Lo­cal artists paint Bay mu­ral

Kent County News - - FRONT PAGE - By LEANN SCHENKE lschenke@thekent­coun­tynews.com

CHESTERTOWN — Vis­i­tors to Dr. Michael Pel­czar’s den­tist of­fice can now get their teeth checked and a ge­og­ra­phy les­son in one go.

Lo­cal artists Tilly Pel­czar and Ken Castelli re­cently painted a mu­ral de­pict­ing the Ch­ester River and the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay in the hall­way lead­ing up to the of­fice.

“I had been try­ing to paint more mu­rals and I asked my dad if I could paint one in his of­fice,” Tilly Pel­czar said in a phone in­ter­view Feb. 9. For about two weeks af

ter Christ­mas, Pel­czar and Castelli cre­ated a large, and ac­cu­rate, mu­ral of the Bay with all its tribu­taries. The paint­ing in­cludes im­ages of wildlife fa­mil­iar to those from the Eastern Shore. The of­fice is lo­cated at the cor­ner of Green­wood and Wash­ing­ton Av­enue.

“It was re­ally fun to do. I didn’t know where all the rivers were be­fore or about all the creeks,” Pel­czar said. “It was fun try­ing to make it as ac­cu­rate as pos­si­ble.”

Pel­czar and Castelli are Kent County na­tives. Pel­czar grew up in Chestertown and re­ceived her Bach­e­lor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art In­sti­tute of Chicago. She then lived in Port­land, Ore. be­fore re­turn­ing to Kent County.

Pre­vi­ously, Pel­czar’s art had been on a smaller scale in­clud­ing botan­i­cal draw­ings, which are for sale at the Book­plate in Chestertown, but lately she has switched to mu­rals.

Castelli is from Kent

County, but had been work­ing in Tang­ier Is­land, Va. Pel­czar asked Castelli for his help with the mu­ral be­cause he has pre­vi­ous ex­pe­ri­ence paint­ing maps on the is­land.

The task of cre­at­ing an ac­cu­rate de­pic­tion of the Bay is not an easy one con­sid­er­ing the many wind­ing and twist­ing creek and rivers that flow into it.

Pel­czar and Castelli be­gan by pro­ject­ing an im­age of the Bay onto a piece of ply

wood, then they sketched it out and painted it.

To get the im­age from a rel­a­tively small piece of ply

wood onto a 30-foot long and 7-foot tall wall is where it gets tricky. The artists used the grid sys­tem to ac­cu­rately trans­fer their sketch.

It in­volves cre­at­ing a grid on the wall where the mu­ral is to be painted. Pel­czar and Castelli placed a grid over their ply­wood draw­ing and would then trans­fer each sec­tion of a grid from the ply­wood to the wall.

For the smaller creeks, Castelli re­ferred to his phone and of­ten sketched based on Google Maps by paint­ing as he glanced from his phone in his hand.

Pel­czar and Castelli be­gan work on the mu­ral af­ter Christ­mas and painted for a week straight around eight hours a day. The two did the bulk of the work in the first week and touched up the mu­ral the fol­low­ing week.

They la­beled each river, creek and branch that make up the Bay. Town, cities and a few land­marks are also marked on the mu­ral.

There are two com­passes cen­tered around a Canada goose and a rock­fish along with other crea­tures and plants seen around the Bay in­clud­ing a red fox, a blue heron, can­vas­back ducks, a bald ea­gle and loblolly pines. Castelli painted the com­passes and the wildlife scenes.

Though the mu­ral was painted for Pel­czar’s fa­ther, it is avail­able for any­one to see. The mu­ral is lo­cated out­side of the of­fice, so vis­i­tors to Chestertown can stop in and see it.

“My dad has lived on the Eastern Shore for 40 years. I wanted to paint some­thing with an out­door as­pect for him. He likes fish­ing and hunt­ing, so I thought a map of the Ch­ester River would show that,” Pel­czar said. “He al­ready had nau­ti­cal charts and fish­ing-themed dec­o­ra­tions in his of­fice, so I thought this was a nat­u­ral fit.”

Pel­czar and Castelli are plan­ning on cre­at­ing more mu­rals to­gether and even­tu­ally get­ting a stu­dio space. When they are not cre­at­ing mu­rals Pel­czar works for a con­struc­tion com­pany and Castelli makes fur­ni­ture.

For more in­for­ma­tion on Pel­czar’s work, visit her web­site at till­yart.com. The mu­ral can be viewed any

time the of­fice is open. It is lo­cated at 415 Wash­ing­ton Ave., Chestertown.


This fin­ished mu­ral, cre­ated by Tilly Pel­czar and Ken Castelli, in­cludes a few wildlife scenes while de­pict­ing the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay along with all its rivers, creeks and branches. It can be found on the wall of the of­fice of Pel­czar’s fa­ther, den­tist...

Artist Ken Castelli la­bels a creek on a mu­ral of the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay and Ch­ester River in the hall­way out­side of Dr. Michael Pel­czar’s den­tistry of­fice in Chestertown. Tilly Pel­czar and Castelli cre­ated the mu­ral over two weeks af­ter Christ­mas.


The fin­ished mu­ral can be seen at Dr. Michael Pel­czar’s den­tist of­fice on the cor­ner of Wash­ing­ton and Green­wood av­enues in Chestertown.

Tilly Pel­czar cre­ates a grid on the wall where a mu­ral of the Ch­e­sa­peake Bay will go. Pel­czar’s orig­i­nal paint­ing on the small ply­wood was trans­ferred to the 30-foot by 7-foot us­ing the grid sys­tem.

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