Studio tour continues with more artists
CHESTERTOWN — The Chestertown RiverArts Studio Tour will take place over this weekend from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oct. 2930, rain or shine.
More than 50 artists will greet visitors mainly in their own studios. However, there are several venues that visitors won’t want to miss because there are guest artists who will be showing their work and in many cases demonstrating their techniques.
In Chestertown there are three such locations: Robert Ortiz Studio, the RiverArts Clay Studio and Sumner Hall.
Robert Ortiz designs fine, contemporary furniture in the Shaker and Japanese traditions. Custom-crafted from exquisite woods, selected with Ortiz’s artistic eye, each piece, a chair, table, cabinet or bed, is created to realize the client’s aspirations for their home.
Joining Ortiz are JoLecia Crowe and Stephanie Somers. Crowe makes delicate jewelry with polymer clay.
Somers is a photographer and printmaker. She works with a range of printmaking formats creating etchings, messotints, woodcuts and monotypes.
During the Studio Tour the RiverArts Clay Studio will have potters conducting demonstrations of the pottery wheel, handbuilding and other aspects of the pottery making process. A range of pottery including stoneware, raku and talavera will be displayed and for sale, all sales are considered donations to the Clay Studio.
Sumner Hall is not a studio but one that has a rich history. In 1882 black Civil War veterans organized the Charles A. Sumner Post #25 of the Grand Army of the Republic. In 1908 the hall was built by the Landing family and others, including Black Civil War Veterans. It is one of only two U.S. Colored Veterans Halls still standing in the U.S. today.
Recently restored, it houses a small museum and entertainment and educational spaces. Five artists will be showing their work here: Allen Johnson, Joe and Bonnie Masslofsky, Anne Singer and Heidi Wetzel.
Johnson is a painter and wood carver. His thought-provoking paintings explore African American themes and his carvings vary in size from small folk art objects to wonderful sculptures of faces and animals.
Joe and Bonnie Masslofsky create one-of-a-kind gemstone and sea glass jewelry. Joe wire wraps his jewelry with sterling silver and 14K gold filled wire. Bonnie likes to combine her pendants with semi-precious stones.
Singer discovered art in 2011 on a trip to Paris. She works primarily in oil and pastel. While obsessed with studying the figure and portraiture, she also has a love of capturing nature’s beauty.
Wetzel is a fiber artist and basket weaver. She uses unique and indigenous materials as well as materials that she brings back from her many travels. Her work ranges from traditional, sculptured, to contemporary.
In Upper Queen Anne’s County is the studio of Marcy Dunn Ramsey who has invited Fredy Granillo to share her space. Dunn is a portrait artist, teacher, graphic designer, illustrator, print maker and painter.
Granillo is a painter and a potter from El Salvador. In Central America he researched the use of local plants and wood ashes as a decorative material for PreColumbian ceramics. Since moving to Maryland in February he has been inspired to experiment with local wood ash to create his clayslips. Granilio will be showing talavera as well as terra cotta toned pottery and miniature talavera tile earrings.
Marti Hawkins’s Studio at Hawkpoint, and her guest artists are Sue Basener, Charlotte Guschl and Judith Gunter.
Nature is the prominent subject of Hawkin’s work. Her style is sumi-e, or Oriental brush painting. The tools she uses are unique to this discipline…bamboo handled wolf hair brushes, rice paper, Chinese watercolors, and hand ground ink made from stick and stone.
Basener said that taking pictures was imprinted on her as a child when she watched her grandfather work in his darkroom. After she retired from teaching, she bought a film camera and learned darkroom techniques. In 2008 she switched to a digital camera.
Guschl was introduced to the art of jewelry design eighteen years ago by her sister. The initial contact was through the lost technique of making rose clay beads from rose petals. Each unique piece constitutes using the traditional meaning of the stones to reflect the personality of the wearer.
Never wanting to have a quilt that was like some- one else’s, Gunter began to explore the use of color, texture and form within her designs. Her art quilts are created through using actual strips of fabric that are stiff and can provide a dimensional factor.
Cindy Stafford has a large red barn as her studio in Betterton. Stafford’s guest artists are Joy Berghaus, Ronnie Edelman and Joan Strand.
Stafford fell in love with watercolors during a high school art class and wanted to paint ever since then. Stafford likes to paint on watercolor paper, yupo (plastic sheeting) and clay board. Her work is representational, usually done on small pieces with fine brushwork.
Berghaus is well-known for her unique wearable art pieces – no two are exactly alike. She is inspired by the colors and combinations of glass beads, silver plated metal, charms, crystal, porcelain, shell beads and semiprecious stones. Bracelets can be made for children or adults.
Recently Berghaus began creating necklaces with a focal section that is made of bead strung silver plated wire, knitted and then strung with the addition of simple beaded strands.
Edelman learned to knit from a neighbor as a child. She made several sweaters during the summer at the beach while in high school and then only occasionally until she retired. Her focus is on women and children’s clothing and accessories.
Strand will be exhibiting both pottery and jewelry during the tour. Her pottery is all hand built. Most of her pieces are decorated boxes or vases. Her jewelry is mainly earrings and necklaces with pendants.
Three venues with guest artists are in Chestertown, the other three studios with guest artists are out in the countryside. October is the perfect time for visiting them. There’s nothing like a beautiful fall day for a ride to visit studios with lots to see.
For more information on the Studio Tour, visit www. chestertownriverarts.org.
Jodi Bortz demonstrates how to use the letterpress at Blue Canary Letterpress on Saturday. The Studio Tour allows visitors to see artists in action along with finished pieces. The tour will continue for an additional weekend, with studios all over Kent County open to visitors Saturday and Sunday
June Garden, by Sue Basener, is one of the many types of art on display during the Studio Tour. Studios and galleries all around Kent County will be open Saturday and Sunday for visitors to see the artists in action.
Mary Gedeny, of Kennedyville, learns how the artwork at Hegeland Glass is created from the artist herself, Patti Hegland, right, Saturday during the Studio Tour.