artists. Heidi uses unique and indigenous materials as well as materials she brings back from her many travels. Heidi started out as an office worker, from file clerk to manager, then as a copier repair person, which she loved because she had to use her hands as well as her brain. She was a special education teacher until she discovered basket weaving. Heidi explained. “My craft turned into art about 2003 when I started using varied techniques and materials to create wall hangings and sculptural pieces
Sihnja An Whiteley’s work represents her two worlds, east and west. They are the synthesis of her life experiences and the places she has lived and traveled. Sihnja is popular for both her traditional work and her contemporary compositions which create wonderful atmospheric effects. She learned sumi painting as a child initially from her father and in high school in South Korea. She studied painting in private studios, at Washington College, and at workshops. She has been teaching Sumi painting for the last twenty years locally and at the Academy Art Museum in Easton. Her work appears at the Sumner Museum, the Willard Hotel, CIA, and the Torpedo Factory. They are also exhibited in Korea and at the Brazilian and Ukrainian Embassies.
For more information on the tour call Chestertown RiverArts at 410-778-6300, email email@example.com or download the studio tour brochure from their website, www.chestertownriverarts.org/events/studiotour.
Chestertown RiverArts PRESS RELEASE
CONTACT: Barbara Vann
CHESTERTOWN (July, 2012)
OPPOSITES ATTRACT: EXPERIENCE THE WORKSPACES OF VICCO VON VOSS AND KEN WARWICK ON THE CHESTERTOWN RIVERARTS 13TH ANNUAL STUDIO TOUR
If you would like to see the grand scale of the custom timber frame workshop where Vicco von Voss creates his signature one of kind pieces of furniture, please visit 145 Island Creek Rd in Centreville on November 3, 10am- 5pm, rain or shine, during the Chestertown RiverArts 13th Annual Studio Tour. If you are interested in seeing Vicco’s most recent work, he will be displaying several finished pieces the previous Saturday, October 27 in town at his wife Jacqui von Voss’s acupuncture studio (ironically located at Vicco’s original workshop at 210 S. Cross St. in Chestertown).
If you would like to see perhaps the smallest, yet coziest, of the studios on the Chestertown RiverArts Studio Tour where architect, Ken Warwick, creates his abstract charcoal drawings, then visit 20 First Avenue in Betterton on October 27-28 and November 3-4.
Vicco von Voss is a well known furniture maker, whose designs are inspired by forms found in nature. His work often contains and can be recognized by his signature “von Voss Swoop,” a shape based on a water droplet. His furniture also draws influence from art deco and contemporary European design. Central to his philosophy is listening to the inherent nature of the wood when creating his work.
After developing his business for 15 years in his downtown Chestertown studio, in 2008 Vicco was ready to create his dream workspace. Once his idea was set in motion, he devoted eight months exclusively to completing his vision. In February 2009, the doors of the new workshop opened, and Vicco resumed his commissioned furniture work.
The 2400 square foot workshop has a spacious feeling, with arched ceilings rising 26 feet high. The floor plan is much like a cathedral with the central bay and hoists and two side aisles for upstairs storage of wood. There is also one bay set up as a metal shop so Vicco can fabricate his own hardware.
The building design was organized around an open floor plan that would accommodate a central hoist system that allows Vicco to lift and move timbers, slabs, and furniture around with ease. There are two massive doors that open up so that Vicco can bring in equipment, his trailer or truck. “Essentially, I designed the space so that I can single- handedly manage my projects.”
A traditional post and beam construction, the timber frame is held together by 100 braces, 1000 pegs, and no nails. A truly “Green” space, most of the building material was in some way recycled: all the lumber used in the building was salvaged from local trees that had fallen in storms, and other components, such as the spiral staircase and the funny gremlin shaped wood burning stove which were trades and hand-me-downs. In addition to the small wood -burning stove inside the shop, the workspace is kept warm in the winter by a radiant floor heating system. This system is fueled by a large outdoor wood furnace fed by milling off-cuts. Vicco custom engineered and constructed the exterior walls to be extremely energy efficient.
During the November 3rd studio tour, Vicco will open his workshop, and answer questions. Vicco will also discuss his current project from prototype through the finished piece. A few sample finished pieces will be on display in the workshop, but the primary purpose of this tour is to illuminate Vicco’s process. Please visit 210 S. Cross St. on October 28 to see more representations of Vicco’s finished work.
Ken Warwick’s work is created comfortably within an intimate space. His drawings are about time and timelessness, structure and intuitive response. He takes pleasure in choosing the simplest thing you can do – making small marks and repeating them over and over. He then builds up layers until he creates a rich, complex design, giving up the white of the paper as it becomes darker and darker. More recently, he has turned to color, again using the same approach.
In 1989 Ken came to the Eastern Shore looking for a getaway home, something completely different from his urban Baltimore row house life. An article in the Baltimore Sun led him to Betterton where a water view, which was essential to him, was affordable. He fell in love with the remnants of the old Victorian resorts there, the friendly character of the town and all that Kent County had to offer. His home is a contemporary reworking of a small summer cottage, steps from the mouth of the Sassafras River and the Chesapeake Bay and was featured in Chesapeake Life magazine.
In 1991 Ken bought a piece of property a block away from the beach but the house he designed for it was never built. In 1998 he bought the property adjacent to it which had a small structure on it. He planned to rehabilitate it but found that only the slab was salvageable. Instead he designed his cottage on the original footprint. He moved in finally in 2006. Today there are three structures on the site; a 750 square foot cottage of which the studio takes up 210 square feet, a separate screened in structure which has a water view, and a garage that may one day be converted into a painting studio.
Though it is small, it feels open and airy. As profiled in the Chesapeake Life article, “Ken borrowed a Japanese design characteristic where rooms are open to one another, creating a feeling of continuation, movement, and space.” When you sit in one space, you always see another; you never feel enclosed. At its peak, the ceiling is 18’ high which adds to the open feeling. “Another cultural inspiration came from the minimal, clean design favored in Scandinavia which is where he got the idea to paint the pine floors bright, reflective white.” Ken also made sure that there is natural ventilation throughout the house; it picks up the prevailing winds off the water.
While Betterton is mainly a summer community, Ken uses the cottage year round. “I like it here in the winter”, he says. “It’s very quiet and peaceful. My drawing work tends to be somewhat cerebral, and it’s kind of nice to have that simple, quiet, almost stark quality around….My artwork has changed being here. Before it was rigid, dark, and more theoretical. Now it’s more open and the landscape is creeping into the work.”
Ken’s work is found throughout the house. Unfinished pieces grace the walls of his studio so that the design can be studied and evolve. Visit Ken Warwick’s home/studio to see a wonderful space and learn more about his process,
To learn more about the Studio Tour call 410-778-6300, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.chestertownriverarts.org/events/studiotour where you can download the brochure which describes the work of all the artists, gives directions to their studios, and includes a user-friendly map.
- Annual Recycled Art Show
- Art in Bloom
- Art in the Park
- Juried Show
- Paint the Town
- Studio Tour
- Event Schedule
- Past Events