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,,

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.

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.

Waterside Family Fun & Fireworks June 30

The Shades of Blue Orchestra will be back at the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum from 7-10 pm. on Saturday, June 30 for Big Band Night and St. Michaels’ fireworks. The orchestra performs at the historic Tolchester Beach Bandstand with dancing under the tent, and fireworks beginning at dusk over the Miles River in St. Michaels, Md. The fireworks are made possible by the St. Michaels Fireworks Fund, with the rain date for Big Band Night & fireworks set for Sunday, July 1. CBMM guests are invited to bring chairs, picnic blankets, food and drinks, but need to leave non-service dogs at home. Food, ice cream, and non-alcoholic beverages will be available for purchase. The event is generously sponsored by Eastern Shore Tents & Events, with advanced tickets and more information at

Sign Up to Volunteer at this Year’s Chesapeake Film Festival

Our volunteers make all the difference when it comes to the success of the Chesapeake Film Festival. You get to be our ambassadors during the festival and work with festival goers, staff, and filmmakers. No particular work experience is required to volunteer, and we’ll train you, so you can put your best foot forward. We have opportunities not only during the festival being held on October 11-14 but all year round. To complete the 2018 Volunteer Application Form, go to For more information, contact Karen Footner at And in exchange, you get your fill of cinematic entertainment. It all spells fun. We would love to have you help us.

Open Auditions for the Musical “Animal Crackers”

Auditions for the Garfield Center for the Arts’ production of the musical comedy Animal Crackers will be held at the Garfield on June 26th at 7pm, June 28th at 7pm and June 30th at 11am. No previous acting experience is required. This musical marks Jennifer Kafka Smith’s directing debut at the Garfield, after being seen on stage in many productions including My Fair Lady, Short Attention Span Theatre, and Sylvia. Kafka Smith has also served as the props mistress for nearly every Garfield Center production since the spring of 2016.

In Animal Crackers, the well-known explorer and hunter Captain Spaulding has just returned from Africa, and is being welcomed home with a lavish party at the estate of influential society matron Mrs. Rittenhouse when a valuable painting goes missing. The intrepid Captain Spaulding attempts to solve the crime with the help of his silly secretary Horatio Jamison, while sparring with the anarchic Signor Emanuel Ravelli and his nutty sidekick The Professor.

“Delicious… A nonstop riot – a profusion of puns, gags, and hysteria with only an occasional pause (or maybe, gasp) for breath.” – The Washington Tribune

– Prepare an up-tempo song either from a Broadway musical or from the era of the 1920/30s. Please bring sheet music. We need to hear you sing with piano accompaniment.
– Come prepared to move. Please wear closed shoes and clothing appropriate for dancing.

Director Kafka Smith is seeking a cast of 14, with some extras. Age is not a key factor. The cast includes:

Captain Jeffrey T. Spaulding (Groucho) – He is funny and fierce, with incredible verbal dexterity. He’s the anchor of the team; a charming wiseguy. A strong character actor, must be extremely comfortable with physical comedy and be able to sing and dance. This does not require a Groucho impersonation, but certain characteristics of voice, movement, and delivery are part of the role. Tenor.

Horatius Jamison (Zeppo) – The straight man to Groucho’s antics. Tenor.

Emanuel Ravelli (Chico) – Ravelli is a band leader; the musical actor in the ensemble. Ideally seeking an actor who plays the piano and/or other instruments. A loose cannon with great improv sensibility. A character singer. Must be able to speak with old world Italian accent. Baritone.

The Professor (Harpo) – Has an uninhibited, playful, childlike demeanor with an irrepressible libido, seems oblivious but knows what is going on around him, carefree and innocent he does not observe boundaries of class, status, gender, age, and property, steals things but it seems like more of a game than a malicious or desperate act, must be extremely adept at physical comedy, while an exact impersonation of Harpo is not necessary certain characteristics of movement and delivery are a part of the role, experience with mime/clowning a plus. (Male/Female).

Mrs. Rittenhouse – The host of the party, a wealthy society matron who is always put together, a real dame, money is no object, preserving and asserting her status is an ongoing occupation; must have strong dance/movement ability and be adept at physical comedy; strong vocal skills, able to sing in the 30s style; Mezzo-Soprano.

Hives – Head Butler of Mrs. Rittenhouse. Hives is extremely witty and great with status. Verging on stuffy. Very Jeeves-like the servant who can insult you to your face, but you take it as a compliment. Baritone.

M. Doucet – Doucet is an art-loving Frenchman/woman, cultured and dripping with arrogance, a bit of a drama queen. Tenor/Soprano. (Male/Female)

Arabella Rittenhouse – Arabella is Mrs. Rittenhouse’s daughter, an educated debutant who has been out in society for two months, smart as a whip and knows what she wants, she and Wally Winston make a sophisticated and erudite couple. Soprano.

Mrs. Whitehead – Mrs. Whitehead is a neighbor and rival of Mrs. Rittenhouse, a conniving socialite trying to thwart Mrs. Rittenhouse’s success, she’s sharp, smart, sarcastic and clever, lacks ethics and morals. Soprano.

Grace Carpenter – Grace is Mrs. Whitehead’s sister and partner in crime, sexy and worldly-wise. Soprano.

Wally Winston – Wally Winston is a hard-working newspaper columnist, sexy, sarcastic and full of charm, an intellectual with a great love of life. Tenor.

John Parker – John Parker is an earnest young lover. A traditional leading man interested in Mary Stewart. Tenor.

Mary Stewart – Mary Stewart is the earnest ingénue, has a big heart and believes in a brighter future. Soprano.

Roscoe W. Chandler – Roscoe W. Chandler is a wealthy, single tycoon, has millions, supports the arts and wants to marry Mrs. Rittenhouse; must be able to do some physical comedy and have strong movement skills. Baritone.

Other roles include: Sgt. Hennessy, Second Policeman, Dream Dancer, Scouts, Harem Girls, Ensemble

All parts will sing and dance (move).

Performances of Animal Crackers are scheduled for three weekends: September 14-16, September 21-23, and September 28-30, Fridays and Saturdays at 8PM, and Sundays at 3PM.

For more information visit or call the GCA Box Office at 410-810-2060. The Garfield Center for the Arts is located at 210 High Street in Chestertown, Maryland.

Free Crashbox Theatre Troupe Performance June 21

The talented performers in the Crashbox Theatre Troupe have been selected to perform at Walt Disney World in Florida on June 27th. The Troupe is a selected group of performers ages 11 to 18 from across the Eastern Shore who have shown their talents and dedication to theatre and the performing arts. Throughout the year, the Crashbox Theatre Company has provided them with experiences, instruction, Master Classes, performances, lessons, and workshops to help them further expand and build their skills and talents. The group is led by Executive Director Richard A. Vitanovec and his wife Amber. To prepare for the Walt Disney World performance, the Troupe also worked with Ellen Grunden on music and Erinne Lewis on the choreography.

While at Walt Disney World, Vitanovec also has arranged for the Crashbox Troupe to have two workshops with the Disney Theatrical Team. Vitanovec explains, “The performers in the Crashbox Troupe have worked extremely hard on their performance for Walt Disney World. Through everyone’s hard work, we also received a personal memo wishing Crashbox Troupe the best for our Disney performance from Lin-Manuel Miranda, writer and composer of the hit musical Hamilton. As director of the Crashbox Troupe, I could not be prouder of each of these student’s accomplishments, dedication, and talent. I can not wait for “The Happiest Place on Earth” to get even happier with the energy and talents of these wonderful young men and women.”

The Crashbox Theatre Troupe is offering a free preview performance on Thursday, June 21 at 7:30 pm and is open to the public. Doors will open at 7:00 pm. The performance will be held in the Cadby Theatre on the Chesapeake College campus in the Kent Humanities Building. The performance is approximately 30 minutes long and features a compilation of Disney music from Disney films, Disney on Broadway, as well as Disney Park Exclusive music. Seating is limited, so early arrival is suggested.

For more information contact Jen Wagner at 443-521-4084 or email at

Candleberry Gallery Hosts Cambridge Artists

An eclectic assortment of art by the members of the Wednesday Morning Artists of Cambridge will be on exhibit at the Candleberry Gallery in St. Michaels during the month of July. The gallery show will include work by painters, photographers, writers, glass artists, sculptors and textile artists.

“Candleberry Gallery is generous in scheduling the Wednesday Morning Artists for the second year,” said WMA spokesperson Nancy Snyder. “We have a talented and vibrant group of artists in the Cambridge area and it is wonderful to be able to show their work during the lively tourist season in St. Michaels.”

WMA has gathered at more than a dozen artists who will show their work in Candleberry Gallery’s upstairs venue at 210 Talbot Street where you can see the exhibit and cast your vote for the show’s People’s Choice Award.

“The lineup is exciting,” Ms. Snyder said. “For example, well-known basket maker Heidi Wetzel has been busy creating brand new weavings for this show; Peg McCormack’s animal sculptures are exquisitely rendered; painter Betty Papson mixes media to produce creative romantic art; a number of well-known photographers are presenting fine, high-quality works; Will Dennehy’s portraits are breathtakingly realistic; Terry White is bringing her unusual pencil drawings and fanciful dolls; and Paul Winter’s fused glass creations are not to be missed. With too many artists to list all here, this is just a sampling of what you will find. Make the Candleberry your destination during July.”

“We are thrilled to host the Wednesday Morning Artists for a second annual show,” said gallery owner Marianne Stallsmith. “This gallery exhibit is a highlight of summer for us. We can’t wait to see the show the folks in the Wednesday Morning Artists will create.”

WMA artists meets at Creek Deli in Cambridge at 8 am on Wednesday Mornings and welcomes anyone interested on a Wednesday morning or to an e-mail or call 410.463.0148.

The gallery is open on Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information about Candleberry Gallery and this show, call 410.745.2420.