Plans, currently underway for the 38th Festival of Trees, include the unveiling of this year’s official artwork by national award-winning artist Stephen Walker of Easton. Created to complement the 2023 theme, “Caroling, Caroling Through the Town,” Stephen’s vibrant oil painting features lovely evergreens and carolers heralding from the Victorian era.
The artwork will now be prominently featured in the festival’s marketing materials. Presented by Friends of Hospice, the 38th Festival of Trees will take place in Easton on November 25 through 28. Events include Festival of Trees, which is held in the Tidewater Inn, as well as Carols by Candlelight, Santa 5K Run, a Poinsettia Sale, and more. Since 1984, Friends of Hospice has donated to the Talbot Hospice Foundation over $3.7 million, all generated from the annual Festival of Trees events.
Working in no fewer than five mediums in his esteemed career, Stephen is relatively new to oil painting. When he retired from a 20-plus-year career teaching high school and college art students, Stephen started dabbling in oil about seven years ago because he liked the medium. And in the last year or so things started coming together for Stephen. “I can’t explain it, but things really started taking off for me,” he admits.
Retiring to Easton with his art director wife, Maire McArdle, the couple wanted to live in a vibrant arts community. In the last year alone, Stephen has participated in the Oxford Business Association’s Picket Fence Auction, Oxford Community Center’s Oxford Fine Arts, St. Michaels Art League’s Banner program, Tred Avon Players’ set design, and the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum’s Changing Chesapeake exhibit. Later this year, he will again teach a sculpture class at the Academy Art Museum.
Stephen admits that he is “living the dream.” An avid angler for 50 years, Stephen has yearned for a boat, which is finally kissing the water this summer. He has always wanted to be involved in an active arts community, which he has clearly accomplished. “Retirement has been busier than ever before, but it is a good kind of busy,” Stephen explains. “I guess ‘my time’ after working for 50 years as an artist is meant to be now.”
Stephen considers his artistic style to be rough impressionistic and seeks out vistas, including fishing, boating, hunting, and crabbing scenes, that are both meaningful and soulful. He is honored to be selected as this year’s Festival of Trees artist.
To get involved in any capacity, big or small, contact Festival of Trees Chairman Karla Wieland-Cherry at email@example.com or 410-310-8421. Prefer to help by way of a sponsorship? Visit www.festival-of-trees.org to learn more. To see Stephen’s work, visit www.squarehousestudio.com or call him at 240-388-3807.
Talbot Hospice provides compassionate care, comfort and support for patients and their families and caregivers wherever they call home. Talbot Hospice serves patients facing life-limiting illnesses through hospice and palliative care, as well as its pathways and bereavement programs. Services are available to patients and caregivers regardless of ability to pay. Learn more at www.talbothospice.org.