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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.

Caroline County Holiday Gift Guide

This holiday season, it’s more important than ever to support our local small businesses and organizations. Our downtowns are full of shops and stores where you can find everything from holiday décor and clothing to toys and antiques. We encourage you to shop local this holiday season. Below are a few unique and one-of-a-kind Caroline County gift ideas!

If you are a Caroline County business and have a gift you’d like to have featured, we’d love to include it! Please email info@visitcaroline.org.

  • Do you have someone on your list that loves fishing? Head to Denton Rod & Tackle, where you’ll find salt and freshwater tackle, live bait, rods, clothing, gear, custom rods, kayaks and more!
  • Give a one-of-a-kind, Maryland-inspired gift with a Savor Maryland Box! Savor Maryland was created by Shore Gourmet, a non-profit that promotes Maryland farmers and entrepreneurs to bring awareness to the great products they create in our beautiful state! From “Bee Maryland” to the “It’s a Shore Thang,” these boxes are packed with local flavor and can be ordered from the comfort of your home!
  • Shop for fragrant gifts made from lavender at Smokey Cat Lavender Farm’s online store. From relaxing neck wraps to rejuvenating eye pillows, they have just what you need for the lavender-lover on your list! Visit the online store at www.smokeycatlavender.com.
  • Give the gift of local flavor with a gift card to a Caroline County restaurant that can be enjoyed later! Some restaurants have gift cards that can be purchased online, including the Market Street Public House.
  • Looking for a gift for those who love the great outdoors? How about a gift membership to Adkins Arboretum, a 400-acre preserve and public garden. Members receive unlimited free admission to the Arboretum, discounts on programs, trips, native plants, and gift shop purchases, and invitations to special events. Family memberships are $75/year. Learn more here.
  • Do you have adventure seekers on your list? Give the gift of a tandem skydive from Chesapeake Skydive! Enjoy breathtaking views of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic coastline, followed by a freefall for nearly a minute where you’ll reach speeds up to 120 mph. After the parachute opens you will glide through the sky towards the earth for 5-7 minutes. Learn more here.
  • Brighten up someone’s table with a beautiful holiday-inspired floral arrangement! Contact your hometown florist to place your order!
  • Order a custom-made wreath from the Cawley Family Farm! Place your order online and then pick up your custom wreath at the farm, located at 24320 Willow Pond Road in Denton. Opening day this year is November 20th!  Order your wreath here.
  • Give a Blades Orchard CSA share for a gift that keeps on giving! Recipients will enjoy six months of fresh picked strawberries, cherries, blueberries, peaches, apples, melons, apricots, plums, blackberries, melons, ciders, butters and honey from this Preston orchard. You receive 8-10 pounds of locally-grown goodness twice a month. Find out more here.
  • Adopt an alpaca for a year from Outstanding Dreams Farm in Preston! This program makes the perfect gift for alpaca lovers of all ages! Adopted alpacas stay at Outstanding Dreams Farm, where they take care of all the work! Recipients receive a Certificate of Adoption, a 4×6 photo of your adopted alpaca, a voucher to come learn about your alpaca, a $20 gift certificate to their Farm Store, and birthday card from your alpaca. Learn more here.

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

Announcing the Summer 2021 Capture Caroline Photo Contest

Enter the Summer 2021 Capture Caroline Photo Contest
Do you have amazing photos of Caroline County? Enter them in the Caroline Office of Tourism’s Capture Caroline Photo Contest! From your favorite activities and cherished places to one-of-a-kind events, show us what makes Caroline County special to you! Participants are invited to enter up to five photos in the contest. The winning photographer will receive a $50 gift certificate to the Caroline County business of their choice, and the two runners up will receive a $25 gift certificate to their Caroline County business of choice.

How to Enter
Photos may be entered by posting them to the Caroline County, MD Facebook page with the hashtag #CaptureCaroline or by emailing them to info@visitcaroline.org. Entries are due by 12pm noon on August 31st, 2021.

All eligible entries will be posted in an album on the Caroline County, MD Facebook page on September 1st 2021, where the public will be invited to vote on them by liking the photo of their choice during a two-week open voting session. The winner will announced on the Facebook page on September 15th, 2021.

When submitting an entry, please provide a title for the photo and share details such as the location, the date taken and/or event name. Please make sure that your submitted photo is high resolution, as contest winners will be asked to submit a high-resolution file. Photos with watermarks are not eligible. If the photograph includes a recognizable person, a model release must also be completed and submitted. Model releases can be downloaded here.

Note: By entering your photograph(s) in the Caroline County Capture Caroline Contest, you acknowledge and grant permission for it to be used by the Caroline Office of Tourism in a variety of promotional materials, including newsletters, advertisements, brochures, media kits, websites, social media sites and other print and digital communications.

Journeys to Freedom: Birding & Boating Tours on the Harriet Tubman Byway

Delmarva Birding Weekends is teaming up with Harriet Tubman Tours and River Run Cruises this July to offer Birding and Boating Tours on the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad Byway! The tours will take place July 1st, July 15th, July 24th & July 29th from 2pm – 6pm and cost $85.

During the first two hours of our guided, self-driven tour, you’ll learn about the many daring escapes led by the famed freedom seeker and human rights activist known as “The Moses of Her People,” Harriet Tubman. In Caroline County, Harriet Tubman found shelter and assistance as she traveled along the Underground Railroad to Delaware.

The driving route courses through the farms, forests and significant Underground Railroad sites of Caroline County until you arrive at River Run Cruises in Denton, MD. From there, you’ll explore the upper reaches of the Choptank River during a two-hour cruise aboard a pontoon boat. Downriver, landings and points along the Choptank served as sites for perilous escapes by boat. The shallow waters of the Upper Choptank provided crossings for freedom seekers heading north towards Sandtown, DE.

Learn more and register at delmarvabirding.com/choptank-river-cruise-caroline-county!