Studio Tour and Guitar Festival in Chestertown

One  of the most popular events of the year and a brand new music festival are the highlights for this coming weekend.

RiverArts 16th Annual Studio Tour is a self guided tour of more than 50 artists in their studios throughout Kent and Queen Anne counties.   A fabulous opportunity to see works in progress, learn about techniques and, of course, buy some one of a kind pieces for your collection,  or as unique gifts for others.  More evidence that Chestertown is the perfect town to be an official Arts and Entertainment district, the Studio Tour is not to be missed!

Chestertown FestivalsAfter a day filled with driving around the county, you may choose to sit back and enjoy the sounds of classical guitar at the Eastern Shore Guitar Festival in Chestertown.

Washington College’s Department of Music hosts a variety of workshops and performances including the headliner, Benjamin Verdery, a renowned guitarist, along with a huge orchestra of guitars: they are hoping to break a record for the number of guitarists on stage at once!

After a full breakfast, a day of touring and a night of music, back at the inn help yourself to a glass of sherry, or a cup of tea, maybe a few cookies.   Then slumber awaits in your comfy bed.   The Brampton awaits, here in the land of pleasant living!

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Arts & Entertainment District :: Chestertown, MD Events

We often talk about how lucky we are to live in an area that is so rich in culture:

music festivals and movie theaters,

art galleries and artists’ studios,

book fairs and boat festivals,

live theater and lecture series,

sailing lessons and story telling. . .

It’s almost as if someone said, here’s a town – let’s fill it with all manner of arts and entertainment.  Well, that’s kind of exactly what has happened.  :)

This past summer, Chestertown was designated by the Maryland State Arts Council as an Arts and Entertainment District.

So what does that mean? Well, for visitors it simply means more of a good thing.  More events, festivals, shopping, opportunities for fun.  For residents, it means more job opportunities, tax incentives for arts related developments, and an even more vibrant place to live.

Chestertown is a pretty small place.  When we talk about “downtown” we’re talking about High Street from Spring Street to Queen Street, and extending over to Cross Street, which is really just a few blocks.  With the new designation, the downtown will be expanded to include the waterfront, the marina and all the way over to Wilmer Park for a total of 51 acres.  This article in The Chestertown Spy explains it a bit better than I can.

AND, concurrent with the A&E designation, Chestertown has also received a National Endowment for the Arts Our Town grant, which will be used to create a Public Arts Master Plan.  Essentially turning the town into a walking art gallery, with installations in different places that will encourage people to stop, look and even linger.  An example of what this might look like was seen during last weekend’s RiverFest which we told you about in the last blog post…and here’s a little video evidence:

And here it is lit up at night:

Riverfest in Chestertown, MD

Photo courtesy of the Chestertown Spy

Amazing stuff!!   If this is any indication of what’s in store, then we can’t wait for it to start in earnest.   We’d love to see Chestertown grow and thrive as an arts destination.  It would be beneficial to the residents as well as the local businesses, and the Brampton is all for it!

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RiverFest in Chestertown, MD :: Celebrating Art & History

Chestertown, MD festivalsLeave it to the inventive folks of Chestertown, MD to create an event that celebrates the arts, the environment, and local history all at the same time.  RiverFest 2015 is a brand new festival that takes place in Wilmer Park, beautifully situated along the banks of our magnificent Chester River.

Tons of activities are packed into this one afternoon, Saturday, September 26, and there is certainly something for everyone.  Chestertown is well known for its many artists and artisans; the river and the bay are at the forefront of almost every endeavor made in this town; and of course the historical richness is obvious.  Bringing all these elements together is a natural for its sponsors Chestertown RiverArts, Washington College’s Center for Environment and Society, and SANDBOX (a program at WAC that merges the disciplines of art and science).

Plein Air artists will be scattered around the event, recording it in paint as it happens.  There will of course be water activities like kayak and canoe racing as well as the beloved Carboard Raft Regatta.  Yes, rafts made out of cardboard that actually go into the river.  Whether they come out in one piece is part of the excitement!  For the tourists, there are walking tours of historic downtown Chestertown.

Food and drink aplenty, public sails on the Sultana and other tall ships, as well as a supper cruise on the River Packet are all part of the festivities.

Perhaps what we’re most excited about though, at the end of the festival, is the lighting of a beautiful, solar powered, floating sculpture in the river that will light up as the sun goes down and the full moon comes up.  That promises to be a beautiful sight, but what is just as delightful is the idea of this giant wooden sculpture literally floating on the river!  It will be moored in place near the end of High Street a few days before the festival, and then left in place for a while after, when it will then be assessed and hopefully set up in a permanent location.  Designed by Jacqui and Vicco Von Voss, you can follow its progress here.

Permanent art installations such as this one are hopefully to become more commonplace here in the near future.  With its state designation as an Arts and Entertainment District, Chestertown is poised to become an even more attractive destination for those seeking culture, natural beauty and really fun things to do!  More on that to come…

Be sure to book your weekend with us at the Brampton Inn!

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