Cowboy Junkies: Major Concert at the Avalon July 27

The Avalon is excited to be hosting Cowboy Junkies just 2 weeks after their latest record hits the streets. “All That Reckoning”, will be released on July 13th.

Although they’re famously free-riding, mythically rugged individualists and their music is highly addictive, the four members of the Cowboy Junkies are neither cowboys nor junkies. They make up the hip, hybrid Canadian indie band with a rich repertoire of originals and classic covers wrapped in an aura of mystery. The Cowboy Junkies – the little, but hugely classy, cult band – returns to perform July 27th, at 8p.m. in Easton.

The band is playing great these days, Margo is singing better than ever.

“We’re inspired by the material we’ve recorded for our new album and we’re having more and more fun reaching deep into our catalog.”

At the Avalon, they will be going acoustic and electric, performing new material, classics, deep cuts and fan requests. They’ve recently added David Bowie’s “Five Years” to their repertoire, supplementing the extensive list of covers they can draw from.

When asked what keeps the Junkies’ core group of devoted fans (affectionately called llamas) traveling to all their shows, the band refers to it’s authenticity.

“We hope it’s because we put on a good show, but I think it’s also an authentic performance. We’re a band that’s been performing together for thirty years and there’s a real, honest connection with the audience on most nights. I think that’s a rare thing these days.”

For more information on all upcoming events, visit avalonfoundation.org, or visit our blog, or call 410-822-7299.

Call to Artists Who Live, Work, or Sell Their Art!

Exciting news for Talbot County Artists! Join the Talbot County Arts Council and the St. Michaels Art League who are jointly sponsoring an art exhibition during October at the Talbot County Free Library in Easton. This event is to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Maryland State Arts Council and the 40th anniversary of the Talbot County Arts Council—both of which over the years have provided millions of dollars in arts funding to organizations and schools in Talbot County.

Did you know Maryland is currently ranked 4th in the United States for money allocated to arts spending? Many of the wonderful artists benefiting from this support live, work or sell their art in Talbot County.  This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our talent! The event is for artists who work in the disciplines of drawing, painting, photography, sculpture, and various other visual art forms.  You do not need to be a member of any arts organization to participate.

“I Feel Pretty” by Jo Merrill

There is no fee to participate in this event.Entries will be accepted on a first come, first serve basis, as space is limited, so be sure and register soon. To participate you must register on the online Artists Registry on the Talbot County Arts Council website (talbotarts.org), and you must also complete a registration form for the event (also available on the website).If you need technical assistance joining the artists registry, contact its designer Danielle Darling (email dannidarling79@gmail.com).

Julie Madden of Howard County and St. Michaels will judge the event. Julie recently completed a term on the board of directors of the Maryland State Arts Council followed by six months as MSAC’sinterim executive director.  She will be selecting the recipients of first place ($250), second place ($150), and third place ($100) awards, as well as honorable mentions.  Awards will be presented at an opening reception on the evening of Friday, October 5th.

Registrations for the exhibit must be filed by Tuesday, September 4, but register soon to make sure you get in!For further information check the bottom of the home page of the Arts Council’s website (talbotarts.org); or contact Jo Merrill (merrilljosephine@gmail.com) or Beth Wright (wilmafeet28@gmail.com).  Visit www.smartleague.org for information on the league and its activities.

“Reflections” Exhibit at Academy Art Museum

The St. Michaels Art League (SMAL) is exhibiting a juried collection of work at the Academy Art Museum in Easton from July 21 through August 19 in their “Selections” gallery. Various mediums are represented, inspired by the theme of “Reflections.”  Interpretations vary from literal to figurative and include reflections in nature; on objects, on buildings, and reflections of thought and expression.

Sharon Mills’ “Cold Front Approaching”

SMAL was founded 25 years ago and currently boasts over 100 members from around the Eastern Shore and beyond.  The group includes many award-winning artists and aims to encourage artistic development and provide education that enriches lives through the creative arts.

Carla Massoni, owner of the Massoni Gallery in Chestertown, Md since 1990, will serve as the juror.  Carla has been deeply involved in the arts of the Mid-Atlantic for over 30 years.

The Academy Art Museum is located at 106 South St. in Easton. The museum hours are Tues, Weds, Thurs 10am-8pm; Mon, Fri, Sat and Sun 10am-4pm and first Fri 10am-7pm.  Admission is free for Academy members; non-members $3, children 12 and under are free.

An Esteemed Pair during Plein Air at Troika Gallery

Troika Gallery will host painting demonstrations by two masters, Sara Linda Poly and Matt Zoll during Plein Air Easton. On Friday, July 20, at 2:15 pm Matt Zoll, a realistic still life painter in the Flemish tradition will give a painting demo followed on Saturday, July 21 at 2:15 pm, by plein air painter Sara Linda Poly, the Grand Prize Winner at the 2016 Plein Air Easton. Both artists are masters in their own right, Zoll is a graduate of the Schuler School of Fine Arts in Baltimore and is a sought-after instructor with his studio/school.  Poly has a keen following and offers workshops throughout the country and the world. Everyone is invited to learn by watching the artistic skills of these two Troika Gallery artists while relaxing in the cool air-conditioned gallery. Reservations are not necessary. Free to the public.

“Enchantment,” oil, 30 x 40 by Sara Linda Poly

Kevin Fitzgerald’s new evocative landscape paintings are on display, from his featured show, “The Stillness of Time.”  Original oils, watercolors, pastels, bronze sculpture, porcelain and ceramics by the 36 featured Troika Artists  are exhibited.

Featuring “The Finest of Fine Art,” Troika Gallery is the most extensive operating gallery on the Eastern Shore. Selected six times as the Best Art Gallery by What’s Up Eastern Shore magazine, the gallery has loyal followers. Whether an art collector, art lover or an art browser, Troika encourages you to stop in and see the beautiful art. Professional Artists and Co-Owners, Laura Era and Jennifer Heyd Wharton, along with Manager, Peg Fitzgerald, welcome your visit and will happily address questions on art, portraiture, and framing. Troika Gallery is located at 9 South Harrison Street and is open every day from 10:00 am until 5:30 pm and Sunday by appointment, 410-770-9190, www.troikagallery.com, art@troikagallery.com.

SMAL Awards Prizes to Local Senior AP Art Students

The St. Michaels Art League (SMAL) is committed to encouraging and supporting young art students by contributing to identified needs in the schools and awarding prizes for individual excellence.  For several years, the league has worked with Bridget Whited, an Advanced Placement (AP) Art Instructor for the Talbot County Schools to select outstanding students for recognition.

Created by May Shaw

This year, SMAL reviewed portfolios for several AP Art Students from the St. Michaels and Easton High Schools and selected three senior students for awards: Taylor Wheatley, Alison Ortel and May Shaw. SMAL presented awards to these students on May 23rd at the St. Michaels High School Senior Awards Ceremony. SMAL congratulates these students and wishes them well in their future artistic endeavors!

Information on the St. Michaels Art League can be found at www.smartleague .org.

Art Hunt in St. Michaels – SMAL Thanks Justine’s Ice Cream

Beth Wright, President of SMAL, and Tyler Heim, Manager of Justine’s Ice Cream.

Going on it’s fourth year, the Art Hunt is summer tradition in St. Michaels. Who wouldn’t do a little work for ice cream, especially when it’s fun?

For the uninitiated, the Art Hunt is a scavenger hunt for artwork “hidden” in various businesses throughout town, beginning July 1st and ending July 31st.  Paintings by St. Michaels Art League members are placed in stores, along with cards listing the paintings and the participating merchants.  Visitors take the cards to the participating stores and have the merchant mark the card when a painting is spotted.  Whenat least 12 of the 20 paintings listed are found, the card can be presented at Justine’s Ice Cream to receive a free cone.

This project fits in with the mission of the St. Michaels Art League (SMAL), a non-profit group of artists from St. Michaels and beyond. The purpose of the League is to promote visual arts through education, community service and exhibits.In the case of the Art Hunt, local art is showcased and the town benefits from the economic promotion that a lively arts scene engenders.

The Art Hunt started out with a small number of merchants but once others realized it’s a good way to get traffic in their stores, more jumped on board. They enjoy seeing the children delight in finding a painting. Stan and Marianne Stallsmith, owners of the Candleberry Shoppe on Talbot Street remarked that “the Art Hunt teaches kids about art in a fun way.  What makes it fun is the gleam in their eyes when they come in and start looking and asking questions. We give hints and make it a fun game. It’s more than just ice cream.”

SMAL is grateful for the partnership of the St. Michaels merchants, and of course, Justine’s. This year the league presented a thank you painted by SMAL member Jo Merrill to Tyler Heim, Manager of Justine’s. Tyler said “It’s been an honor to work with SMAL and we look forward to doing so in the future. Promoting the arts is crucial, and Justine’s is proud to be part of it.”

This Program is funded in part by a grant from the Talbot County Arts Council with revenue provided by the Maryland State Arts Council.

Author Reading in Easton Celebrates New Climate Change Novel

Local author Paul Briggs will hold a reading and signing to celebrate the launch of his new book, Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise, from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the meeting room of the Talbot County Free Library in Easton on Monday, July 2. Coffee and cake will be served. 

Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise, the first novel in a two-part series, has just been released by Secant Publishing in Salisbury. Set in the near future, it explores the disastrous effects of runaway climate change and sea level rise on many parts of the world, including the Eastern Shore, following the total melting of ice in the Arctic Ocean.

It has been praised by critics, including the American Library Association’s Booklist, which called it “A solid addition to cli fi collections.” Analog Science Fiction and Fact magazine opined: “It’s the kind of meaty book that keeps coming back to you for weeks after you’ve finished reading,” while Kirkus Reviews said: “This epic story of global pandemonium wisely centers on accessible characters.”

Other signings have also been scheduled at independent bookstores throughout the Shore:

– The Book Warehouse in the Queenstown Prime Outlets, Saturday, July 21.
– Bethany Beach Books in Bethany Beach, Delaware, Tuesday, July 31.
– Sundial Books in Chincoteague, Virginia, Saturday, August 11.

Altered Seasons: Monsoonrise is available through IndieBound, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo and many other retail channels including local bookstores. The 374-page paperback edition sells for $15.95 (ISBN 978-1-944962487). It is also available in e-book format.

Academy Art Museum Capital Campaign: Opens New Doors to the Arts

As the Academy Art Museum in Easton, MD celebrates 60 years of service to the community with its anniversary year, the Museum is excited to announce the public phase of its $5+ million capital campaign which will open new doors to the arts and build a legacy for the Museum. The campaign will allow the Museum to build on its achievements by expanding the reach of its educational programs and the excellence of its exhibitions and collections. The campaign’s five initiatives will enhance the Museum’s existing programs and facilities for the benefit of its audiences and the community.

The arts education initiative focuses on meeting the growing demand for the Museum’s educational programs by expanding its offerings.Today, the Museum is the leading provider of arts education in the Mid-Shore region.

Pictured is an aerial view of the Academy Art Museum’s new courtyard entrance initiative.

The museum courtyard entrance initiative focuses on relocating the Museum’s main entrance through a freshly-landscaped pathway from Harrison Street to the current Courtyard. This change will help align the Museum with the cultural corridor of Harrison Street and present a welcoming environment for over 50,000 annual visitors. Ziger/Snead is the project’s architect. The firm’s clients have included the Baltimore Museum of Art, The Maryland Institute College of Art and the Maryland Historical Society.

The art stewardship initiative will enable the Museum to build on its excellent exhibition history and continue to pursue shows featuring leading artists from art history and significant emerging artists, while improving the quality and diversity of its collection and enhancing its care.

The campaign’s building stewardship initiative addresses the Museum’s most urgent program and facility needs.  As a museum that combines historic structures with modern additions, significant capital funds are required to maintain the Museum’s infrastructure.

Finally, the campaign’s museum endowment initiative addresses growing the Museum’s endowment to protect its future.

Pictured is an architect’s rendering showing the relocation of the Museum’s main entrance through a freshly-landscaped pathway from Harrison Street to the current Courtyard.

According to Ben Simons, director of the Academy Art Museum, “We are very excited about the courtyard project. We are working with the Maryland Historical Trust to respect the historical fabric of the building as we put a welcoming face on the organization. We are in the planning and permitting process now for the courtyard entrance and are looking forward to construction beginning in 2019.” He adds, “We are deeply tied into the community with over 75 collaborations with community partners, non-profits and neighbors. We want our physical campus to express our relationship with the broader community.”

In addition to the physical changes to the Museum, several new programmatic initiatives are currently underway reflecting the capital campaign’s goals. These include the implementation of the Museum’s first artist-in-residence program and the hiring of the first full-time curatorial assistant.

Jocelyn Eysymontt, Co-Chair of the Museum’s Capital Campaign Committee, comments, “We are thrilled with the response to the campaign and being so close to our campaign goal. We are excited to invite the public to build on the generosity of our donors to help us in our final stage of fundraising.”

The Museum supports its annual operating budget of $1.5 million through membership fees annual giving, tuitions, grants, fundraising events, and to a modest extent the income generated from the current Endowment Fund. Board of Trustees Chair Cathy McCoy adds: “Our prior trustees had the wisdom to start the Endowment Fund and support it, putting us in a strong position on which to build. A larger endowment will better protect the Museum’s future.”

For further information about the Museum’s Capital Campaign, contact Damika Baker, Director of Development at the Museum at 410-822-2787.

New Plein Air Works by Diane DuBois Mullaly at The Green Phoenix

Summer is upon us! And The Green Phoenix gallery is celebrating July with an exhibit of new plein air and studio works by resident oil painter Diane DuBois Mullaly. Recently a featured artist in the February/March 2018 “Plein Air Magazine”, her work is described as “small, vibrant palette knife paintings”.

“As a plein air painter, I seek to create a sense of place; capturing the light, energy and soul of my surroundings. Using my palette knife, I describe what I see with layers of paint – sometimes loading it on in bold strokes, sometimes sgraffitoing (drawing or scratching into the wet paint), sometimes almost sculpting the paint to tell my story. I want my work to speak of the joy and beauty found all around us, painted with thoughtful abandon.” Also an up-and-coming still life painter, Mullaly’s “Tale of the Brass Cat” was juried into “6 Inch Squared”, a national exhibit in Costa Mesa, California, in November 2017. That painting is now available at The Green Phoenix. As an instructor at the Academy Art Museum, Diane pays forward what she learned over many years as a student in classes and workshops with living master painters. “No one was born knowing how to paint. Learning to create art is an endless, rewarding quest. It keeps us in the moment, gives us a purpose and teaches us new ways to see ordinary objects.”

Mullaly has also created a new form of expression, Pollinator Pebbles™, where she draws and paints delicately detailed bees, butterflies and other pollinators on small round pebbles. Designed to inspire appreciation and to create awareness of pollinators, Diane came up with the concept as a Maryland Master Naturalist in training, where she seeks to connect art with science. A portion of the proceeds are donated to protect pollinators.

Gallery owner Andi Tassencourt invites the public to The Green Phoenix on First Friday, July 6, from 5 to 8 pm, to meet Mullaly, take a first look at her newest works, and to enjoy some wine, yummy finger foods, good company and conversation.  Says Tassencourt, “By layering the inspiring qualities of fine art, as embodied by Diane’s paintings, into our eclectic mix of fine, artisanal crafts by local artists, and Fair Trade gifts from around the world, we offer an environment with a full range of creative arts for the community to enjoy!”

And FRIVOLOUS FIBERS Yarn Boutique, located inside The Green Phoenix Gallery,adds even more interest, featuring a new collection of its own line of gorgeous, hand-spun, and hand-dyed yarns.

The Green Phoenix Gallery is located at 31 N Harrison St, Easton. 410-822-7554. Open Monday – Saturday 10 am – 5pm, and Sunday from 11 am – 3 pm.  www.facebook.com/greenphoenixgallery.

The Avalon and Chesapeake College to Partner on Big Shows at the Todd Center

The Avalon Foundation and Chesapeake College have announced the beginning of a new partnership designed to bring large-venue music acts to the school’s Rufus M. and Loraine Hall Todd Performing Arts Center (TPAC).

Beginning in the fall, the Avalon will host a series of concerts and events at TPAC. The schedule kicks off with “An Evening with Melissa Etheridge — Yes I Am 25th Anniversary Tour” on Tuesday, October 9. Tickets go on sale at 10 a.m., Friday, June 29 at avalonfoundation.org.

“The Avalon Foundation’s team has nearly 60 years of event management experience, deep relationships with artist agencies and a loyal following of music lovers on the Eastern Shore,” Foundation President and CEO Alexander Bond said. “As part of our mission, we are always looking to expand our programming reach and connect more people with easy access to arts programming. TPAC offers a perfect venue for us to do so.”

The 904-seat TPAC expands the Avalon Foundation’s ability to host concerts beyond the historic, 400-seat Avalon Theatre and 60-seat Stoltz Listening Room in Easton.

“From the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra to international performance troupes, the Todd Center has long been a cultural hub and important space for bringing larger acts to the region,” Dr. Clifford Coppersmith, Chesapeake College President, said. “Our capacity to host even more shows and events makes this partnership possible and allows our two organizations to combine resources to grow arts audiences, improve arts accessibility and build and connect communities on the Mid Shore.”

Melissa Etheridge has remained one of America’s favorite female singer-songwriters for more than two decades.

Known for her confessional lyrics and raspy smoky vocals, she hit her commercial and artistic stride with her fourth album “Yes I Am” in 1993. The collection featured the massive hits, “I’m the Only One” and “Come to My Window,” a searing song of longing that brought Etheridge her second Grammy® Award for Best Female Rock Performance.

In 1995, Etheridge issued her highest charting album, Your Little Secret, which was distinguished by the hit single, “I Want to Come Over.”

Avalon management plans to announce several additional “big shows” that will be held at TPAC in the coming months. The concerts add to the Avalon’s already robust 160-act annual schedule in Easton.

To stay connected with big show announcements resulting from the Avalon Foundation at Chesapeake College partnership, Bond encourages music lovers to subscribe to the organization’s email list by visiting avalonfoundation.org.

The Avalon Foundation is the largest arts nonprofit on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Also regarded for the nationally renown Plein Air Easton outdoor painting competition, the Foundation’s mission is to foster a strong community on the Eastern Shore by creating accessible, uplifting arts, education, and cultural experiences that appeal to the interests of a diverse population and to ensure the long term viability of the historic Avalon Theatre.

A key component of Chesapeake College’s mission is to be a center for personal enrichment and the arts and to sponsor a broad range of affordable civic activities that reflect the college’s role as a community-learning center.