4 resident artists to work under collective theme of ‘RIVERS’

CHESTERTOWN — Tomorrow, Kent Cultural Alliance will welcome its second class of the SFW Residency Program at the Raimond Cultural Center. Four artists — Langston Allston, William Blake, Hilary Lorenz and Ashley Minner Jones — will work with KCA’s partner ShoreRivers.

The SFW Residency Program uses the arts to provide a new lens through which Kent County residents can see and understand issues that impact their daily lives.

In the spring, Kent Cultural Alliance partnered with Kent County 4-H, Kent County High School’s FFA chapter and Harborview Farms on the theme of “LAND.”

This summer the resident artists will work with ShoreRivers’ riverkeepers and educational staff to shine a creative light on the importance of the health of local waterways. The theme is “RIVERS.”

Kent Cultural Alliance has provided the following biographical information on the resident artists.

• Langston Allston, a painter and muralist working between Chicago and New Orleans, is committed to creating work that tells stories from his community honestly and compassionately. He finds inspiration for his work in the everyday moments of beauty.

His work has been featured at the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans and the Museum of Contemporary African Diaspora Art in Brooklyn, New York, and is in the permanent collection of the City of New Orleans.

Allston also has created public art throughout Chicago for community organizations such as the Bloc and the Mural Movement, as well as artwork for the Chicago Bulls and Chicago White Sox.

• William Blake lives and works outside of Chicago.

A graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he also holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Tyler School of Art at Temple University. He is an adjunct faculty member at Harper College where he has taught figure drawing since 2020.

Blake’s work has been published in Fine Art Connoisseur, New American Paintings, The Chicago Tribune and American Art Collector.

He has been a resident artist at the Berkshire Painting Residency, the Vermont Studio Center, the Cuttyhunk Island Residency, the Lincoln Legacy Residency and, now, the KCA Residency.

• Hilary Lorenz, a multidisciplinary artist currently based in rural New Mexico, is deeply immersed in her physical exploration and relationship with the natural world. Her large-scale printed and cut paper installations and weavings attest to her profound connection with nature.

Lorenz’s extensive travels to create ambitious projects are driven by her unwavering passion and curiosity about the greater world.

Lorenz has an extensive international exhibition record and numerous residencies, including LMCC Governors Island, New York; Yukon Arts Centre Chilkoot Trail Residency, Canada; and National ARTS Tasmania, Australia.

She is a Fulbright Scholar and NEA Mid-Atlantic Fellow with a Master of Arts and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa in printmaking and intermedia.

• Ashley Minner Jones is a community-based visual artist and folklorist from Baltimore, where she has lived on the same block her entire life.

Her interdisciplinary practice is deeply rooted in place — usually within the context of the U.S. South — and is focused on honoring and celebrating everyday people by lifting up their stories.

She is an enrolled member of the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina.

She earned an MFA in community arts from Maryland Institute College of Art and a Ph.D. in American Studies from University of Maryland College Park.

As an artist, she has exhibited widely and her work is represented in several prominent collections. Her research is being archived as “the Ashley Minner Collection” in the Albin O. Kuhn Library of the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Her most recent project is a reconstruction of East Baltimore’s historic American Indian “reservation.” A monograph on the same is forthcoming.

“We are grateful to ShoreRivers’ riverkeepers and all of their staff as they work with us to provide information, education, and access to our artists during their visit. And we look forward to sharing the work of the artists as the residency progresses and with our culminating exhibit,” Kent Cultural Alliance Director John Schratwieser said in a news release.

Circle these dates

Meet the artists: Tuesday, July 2 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., followed by a reception.

Visit the artists in their studios as they work to complete their exhibit work: Saturday, July 27 from noon to 3 p.m.

Exhibit opening, a culmination of the summer residency and partnership with ShoreRivers: Friday, Aug. 2 (First Friday), from 5 to 8 p.m.

Hear from each of the four resident artists about their experience and culminating work from RIVERS, Summer 2024: Saturday, Aug. 3 at 1 p.m.

All these events will be held at KCA’s Vincent and Leslie Prince Raimond Cultural Center, 101 Spring Ave. in downtown Chestertown. There is no cost.

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Kent Cultural Alliance thanks the SFW Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, The Maryland State Arts Council, The Maryland Heritage Area Authority/Stories of the Chesapeake, the Hedgelawn Foundation, the Mid-Shore Community Foundation and ShoreRivers, its community partner for this residency.

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