Academy Art Museum Showcases Juried Art Exhibition


The Working Artists Forum (WAF) is proud to announce their current exhibition of member artists’ work in the Selections Gallery of the Academy Art Museum.  Since 1979, WAF has been a juried organization of working professional artists from diverse professions and geographic locations who meet monthly at the Museum for demonstrations, group critiques and lively discussions.  Membership has grown from 13 original charter members to close to 100 members today.  WAF members actively show their work on the Eastern Shore, separately and together, and have pieces in private and corporate collections throughout the United States and abroad.  Members of WAF, a non-profit organization, have received numerous awards and prizes in countless competitions, and maintain a strong interest in pro bono work for the community, providing donations each year to art classes in our area schools.

This year’s Selections show judge was Lee Mills, an artist and member of the Artists’ Exchange in Rehoboth, DE.  Of the 36 member works submitted for this show, 22 were juried in.  The Best in Show award this year went to Linda Hall, for her watercolor, “Washday Reflections.”  The judge commented on the seductive, surreal quality of this painting.  “You see the wall and then the window with the reflection of the clothes line and clouds.  The clothes line becomes the cloud line.”  Judges’ Awards of Excellence went to Carol Argen Thomas, Nancy Thomas, and Judy Wolgast.  Honorable Mentions were given to Katie Cassidy, Janet DiNapoli and Carla Huber.

The WAF exhibition in the Selections Gallery (second floor) will be up through November 29, 2015. The Academy Art Museum is located at 106 South Street in Easton.  Hours of operation are Monday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm; TuesdayThursdayfrom 10 am -8 pm. Admission is $3 for non-members, children under 12 are free, Wednesdays are free for everyone.  For more information, call 410-822-2787 or visit














Janet DiNapoli--Out-of-the-Blue-fabric-and-oil-on-canvas-Hon.-Mention-Selections-2015

Janet DiNapoli–Out-of-the-Blue-fabric-and-oil-on-canvas-Hon.-Mention-Selections-2015







Anna Campbell Bliss Biopic To Be Shown At Chesapeake Film Festival

Screen Shot 2015-08-31 at 8.30.07 PM

Award-winning documentary film ARC OF LIGHT: A Portrait of Anna Campbell Bliss will screen on Saturday, September 19 at 12:15 p.m. at the historic Avalon Theatre in Easton, Md., as part of the Chesapeake Film Festival 2015.  The screening will be followed by a question and answer session with Cid Collins Walker, the executive producer and director of the film and Richard Walker, scriptwriter and producer.

Anna Campbell Bliss from the film 'Intersections' by David Leitner.

Anna Campbell Bliss
from the film ‘Intersections’ by David Leitner.

ARC OF LIGHT examines the life and work of a pioneering yet under-recognized artist who has devoted her life to the creation of works of art that explore the complex intersections between art, technology, science, nature, mathematics and architecture. The film looks at the astonishing range of Bliss’s work, from small, painterly studies of color and light to architectural site commissions of immense scale.

The 30-minute documentary also puts her work in art-historical context and traces her Modernist influences, including the Bauhaus artists of the 1920s. One of the first women ever trained as an architect at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, Bliss, 89, has forged her own vision in art and architecture, tapping historically important movements in art, architecture and design for inspiration yet anticipating the future by incorporating computer-generated imagery into her work.

The Avalon Theatre is an historically important theatre originally built as a cinema in 1921 and billed as the “showplace of the Eastern Shore.” In 1934 it was purchased by the Shine Theatre Chain, which redesigned the theater with an elegant Art Deco theme that remains today. In 1989 it was restored as a performing arts center and purchased by the town of Easton. Today it is operated by the Avalon Foundation, a nonprofit organization.

The Chesapeake film Festival opens Friday, Sept.18 and runs through Sunday.  The event aims to offer the finest in narrative, documentary and short films to the Chesapeake Bay community, showcasing films highlighting the diversity as well as the universality of the human condition.

ARC OF LIGHT premiered in Washington D.C. at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in 2012, as part of the Environmental Film Festival and has since screened at film festivals and in museums around the country. In the last year, it has shown on public-television stations from New York to Los Angeles. In addition to national acclaim it received two awards from TIVA the Television, Internet and Video Association in Washington, DC.

To reserve tickets for the screening visit To learn more about ARC OF LIGHT: A Portrait of Anna Campbell Bliss, visit

717 Gallery Presents “Shapes & Harmony” Solo Show by Louis Escobedo

Screen Shot 2015-08-18 at 8.54.49 AM
'San Diego Shore' by Louis Escobedo

‘San Diego Shore’ by Louis Escobedo

On September 4, 717 Gallery opens “Shapes & Harmony,” a solo show featuring new works by Louis Escobedo, a nationally-recognized artist exclusively represented by 717 Gallery. Meet the artist at an opening reception on September 4 from 5-8pm during Easton’s First Friday Gallery Walk. The show runs through October 31.

Escobedo was born in Sweetwater, Texas, and received a BFA in Advertising Art from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas. During his time as an illustrator, he received a gold medal from the Society of Illustrators in New York in 1981 and other awards from many organizations. In 1985, he shifted his professional focus, moving from illustration to fine art.

During his fine art career, Escobedo has exhibited in galleries across the United States, including California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, Virginia, and Maryland.

Escobedo has received many awards for his artwork, including the 2014 Gold Medal in the 23rd Oil Painters of America (OPA) National Juried Exhibition Associate/Signature Division for his painting “Light Source,” which won from a field of 2,300 artists. The award included a cash prize of $25,000. He is one of only two painters to have received the OPA Gold Medal award twice in this division.

'News Report' by Louis Escobedo

‘News Report’ by Louis Escobedo

Escobedo will exhibit a painting in the first-ever Virtuosos of the OPA Exhibition to be held at the prestigious Salmagundi Club, one of America’s oldest art clubs, located in the heart of New York City. The opening reception is September 17, 2015, from 6-8pm.

Extracting extraordinary, often overlooked, scenes from within life’s busy pace is one of Escobedo’s fortes. How does he derive his diverse ideas? “It all begins with shapes,” he reveals. He begins by sketching shapes on a blank canvas, then adds color, ultimately blending to soft edges and a finished piece. “To me a successful painting is all about shapes and harmony,” he says. “I prefer to reach for scenes that convey a sense of synchronization. I strive to make paintings that look beyond the physical makeup of the subject, and excel with dramatic lighting and tremendous depth.”

Escobedo endeavors to capture the spirit of the moment in a painting. “A highly detailed painting that lacks feeling can leave me cold,” he admits. “I’d rather finish the painting at the earliest point, as soon as the essence becomes evident—at the exact place where a shape becomes an object. I’m not as interested in a literal representation; I’m more inspired by artistic harmony. I don’t want to just make a saleable painting; I want to evoke a feeling about the subject, even a very ordinary one. We are so busy these days that we miss a lot of what is happening around us,” he says. “I am fortunate to have the ability to put it down on canvas and make it interesting and appealing.”

Located at 717 Goldsborough Street, 717 Gallery is the gateway to the arts in Easton from Route 50. Additional parking is available across the street at the Country School. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 10:30am to 5:00pm, or by appointment.

More information about Louis Escobedo is available at or at and on Facebook. Or contact Yolanda Escobedo by email,, or phone 410.241.7020.

Finite and Alive: Drawings by Rebecca Clark at Adkins Arboretum

“Kestrel 1 (Again, Alive, for Richard Skelton),” graphite on paper, 16” x 20”

Finite and Alive, Rebecca Clark’s show of new drawings, is filled with wonder and curiosity about the natural world coupled with a poignant sense of loss. On view through Oct. 2 at the Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center, this Hyattsville artist’s exquisite drawings of birds and animals are remarkable for both their skill and their sensitivity. There will be a reception on Sat., Aug. 15 from 3 to 5 p.m. to meet the artist.

“Kestrel 1 (Again, Alive, for Richard Skelton),” graphite on paper, 16” x 20”

“Kestrel 1 (Again, Alive, for Richard Skelton),” graphite on paper, 16” x 20”

Wings angled and strong against the air rushing past them, beak razor sharp, eye clear and bright, Clark’s “Kestrel 1” is the very image of the speed and unrelenting focus of a bird of prey. It’s rare these days to find an artist who has the technical ability and patience to draw so beautifully. Clark’s attention to detail is scrupulous. Every muscle of the kestrel’s compact body is engaged and every intricately patterned feather precisely angled for swiftness and accuracy.

“I’ve been an artist my whole life and studied art and art history,” Clark said. “But it wasn’t until I took a botanical illustration course at the Corcoran College of Art with Leslie Exton that I really learned how to draw. She taught us very particular techniques, and it opened up a whole new world for me.”

Clark draws primarily in graphite, making full use of the nuances of her pencils, but occasionally, she introduces touches of color to focus on a detail or enrich her subject. In “Worlds without End,” she uses varied hues of red to highlight the subtle relationships and contrasts between the colors of rose hips and the feathers of a pair of cardinals. Borrowing its title from Allen Ginsberg’s desolate lament on the nature of contemporary life, “Howl” is a riveting drawing of a howling coyote with a tiny patch of angry red deep in the shadows of its open mouth.

Luscious and tactile, Clark’s drawings of oyster shells were created especially for this show at Adkins Arboretum and acknowledge its proximity to the Chesapeake Bay. Fascinated by their varied shapes and sizes, she drew the oyster shells’ graceful contours and sketched in their subtle colors with colored pencil, watercolor, pastel and oil pastel.

“The oysters are just so symbolic of my childhood in Annapolis and on the Chesapeake Bay. I collected and drew them way back,” she explained. “I also wanted to draw attention to them because of their dwindling population and their crucial value to the health of the Bay. Plus, I’m so mesmerized by their subtle beauty—the concentric rings and build-up of growth, the irregularities, the vibrant colors and iridescence and the stains from algae and bay residue. They’ve been incredibly fun to make.”

Clark’s oysters, as well as her animals and birds, are drawn absent of any background. Their isolation on the stark white of the paper emphasizes the rich textures and forms of their shells, fur or feathers and the pure sense of aliveness of each one. But curiously, it also creates an eerie feeling of separateness.

No living being can exist without its natural environment. Surrounding these creatures with empty space, Clark creates an underlying tension. The creatures she depicts are imperiled, cut off from the environments that created and sustained them. In doing this, she intimates not only the effects of pollution, habitat loss and climate change on individual species but, even more significantly, the loss of human consciousness of our intimate connections with the delicate balance of life on earth.

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Oct. 2 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or for gallery hours.

Museum Announces “A Broad Reach” Online Exhibition & Catalogue

Screen Shot 2015-08-12 at 12.12.59 PM

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum has just released the commemorative catalogue and online exhibition of A Broad Reach: 50 Years of Collecting. Featuring 50 significant objects that have been accessioned into the museum’s collection over the past 50 years, the physical exhibition is presented on both floors of the museum’s Steamboat Building, and continues through February 28, 2016.

The online exhibition—at—includes images with interpretive text of the 50 objects in the exhibition, many of which were photographed by noted Chesapeake photographer David Harp.

“We are grateful to David Harp for his excellent photographs,” said CBMM President Kristen Greenaway. “David is a lifelong Marylander and well-known for his works capturing the people, flora, and fauna of the Chesapeake Bay region.”

“CBMM is the repository for the maritime history of the entire Chesapeake Bay,” commented Harp. “It’s a great museum. And to be able to pick through some of the best stuff—the best paintings, objects and figureheads—and photographing them was great fun. I loved working on this project.”

CBMM’s new online exhibition and catalogue for A Broad Reach: 50 Years of Collecting, includes several images by Chesapeake photographer David Harp, shown here working on the project.

CBMM’s new online exhibition and catalogue for A Broad Reach: 50 Years of Collecting, includes several images by Chesapeake photographer David Harp, shown here working on the project.

The works featured in the exhibition and its catalogue range from gilded eagles to a sailmaker’s sewing machine, a log-built bugeye to an intimate scene of crabpickers, A Broad Reach opened to the public on Saturday, May 23, 2015 to kick off CBMM’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration, which concludes next spring with the opening of the community curated exhibition, Snapshots to Selfies: 50 Years of Chesapeake Summers.

The commemorative catalogue for A Broad Reach is now available for purchase through the Museum Store and at Edited by CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher, the full color, hard copy book was designed by Reneé Cagnina Haynes, with copy editing by Katie Adkins. The limited edition catalogue retails for $47.17—$50.00 when Maryland sales tax is included.

Supporters who helped make the exhibition and catalogue possible include PNC Financial Services Group, The Academy for Lifelong Learning, American Cruise Lines, Benson & Mangold Real Estate, Ellen & Richard Bodorff, Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Joan & Jim Darby, Fairfield Inn & Suites Easton, Guilford & Company, Graul’s Market St. Michaels, Hambleton Inn, Pam & Jim Harris, Higgins & Spencer, Laurie & Rick Johnson, Karen & Richard Kimberly, Alice & Peter Kreindler, Mariana & Pete Lesher, Drs. Sherry & Charles Manning, Carol & Bill May, Juliette C. McLennan, Maxine & Bill Millar, Patrice & Herbert Miller, Elizabeth C. Moose, Pembroke & John Noble, Kay & Bob Perkins, Lelde & Heinrich Schmitz, Alexa & Tom Seip, Karen & Langley Shook, Katie & Dick Snowdon, Judy & Henry Stansbury, René & Tom Stevenson, Peter Stifel, Tidewater Inn, Beverly & Richard Tilghman, The Vane Brothers Company, Joan & Clifton West, and Carolyn Williams & Colin Walsh. Additional supporters include Patricia & Michael Batza, Amy & Paul Berry, Cleo Braver & Alfred Tyler, Easton Utilities, Jane & Frank Hopkinson, Paula Johnson & Carl Fleischhauer, Beth Loker & Donald Rice, Robin & John Marrah, Mary Lou McAllister, Patriot Cruises, and several anonymous donors.

“Our dedicated volunteers Ellen and Norman Plummer were also instrumental in researching the works included in the exhibition,” said Chief Curator Pete Lesher, “and they gave sound counsel to the exhibition’s planning committee.”

“Our staff’s dedication and hard work has resulted in a world-class exhibition and catalogue,” commented Greenaway, who came from The Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University to begin her tenure as CBMM”s President in July, 2014. “Once coming on board at CBMM, I immediately appreciated what a wonderful opportunity we had to commemorate the Museum’s 50th anniversary in a wide variety of fresh and inspiring ways. As a staff team we very quickly devised the concept of originating an exhibition that would help launch our year of celebration, as well as honor the wonderful and amazing works found in the Museum’s permanent collection. I feel the effort has really paid off with an exceptional presentation of those objects we hold closest to our hearts.”

“A Broad Reach reflects on the rich collections of the first half-century of this museum’s history,” commented CBMM Chief Curator Pete Lesher, who curated the exhibition and edited the catalogue. “In selecting these objects, we looked for those that not only have the richest stories to tell, but also those that are beautiful. Any list is a compromise, leaving out favorite items for some. The gaps in such a list further suggest that our work as a collecting institution is far from done; there are so many more stories out there to collect. And as the coming years unfold, new stories will emerge that we will need to preserve for the next generation who will come to appreciate the Chesapeake Bay and its vibrant heritage.”

Established in 1965, the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum is a world-class maritime museum, serving more than 70,000 guests each year. CBMM is the only maritime museum in the world dedicated to preserving and exploring the history, environment and people of the entire Chesapeake Bay, in a meaningful and authentic way. For more information, follow CBMM on Facebook or visit

Ouvert Gallery Announces “The World As I See It” Artist Opening

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 1.05.42 PM

On July 25th, 2015 Ouvert Gallery will host their first gallery opening entitled, “The World as I See It”. The opening celebrates all of the gallery artists while featuring three artists with unique distinction, Victor Abarca, Bradley Milligan and Dakota Saulsbury. They are connected by their passion for the arts, and demonstrate the importance of individuality of expression as they each work in separate mediums.

Victor Abarca is known for his work in collage, multi-media, sand painting and melted crayons. Bradley Milligan, though young in years, shows sophistication in his Plein Air landscapes. Dakota Saulsbury’s medium is more experimental fusing a combination of recent and older technology and real-life objects. The variation of styles elevates the viewer’s appreciation for the conviction each artist shares for their own artistic vision.

“This is our first artists’ opening at Ouvert and I believe it is a true representation of the spirit of the gallery. Each artist has their own unique style and technique – Saturday’s event will be a celebration of this spirit. The night will be full of surprises and is sure to be an art event like no other!” says co-owner of Ouvert Gallery, Jen Wagner.

The Meet the Artists – Opening Reception offers an opportunity to meet and chat with the artists in this intimate environment from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM. Ouvert Gallery will welcome guests with light refreshments, beer and wine, and the wonderful musical talents of Emma Myers and Sam Pugh.

The Ouvert Gallery in St. Michaels is committed to bringing the community together to celebrate creating unique art. For more information call (443) 521-4084, Visit

Artists Opening July 25

Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery Announces Plein Air Artist Exhibits and Demonstrations

“Grazing”  by Len Mizerek

Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery is pleased to announce special exhibitions by Plein Air Easton! artists David Csont and Leonard Mizerek throughout the competition week July 11-19. In addition, both artists will be offering public demonstrations of their painting styles.

Watercolor has been a passion of David Csont and is evident in his painting and illustration style. Over 25 years he has developed a colorful, painterly approach, rooted in the tradition of English watercolorists like John Sell Cotman and Cyril Farey. Ever cultivating his technique, he can be seen painting traditional plein air watercolors as he travels the world.

David Csont  “Front Porch”, watercolor

David Csont “Front Porch”, watercolor

When asked about his creative approach to watercolor and plein air painting, David said;“As an artist my first response is to draw or paint to communicate my ideas. I strive to tell the story through pictures that my words can’t easily communicate. The act of painting is a process that involves all of the senses. I immerse myself completely into the subject in order to draw out all of its character and hidden meaning, hoping that if I observe it closely enough I may glimpse the true essence of what makes it special. Sketches and drawings done on-site and in the field really speak to my core artistic values because they are the pure interpretation of my subject. All of my past experiences weave themselves into my work. I have had the benefit of traveling all over the world and witnessing first-hand its natural and man-made beauty. Watercolor is ideally suited for this work because it is flexible, portable, and responsive. I love to develop my sketches from simple contour drawings in pencil to bright and colorful impressions, capable of allowing the viewer to see what I see and feel what I feel.”

Always having a passion to share what he knows, David has led over 50 lectures and seminars in art and painting throughout his career. He has participated as juried artist in Plein Air Easton from 2010 through 2013, one of the premier traditional painting exhibitions in the country. He was also the founder and organizer of Plein Air Mt Lebanon, A nationally recognized week long professional competition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

David will be giving a demonstration at the gallery on Friday July 17 from 1-2:30 PM.

Leonard Mizerek Fellow, ASMA, nurtured his artistic love of nature while growing up in the Brandywine Valley. As a young boy, he often went painting along the Brandywine River, deriving inspiration from the countryside of nearby Pennsylvania. His early influence was with the Pennsylvania Impressionists and Brandywine School. Throughout the last few years, Leonard participated in several invitational Plein Air events including Mystic, Annapolis, winning Honorable Mention and Easton Md. winning Second Place in the Quick Draw event. He was featured painting live on TV France3 during a major antique boat festival. Known for his colorful, luminous seascapes and expressive brushwork, Leonard paints on site deriving inspiration from the many nearby coastal locations as well as harbors throughout the world. A central theme throughout Leonard’s work is his use of light.

“Grazing”  by Len Mizerek

“Grazing” by Len Mizerek

In Mizerek’s words, “ Light alters the color of all objects and touches those nearby. It sets a mood and evokes emotion, which I strive to portray in my work. I often explore various methods to interpret the way I view nature. I prefer marine subjects because I enjoy the way water reflects the floating objects, as well as the sky and time of day. It mirrors shapes and intensifies light. I paint outdoors to capture the light first hand and bring out all its color and luminosity.”

Leonard was awarded the Salzman Award for Excellence in Painting in the 112th Annual Exhibiting Artist Members’ Exhibition of the National Arts Club in New York City. He received the Iron Man Award from the American Society of Marine Artists for distinguished achievement and the 2006 Merit Award at the Coos Art Museum in the state of Washington.

Len will be giving his public demonstration at the gallery on Friday July 17 from 2:30-4PM.

In addition, Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery will be featuring demonstrations by Award winning Botanical Artist Lee D’Zmura on Friday July 17 from 10-12 Am. PLEASE NOTE that advertised demo with bronze sculpture artist Joan Bennett set for Saturday July 18 has been cancelled.

Trippe-Hilderbrandt Gallery is Easton’s liveliest gallery in the heart of the historic district. Additional artists featured include Fine Art Photographs by Nanny Trippe, watercolors by Don Hilderbrandt, oils by well known Plein Air and “Traveling Brushes” artist Roberta Seger, oils by Ann Sharp, watercolors/oils by Joe Mayer, as well as nautical and innovative metal sculpture by John C. North.

Works by Howard and Mary McCoy on View at Adkins Arboretum

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.19.46 AM

A young boy on a preschool field trip at Adkins Arboretum thought it was a dinosaur nest. A man riding by on a bike remarked, “If that’s a bird’s nest, it must be a mighty big bird.” The “nest” they were talking about is actually a sculpture created in the Arboretum’s forest by environment artists Howard and Mary McCoy of Centreville.

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 6.19.57 AM

“Accumulation” is among the works of Centreville artists Howard and Mary McCoy on view through Sept. 30

On view through Sept. 30, Unnatural Nature is the McCoys’ ninth outdoor sculpture show at the Arboretum since 1999. Using only natural materials collected in the woods, they have created ten site-specific sculptures, each inspired by a particular place in the forest. The artists will lead a sculpture walk during the show’s reception on Sat., June 6 from 3 to 5 p.m.

“Accumulation,” as the nest sculpture is titled, was inspired by the way pine trees tend to let their lowest branches die back as they grow upward through the forest canopy to catch sunlight. The McCoys were fascinated by how many of the Arboretum’s pines have stubs of old branches protruding from their lower trunks. It seemed to them to be an invitation to make a sculpture, so they gathered fallen pine branches and laid them across the broken stubs along a pine tree’s trunk, creating something resembling an enormous nest.

“It’s a little mischievous,” Mary McCoy said. “We like to make you smile.”

There’s humor in many of the McCoys’ sculptures, particularly “Toppled.” The two artists noticed part of a tree trunk stuck upside-down in the earth next to the gently winding stream of the Arboretum’s Blockston Branch. Realizing that it had broken off and fallen from high up in a dead tree still standing nearby, they decided to call attention to what had happened. They inserted branches gathered from the forest floor into the main tree trunk, pointing them upward as if they were growing there, but to show that the tree’s top had flipped over as it fell, the branches they inserted in that section point downward.

The show’s title, Unnatural Nature, comes from the McCoys’ practice of altering what they find in nature just slightly so that you often have to look twice before you realize you’re looking at something that’s not quite what nature would do. A woodpecker wouldn’t drill holes in a straight line and certainly wouldn’t make them all a uniform diameter. Vines wouldn’t grow in the shape of a cloud around a tree trunk. Consequently, their sculptures are gentle, low-impact works that will decay and disappear naturally with the passing of time.

The two artists started creating their works in March.

“It’s cooler then, and you don’t have to worry much about ticks and poison ivy,” said Howard McCoy. “And it’s especially good because the understory plants haven’t grown up yet, so you can see way back into the woods, plus there’s less chance of harming things underfoot.”

“By the time the show opens, the woods are full of new growth,” Mary McCoy added. “Which, of course, is one of the fun things about making sculpture here. Whenever you come to visit, the sculptures and the forest around them will look a little different. They just keep changing.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on through Sept. 30 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or for gallery hours.

Cutline: “Accumulation” is among the works of Centreville artists Howard and Mary McCoy on view through Sept. 30 at Adkins Arboretum. The artists will lead a guided sculpture walk during a public reception on Sat., June 6.

Image of The Day by Bill Thompson

Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 9.40.07 AM
Skimming the Water Clouds by William Thompson

Skimming the Water Clouds on the Choptank River by William Thompson



The Art of Erin Murphy Set for Adkins

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 4.24.13 PM

Erin Murphy finds worlds within a patch of sunlight or shadow. On view through May 29 at the Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center, Quoting Nature, her show of paintings, drawings and monoprints, draws the viewer into deep, atmospheric space.There will be a reception on Sat., April 4 from 3 to 5 p.m. to meet the artist.

“The Field” by Erin Murphy

“The Field” by Erin Murphy

Murphy’s works are full of sensuous, subtle colors and rich textures. Inspired by landscapes from Baltimore to South Africa, her poetic abstractions often hint at vast swaths of sky and earth but might just as easily be intimate close-ups. Mysteriously shining through velvety shades of darkest blue, the luminous radiance of “The Field,” a large monoprint, suggests a twilight sky above a meadow and distant tree line, but it could be many other things.

A young artist who graduated from Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) in 2011 with a BFA in painting, Murphy is an avid hiker and traveler with a fascination for varied landscapes. She studied at MICA’s Summer Study in Sorrento, Italy, and atCentral Saint Martin’s College, University of the Arts London and has had artist residencies at Salem Art Works in Salem, N.Y., and the Bijou Studio in Cape Town, South Africa.

While studying at MICA, Murphy made copies of Old Masters paintings, a practice she sometimes still uses when she’s looking for inspiration. In working on these close studies of major works of art by artists such as Giovanni Battista Tiepolo, J. M. W. Turner and John Singer Sargent, she would often find herself fascinated by a small area of a painting and use it as a jumping off point for creating her own painting. This is the same process she uses when working from nature.

“I take in bits of sky or patches of light streaming through the trees or filtering onto a crumbling rock face into darkness,” she explained. “I try to isolate that moment, which is abstract but very alive. I’m an extreme editor of nature.”

Murphy’s works imply thresholds into subtle worlds of changing shadow and light. These are images of possibility and revelation. A brushy streak of bright yellow flashes across the lush brown surface of “Glimmer,” a small oil painting created while Murphy lived in Baltimore. It is as if in a moment, a sunbeam, an open door or a huge mountain will come into focus.

Occasionally, Murphy’s titles refer to specific places. In “Mist on Table Mountain,” a raw pigment drawing made during her residency in Cape Town, a curl of blue-white edges over the top of a dark triangle in a reference to the mist that can often be seen flowing over the dramatic horizontal peak of the mountain that soars up behind the city.

“There wouldn’t be any cloud cover,” Murphy said, “and it would literally be the mist pouring over the mountain. They say that’s how you can tell a storm is coming.”

Currently living in Nashville, Tenn., Murphy uses her artistic skills in her day job creating window displays for Anthropologie while pursuing her studio work at Fort Houston, a communal creative work space for artists and craftsmen that features a print shop, wood shop, photography studio and other facilities. Adding to her skills in painting and printmaking, she is learning woodworking techniques there and constructed her own frames for the works in the show.

“I feel like it hones my observation skills to take on a new project in a new space,” she said, “And I’m excited to think about what my work will look like in a year!”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on viewthrough May 29 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Road near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410-634-2847, ext. 0 or for gallery hours