RiverArts Keeps Our Community Connected

“The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.” So said Molière. In that spirit RiverArts has sought to come up with creative ways to overcome the limitations created by the pandemic. It continues to explore new ways to bring people together virtually and, in so doing, act as a force to help keep our community inter-connected and thriving.

Early on, RiverArts began offering its now popular Salon Discussions. These get-togethers promote connection and stimulate thought by inviting speakers of note to present programs on a broad range of topics from art of all kinds to climate change to life-long learning to the African American experience here in Kent County. Questions and conversation are encouraged. Tuesdays, 5-5:45pm.

More recently, RiverArts began offering monthly ArtistsRoundtables. Hosted by Gallery Director, Sue Wilson, these zoom conversations offer peer-to-peer support and a place for local artists to share ideas and experiences. A broad range of topics are explored such as “How should I frame my piece?” or “How should I price and sell work navigating the new normal?”

Wednesdays, 6-7pm.

The RiverArts Photography Club meets on Thursdays at 7pm. Participants of all experience levels are encouraged to share their work and provide each other with helpful feedback. To sign up email Steve Kane at srkane@gmail.com.

Classes for youth and adults are offered virtually and occasionally in person outdoors, providing instruction on basic techniques in a broad range of media, and for all levels of skill and experience. Student comments after a recent Exploring Watercolor class taught by nationally renowned landscape painter Deena Ball included the rave review, “”I’ve been taking classes for over 20 years and by far, this was the best class I have ever taken.”

The newest addition to these offerings are Flash Exhibits, online shows offering an opportunity for artists of all ages to share their work with the community in the context of the rapid change and unpredictability in which we are living. Announced no more than a week before opening, Flash Exhibits showcase the work of the talented artists in our community in a format of exploration and spontaneity. Artists are encouraged to invite audiences into the process of art-making at any stage along the journey from the initial inspiration to the finished work.

April Schedule (more events being added weekly):

SALON: Exploring Race, Class, and Social Standing Through Painting with Kyle Hackett

April 6, 5pm

Kyle will discuss how his paintings explore issues of race, class, and social standing through approaches to self-representation and the constructed image.

SALON: Plants, Music, Light and Art with Sam Nester

April 13, 5pm

Sam Nester’s Arcadia sound and light installation takes the natural biorhythms of Virginian native plants and converts them to MIDI data to control MIDI instruments and a corresponding synesthetic light installation in real-time.

CLASS: How to Enter Online Exhibits 101 with Kris Kelley, via Zoom

April 14 daytime session, 12 noon, April 22 evening session, 6:30pm

Learn how to present your art and yourself in the most positive way so that you can successfully enter online exhibits.

SALON: RiverArts Salon: Provincetown Printers with Fred Dylla

April 20, 5pm

Hear about a physicist’s discovery of the white-line woodcut.

CLASS: A Watercolor Spring Tune-Up” Where The Sky’s Not The Limit! with Steve Bleinberger, Outdoors near the Chestertown Waterfront. April 24, 10am

 There’s never been a better time to learn to paint dramatic clouds and beautiful skies in watercolor. Learn tips and techniques for creating striking colors, shades, and washes. Bring your own watercolor supplies, and enjoy painting outdoors in the springtime.

Chestertown Art Walk, April 24

Handmade, one of a kind pieces created by local artists over the last year will be viewable in our studio windows at the RiverArts Gallery, the Clay Studio, and ArtsAlive, all in downtown Chestertown. Come downtown for a wonderful stroll and see what RiverArts artists have been up to. All items are available for sale. Purchases and pick up or delivery arrangements can be made on our website, chestertownriverarts.org.

Paper Mache Piñata – Kit Class, via Zoom, April 27, 7pm

This class is timed to have the supplies ready to create these crafts before or during Cinco de Mayo. Purchase a kit in advance from the Artesanas of the Creative Alliance in Baltimore, then join the RiverArts Zoom to work on piñatas together!

To explore links that take you to wonderful art, music, poetry, activities for kids and more and to learn about programs being offered by other groups in the community, subscribe to the “Daily Dose.”

Chestertown RiverArts is a community arts center serving Kent County, Maryland and beyond with exhibits, classes, children’s arts activities, and a Clay Studio. RiverArts’ mission is “growing community, creativity, and connection through the Arts.” Visit RiverArts online at www.ChestertownRiverArts.org, call 410.778.6300, or email at info@ChestertownRiverArts.org.

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Allison Rogers



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