Southern Maryland – Artsfest at Annmarie Garden and Sculpture Park in Solomons is an event that has brought a lot of people to lower Calvert County for the past 22 years.

“Our goal this year is 12,000,” said AMG Marketing Director Bill Stevenson. “Last year we had over 11,000. We hope to top that this year.”

This year’s event will run from Sept. 19-20 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. daily.

People come from as far away as Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware to attend the two-day festival, but it’s the artists who make up the most eclectic long-distance travelers. Out of the 166 artists attending this year’s Artsfest, represented will be artisans from Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Montana, North Carolina, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, West Virginia, Virginia and Maryland.

“This is a juried process,” Stevenson noted. “People look at all the entrants and go through a process to decide which are of the caliber we want for this event. They go through the applications and come up with the final people.

“A lot of the artists will be new,” he added. “There will be lots of new art to buy.”

Artsfest will have a bevy of entertainment for the event, with 25 bands, a lot of whom are new this year. Through a grant made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council, the festival will feature two headliners, Lovejoy, who Stevenson described as energetic jazz, funky blues and smooth Latin rhythms, and The Eric Byrd Trio, featuring a broad variety of traditional jazz. Many local bands perform as well.

The true strength of the event are the volunteers who donate their time and energy to make the event a success.

“We have in excess of 80 volunteers donating their time at various locations, the entrance gate, the parking field, all throughout the facility,” Stevenson said. “They set up, break down and provide customer service. Some of the local groups that help us we couldn’t do without: Calvert County Public Works, the Calvert County Sheriff’s Office, the Calvert County Office of General Services, Boy Scout Troop 427 and Patuxent High School JROTC.

“We couldn’t do it without volunteers,” he said.

Solomons Plein Air weekend

Twenty-five artists from 12 states and the District of Columbia will participate in the 2015 Solomons Plein Air Festival Sept. 15- 20 in Historic Solomons in Calvert.

The Solomons Plein Air Festival is unique in that it offers the artists diversity in painting subject matter.  Solomons Island, a historic fishing village where working boats of the Chesapeake Bay were built in the 1800s is now a picturesque mix of work boats, pleasure boats, marinas, old fishermen’s cottages, rural farmland, and quaint architecture with a few shops scattered amongst historic waterfront buildings. 

The Solomons Plein Air Festival allows artists the opportunity to enjoy not only painting but sharing their creativity with the public.  To viewers, this art form can be very exciting, because it invites them into the creative process.  Artists compete side for prizes awarded after four days of painting “en plein air” French for on location.
Artists will paint not only on Solomons Island, but throughout Calvert County. 

Wednesday, Sept. 17, artists will choose a location from a list of suggestions.  On Thursday artists will paint in the Nocturnal Quick Draw Competition. Guests are welcome to paint alongside the artists for a registration fee of $25. On Friday, the “en plein air” painting will be located in Solomons.

New this year will be the Saturday morning event on the Riverwalk: “Paint the Town for a Cause – an Art from the Heart Public Paint Out.” All are welcome to paint alongside the artists for free, or just wander the Riverwalk and view the artists at work. Artists must paint within the competition boundaries and without the assistance of photographs.  Any medium may be used, although photography is not acceptable in this competition.  Artists must turn in up to three framed, ready to hang artworks. 
The exhibition and sale of the work will take place at Carmen’s Gallery in Solomons, Saturday, Sept. 20 at the grand “Affaire of the Arts.”

A portion of the profits from the Solomons Plein Air Festival will be donated to P.A.W.S, Sophia’s Oasis for Equines, HeartFELT, student art scholarships at the College of Southern Maryland, and the Solomons Business Association’s July 4 fireworks. 

Artist for this year’s festival include Bruno Baran of Nottingham, MD; Kevin Beck of Boone, N.C.; John Caggiano of Rockport, MA; Jackie Clark of New York, NY; Ann Jagielski Crostic of Baltimore, MD; David Diaz of Annapolis, MD; Wesley James Drake of Chicago, IL; Eileen Eder of Guilford, CT; Peter Emerson of Lewisberry, PA; Raymond Ewing of Swan Point, MD; Stephan Giannini of Rockland, ME; Debra Howard of Crisfield, MD; Neal Hughes of Moorestown, NJ; Greg Johannesen of Port Republic, MD; Diane Joy Laird of Middletown, DE; Patrick Lee of Pittsburgh, PA; Mimi Little of Port Republic, MD; Mick McAndrews of Downingtown, PA; Crystal Moll of Baltimore, MD; JoEllen Murphy of Washington, DC; Carole Boggeman Peirson of Townsend, VA; Raymond Roberts of Angels Camp, CA; Duane Sabiston of Baltimore, MD; Catherine Whitehead of Glen Gardner, NJ; Dennis Young of New Castle, DE; and Marius Zabinski of Brussels, Belgium, this year’s invited artist.

Landscapes of the District and Southern Maryland
The College of Southern Maryland Tony Hungerford Memorial Art Gallery will feature Christopher Scott Dolan’s “Landscapes of the District and Southern Maryland” Sept. 12 to Oct. 2 at the CSM Fine Arts (FA) Building, Tony Hungerford Memorial Art Gallery, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata.

Dolan uses direct observation of the urban and semi-urban landscape to create densely layered paintings created en plein-aire which are influenced by a sensitivity to abstraction.

The gallery is open 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Friday; and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Free.

For more information call 301-934-7828 or go to http://www.csmd.edu/Arts/HungerfordGallery.html.

Leonardtown Art*Work* Shop
Come to Leonardtown for the Art*Work*Shop Saturday, Sept. 12.

People of all ages can challenge themselves, learn new skills, benefit from expert teachers, and go home with something they created.

This first-time event allows participants to explore art venues and studios around Leonardtown for a full day of hands-on, educational, creative workshops with professional artists. Students can brush up on skills, gain some experience, or try something completely new. Included in the cost of each seminar are materials and instruction for a creative take home project.

Registration is now open for classes including shadow knitting, felting animal sculptures, Raku ceramics, poetry writing, dance, photography, Ikebana flower arranging, bead crochet, painting, clay/stoneware, stained glass, fabric colored-in appliqué and music.

Classes are available for all ages and skill levels at a variety of price points. Class details, registration and payment information can be found at the St. Mary’s County Arts Council web site at www.stmarysartscouncil.com/art—work—shop-classes.html

CalvART Gallery to host Blumberg and Callen
CalvART Artists Mary Blumberg and Pamela Callen will present their new and colorful collection of paintings in a show at the calvART Gallery from Sept. 9 through Oct. 3. 

Blumberg and Callen are experimenting with unusual subjects and playing with colors to better represent internal thoughts and feelings in their paintings. They hope to better communicate with viewers through this engaging and vibrant art.

An opening reception will be held at the calvART Gallery Saturday, Sept. 12 from 5-8 p.m.

The artists are teaming up with SMILE, a local non-profit organization, to help meet their needs. The artists will donate 20 percent of the proceeds of sales from their show to SMILE for use in their food pantry. SMILE is well known for its local thrift shop and food bank located next to Middleton Chapel in Lusby

“We are excited to be partnering with an organization that directly supports the needs of our neighbors in Southern Calvert County” Callen said. 

“In addition to donating a portion of the proceeds from the show, we are conducting a coat drive for SMILE to help those who need coats for the coming winter months” Blumberg added.  

Coats may be dropped off at three Prince Frederick Locations: calvART Gallery (110 Solomons Island Road, N), Community Bank of the Chesapeake (200 Market Square Drive) and the Furniture Gallery (559 Solomons Island Road, N) throughout the month of September to assist with this effort. 

The calvART Gallery is located in the Prince Frederick Shopping Center at the intersection of Routes 4 and 231 nestled between the Sakura Restaurant and Dreamweaver Cafe. The gallery is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

For more information, go to www.calvartgallery.org or call 410-535-9252. 

Meet the Artists
Come and meet the artists whose works are displayed in the Waldorf West Gallery at the Waldorf West Library, 10405 O’Donnell Pl, Waldorf Saturday, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m.

Get a chance to talk with the creator of your favorite piece, enjoy light refreshments and soak up the artistic atmosphere.

For more information call 301-645-1395.

Intro to Stained Glass
Learn the fundamentals behind stained glass art and explore the copper foil technique at Annmarie Sculpture Garden & Art Center, Solomons Saturday, Sept. 12 from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m.

There is a cost of $50 for members and $55 for non-members.

Learn from instructor Leza Hepler how to cut, shape and grind glass, as well as foiling and soldering techniques to make a small suncatcher for your window. All materials included.

Registration is required. To register call 410-326-4640.

For more information, visit www.annmariegarden.org.

Contact Joseph Norris at joe.norris@thebaynet.com