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Journeys Imagined, Paintings by John Moran, on View Through February at Adkins Arboretum

John Moran’s paintings are like stories in the process of unfolding. On view at the Adkins Arboretum Visitor’s Center through Feb. 26, Journeys Imagined, his exhibit of watercolor, oil and acrylic paintings, brims with rich, glowing color and animated trees, hills, clouds and abstract forms. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Sat., Feb. 19 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Although his paintings almost always suggest landscapes, they hover strangely between representation and abstraction. Colorful, inviting and often playful, they are full of the dreamlike, half-formed shapes you might glimpse in your imagination.

There’s a curved, cream-colored shape in “Nearing the Distance” that seems like a boat afloat in a sea of purple and violet water with islands and dark hills beyond. But none of it is distinct. The “boat” might just be a reflection of a pale cloud in the upper left or a shimmer of moonlight across the water.

Moran’s paintings are evocative of many things, but you can never be quite sure of what, and it’s this uncertainty that makes them so appealing. With no idea how a painting will turn out, Moran begins with some washes of color, then he paints in more colors and shapes, alters them, scrapes some paint away and paints some more. It’s a process of continual change as he experiments with how colors and shapes react to one another.

“It’s never planned,” he said. “I’m working on a painting now that’s all blue, but yesterday or the day before it was all red.”

Now living in Chester, Moran grew up in Washington, D.C., and began taking art classes in his late twenties at the American Academy of Art in Chicago. For 25 years, he lived in West Virginia and continued to paint, mostly creating plein air watercolor landscapes, while raising his family, farming and working at a government job. After his retirement in 1997, he chose to concentrate on art and in 2006 earned an MFA from the Hoffberger School of Painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

Over the years, Moran has developed his own very distinctive style, though occasionally there’s a nod to Arshile Gorky, Joan Miro, Salvador Dali or some other artist. Because he is so fascinated with the process of painting, he relishes the work of many different kinds of painters, listing Francis Bacon, David Hockney and Wayne Thiebaud as some of his favorites.

For Moran, the process of painting is almost more important than the finished work, and he enjoys the unexpected accidents that happen along the way. Dripping paint might turn into tree trunks or a coal-black mass might suggest a rocky seacoast, while a band of sooty red and luminous scarlet shapes below it call to mind molten lava churning deep in the earth.

There is much that is unpredictable and even slightly mystical in his paintings. Moran likes to think of them as visual poetry, never static and always open to new interpretations.

“I don’t know why these are what they are, and I can’t explain it,” he said. “I think it’s another language. Painting expresses something that can’t be said in words.”

Journeys Imagined is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Feb. 26 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 info@adkinsarboretum.org for gallery hours.

Maryland Heritage Areas Authority FY23 Grant Round Now Open

Do you have a heritage tourism related project in mind for your organization? Perhaps you are planning to restore a historic building, create a new museum exhibit, build a visitor center, develop a walking tour mobile application, or undertake some other project that showcases Maryland’s unique historical, cultural, or natural resources. Will the project take place in a certified heritage area?

A Maryland Heritage Areas project grant may be the funding source for you! The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority (MHAA) is pleased to announce that MHAA is now seeking applications for its FY 2023 grants cycle.

The deadlines are as follows:

Intent to Apply Deadline: January 28th, 2022

Application Deadline: March 1st, 2022

Webinars and Virtual “Office Hours”

Learn more about the opportunity by attending a live webinar, watching a recording of a webinar, or calling into MHAA staff’s virtual “office hours” to talk with about your project!

Click here to register for the upcoming webinars and virtual office hours.

January 12th – 11am: Questions and Answers
January 20th – 6pm:  Questions and Answers
January 26th – 4:30pm: Questions and Answers

MHAA Grant Program Basics

MHAA provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants for capital and non-capital projects located within Maryland’s 13 certified heritage areas. Non-profit organizations, local jurisdictions, state agencies, and federal agencies are all eligible to apply.

Non-capital MHAA grants are awarded for up to $50,000 per project, while capital MHAA grants are awarded for up to $100,000 per project.

Projects seeking less than $5,000 in grant funding are not eligible for MHAA project grants. MHAA requires that both capital and non-capital projects support heritage tourism related activities or infrastructure.

Match Policy

Applicants may propose any combination of cash and in-kind match. This means a project might be matched entirely by volunteer time spent on the project if that makes sense for the application budget. Read more about this and the entire application process in MHAA’s FY 2023 Guidelines.

The first step in the application process–aside from attending one of the highly-encouraged webinars and/or office hour sessions–is to submit a simple online questionnaire called an “Intent to Apply” form. This form is due no later than 11:59 pm on January 28, 2022To begin a new Intent to Apply form, please click here. 

Full applications in the Stories of the Chesapeake are due online March 11, 2022. Grant awards will be announced in July 2022.

Questions?

For more information about the application process, please refer to the webinars and to MHAA’s FY 2023 GuidelinesThese guidelines are updated each year to reflect policy changes.

 

For projects in the Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area, please contact:

Gail Owings, Executive Director
Stories of the Chesapeake Heritage Area
410-778-1460  | info@storiesofthechesapeake.org

Festive Fun in Caroline County: December 7th – 14th

Make your days merry and bright! Here are a few festive and fun ways to celebrate the holidays in Caroline County, Maryland this week!

    • Santa and his elves will be at Linchester Mill in Preston spreading holiday cheer on December 11th from 10am – 4pm! Children can visit with Santa and have their pictures taken. The Red Shef and Preston Coffee Company will be serving up yummy food and coffee, and hot chocolate, and Friends of Linchester will have hot cider and baked goods for sale. This event will also feature a variety of vendors and carolers. Find out more here.
    • The Preston Lions invite you to their annual Christmas Parade on December 11th at 6pm!! The theme is Crusin’ through Christmas: A Time to Remember. This year’s parade will also be in honor and remembrance of recent fallen lifetime PVFC members Troy Brooks, Bob Wahl, Kevin DeGroat and Robert Fluharty.
    • Voting is open for Denton’s Downtown Holiday Window Contest! Downtown Denton Businesses  have  decorated their windows, and the community can cast their vote for their favorite window on-line.  Voting is open through December 27th.  Vote online here.
    • Head to Ridgely to experience their Winterfest of Lights at Railroad Memorial Park. This magical light display is on view every evening through January 3rd starting at 5pm. Walk through the illuminated park and on the Rails to Trails and stop at the “Selfie Stations” along the way! On Fridays and Saturdays, view the Christmas Train Garden in the Gingerbread House and enjoy hot cocoa and popcorn for sale to benefit local organizations. Find out more here. 
    • Come and enjoy the magic of Christmas at the Whoville Village Holiday Park, located at 13781 Greensboro Road in Greensboro! Have your picture taken with Santa, meet the Grinch, warm up with hot chocolate and cookies, and enjoy the Whoville Village attractions! This park will run every Friday and Saturday evening from 5-9pm from December 3rd through 18th.
    • Bring your four-legged friend to the Ridgely Train Station at Railroad Memorial Park on December 10th from 6pm – 9pm for Paws & Claus and have your pet’s photo taken with Santa to benefit the Caroline County Humane Society.
    • Bring the whole family to the Federalsburg Christmas Parade on December 13th for a traditional small town Christmas parade down Main Street! After the parade, head to the Federalsburg Museum to visit with Santa Claus, view the displays and enjoy festive refreshments!!
    • Visit Clayton Farms in Denton to shop for holiday gifts, produce, locally-made specialty food items, and more! Santa will be visiting on Saturday, December 11th from 12pm – 3pm!
    • The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore (FACES) invites you to their latest exhibit – The 2018 AQSG Quilt Study: 200 Years of Solid Color Quilts. Solid colors simplify design and clarify pattern and needlework. They draw attention to regional and international styles and to changing tastes. Don’t miss this striking exhibit, on view through the end of the year. FACES is open Wednesday – Saturday from 12pm – 4pm. Find out more at FiberArtsCenter.com.
    • Take a winter walk through Adkins Arboretum, a 400-acre nature preserve and native garden in Caroline County!
    • Support the small businesses in your community by shopping local this holiday season! Our downtowns are full of wonderful shops where you can find unique, one-of-a-kind gifts.

On Site, Photographs by Liz Donadio, on View at Adkins Arboretum

When photographer Liz Donadio proposed her idea for an artist’s residency at Adkins Arboretum in 2019, she had no idea that the COVID shutdown would allow her to spend the next year and a half exploring and photographing this 400-acre nature preserve. On Site, the resulting exhibit of digital and alternative photography, is on view through Dec. 23 in the Arboretum Visitor’s Center. There will be a reception to meet the artist on Sat., Nov. 13 from 3 to 5 p.m.

Supported by a Maryland State Arts Council Creativity Grant, Donadio made a visual study of the Arboretum’s landscapes, plants and behind-the-scenes details throughout the changing seasons. During that time, she proved herself to be something of an alchemist who deftly mingles many different photographic techniques. Interested in photography since high school, Donadio first learned traditional black-and-white and color photography and then, in college and graduate school, began expanding her range into digital techniques and alternative photography, including camera-less processes.

In August 2020, Donadio could be found outside the Adkins greenhouses peeling digital negatives away from photosensitive paper she had exposed to sunlight. The resulting vivid blue cyanotypes now spread across one long wall of the Arboretum’s gallery. Reproducing the pages of “Mrs. Lola Somers’ Plant Collection,’” a handmade book Donadio found in the Adkins library, there’s something magical about how these prints capture the fragile beauty of the native plants that Somers collected in Caroline County 60 to 100 years ago.

Using another technique that, like cyanotype, dates from the 19th century, Donadio created lumen prints by arranging plant material on photosensitive silver gelatin paper. Created onsite, they seem abstract at first glance, but closer inspection reveals them to be delicate, almost ghostly images of leaves, curving stems and seeds layered like memories.

“I made these lumen prints at sites all around Adkins from spring to summer to fall to winter, so it was all the different lights and plants and space,” she said. “I really enjoyed being able to come back to the same places and see how they changed each time.”

Another wall of the gallery is filled with colorful digital prints—not only of the Arboretum’s trees, meadows and water, but also of its buildings, equipment, beehives and library. Intermingled with them are haunting portraits of volunteers and staff printed as pinkish purple anthotypes in which Donadio employed native pokeweed in a photosensitive emulsion.

“Everything was about being here,” she said. “I ended up creating a portrait of the place, not just of the foliage and plants but also of the people and the structures. It really struck me how much is behind the scenes.”

Although she is based in Baltimore and teaches photography at Northern Virginia Community College, Donadio’s work can also be found on this side of the Bay in a multilayered video installation at the Academy Art Museum created in collaboration with video and sound artist Shannon Collis. On view Jan. 11 to March 6 as part of Moveable Image: Video Art by Collis/Donadio, Shala Miller and Rachel Schmidt, this exhibit explores the spatial possibilities of video art, highlighting contemporary works that go beyond the conventional rectangular screen.

While the Collis/Donadio video installation focuses the bodily experience of reemerging from the pandemic into the architectural environments of the city and suburbs, Donadio’s work at Adkins grew from her experience of the restorative quality of its natural landscapes.

“The original idea was to have the exhibit in November 2020,” she explained. “Then COVID happened, and Adkins became even more like a sanctuary. It was like an escape from the stress of what was happening in the world to be amongst the quiet and nature and think about how no matter what’s going on in the world, things are still growing, the seasons are still changing. We can rely on that.”

On Site is part of Adkins Arboretum’s ongoing exhibition series of work on natural themes by regional artists. It is on view through Dec. 23 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 info@adkinsarboretum.org for gallery hours.

Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore Presents 200 Years of Solid Color Quilts: 1800-2000

The Fiber Arts Center of the Eastern Shore, located at 7 N. 4th Street in Denton, invites you to their latest exhibit 200 Years of Solid Color Quilts: 1800 – 2000.

Solid Colors create a “wow” factor and strong graphics to inspire artists and quilters.  Solid colors simplify design and clarify pattern and needlework.  They draw attention to regional and international styles and to changing tastes.  Differences among quilts are more apparent, even while design links are revealed.

In 200 years colors have changed, but solid color quilts have always been with us.  They define the earliest whole-cloth quilts, classic 19th century appliqué quilts, work by 20th century quilt designers, political quilts, and today’s Modern Quilt movement.

Colors are imbued with meanings, signals, emotions, and feelings.

The American Quilt Study Group encourages sound research in quilt history and provides opportunities for sharing discoveries.  Founded in 1980, the group believes that quilts hold unique stories and essential history.

The AQSG Quilt Study challenges members to learn the history of an individual quilt by selecting one that addresses a specified design, style, or period.  Members then make a small quilt that replicates or interprets the original and share their discoveries.

The exhibit runs through the end of December, 2021.  The gallery is open Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, from 12pm – 4pm. The exhibit is free of charge. For more information, please call 410-479-4296, email info@fiberartscenter.com, or visit FiberArtsCenter.com. 

Hit the Trails in Caroline County

Hit the trails in Caroline County! Below you’ll find links to trail maps for top spots to get outside and go for a hike! Please remember to practice social distancing while on the trails.

Adkins Arboretum
12610 Eveland Road, Ridgely, MD
410-634-2847 |  Website
Adkins Arboretum Trail Map
Adkins Arboretum is a 400-acre native garden and preserve dedicated to promoting the appreciation and conservation of the rich and diverse native plants of the Delmarva Peninsula. Miles of interpretive paths lead visitors through a diverse setting of woodlands, meadows, wetlands, streams, and display gardens.

Idylwild Wildlife Management Area
4404 Houston Branch Road, Federalsburg
410-376-3236  |  Website
Idylwild Wildlife Management Area Trail Map
Surrounding the headwaters of the Marshyhope Creek, Idylwild Wildlife Management Area consists of approximately 4,000 acres of diverse and unique recreational forest, including 27 miles of trails for bird watching, hiking, hunting, canoeing and kayaking. The trails are closed to motorized vehicles. Alongside of the Marshyhope Creek is Federalsburg’s four-mile long Greenway, which is paved for hiking and biking.
Please note: Hikers should be aware of open hunting seasons and visit accordingly. Trails are maintained but not actively marked. 

Lynch Preserve
Parking area at the end of Robin’s Creek Road, Preston
Lynch Preserve Trail Map
Eastern Shore Land Conservancy’s Lynch Preserve offers around 2 miles of hiking trails along the Choptank River and Robin’s Creek.

Martinak State Park
137 Deep Shore Road, Denton, MD
410-820-1668  |  Website
Martinak State Park Trail Map
Enjoy a peaceful hike at Martinak State Park. Located along the Choptank River and Watts Creek just south of historic Denton, Martinak State Park is the perfect place to stroll through forest trails or take in views of the river.

Tuckahoe State Park
13070 Crouse Mill Rd, Queen Anne, MD
410-820-1668  |  Website
Tuckahoe State Mark Trail Map*
Tuckahoe State Park has more than 20 miles of scenic trails perfect for hiking, biking and horseback riding. A 60-acre lake feeds the Tuckahoe Creek, which winds through the length of the park.
*The Little Florida Trail is currently closed. Printed trail maps are available for hikers at the Park Office. 

 

Photo: Family walking at Adkins by Kellen McClusky

The Dirty Grass Players to Headline Adkins Arboretum Beer Garden October 23

Local beer, food trucks, ice cream and music by The Dirty Grass Players are all on tap when Adkins Arboretum’s Beer Garden returns on Sat., Oct. 23.

A four-piece new-grass band from Baltimore, The Dirty Grass Players are known for having one toe-tapping foot in traditional bluegrass while pushing boundaries with their blazing musicianship. Their ability to transition seamlessly from down-home bluegrass to spirited improvisation makes each performance a singular experience. Add some Allman Brothers, Pink Floyd or a dash of southern rock, and you’ll quickly understand what they mean by “dirty grass.” The 2017 winners of the Charm City Bluegrass & Folk Festival Band Competition, the band recently released their second studio album, “Beneath the Woodpile.”

Bull & Goat Brewery and Ten Eyck Brewing Company will be pulling premium craft beer, complemented by fare from Blue Monkey Street Tacos and Chesapeake Celebrations food trucks and small-batch “cow-to-cup” ice cream from Nice Farms Creamery.

The Beer Garden runs from 2 to 4 p.m., but food trucks will begin serving at 1 p.m. Seating is limited; bringing chairs or a blanket is highly advised. Advance registration is required. Only 500 tickets will be sold. Admission is $20 for adults, $5 for children ages 3–18 and free for children ages 2 and under. Register online at adkinsarboretum.org or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0  or call 410-634-2847, ext. 0

Photo: 2019 Beer Garden at Adkins Arboretum by Mike Morgan.

Shore Shakespeare to Bring A Little Touch of Shakespeare to Adkins Arboretum

Have you ever wondered what William Shakespeare was thinking as he wrote The Taming of the Shrew or Richard III? Well, who better to introduce Shakespeare’s plays than the Bard himself? Join Shore Shakespeare for A Little Touch of Shakespeare, an exploration of some of the playwright’s most famous works, Sept. 18 and 19 at Adkins Arboretum.

In this original production, seven actors take on roles in eleven scenes from ten of Shakespeare’s most famous works, including Richard IIIMacbethThe Taming of the ShrewMuch Ado About NothingTwelfth Night and more. Narrated by Shakespeare himself, the show takes the audience behind the scenes to see what the Bard may have been thinking as he wrote some of the wittiest, most charming and, in some cases, darkest dialogue ever. The scenes themselves explore the Battle of the Sexes and revolve around the theme of love, all while showcasing Shakespeare’s incomparable wit, wisdom and poetry. In addition, the show features seven of Shakespeare’s sonnets, also dealing with issues of love, placed strategically throughout the scenes.

Performances are Sat., Sept. 18 and Sun., Sept. 19 from 2 to 4 p.m. in the Arboretum Pavilion. Participants should bring a blanket or chair and are welcome to bring a picnic. Admission is $15 for adults, $5 for children ages 3–18 and free for children ages 2 and under and can be purchased in advance at adkinsarboretum.org or by calling 410-634-2847, ext. 0.

A Little Touch of Shakespeare was written by Shore Shakespeare Company co-founder Chris Rogers in 2012. Sadly, Chris passed away in June 2020. This production will serve as special recognition of his passion and legacy within the local theatre. Proceeds will benefit Shore Shakespeare and Adkins Arboretum.

Shore Shakespeare is a pan-community theatre group established to present the classic works of the theatrical repertoire and to encourage its audiences to support local community theatre all over the Shore.

Caroline County Tourism Businesses & Attractions featured in Radio Ads

The Caroline Office of Tourism was the recipient of a small grant from the Maryland Office of Tourism to promote tourism-related businesses and attractions in Caroline County. Through a partnership with iHeartMedia, the tourism office developed radio spots to air on markets in Salisbury and Baltimore featuring tourism-related businesses that expressed interest in participating.

Listen to the radio spots below to discover the great things happening in Caroline County!

Discover Federalsburg Radio Spot

Discover Greensboro Radio Spot

Discover Ridgely Radio Spot

Discover Preston Radio Spot

Discover the Homegrown Flavors of Caroline County Radio Spot

Explore Downtown Denton Radio Spot

Have an Agritourism Adventure in Caroline County Radio Spot