Chestertown’s Carla Massoni of MassoniArt has played an important role in the Mid-Atlantic region’s fine arts field for over 30 years. 

While the public has currently been denied the pleasure of gathering in her spacious gallery on High Street, Massoni has thoughtfully brought her shows to her viewers by introducing art online through her new production, “Shelter.” 

“Shelter has as its sub-context the importance of sheltering in place, staying at home, and protecting the public,” Massoni explained. 

Searching for uplifting ideas to help the public through this trying period, Massoni called on her gifted artist-educator-friend, Katherine Cox, who will be remembered, among other exhibits, for her 2007 show “Dwell” at MassoniArt. 

 “My inspiration comes from the natural world and Graphite and colored pencils are my primary tools,” the artist said when describing her approach to her art.  “Life is distilled into a quiet simplicity the moment the graphite hits the paper.” 

While reviewing Cox’s poignant collection based on the concept of “home,” Massoni was reminded of the plea to the public to “stay at home.” 

”We both agreed the subject was timely and the perfect project for an online exhibition.” she recalled.  

The artist has imaginatively developed the concept of home through varying forms and circumstances. Her accompanying heartfelt words describe her creative journey. Its recurring theme inspired Cox and Massoni to select the all-encompassing title of “Shelter.”

Massoni then invited her friend Merideth Davies Hadaway, award-winning poet and harpist, to accompany Cox’s portrayals.  Hadaway’s solo, performing a plaintive melody, which she composed as “her gift to Katherine,” became the perfect partner with Cox’s art and narrative to prompt viewers to think of their own shelter with new meaning.  

“Why the River,” a lyrical tribute from Hadaway’s book “The River is the Reason” (2011) is another welcome message of hope included in the online program.  As reverent references to home can bring comfort and support, so it is with rivers.

 It takes many behind the scenes to produce all good shows and that appreciation goes to not only MassoniArt and the artists, but also to the vital contributions of Justinian Dispenza of Andover Media and Francoise Sullivan of Moo Productions.