Call & Registration for Art of Stewardship 2019

Home, Mary McCoy- wasp nest, acrylic and graphite

Call for Artists & Poets

Art of Stewardship

Juried Exhibition & Pat Herold Nielsen Poetry Prize 

By crafting a unique response to the world around us, the artist engages in an act of stewardship, an act of care and attention. Sharing that vision brings artist and observer together in an awareness of the connection between all things, the tenuous nature of each moment, and the sensory particulars of a special place. Whether tacit or explicit, every act of art calls us to participate, to promote, to illustrate, and to celebrate the stewardship of our planet.

All varieties of two- and three-dimensional artwork as well as previously unpublished poetry of any length and style will be considered.

Prizes of $100 each for the winning artwork and poem will be awarded. Second and Third Place artworks will also be recognized. In addition to winning poems, finalists will be displayed in the Exhibit.

Visual Arts Curator: Alice Ritchie
Visual Arts Juror:  Beverly Hall Smith
Visual Arts Judge: Greg Mort

Poetry Curator:  Meredith Davies Hadaway
Poetry Juror & Judge: Sue Ellen Thompson

Alice Ritchie is a long time member of RiverArts and currently on the Board.  She has exhibited pastel works at RiverArts and is an enthusiastic student in Mary Pritchard’s pastel class.

Beverly Hall Smith was an art history professor for 40 years before moving to Chestertown in 2014 with her husband Kurt and continues to teach at WC-All and IAL. She is especially pleased to be invited to be the juror for the 2019 exhibition.    Always a strong supporter of saving the environment, she has been in four Stewardship Exhibitions, receiving two honorable mentions.  Beverly believes the themes of these exhibitions are of major significance to us all and have allowed her to stretch her art.

Painter Greg Mort will be the judge of the 2- and 3-dimensional work. His paintings are included in many distinguished private and public collections

Meredith Davies Hadaway is an award-winning poet and teacher of ecopoetry, and  author of three collections of poetry, At The Narrows, (2015) The River is a Reason (2011) and Fishing Secrets of the Dead (2005), all issued from Word Poetry. Hadaway’s work explores the birds, bugs, trees, marshes—and especially the waters—of Maryland’s Eastern Shore, evoking memory and mystery as they shape our braided lives.

Sue Ellen Thompson is the author of five books of poetry and the editor of The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. Her work has been included in the Best American Poetry series, read on National Public Radio by Garrison Keillor, and recently won a Pushcart Prize. She taught at Wesleyan University, Middlebury College, Binghamton University, and  Central Connecticut State University before moving to the Eastern Shore of Maryland in 2006. She teaches workshops at The Writer’s Center in Bethesda and Annapolis, MD and was the recipient of the 2010 Maryland Author Prize from the Maryland Library Association.

The Art of Stewardship Project is a foundation created by the Mort family. Click here for more info  The primary mission of The Art of Stewardship Project is to encourage individual artists and or their associated arts groups to commit time, talent or treasure in a form that yields direct benefit to a specific environmental organization. Facebook link

The Pat Nielsen Poetry Award was initiated by the Chester River Association (CRA) in 2010 as a tribute to the late Pat Herold Nielsen, a founding member of the CRA. An accomplished poet and an award-winning filmmaker, Pat was a woman of many talents and unceasingly engaged in protecting our environment.

***2D & 3D Artists: Each year The Art of Stewardship Foundation asks that we designate a local environmental educational organization as a partner for our exhibit. This year we are partnering with the Sassafras Environmental Education Center, directed by Wayne Gilchrest. RiverArts is donating 5% of all exhibit  sales to the Center. We are asking the artists to consider donating 5% of their sales as well. Please check that box if you are willing to donate.

Submission Deadline: March 2, 2019
Acceptance Deadline: March 7, 2019

Exhibition Dates: April 3 – 24, 2019
Opening Reception: Friday, April 5,  5 –  8pm
Gallery Talk: Thursday, April 11, 5:30 – 7 pm
Poetry Reading: Thursday, April 18, 5:30

Drop-off: Sunday, March 31,  2 -4 pm
                 Monday, April 1, 10 am-1 pm
Pick-up: Thursday, April 25, 10 am – 3 pm
                Friday, April 26, 10 am – 3 pm

Please email
or call 410 778 6300 with any questions


  • Completed Entry Form (below). Limit: Two  pieces of art.
  • Upon submission of the entry form, you will be redirected to a payment page.  Entries will not be accepted until payment is received.
  • Digital image of artwork should be in jpeg format for each entry (4 MB maximum size allowed), submitted with Entry Form. 

Submission Guidelines

Requirements for Art

  • Art to be hung on walls should be dry and securely wired for hanging. Works on paper should be framed behind glass or plexiglass. Unframed works of fine art, e.g. paintings on canvas, are accepted if appropriately wired for hanging.
  • Reproductions such as giclees are not accepted.
  • Lithographs, etchings and other printmaking works of art should be created by the artist, numbered and signed.
  • Photographic prints, digital and film, should be printed from the artists’ negative or digital file, ideally by or under the direction of the artist, and signed.
  • Works of art requiring special or unusual display structures should be submitted along with the structure for display.
  • Work should not have previously been shown in Chestertown.

Artist’s Agreement

  • Artists submitting work will be asked to sign a contract at the time of submission giving permission for the work to remain at the gallery until the end of the show unless special circumstances warrant otherwise.
  • All work must be for saleA 35% commission is taken by RiverArts for all sales.
  • Artists pay hanging fees of $10 per piece of art if a member and $20 per piece if not a member.
  • Artists submitting work must pick up (or arrange with a friend to pick up) art at the end of the show during the checkout dates and times. RiverArts does not have adequate storage space to protect art.
  • All work sent to RiverArts via USPS, UPS or another carrier must have a prepaid return label included.


 Please, No Compressed Images. Must be under 4 MB. If your images are too large, you will not receive a submission receipt or be redirected to the payment page. If you would like assistance in resizing your images, please send the image in an email to

  • Completed Entry Form (below). Limit: One entry of up to 3 poems. $10 fee for member and non-members; fee waived for college and high school students.
  • Submit a digital image of each poem in pdf format. Attached files should only be named with the titles of the poems.