Original Banner Art Show at St. Michaels Library

The St. Michaels Art League is pleased to announce an exhibition of the original artwork used to create the 2019 “Celebrate St. Michaels” banners that will be displayed on the town utility poles beginning in April.

The show will be judged by Johnny Mautz, Maryland House of Delegates Representative for District 37B. Mr. Mautz is a resident of St. Michaels and the manager of the Carpenter Street Saloon in St. Michaels.  Separate Awards will be given in the categories of artistic merit and graphic design.

The exhibit includes banner art created by four AP art students from St. Michaels Middle High School: Elizabeth Scharch, Eve Yacopino, Lillian Muckelroy and Georgia Kline, all students of Bridget Whited, Visual Arts Educator. The cost of the student banners is covered by the League through a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council.

The banner artwork will be displayed April 3-30 at the St. Michaels Library during regular library hours: Monday and Thursday 9am-8pm; Tuesday and Wednesday 9am-6pm; and Friday/Saturday 9am-5pm. Original banner artwork is for sale. For more information go to smartleague.org or call 410-745-5146.  This program is funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with revenue provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Lunch & Learn at St. Michaels Library April 1

Everyone knows that Maryland, the Seventh State, has a rich and colorful history.  Did you know that our great state is also no slouch when it comes to the world of sports?  Phrases like Purple Friday, Oriole Magic, the Sack Pack and the Sultan of Swat need no explanation in these parts. Join us on April 1 at noon to test your knowledge of the teams and Maryland athletes who have brought glory to the world of sport when Jeff Korman brings his Maryland Sports History challenge to St. Michael’s.

Spend some time reminiscing and sharing stories about some of our iconic sports teams, professional and amateur, and some of the great players who have performed for them.  This program includes images of the historic events, places, teams, personalities and a fair bit of sports memorabilia.  A program that everyone in the family can enjoy.

Jeff is past Manager of the Maryland Department at Enoch Pratt Free Library/Maryland’s State Library Resource Center in Baltimore.  Now retired from the library world, he lectures around the state on topics related to Maryland history. The Lunch and Learn series is sponsored by the Friends of the Library, coffee and dessert will be provided. For more information you can call 410 745-5877 or check the website at www.tcfl.org.

A Flea in Her Ear Opens March 29 at Church Hill Theatre

Don Carlos (Howard Mesick) with his wife, Lucienne (Natalie Lane). Photo by Genevieve Croker.

The hilarious French farce, A Flea in Her Ear written by Georges Feydeau and adapted by David Ives opens at Church Hill Theatre on Friday March 29 and runs through Sunday April 14.  With performances on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm and Sunday afternoons at 2 pm, audiences have nine opportunities to laugh at this uproarious comedy, directed by Christopher Wallace.  Reservations can be made by calling 410-556-6003 or online at churchhilltheatre.org

Originally written by Feydeau in 1907, A Flea in Her Ear tells the story of Raymonde Chandebise who suspects her husband, Victor of being unfaithful.  To catch him, Raymonde’s best friend Lucienne suggests arranging a rendezvous with an imaginary secret admirer at the Frisky Puss Hotel, and then catching him when he meets her.  Of course, the plan goes awry with a host of characters running around and confusing everything and everyone.  Mistaken identities, jealousy, and more will put the audience in stiches.  David Ives (author of Don Juan in Chicago, All in the Timing and other comedies) translated and adapted the script in 2006; the play is still set in the opulent world of the wealthy at the turn of the century in Paris, but it is accessible to modern audiences.

Director Toph Wallace has assembled a talented cast to tackle this riotous comedy.  Raymonde and her husband Victor are played by Hester Sachse and Brad Chaires (Chaires has a double role as Monsieur Chandebise and Poche the Frisky Puss Hotel’s porter).  Natalie Lane and Howard Mesick take on the roles of Lucienne and her husband Don Carlos Homenides de Histangua.  Tournel, best friend to Chandebise, and a bit of a rake, is played by Dan Guidice.  Robbie Spray takes on the role of Camille, nephew to Victor, while Minnie Maloney plays Raymonde’s flirtatious maid Antoinette, and Michael Moore is her jealous husband, the Chandebise valet, Etienne.  Doctor Finache, a somewhat suspect medical expert is played by Bryan Zajchowski.  At the Frisky Puss, we meet Faraillon the hotel’s owner, and his wife played by Herb Ziegler and Mary Zober.  Their maid Eugenie is played by Shannon Whitaker.  Steve Atkinson and Troy Strootman take on the roles of a rheumatic drunkard and confused Englishman respectively.

Another draw to the Church Hill Theatre production of A Flea in Her Ear is the impressive set designed by Shelagh Grasso and executed by Carmen Grasso, Tom Rhodes and Jim Johnson.  There are two distinct, opulent interiors recreated on the stage, with multiple doors for actors to burst out of, and catch others by surprise.  Audiences may want to stay in their seats during intermission to watch the set revolve and completely change!

The production team also includes Stage Manager, Michelle Christopher; Producer, Sylvia Maloney; Costumer, Juanita Wieczoreck; Lighting Designer, Nic Carter; Photographer Genevieve Croker.

If laughter is something that you enjoy, than be sure to reserve your tickets for A Flea in Her Ear.  Although there is no profanity in the play, there are adult themes wrapped in double entendre and innuendo.

A Flea in Her Ear opens at Church Hill Theatre on March 29, 2019, and runs through April 14, with performances on Friday and Saturday nights at 8 pm and Sunday afternoons at 2 pm.  Tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for members and $10 for students, with special prices for groups of ten or more. CHT offers 2 for the price of 1 tickets on opening night, Friday, March 29, to those who reserve by phone. Reservations can be made by calling the box office at 410-556-6003 or online at www.churchhilltheatre.org

Art Review: The Academy Art Museum’s Three Exhibitions Become Four by Steve Parks

The Academy of Art Museum transforms itself into a time machine, taking passengers as far back as 6th century B.C. all the way up to 21st century A.D., with three exhibits that are really four.

The large galleries that flank the museum lobby are devoted to “Recent Acquisitions: Photography @ AAM.” Among high-profile names in the space to the right is living artist Bruce Nauman, who says of his art, “I’ve never been able to stick to one thing.” Instead, he does it all—painting, sculpture, photography, video, neon, printmaking, neon. At AAM, he’s the subject of his own art—distorting facial features shot by Jack Fulton and printed with a textured bronze finish onto four funhouse images.

Cockeyed Lips by Bruce Nauman

Others in this collection, selected by curator Anke Van Wagenberg, include black-and-whites you’d expect from Ansel Adams’ aesthetic for natural beauty and Berenice Abbott’s documentary-style stills of urban life. But many of us, myself included, may pause longest at Ed Clark’s 1958 photo of the future president peering into his daughter’s eyes in her bassinet. 

JFK and Caroline by Ed Clark

Crossing the lobby into another gallery of “Recent Acquisitions”—all by John Gossage, among the foremost living American photo book-makers—are displayed along with a copy of the volume, republished in 2010 on the 25th anniversary of “The Pond.” The 47 images capture the counter-beauty of a neglected wooded area hidden in suburbia. Gossage’s project has been described as “a foil to Henry David Thoreau’s ‘Walden Pond.’ ” Hardly idyllic except for its unattended isolation. If you’re into that.

Upstairs, “Matthew Moore: Post-Socialist Landscapes” recall the Cold War era some of us glimpsed on black-and-white TV. But these scenes derive from Moore’s 2014 artists-in-residence at Lithuania’s Nida Art Academy. His haunting frames reveal urban and rural spaces in countries once occupied by the Soviet Union. Among these are “Discarded Icons: Memento Park, Hungary” with busts of Stalin and Lenin glowering in prison-like storage. Another “Discarded Icon” in Estonia finds a severed sculpture-head of Lenin sprouting from the ground in weeded obscurity. Other images reveal platforms in former Russian-dominated republics from which Stalin and Lenin statuary once commanded the view. Ominous superpower threats are amplified by shots of abandoned missile sites and forgotten nuclear bunkers.

Discarded Icon by Matthew Moore

Combat is hand-to-hand in the small first floor galleries where “Dressed to Kill in Love and War: Splendor in the Ancient World” resides on loan from New York’s Fortuna Fine Arts. Objects from centuries on either side of the birth of Christ feature Roman Empire warrior helmets, Greek and Hellenistic jewelry and decorative objects, plus photos of reliefs inspired by battle heroism and mythology. The exhibit’s romantic aspect is reflected in precious-metal jewelry rewarded to love interests of men on the winning side. If you really could go that far back in time, decline and stay safe at this under-glass peek. No cells, no indoor plumbing, no artillery to clear a path for your warhorse.

“Dressed to Kill in Love and War: Splendor in the Ancient World” Through March 31.“Recent Acquisitions: Photography @ AAM” and “Matthew Moore: Post-Socialist Landscapes” Through April 7, all at Academy Art Museum, 106 South St. Easton, academyartmuseum.org, 410-822-2787

Steve Park is a former art and theatre critic for Newsday on Long Island. He now lives on the Mid-Shore of Maryland. 



St. Michaels Art League Celebrates Daffodil Fest!

A painting of Daffodils by SMAL artist Joan Cranor of Hurlock, MD is being offered in a raffle by “St. Michaels in Bloom” as part of the Daffodil Festival in St. Michaels on Saturday, March 30th. Tickets are available at the festival’s main tent on Talbot St. between Cherry and Mill Streets. The painting is on display in the window of Chesapeake Trading Co. located at 102 S. Talbot St.

The Art League is also holding a pop-up Art Gallery in conjunction with the Daffodil Festival, to include a variety of springtime themed art in various mediums. The Art Show and sale will be at the former A.M. Gravely Gallery located at 408 S. Talbot St. in St. Michaels. Gallery hours are 10am-4pm on Saturday and Sunday, March 30-31.  For more information visit smartleague.org.

Mid-Shore Arts: When Art and History Meet with Jason Patterson

College towns are typically blessed with, and perhaps even a bit dependent on, the academic version of “twofers.” With each talented faculty member recruited, there is a good chance that an equally gifted spouse or partner will be part of the package.

Examples in Chestertown are endless of this form of collateral benefits. A recent case came to mind when the Spy announced that Sabine Harvey, wife of Washington College’s Dr. Michael Harvey, had been appointed to run Chestertown’s beloved farmers’ market. This was just the latest of Sabine’s remarkable contributions to Kent County agriculture and gardening.

And this is undoubtedly the case with the arrival of Dr. Meghan Grosse,  a professor with the College’s communication and media studies program. Dr. Grosse’s partner, artist Jason Patterson, agreed to make the move East from his native Campaign-Urbana in Illinois and now has his studio in Chestertown.

In the months that followed his arrival, Jason almost immediately became Kent County Arts Council’s first artist in residence. A few months after that, he was invited by Sumner Hall to exhibit his art (on display until March 24), and around the same time became a Frederick Douglass Visiting Fellow at WC’s Starr Center.

The Spy sat down with Jason at the Spy HQ in Chestertown for a quick chat about his work and the unique opportunities that come when art connects with history.

This video is approximately two minutes in length. More information about Jason Paterson’s art work can be found here.

Carpe Diem Arts Presents Lea Morris on March 24

Carpe Diem Arts presents Music in the Gallery Concert Series featuring Lea Morris with Heather Aubrey Lloyd and Kristen Jones. The concert will be held at Contemporary Tapestry Studio & Gallery, 5592 Poplar Lane, Royal Oak (near the Bellevue landing of the Oxford-Bellevue Ferry) on March 24 at 5:00pm.

A one-hour concert in the beautiful tapestry gallery near the Oxford Ferry in Bellevue–between Easton and St. Michaels on the Eastern Shore – followed by a wine and cheese reception with the artists.

LEA’s music is described as SoulFolk, a seamless blend of gospel, jazz, country, R&B and contemporary folk. Having shared the stage with such luminaries as Odetta, Mavis Staples, Dar Williams and Anthony Hamilton, LEA has won multiple awards from the Washington Area Music Association as one of the regions finest vocalists, songwriters and recording artists.

Lea Morris with Heather Aubrey Lloyd and Kristen Jones.

Lea will be joined by Heather Aubrey Lloyd on percussion, vocals and guitar and Kristen Jones on cello and vocals. Both Heather and Kristen are well known for their performances and recordings with the popular group ilyAIMY.

Don’t miss this evening of outstanding vocal harmonies and instrumental arrangements of both original songs and covers. An experience to share with friends and family alike.

TICKETS: $25 for adults, $15 for students and those with low income
Discount for groups of 5 or more, and for those who request assistance.
Space is limited.

NOTE: Ulrika Leander’s world-renowned tapestry work will be on view in the Gallery.

More info about the artists:
www.thisislea.com / www.heatheraubreylloyd.com / www.kristenjonesmusic.com

The concert is funded in part by the Dock Street Foundation and by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council, with revenues provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

CONTACT: BusyGraham@CarpeDiemArts.orgor call 301-466-0183
www.CarpeDiemArts.org/music-in-the-gallery / www.ctw-tapestry.com

A Unique Musical Experience: Chuck Redd and Nate Najar March 22

This incredibly talented duo will be performing Friday evening, March 22, 2019 at 7 p.m. in the Sanctuary of The Church of the Holy Trinity, Oxford.  Their impressive technique and musicality will shine through Jazz, Brazilian, and Classical music selections.  Selections from Chuck Redd’s 2019 recording, Groove City, will also be shared.

Chuck Redd is familiar to many through his participation in the Jazz on the Chesapeake Festivals and in performance at the Mainstay (Rock Hall MD).  He is well known internationally as a performer on drums and the vibraphone.  Chuck is an outstanding musician, teacher, mentor, and band leader.  One can often find Chuck performing at jazz venues in Washington DC and New York City or headlining jazz festivals throughout the United States.  Students throughout the United States enjoy master classes, workshops, lessons, and lectures Chuck leads as well as in his work as a faculty member of the University of Maryland School of Music.

Nate Najar

Charlie Byrd was a very influential person in the early musical careers of many noted jazz musicians.  Not only was Charlie Byrd Chuck Redd’s mentor and collaborator, his style of guitar playing heavily influenced Nate Najar.  Nate often performs on Charlie’s classical Ramirez guitar, bringing to life the Bossa Nova.

Nate Najar is an American guitarist, composer, and producer.  He has created an eclectic repertoire of pop, jazz, and classical songs unlike that of other jazz musicians.  Becky Byrd, wife of the late Charlie Byrd, shares

“There is no doubt that there is a piece of Charlie’s soul in Nate’s mind, heart and fingers.  Get ready, world, here comes Nate Najar!

Please join us for an evening of inspiring music.  The Church of the Holy Trinity is located at 502 S. Morris Street in Oxford MD.  For more information please contact church office, 410-226-5134.

Academy Art Museum Announces April Events

Richard Diebenkorn, untitled, c. 1945


The following Academy Art Museum exhibitions are sponsored by the Talbot County Arts Council, the Maryland State Arts Council, and the Star Democrat.

Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955
April 26–July 14
Reception: Friday, April 26, 5:30-7:00 p.m.
Free Docent Tours: Wednesdays, 11 a.m.
The exhibition and its accompanying catalogue aim to present a comprehensive view of Diebenkorn’s evolution to maturity, focusing solely on the paintings and drawings that precede his 1955 shift to figuration at age 33. Included in the exhibition are 100 paintings and drawings primarily from the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, many of which have not before been publicly exhibited. The exhibition is organized by the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation in conjunction with the Crocker Art Museum, and curated by Scott Shields, Associate Director and Chief Curator of the Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA. The Academy Art Museum is the only venue on the East Coast.

Related Events:
Lecture: Sunday, April 28. 2 p.m. – Scott Shields, Exhibition Curator & Catalog Author
Lecture: Saturday, June 1, 11 a.m. – Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant, My Father Richard Diebenkorn

Matthew Moore Stalin, Prague, Czech Republic, 2014 Pigment print.

Matthew Moore: Post-Socialist Landscapes
Through April 7
Free Docent Tours: Wednesdays, 11 a.m.
Matthew Moore is an Associate Professor of Photography and the Chair of the Visual Arts Department at Anne Arundel Community College in Arnold, MD. His current project was born as an investigation of the rural and urban landscapes of countries that were once occupied by the Soviet Union.

Recent Acquisitions: Photography @ AAM
Through April 7
Free Docent Tours: Wednesdays, 11 a.m.
Recent Acquisitions: Photography @ AAM presents recently acquired works of photography, including works by Ansel Adams, Berenice Abbott, Tom Baril, Ed Clark, William Eggleston, Lisette Model, Bruce Nauman.


Kittredge-Wilson Lecture
These lectures feature an exciting array of speakers who impart a diversity of perspectives on subjects such as art, architecture, history, and literature.

Ansel Adams, (1902–1984) Cedar Tree and Maple Leaves, c. 1974

Richard Diebenkorn: Beginnings, 1942–1955
Scott Shields Associate Director and Chief Curator, Crocker Museum of Art
Lecture and Book Signing
Sunday, April 28, 2 p.m.
The catalogue focuses on Diebenkorn’s evolution to maturity. It features nearly 200 paintings and drawings, many from the archives of the Richard Diebenkorn Foundation, that precede his shift to figuration. Many of these pieces will be unfamiliar to the public, yet they offer a fuller picture of Diebenkorn’s precocious achievements and set the stage for what was yet to come.

My Father Richard Diebenkorn
Gretchen Diebenkorn Grant
June 1, 11 a.m.
Gretchen Diebenkorn, daughter of the artist, reminisces in a panel discussion with Dorsey Waxter, Partner at Van Doren Waxter, New York.


Open MIC
Second Wednesday Each Month
April 10 – It’s Alive!
7 to 9 p.m.
Contact Ray Remesch at RayRemesch@gmail.com for additional information.

Richard Diebenkorn in the US Marine Corps


Here is a sampling of the many classes, instructors, and mediums being featured. Please visit academyartmuseum.org to see a complete list of adult class offerings.

Watercolor: Trees, Trees, and More Glorious Trees!
Instructor: Steve Bleinberger
3 weeks: April 9, 16 and 23
Tuesdays 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

An Evening Critique
Mentors: Katie Cassidy, Sheryl Southwick and Diane DuBois Mullaly
Thursday, April 25, 5 – 7 p.m.
Cost: $10 per person payable at the door. Complimentary wine and snacks


eARTh Arts Day Extravaganza!
Instructor: Museum Staff
Saturday, April 13, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Save the planet and get creative! Before you throw out that old can, bottle cap, magazine etc…think about what you might do with it to keep it in use. Better yet, come to the Academy Art Museum’s eARTh Arts Day Extravaganza and make some great projects to take back home. This year the Museum is teaming up with Horn Point Laboratory to bring you great new projects.

Steve Bleinberger

Academy Art Museum Summer Camps (PreK –High School)
Camps are offered weekly, beginning the last week of June and continuing through the third week of August. Most camps are between two and three hours long.
Academy Art Museum camps are designed to appeal to every age range and arts interest from pre-school summer-themed offerings to tween and teen crafts, such as paper-making and plaster sculpture. The Museum’s signature Kaleidoscope Camp—a perennial favorite—consists of multi-media projects, while other camps focus on building basic art skills, such as drawing and painting. New 2019 camps offer high school students advanced drawing and digital media expertise.


Piano & Guitar Lessons
Instructor: Raymond Remesch
Contact Instructor for further information at (410) 829-0335 or rayremesch@gmail.com

Voice Lessons
Instructor: Georgiann Gibson
Contact instructor for Information at (410) 829-2525 or georgiann@atlanticbb.net.

Ballroom and Latin Dance
Instructor: Amanda Showell
Contact instructor for information at (302) 377-3088 or visit dancingontheshore.com.

For additional information, visit academyartmuseum.org or call the Museum at 410-822-2787.

“Baroque to Broadway” Performance at Trinity Cathedral March 31

Allegro Academy of Easton will be presenting a free performance with acclaimed tenor John Wesley Wright titled Baroque to Broadway.  The performance will take place March 31, 4:00 p.m., at Trinity Cathedral, 315 Goldsborough Street, Easton.

Dr. John Wesley Wright will be joined by pianist Veronica Tomanek in bringing a spirited program of vocal music.  Wright is known for his artistic and soulful interpretations and will be joined by his regional and national award-winning students of Salisbury University.  He is the coordinator of the voice and opera workshop programs at Salisbury University and co-director of the musical theatre program at the Maryland Summer Center of the Arts.

Dr. John Wesley Wright, tenor

Dr. Wright has had numerous tours as soloist with professional ensembles throughout the United States, Europe and Japan.  He holds degrees from Maryville College and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.  With a host of opera and oratorio roles, art songs, spirituals and cabaret music in his repertoire, Wright is a member of the internationally acclaimed American Spiritual Ensemble.  He was the gold medalist and top prize winner of the American Traditions Vocal Competition 2000, and claimed top prizes from the Nations Federation of Music Clubs, Metropolitan Opera National Council, and the International Schubert Competition in Vienna, Austria.

Baroque to Broadway is a free performance and is supported by the Maryland State and Talbot County Arts Councils.  The mission of Allegro Academy is to offer exceptional music education and performance experiences to the greater Talbot County Area and to make these offerings affordable to all.  For more information please visit www.allegroacademyeaston.com or call 410-603-8361.

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