Live music will enliven the sidewalks Saturday, April 24 as The Chestertown Arts and Entertainment District hosts a Spring Art Walk to a dozen downtown galleries and studios. The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Masks and safe distancing will be required in all venues and near the musicians.
The theme of the Art Walk is “Re-emergence,” a reference to both the natural world awakening to Spring and the world’s eagerness to emerge safely after a winter of pandemic isolation.
The day’s music will include the official debut of the A&E District Piano, an upright piano colorfully painted in local cultural themes by artist Barbara Slocum with assistance from Walnut & Wool owner and artist Samantha Niva. Pianists scheduled to entertain on the A&E upright outside Bad Alfred’s Distillery, 323 High Street, include Joe Holt, Phillip Dutton, Bill Drazga and Al Martinez. A number of other talented musicians, including Tom Anthony, Pres Harding and Charles Kavoosi, are scheduled to play on the sidewalks at several locations on High and Cross Streets.
The venues on the Art Walk map include a pop-up gallery and A&E information station at The Bank, the event venue at 211 High Street. A former commercial bank building first constructed as The Chestertown Bank in 1849, the building’s elegant and spacious lobby is now rented out for weddings and parties. The Bank will host an Open House during the Art Walk.
A&E District volunteers will be on hand to answer questions about the Art Walk and District tax incentives and activities. Among the artists expected to display at The Bank are painters Samuel Edward Moore and Allen Johnson and fiber artist Sue Wright.
At Robert Ortiz Studios, owner Bob Ortiz, in addition to showing off pieces of his handcrafted furniture in progress, will host works by four guest artists working in different disciplines: scarves by fiber artist Yuh Okano, metal sculptures by Rob Glebe, paintings by Fredy Granillo, and mixed media works by Jason Patterson that reference African American history through historical documents and archived images.
In addition to showing his latest paintings, Granillo will share with visitors his process for painting the mural “El Trompo,” which will be under construction. Commissioned and supported by Bob Ortiz for the outside wall of his studio, the mural is also supported by grants from the Kent Cultural Alliance and the Chestertown A&E District.
The Artists Gallery will showcase photorealistic oil paintings by Karen Merkin, whose subjects range from elegant classic cars to the whimsical stuffed bears and wrapping papers that have captured her attention at home during the pandemic. The Finishing Touch will exhibit aerial landscape photography by Sam Shoge. At the intimate Blueberry Pie & Art Society, partners Kate Quinn, Roberta Ingram, and Anne Singer will exhibit their latest work. Les Poissons Gallery will feature plein-air landscapes, botanicals and Kent County scenes by more than 20 Mid-Atlantic artists. And Tish Fine Art Plus will offer a 10:30 Meet the Artists session with featured artists Pat Morrison and Barbara Snyder.
Glass artists Dave and Patti Hegland will be in their studio explaining the technique that creates their award winning functional and sculptural art glass. Their work is also on display at the contemporary fine-crafts gallery CREATE, along with that of gallery co-founders Marilee Schumann (pottery) and Faith Wilson (fiber art/floor cloths) and other highly skilled artisans from across the country.
Also welcoming Art Walk participants will be jeweler Joan Strand, and painters Marj Morani (oils and pastels) and Melinda Carl (oils and watercolors), who work in the Cannon Street Studios building also known as The Barn.
Window shopping remains the order of the day at RiverArts three locations – the Gallery, Clay Studio and ArtsAlive Education Center. Purchases can be made at chestertownriverarts.org.
Massoni Gallery will not be participating in the Art Walk but will re-open May 7 for its new exhibit, “Finding Light I,” with works by eight regionally acclaimed artists.
Located outside the A&E District boundary, and thus not on the Art Walk map, pastel artist Mary Pritchard will open her studio space at 119 High Street to visitors during the day.
Maps for the Art Walk will be available in downtown shops and all the participating galleries the week of the event. For more information, email to email@example.com. The Art Walk also coincides with the annual Earth Day activities organized by the Chestertown Environmental Committee, which offers educational displays and activities downtown from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Executive Director, Main Street Historic Chestertown
Manager, Chestertown Arts & Entertainment District
118 N. Cross Street
Chestertown, MD 21620