Winners of St. Michaels Art League Member Show “Around the Town”

A month long art show titled “Around the Town” was held in October at the St Michaels Library. The St. Michaels Art League is pleased to announce the winners of this show that was judged by Brad Ross of the Art Academy Museum

“Sunset from the Drawbridge” by Sandy Alanko

The first place winner was Sandy Alanko for “Sunset from the Drawbridge”; Second place was Kathie Rogers for “Flow Blue”, and third place went to Arlene Zachmann for “Autumn on the Porch”.  Honorable mentions were also awarded to Leah Bell for “Pride”; Camille Woodbury for “Fall Leaves”; and Anne Allbeury Hock for “Bar Neck Cove House”.

This program and many of the programs for the league are funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Visit for more information on the league and its events.

Troika Gallery 20th Anniversary Group Show Continues to New Year’s Eve

Troika Gallery, showcasing “The Finest of Fine Art” in historic downtown Easton, continues to celebrate its 20th Anniversary Group Show through December 31, 2017.  Original works by 36 of the gallery’s renowned artists are on display with new work constantly refreshing the exhibit spaces.

Plan on visiting on December 1, 2017, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm during the First Friday Gallery Walk and the Easton Moonlight Madness Shopping Event.  This Christmas in Easton event will include festive events in the heart of downtown including pictures with Santa.   Troika will have a reception with fine food and wine.

Peony Blooms in Winter, oil on canvas, 31″ x 49″, by Victor Nizovtsev

Troika Gallery artists include; Jorge Alberto, Kenn Backhaus, Dmitry Dorokhin, John Ebersberger, Deborah Elville, Laura Era, J.A. Ferrier, Kevin Fitzgerald, David Buckley Good, Andrew Schuler Guerin, John Davis Held, Mark Hiles, Matthew Hillier, Bo Jia, Jeanette Le Grue, Ken Lehman, Lynne Lockhart, Peter S. Loonam, Kirk McBride, Lou Messa, Raoul Middleman, Terry Miller, Dorothy F. Newland, Victor Nizovtsev, Brendan O’Neill, W. Stanley Proctor, Christopher Richard, Julie Rogers, Ann Didusch Schuler, William Storck, Carol Lee Thompson, David H. Turner, Paula Waterman, Jennifer Heyd Wharton, Chris Wilke, Vladislav Yeliseyev and Mathew Zoll.

Enhance your holiday this year with a gift of art or a commissioned portrait of a cherished family member, friend or pet.  Laura Era and Jennifer Heyd Wharton, Troika Gallery owners and professional artists are members of the  Portrait Society of America and have been painting portraits for years. While in Troika Gallery browse their  studios to see completed and commissioned works in progress.

Since 1997 Troika Gallery has offered “The Finest of Fine Art” and is the longest operating gallery on the Eastern Shore.   Selected numerous times as the Best Art Gallery by What’s Up Eastern Shore magazine, the congenial atmosphere found in the gallery has created a beloved gallery with loyal followers. Whether you are an art collector, an art lover or an art browser, you will enjoy your visit to Troika Gallery.

Laura Era, Jennifer Heyd Wharton, and Gallery Manager Peg Fitzgerald will graciously share their art expertise and welcome you to visit the 20th  Anniversary Group Show which will be on view until New Year’s Eve.  Troika Gallery is located at 9 South Harrison Street and is open every day from 10 am until 5:30 pm and Sunday by appointment, 410-770-9190,

Announcing the Seven Locations on Oxford’s Holiday House Tour

On Sunday, December 3rd from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, as part of Oxford’s “Christmas on the Creek” weekend of activities, Oxford Community Center presents the Holiday House Tour.  This year there are seven homes, featuring the highly anticipated, historic, Bonfield Manor and its adjacent Counting House owned by Marianne Haug and Andres Rigo. In 1767 Samuel Chamberlaine, Sr. of “Plaindealing”deeded 950 acres of arable land and 350 acres of woodland to his youngest surviving son Samuel Chamberlaine, Jr. The land spanned from the Tred Avon River in Oxford along Boone Creek and the Choptank to Clora’s Point and Island Creek and included additional lands in other Talbot County areas such as Peck’s Point.The present owners bought the property in 1996.

The Counting House was built in 1772 as the office (downstairs) and sleeping quarters (upstairs) of the plantation overseer. It is said to be the oldest building on the property. Early maps show an inlet that ends on the side of the house. Plantation records mention that hogs of tobacco were loaded on barges here, counted and shipped out from Boone Creek onto the ships anchored in the Choptank. Workers would assemble on the porch of the Counting House waiting for barges, instructions and pay. Thus, the outside chimney to keep warm or cook as needed. Several of the original, colonial features remain such as the two fireplaces, the brick floor on the ground floor and selected clapboard siding. A brick above the original porch fireplace indicates the year of construction – 1772.

710 South Morris

The next house on the tour is 710 S. Morris Street, owned by Margaret and Ray Munsch. In 1960 Carroll S. Brinsfield, Jr. and his wife Ruth purchased what is now 708–712 South Morris Street from the Harrison family. They subsequently divided the property into three lots, retaining the center lot and building a house on it in 1967. In 1981 their son, also named Carroll,and his wife Debbie purchased the house from his father. The current homeowners purchased it from Carroll and Debbie in 2007.

Moving on to 704 S. Morris Street owned by Kathleen and Megan Hauck, is now a five bedroom, five bath open, inviting residence with an amazing Tred Avon River view from almost any room. Construction took place during 2015 and 2016. Both sides of the drive leading up to the house are lined with dozens of holly trees. Just in front of the porch,Kathleen’s perennial garden is color-filled – in season, of course. On the waterside, a screened-in porch,a lap pool, a deck, a sandy beach and a firepit/BBQ invite warm weather activity.

202 North Morris Street–The Parsons House is owned by Beth Trujillo. This house was built circa 1880 and named after the family named Parsons who lived there. It was renovated in 2004 by former Oxford resident and renowned architect George Pillorge. The current interior design was done by Oxford resident Suzanne Hanks Litty. Antiques throughout the downstairs date from the 1780s; some are from Hale Manor, England. A French boardroom table is used as a dining room table. There are two antique Italian chairs in the living room. Other items to notice are paintings by favorite artists – Oxford artists Howard and Diane Lapp are both represented. Also throughout the house are paintings done by the homeowner’s brother.Don’t miss the landscaped side yard and pool!

207B North Morris Street owned by Marjorie and Jim Robfogel is next on the tour. Although built in 2000, this is a traditional long, narrow Oxford house with tall two-over-two windows. From the entryway it is apparent this is the home of racing and cruising sailors. The front hall houses trophies won by the owners and her parents and a model of the Chesapeake Bay Log canoe Island Blossom which was built for her grandfather in 1892. The small reading room displays half-hull models of the owners’ various boats through the years and some memorabilia from races that they participated in. In the dining area are mementos from the family farm outside Oxford—two paintings of the farm, one from the late 1800s and one by John Moll in the 1960’s. The hall also has a print of the farm by another Oxford native, David Lockhart. The living room with its maritime art opens out onto the sun porch on the Tred Avon River and affords a daily view of the Oxford sailing scene. The waterfront bedroom displays family photos and paintings by Rochester artists.

The sixth house on the tour is located at 200 The Strand–A Historic Captain’s House is owned by Lelde and Heinrich Schmitz. This historic captain’s house dates back to the second half of the 19th Century. Originally it consisted of a symmetric façade with a centered entry facing the river, and inside chimneys running up each gable wall. The house had many owners. It acquired the name Chaminade (a female French pianist and composer, 1857-1944) in the 1980s. Over one and a half centuries, this simple 4-room building turned into a whimsical, larger home of Victorian style, as several additions were built in five phases. The oldest rooms display original wood flooring, original glass windows and low ceilings. The furnishings contain antique German dowry chests, cupboards, and a secretary, all from the 17th and 18th century. The owners enjoy collecting boat models and art. Art works from all over the world also include local artists.

302 East Strand

Last but not least is the 302 E. Strand house is owned by Julie and Brian Wells. “United We Strand” formerly known as “Fairview,” is a home built approximately 1877. In 1872 the property was leased for 99 years from Thomas B. Stewart and Charles F. Stewart to John B. Tull. We believe John Tull built his home on this property in 1877 following the size and styles of similar homes on Front Street, now known as The Strand. Located on the property is a WWII Plane Spotting Station. For more information on the plane spotting station see “Recollections and Recipes,” p. 60. The Spotting Station was relocated to the backyard and is currently used as a garden shed. This home was significantly damaged by Hurricane Isabel. The previous owner began restoration immediately in 2003. The high-water mark is still visible in the garage. The house received a whole new look outside and lots of interior upgrades. This restoration was completed by the new owners, the Wells family, in 2017.

Tickets are $30 can be purchase at the OCC or online at For more information, please contact the Oxford Community Center at 410-226-5904 or email

Spy Minute: Christmas in Easton Arts and Crafts Market Place Starts Friday

It seems like every time the Spy bumps into artist Jen Wagner she has become involved with another exciting project and She did not disappoint us when we last saw her at the Bullett House a couple of days ago.

It turns out that Jen and her friend, Susan Langfitt, have yet another project up their sleeve when they take over the Waterfowl Festival building this coming Friday night for two days as part of the Christmas in Easton Arts and Crafts Market Place.

In short, Jen and Susan, with the help of the Easton Business Alliance, and thirty other artists, performers and singers will have the equivalent of a “pop up store” on Harrison Street where the words “buy local” means some of the best arts and crafts are there for holiday shoppers to find some unique gifts for friends and family.

We chatted with Jen, along with artists Maggii Sarfaty and Josepha Price, about what could be the birth of a new tradition for downtown.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. For more information about the Christmas in Easton Arts and Crafts Market Place please go here

Avalon’s Weekend Marquee Update

The Talbot Spy sharing with our readers each week the MCTV produced Weekend Marquee with Tim Weigand as host. We hope you enjoy this short two minute preview of what’s coming up over the next few days.

Academy Art Museum Opens New Exhibition – The Caprichos: Goya and Lombardo

Emily Lombardo, Emily Lombardo Printer, Plate I from The Caprichos, 2013, Etching and aquatint, AAM 2016.032.

The Academy Art Museum will open The CaprichosGoya and Lombardo –  just in time for the holidaysThe exhibition will be on display from November 21, 2017 through February 25, 2018The Caprichos by Emily Lombardo is a series of etchings which are in direct conversation and homage to Francisco Goya’s Los Caprichos, 1799. Both explore and present a satirical critique of contemporary culture and the forces that influence society along economic, racial, political, religious, and gender lines.

Emily Lombardo states, “Copying has been the defining component of the apprentice-mentor structure since the birth of art production. The relationship was successfully completed when originality became discernible in the hand of the apprentice. My earliest apprenticeship was with a newspaper, pen, and paper. I would tirelessly copy political cartoons depicting Nixon, Reagan, Castro, and countless others, with slight understanding of the historical significance and intent of the author. This method evolved into a personal narrative, born in reaction to a lack of resonance with mainstream conversations.”

Emily Lombardo is an artist who has lived and worked in Boston for over 15 years.  She received her BFA from The Massachusetts College of Art and Design and her MFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Her work has been shown and collected internationally. Lombardo applies her knowledge of sculpture and print across a wide range of conceptual projects. She engages with appropriative art practices as a mode of investigating personal and cultural identity. She resides in Brooklyn, NY.

The Academy Art Museum recently acquired Lombardo’s The Caprichos series for the Permanent Collection. The edition was published by Childs Gallery and printed at The Center for Contemporary Printmaking (Norwalk, CT) by printer Paul DeRuvo. The Art Gallery of Ontario loaned the entire set of Goya’s Caprichos so that we can exhibit the two series of prints in parallel. A publication will accompany the exhibition. The exhibition is supported by the Childs Gallery, Boston.

The Museum’s exhibitions are generously supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Talbot County Arts Council and the Star-Democrat. For additional information, visit or call the Museum at 410-822-2787.

Mid-Shore Arts: The MSO “Holiday Joy” Preview with Julien Benichou and Jeffrey Parker

While there are plenty of reasons to be grateful that the Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra makes Easton its home throughout the year, it is hard to match the enthusiasm and brilliance performances that come with the Symphony’s annual holiday program. And this year is no different.

On December 7 at 7 p.m., the Orchestra will return to the Avalon for their celebration of the December holidays which gave us an opportunity to catch up with Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra’s musical director, Julien Benichou, and the Symphony board president, Jeffrey Parker to get a sneak preview of what’s planned for what must be the MSO’s most popular performance of the year.

This year the orchestra will be joined by soprano Leah Hawkins in what both Julian and Jeffrey agree could be a perfect pairing of an extraordinary singer with the warmth and brilliance of David Fraser’s This Christmastide or Jessye’s Carol since composition was written for the great Jessye Norman.

This video is approximately three minutes in length. For more information about Mid-Atlantic Symphony Orchestra please go here


Tidewater Singers to Perform “A Peaceable Kingdom”

The Tidewater Singers will present an a cappella concert featuring Randall Thompson’s “A Peaceable Kingdom” with other songs of the season on Friday, December 8 at 7:30 pm at Trinity Cathedral in Easton, on Saturday, December 9 at 7:30 pm at St. Paul’s Church in Oxford, and on Sunday, December 10 at 4:00 pm at Christ Episcopal Church in Cambridge.

Under the direction of William Thomas, The Tidewater Singers are a select group of professional and amateur singers founded in 2001. The goal is to bring varied and exciting quality choral music to the Eastern Shore.

Commenting on the concert, Thomas said, “Our audiences will be excited to hear the Tidewater Singers apply their a cappella talent to Randall Thompson’s The Peaceable Kingdom, with its cycle of eight sacred choruses.” The Tidewater Singers are renowned throughout the mid shore area for their a cappella work.

Now in his tenth season as artistic director of the Tidewater Singers, Thomas is associate professor of music at Chesapeake College. Previously he directed the choirs at Easton High School and at Christ Church (Episcopal) in St. Michaels.

Advance tickets for the Oxford and Easton performances may be purchased online at and at Cracker Jacks in Easton. Leave a message for Tidewater Singers at 1-888-752- 0023 or Information and tickets for the Cambridge performance are available at 410-228- 3161.

The Tidewater Singers gratefully acknowledges the funding it has received from the Talbot County Arts Council and the Maryland State Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.

Musician Judy Amdur at St. Michaels Library December 4

Local musician Judy Amdur returns to the St. Michaels Library for the Brown Bag Lunch on Monday, December 4, 2017 at noon. Ms. Amdur will continue her celebration of our “American Songbook”. She will continue with more composers and lyricists from the thirties through the sixties, including Cole Porter and Lerner and Loewe.These artists were storytellers, poets and masters of rhythm, melody and language, and Judy will reflect on their timeless appeal. These songs enrich us in so many ways and remain fresh in this new century.

Music has always played a major role in Judy’s professional life and in her later life on the shore. As a Speech Language Therapist for the Head Start Program in Fairfax County, she used music and drama to expand children’s language. Now she continues to sing with young children around the county informally, and for Mental Health Associations’ “Kid on the Block” character building program. She has appeared with local theater groups in several musicals and brings her keyboard to hospice. She loves to listen to all kinds of music, and loves to sing the enduring songs of the “American Songbook.” The Friends of the Library are sponsors of the speaker series and everyone is invited to bring their lunch or a snack and enjoy coffee and dessert provided by the library. All library programs are free and open to the public.  For more information you can check the library website at  or call (410) 745-5877.

Wood Sculpture Exhibited In December in St. Michaels

Mary Phelps, years ago, attended an arts fair where she saw a wood carver at work. He was gouging a piece of wood, looked up at Mary, and asked if she wanted to try.  She did. Mary has been producing exquisite sculpture ever since.  Her wooden birds can be seen at the A.M. Gravely Gallery, 408 S. Talbot Street, St. Michaels. Hours are 10am to 6pm, Fridays and Saturdays and 10am to 3pm on Sundays and Mondays. Or by appointment. For more information, contact, call 410/745=5059, or go to