Cumberland Valley Artists Exhibition

Antietam National Battlefield subject of first-place award winner

HAGERSTOWN, Maryland – Artist Rhonda Smith of Keedysville, Maryland, credits her first-place win in the “Cumberland Valley Artists” exhibition to the beauty and history of the national park near her home.

Rhonda Smith of Keedysville won First-place Juror’s Award for “Roulette Farm.”

Smith’s linocut “Roulette Farm” depicts the historic farm and landscape at Antietam National Battlefield. In 1862 Sharpsburg, Maryland was the site of the single bloodiest battle in the Civil War.

Smith’s work is included among 65 pieces of art by 62 artists in this year’s juried exhibition.  An annual tradition since the 1930s, the “Cumberland Valley Artists” exhibition showcases, celebrates, and supports artists of the Cumberland Valley region.

The “Cumberland Valley Artists” exhibition will be from June 15 through Aug. 26, 2024. An opening reception and talk with the award-winning artistsand juror Lise Dubé-Scherr, dean of Continuing and Professional Studios at Delaware College of Art and Design, will be Saturday, June 15, 1 to 3 p.m. The event is free. Register in advance by contacting Donna Rastelli at 301-739-5727 or drastelli@wcmfa.org.

“The Cumberland Valley exhibitions are a terrific way to learn about and support the artists in our region,” said Sarah Hall, executive director of the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. “We are very proud of this 90-plus year tradition, and I encourage all of you to come and discover the talent and vision of your artist neighbors at the museum this summer.”

Smith has been greatly impacted by her almost daily walks through the battlefield, so much so that “Roulette Farm” is part of a series “Antietam Encounter.”

“Over the years, I have found the natural beauty of the landscape, the memory of the battles fought, the lives lost, and the lives forever altered to be a recurring inspiration,” she said.  “I look always for the textures, the surprises that the familiar affords. The play of light and the contrast of surfaces are the subjects of my work. Walking a place, returning over and over, gazing upon the same landscape year after year, I notice the changes that occur throughout the year, the month, the day.”

Smith, a retired professor of printmaking at Shepherd University in Shepherdstown, West Virginia, is also a veteran of “Cumberland Valley Artists.” Her work has appeared in 2018, 2021, 2022, and 2023. In 2022, her work was awarded second place, and in 2018, she received the Washington County Arts Council Award.

For the relief process of “Roulette Farm,” she cut into a piece of linoleum to create the landscape images. The remaining raised areas of the linoleum are covered with water-based ink and transferred to a sheet of paper. The process is a one-to-one transfer. The final print is the same size as the linoleum from which the image was cut. 

Smith estimated it took her between 16 and 25 days to create “Roulette Farm,” from photographing the images she used for reference to the actual cutting process of linoleum to the final drying process.

“I am not the first to document this historic place, nor the first to feel the pull of history and timeless quality that persists among these rolling hills,” Smith said.  “I celebrate this place and strive to contribute to the immortal story the landscape reveals. My art is a kind of homage to the land and its stories, as a way of preserving memories.”

Organized by the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts. This exhibition is  supported by Hugh and Marty Talton, Conservit Inc., Delaplaine Foundation, and Washington County Arts Council.

THE WINNERS

CUMBERLAND VALLEY ARTIST WINNERS

  • First Place Juror’s Award, $1,000 – Rhonda Smith of Keedysville, Maryland, “Roulette Farm,” linocut
  • Second Place Juror’s Award, $500 – Jayne Gaskins of Reston, Virginia, “The Commuter,” fiber art
  • Third place Juror’s Award, $250 – Sage Chandler of Lovettsville, Virginia, “Feather Earrings,” oil on canvas
  • Washington County Arts Council Inc. Award, $250Jamie Hardges of Hagerstown,  Maryland, “By Another Name,” clay sculpture.
  • The Valley Art Association Award, $250. Given to honor present and previous members whose love of art and whose contributions to the Association have enriched the organization and the community: Virginia Hair and Carol B. Lovell – Susan Shalowitz of Rockville, Maryland, “Sonata,” oil on canvas
  • Clyde H. Roberts Memorial Award for Best Watercolor, $250, sponsored by the children of Clyde H. Roberts – Patricia Boyst of Hagerstown, Maryland, “Time to Circle Around,” watercolor
  • Director’s Award Given in Memory of Lee Weaver, $250 – Will be announced at a later date.

MEET THE JUROR

Cumberland Valley Artists juror is Lise Dubé-Scherr. Throughout her career, Dubé-Scherr has been a champion of the arts and has sought to innovatively engage diverse communities with art in meaningful ways. A native of Canada, Lise started her career developing and teaching art classes and workshops at community centers and museums including the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Canada. She has been the director of education at the Allentown (PA) Art Museum, and has held subsequent positions as the executive director of the Driehaus Museum in Chicago and as executive director of the arts service organization International Arts & Artists in Washington, D.C. She is the dean of Continuing and Professional Studios at Delaware College of Art and Design. Through it all, Dubé-Scherr has remained committed to fostering the personal and professional growth and goals of students, adults, and emerging and seasoned creative professionals.

 

COMPLETE LIST OF SELECTED ARTISTS

All artists are included on the following lists:

Artists

Cathy Abramson of Chevy Chase, Maryland 

Mary Beth Akre Seely of Parkton, Maryland 

John Aquilino of Rockville, Maryland 

Colette Barnett of Hagerstown, Maryland 

Jeffrey Berg of Washington, D.C.

Melanie Berry of Parkton, Maryland 

Patricia Boyst of Hagerstown, Maryland 

Sage Chandler of Lovettsville, Virginia

Colleen Clapp of Frederick, Maryland 

Rick Clement of Sterling, Virginia

Lesa Cook of Burkittsville, Maryland 

Whitney Dahlberg of Hagerstown, Maryland 

Steven Dobbin of Mount Airy, Maryland 

Tracey Donnelly Franklin of Shepherdstown, West Virginia 

Royce Faddis of Hagerstown, Maryland 

Hector Fernandez of Hagerstown, Maryland 

Luc Fiedler of Mount Airy, Maryland 

Andrea Finch of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania 

Anne Finucane of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania 

Paul Gallo of Middletown, Pennsylvania 

Jayne Gaskins of Reston, Virginia

Annette Gloomis of Shepherdstown, West Virginia

Jamie Hardges of Hagerstown, Maryland 

Sarah Higgins of Frederick, Maryland 

Jerry Johnson of Frederick, Maryland 

Carolyn Leslie King of Frederick, Maryland 

Cathy Leaycraft of: Parkville, Maryland 

Donna Lehman of Hagerstown, Maryland 

Melissa Libertini of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 

Philip Lindsey of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania 

Gordon Lyon of Gaithersburg, Pennsylvania 

Donna Mason of Hagerstown, Maryland

Julie Maynard of Middletown, Maryland

Benjamin McAfee of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania 

Abigail McBride of Chesapeake City, Maryland

Andrea McCluskey of Frederick, Maryland

Jan McIntyre-Creager of Frederick, Maryland

Keely Neubauer of Williamsport, Maryland

Lee Newman of Adamstown, Maryland

Charles Noland of Hagerstown, Maryland

Terry Pellmar of Silver Spring, Maryland

Hunt Prothro of Keedysville, Maryland

Thomas Renner of Smithsburg, Maryland

James Roberts of Westminster, Maryland

Rebecca Rothey of Laurel, Maryland

Eric Rottcher of Bethesda, Maryland

Lori Rounds of Frederick, Maryland

Paula Saneaux of Hagerstown, Maryland

Audrey Scanlan Teller of Middletown, Maryland

Sandra Schuster of Waynesboro, Pennsylvania 

Susan Shalowitz of Rockville, Maryland

Jeffrey Shoaf of Hagerstown, Maryland

Rhonda Smith of Keedysville, Maryland

Shannon Thomas of Shepherdstown, West Virginia 

Annette Verna of Charles Town, West Virginia 

Mary Waldhorn of Frederick, Maryland

Brian Walker of New Market, Maryland

Bruce Wilder of Keedysville, Maryland

Cathy Wilkin of Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

Carol Wilks of Boonsboro, Maryland

Elaine Wolfe of Hedgesville, West Virginia

Douglas Zaruba of: Augusta, West Virginia

ABOUT THE WASHINGTON COUNTY MUSEUM OF FINE ARTS

Located In beautiful City Park, Hagerstown, Maryland, the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1931, the legacy of Hagerstown native Anna Brugh Singer and her husband, Pittsburgh-born artist William Henry Singer, Jr. Featuring a collection of more than 7.000 objects, the Museum has important holdings of American painting, Old Masters, decorative arts, and sculpture. The museum schedules an ambitious program of exhibitions, lectures, concerts, tours, and talks featuring national and international artists, as well as a yearly showcase of the art of students in Washington County Public Schools. Its free youth art education programs have served four generations of local families.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Washington County Museum of Fine Arts is located at 401 Museum Drive, Hagerstown, Maryland. Free parking is available adjacent to the Museum. Hours are 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., Tuesday – Friday; 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Saturday; 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. Sunday; the museum is closed Mondays and major holidays.

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