Paintings and Drawings by William Willis at Adkins Arboretum

A powerful and mysterious energy runs through William Willis’s work. In Presence and Place, his show of paintings and drawings on view through Dec. 1 at the Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center, his compelling, semi-abstracted trees and water, snakes and flying birds pulse with a vitality that is barely held in check. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Sat., Oct. 21 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Being out in nature is key to Willis’s art. At least once a week, he bicycles with his son and other members of the Talbot Mountain Bike group on the trails in Tuckahoe State Park. Many of the paintings in this show grew from encounters with the park’s trees and waterways, and a strong feeling that they are living entities permeates the show.

Anyone familiar with the way Tuckahoe Creek swells in a rainstorm and floods into the forest will recognize the trees rising from swirling water in “After the Rain.” As water streams around their trunks, gray paint marked with white scratches identifies a beech, while peculiar cream-colored spots on a bluish trunk denote one of the forest’s many sycamores.

“After the Rain” by William Willis

Willis’s need to be out in nature came early. Growing up in Florida, he often visited the woods near his home and began developing his keen sense of observation. Although he taught for two decades at the Corcoran School of Art and several other colleges and universities and has exhibited in numerous solo museum and gallery shows, he has continued to spend time hiking, bicycling and camping since settling in the Eastern Shore town of Preston in 1980.

Willis is keenly interested in how a sense of living presence can be picked up by honing one’s awareness. He has long been interested in Hindu and Buddhist philosophies that emphasize developing awareness, but he also traces this back to earlier times when it was essential for humans to use all their senses in order to survive.

Noting how a hunter will sit still for hours on end, not focusing on anything specific but being aware of everything around him, Willis said, “There’s a kind of side vision, a kind of indirect approach where your vision starts to open up to everything. There’s an obvious theory that meditation came from that kind of silent watching and sitting still. As they say, when you do that, the world comes to you—you don’t have to go to the world.”

Whenever he paints or draws, Willis goes through a deeply intuitive process of search and discovery. It’s obvious that the finished image doesn’t come easily. The trees, logs and meandering vines he paints are almost cartoonishly simple, but they are scarred and worn. Often, seemingly unrelated images partially show through from underneath. It’s as if he is thinking on the canvas, painting, then scraping parts of the image away, then painting some more. He may even cut up a canvas and collage part of it into another artwork. It’s a process of intense interaction, paring it down and building it up again in new ways until it hums with energy.

Certain motifs frequently recur in Willis’s work. There are pine trees with sweeping zigzag branches, sinuous lines that evoke snakes or twisting vines, and concentric rings of water borrowed from traditional Japanese screen paintings. Each of these contributes to the multilayered themes that give his work its astonishing richness. One favorite image is a flying goose.

“That image happened when I moved out here from the D.C. area and I was into lots of Hindu mythology,” he explained. “My friends teased me, ‘So you’re doing waterfowl paintings now.’ Hamsa is a Hindu mantra, but it’s also the goose. The whole thing is about how the goose can dive down out of the darkness and live on the surface of the water. At the same time, it can fly away to freedom.”

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Dec. 1 at the Arboretum Visitor’s Center located at 12610 Eveland Rd. near Tuckahoe State Park in Ridgely. Contact the Arboretum at 410–634–2847, ext. 0 or for gallery hours.

St. Michaels Art League “Around The Town” Art Show and Sale

“Chantal dans le Jardin” by Mary Ellen Mabe

The St. Michaels Art League will have an exhibit of members art in a show entitled  “Around The Town” during October From 10/2 through 10/30, at the St. Michaels Branch of the Talbot County Free Library located at 106 Fremont Street.  This will be a judged show by Alan Brock, who is the owner of the South Street Gallery in Easton, and who is an artist, an architect and  a collector of many pieces of fine art.

The show will feature a variety of mediums and subject matter and is open to the public during normal library hours on Monday and Thursday from 9am until 8pmTuesday and Wednesday from 9am until 6pm, and Friday and Saturday from 9am to 5pm.  Art will be offered for sale through the artists.  Put this lovely exhibit on your calendar of things to do for October.

This event in sponsored, in part,  by the Maryland State Arts Council and the Talbot County Arts Council.

A World of Wonder and Beauty: Maggii Sarfaty

Ouvert Gallery is proud to host the work of celebrated Easton artist Maggii Sarfaty for the month of October. There will be a Meet the Artist opening for the First Friday Gallery Walk on Oct. 6 from 5:30pm – 8:30pm.

Maggii Sarfaty has been painting since she was a child and studied fine art at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Growing up along the Chesapeake Bay of Maryland instilled a love of the water and all things coastal. In 1990 Maggii embarked on her career in interior design as a muralist and faux finisher. Her work has been featured in Women’s Day and Traditional Home and several regional publications. She now adds set design to her creative resume working with two theatre groups in her hometown Easton Maryland. Much of her recent of work is inspired by Sanibel and Captiva Islands and the Florida Keys. She works in watercolor, gauche and oil. Besides studio art she loves to paint “ en plein air”. Maggii is a member of The Ocean City Center for the Arts. She was awarded 3rd place at Ocean Citys Plein Air Quick Draw in 2015 and 3rd place at the Bethany Beach Plein Air Quick Draw in 2016.

“Our world is full of wonder and beauty,” says Sarfaty. “I am making my mission to capture all I see. If the viewer feels some of the joy I felt during the process, I have done my job.”

Ouvert Gallery is located at the Hanson Street Professional Building at 10 South Hanson St. in Easton, Md and is open for viewing from 10am-5pm weekdays and Saturday or by appointment. It is home to Jen Wagner Mosaics, Mid Shore Community Acupuncture Clinic, and Total Body Wellness along with other wellness professionals. For more information go to or contact Jen Wagner at 443-521-4084.

Variety is the Spice of Life at Candleberry Gallery in October!

As fall begins and the leaves start the turn, Candleberry Gallery at 210 S. Talbot St. in St. Michaels will be changing up many of their exhibits and hosting a variety of talented artists.

To start the month, Victor Abarca, who creates his large-scale pieces using his own unique technique, will be exhibiting from October 1 to 13. Victor’s colored wax paintings have great texture and depth and evoke the lush landscapes and bright colors of his native Mexico. After the exhibit’s end, the gallery is proud to continue to display and sell his work.

Katherine Carney “Buoys”

From October 13 to 31, The Tidewater Camera Club will conduct a members’ photographic exhibit and sale at the gallery. The theme for this exhibit will be Life on the Eastern Shore, a broadly interpreted theme that includes landscape, nature, and lifestyle photography of the DelMarVa.

This exhibit will be judged by noted photographer and author, Jay Fleming. Mr Fleming’s most noted work focuses on the Chesapeake Bay and the industry that is directly dependent upon it, the seafood industry. He has actively documented all aspects of this fascinating and diminishing way of life — from underwater shots of oyster divers and crabs shedding their shells, to incredibly poignant portraits of workers in a crab picking house and watermen leaving the dock before sunrise in their deadrise boats — in his popular first book, “Working the Water.”

Tidewater Camera Club is about all things photography, dedicated to improving knowledge in the use of cameras and photographic equipment, image processing software, and improving member skills to produce quality photographs. Members share their photographic knowledge through fellowship, friendly competition, and exhibits. Club membership is open to all, regardless of experience level or age.

On Saturday, October 21, from 1 to 3 pm, the gallery continues to highlight colorful landscapes by inviting you to come meet talented painter Katherine Carney. Known for capturing coastal and farm scenes in her colorful acrylics, Katherine “recognizes she is a realist with an impressionistic view.” Check out her gorgeous paintings at

Lastly, extending Candleberry Gallery’s commitment to supporting local youth, look around town for the Eastern Shore themed scarecrow designed and built by children in the Tilghman Area Youth Association’s programs and sponsored by Candleberry Gallery.

Artists Tackle Immigration Horrors at Brookletts Building in October

An artists’ reception Saturday, October 7th, 2-6 pm, will highlight THE MEDITERRANEAN, a benefit exhibition for migrant relief at the old industrial Brookletts Building in Easton, Maryland.  Painters Amare Selfu and Carol Minarick join forces to focus on the humanitarian crisis occurring in the Mediterranean.  This year alone more than 132,000 migrants from Africa, Asia and the Middle East have crossed the sea from North Africa to Europe.

All works sold at the exhibit will benefit Doctors Without Borders and the International Rescue Committee as they continue to help the thousands of refugees in this ongoing emergency.

More than 3,200 have drowned in the harrowing exodus as overloaded boats capsize, and international rescue efforts are overwhelmed.  Even before they reach the sea Sub-Saharan migrants are the most vulnerable simply because of their skin color. They face exploitation, confinement and rape by smugglers and traffickers.

Both artists have personal connections with the region. Amare Selfu, on the faculties of the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and Goucher College, is an immigrant from Africa.  He has exhibited extensively in his native Ethiopia and observes that many lost in the Mediterranean are fleeing conditions in East Africa.  Amare’s work is concerned with the “physicality and non-physicality of borders,” a theme of his recent exhibition at Maryland Hall for the Creative Arts.  

Carol Minarick is reprising the benefit exhibit for refugee relief she shared with local artists two years ago at her studio.  She studied at the American University of Beirut and continues to support that vital institution in the Middle East.  Her paintings are about peril at sea, including the plight of those fleeing Syria.  A resident of Easton, she has had more than 30 solo exhibitions, in the United States and Canada, including a 2015 installation at the Academy Art Museum.

The Artists’ Reception is 2 – 6 pm Saturday, October 7th.  Exhibition hours are:  Friday – Sunday, 2 – 6 pm, October 6-8, and by appointment.  For further information please call 443-803-6433.

The Brookletts Building, Studio 204
404 Brookletts Avenue
Easton, MD  21601

SMAL Exhibit “Endless Summer” Reception on September 9

Garden Nymph by Kathy Kopec

The St. Michaels Art League exhibit, “Endless Summer,” at the A.M. Gravely Gallery continues through Sunday, October 1. The members’ best works have been selected for exhibit and sale. A special award has been given to the work of art chosen by votes from visitors to the gallery. The David Grafton People’s Choice Award is in honor of David Grafton, a well known local landscape artist and owner of the Grafton Gallery in Easton who recently passed away, and will be greatly missed by many.

The gallery is located at 408 South Talbot Street in St. Michaels. It is open Friday to Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. There will be a reception at the gallery open to the public during Second Saturday Art Walk, on September 9, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

The St. Michaels Art League welcomes all those in the greater Talbot County and beyond who share an interest in the fine arts. Their monthly meetings are held at 9:30 a.m. on the third Monday of the month, September through May at Christ Church Parish Hall on Willow Street in St. Michaels. For more information visit

If you haven’t yet seen this wonderful exhibit by these talented local artists, now is your opportunity to see, and perhaps own, an original painting for your home to enjoy for years to come.

SMAL Honors David Grafton at A.M. Gravely Gallery August 12th

Garden Nymph by Kathy Kopec

The public is invited to a reception on Saturday, August 12 from 5 to 7 PM for the St. Michaels Art League show “Endless Summer” now on display for sale at the A.M. Gravely Gallery. An award will be given in honor of David Grafton who recently passed away. David was a well know Easton artist and gallery owner. He will be greatly missed. This award will be given to the art work that received the most votes from visitors to the gallery. The award is called The David Grafton People’s Choice Award. The reception is held in conjunction with Second Saturday Art Walk in St. Michaels. Refreshments will be served and offers an opportunity to meet the exhibiting artists and discuss their work.

“Endless Summer” will continue through Sunday, October 1. The gallery is located at 408 South Talbot Street in St. Michaels and is open Friday through Monday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Stop by the reception and enjoy refreshments while meeting the artists and viewing their work, including the winner of The David Grafton People’s Choice Award. For more information visit

Paintings by Kathryn O’Grady on View at Adkins Arboretum

Artist Kathryn O’Grady will make you think differently about the flocks of blackbirds that are such a familiar sight in the Chesapeake region. In “Four and Twenty,” a series of blackbird “portraits” on view in Adkins Arboretum’s Visitor’s Center through Sept. 29, every bird is an individual with its own quirky personality.

In Close to the Big Pond, her show of oil paintings and watercolors augmented with crayon and metallic pigment, O’Grady zeros in on nature’s mind-boggling diversity and its irrepressible energy. There will be a reception on Sat., Aug. 12 from 3 to 5 p.m. to meet the artist and learn how she became so entranced with Maryland’s birds and rural landscapes.

O’Grady has always been in love with color.

“It’s a deep-seated obsession,” she admitted. “I remember when I found out that Crayolas came in more than eight colors when I was two or three, I felt like my mother had been holding out on me.”

“Panic, Mayhem and Ullabee” by Kathryn O’Grady

Exhibiting at the Arboretum courtesy of Baltimore’s Steven Scott Gallery, O’Grady earned her BFA from Michigan State University and an MFA from the University of Texas and has shown her work widely in the U.S. In 1997, she moved from Texas to the tiny, rural town of Tracys Landing, south of Annapolis, where she has been painting the landscapes and birds near her house ever since.

“When we first moved here from Texas, my first overwhelming impression was I’ve got to find more colors of green paint,” she said.

As it turned out, she began to discover the many colors that underlie the green of plants and make it so lively. Like an Impressionist artist, when she painted an old tobacco barn sagging under the weight of a complicated tangle of vines, she did it with thousands of tiny strokes of scarlet, maroon, yellow, lime, pine green and shadowy blue. A riot of color and activity, it brilliantly captures how plants reclaim any building or field left vacant.

“I like seeing the plants take over,” O’Grady explained. “In Texas, it’s so hot and dry, it takes a lot longer for the plant life to reclaim the structures. Here it happens as soon as you turn your back.”

O’Grady had already been keeping chickens and peacocks when her daughter rescued a lost mallard duckling eight years ago and brought it home. Less than a day old, the exhausted bird fell asleep in O’Grady’s hand. Rather than put it in the aviary with her other birds, she raised it in the house until it was old enough to move to a nearby pond. Not long afterward, the duck returned, bringing along a new mate that she presented to O’Grady. The pair soon nested and began an extended family that still lives near the artist’s home.

“It changed the way I look at all birds,” O’Grady said. “I learned from my ducks that birds are individuals.”

In several portraits she has painted of her ducks, there’s no doubt of this. Each bird has its own distinctive personality. To make it even better, some of the portraits are accompanied by the ducks’ own stories engagingly told by writer Peter Guttmacher.

Throughout her paintings, O’Grady has a knack for capturing the vivacious energy of birds and plants, amiably conveying her awe of the indomitable spirit and incredible complexity of the natural world.

This show is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Sept. 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.

Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve at the headwaters of the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. Open year round, the Arboretum is the region’s resource for native plants and education programs about nature, ecology and wildlife conservation gardening. For more information, visit or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

Summer Highlights at Troika Gallery

Take a Visual Vacation with a visit to Troika Gallery, showcasing “The Finest of Fine Art” in historic downtown Easton. Summer highlights include new work by Troika Gallery artists as well as Plein Air paintings by nationally acclaimed Painting Judges, Kenn Backhaus and West Fraser.  The First Friday Gallery Walk on August 4th will feature a festive atmosphere with small bites and libations beginning at 5:00 pm.

Harbored Skipjack, oil on canvas, 12″ x 16”, by Kenn Backhaus.

Original works by the gallery’s renowned artists are on display with new work constantly refreshing the exhibit spaces.   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, Bo Jia, Jeanette Le Grue, Ken Lehman, Victor Letonoff, 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,  Ann Didusch Schuler, William Storck, Carol Lee Thompson, David H. Turner, Paula Waterman, Jennifer Heyd Wharton, Chris Wilke, Vladislav Yeliseyev and Mathew Zoll.

As the longest operating gallery on the Eastern Shore, Troika has been selected six times as the Best Art Gallery by What’s Up Eastern Shore magazine and has many loyal followers.  Whether an art collector, art lover or an art browser, Troika Gallery encourages you to stop in and see the beautiful art.

Professional Artists and Co-Owners, Laura Era and Jennifer Heyd Wharton, along with Gallery Manager Peg Fitzgerald, welcome your visit and will happily address questions on art, portraiture, framing and art restoration. Stop in for a Visual Vacation or for a chance to see a live artist at work!  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,

Academy Art Museum Opens Members’ Exhibition

The Academy Art Museum is pleased to present its Annual Members’ Exhibition from July 29 through September 4 (Labor Day), 2017. This exceptional tradition represents the best of the region’s artists and offers an opportunity to view the creative talents of colleagues and friends. Over the last five years, several Museum members have been offered solo exhibitions after having participated in the Members’ Exhibition. The Annual Member’s Exhibition remains one of the Museum’s most popular offerings, providing a venue for many talented artist members to showcase and sell their works, including such mediums as drawing, painting (oil, acrylic, watercolor, pastel), graphics, photography, mixed media, film, jewelry, sculpture and other applications.

Pictured are guests enjoying the Academy Art Museum’s Members’ Exhibition.

According to Heather Crowe, a Museum instructor and previous Museum trustee who has exhibited in the Members’ Exhibition since 1984 and received awards, states, “The Academy Art Museum is one of only a handful of museums remaining in the United States that is a true ‘teaching museum.’ The Museum is a place for people just beginning to explore art, and for mature artists still honing the craft and the art, still working at it.  The Annual Members Exhibition Is one event for all of us and one of its purposes is to encourage the members. The community benefits greatly from this amazing gathering and exhibition space.”

Joanne Magruder of Easton, another artist who has exhibited in the Exhibition for over 20 years, has received awards, and has served as a longtime volunteer, adds, “I think it’s important to have a Members’ Exhibition. It’s an opportunity to have your work out there.”

This year, the Annual Members’ Exhibition will be judged by Amy Eva Raehse, Executive Director and Curator of Goya Contemporary Gallery. The Gallery represents emerging and mid-career contemporary artists internationally within a program focused on Post-War, Contemporary, and Modern Masters in both primary and secondary markets. Raehse has curated over 100 exhibitionsand has placed artworks in major public and private collections worldwide including MoMA, the Smithsonian, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Museum of Art and Design, The MET, Chrysler Museum, ArtCloud Korea, among many others. She is a long standing trustee of The Creative Alliance of Baltimore and a Programming Advisor for Maryland Art Place.

Several awards are given at the Members’ Exhibition opening each year.

The Members’ Exhibition Is sponsored by the Talbot County Arts Council, the Maryland State Arts Council and the Star Democrat. For further information about the Museum’s exhibitions and programs, or call 410-822-2787.