Claire Parker’s solo show continues through April at Heron Point

CHESTERTOWN — The news release announcing Claire Parker’s current exhibit at Heron Point described the Chestertown area artist as someone who is passionate about the environment. There are nearly 60 pieces in the exhibit titled “Taming Our Environment’s Inequities,” many of them exploring themes of environmental sustainability. 

Parker, a sophomore at the prestigious Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, New York, hosted an artist’s talk at the Heron Point gallery on Sunday, March 10.

It was well attended, drawing a diverse audience that included members of the Heron Point Art Interest Group, which is sponsoring the exhibit; family; community members; local artists; and visual arts teacher Stephanie Zeiler, who is department chair at Parker’s alma mater, Queen Anne’s County High School.

This is Parker’s first solo show.

There are a total of 58 pieces in various media — gouache on rag paper, graphite, acrylic on canvas, charcoal, chalk, pastels, string, ink on paper, woodcut, waster-based marker and digital drawing, to name a few. Parker said that right now her favorite medium is silk screen.

All the frames were recycled.

Parker’s father Mike matted and framed all her artwork; he “shopped around” at Goodwill and other thrift stores to “make the show more environmentally friendly.”

At Pratt, Parker is majoring in drawing with a minor in sustainability. 

Parker is the first artist to be assisted by the Raphael Sassi Memorial Scholarship Foundation, named for the Maryland Institute College of Art- and New York Academy of Art-educated draughtsman who grew up in Still Pond with his brothers and their parents Gretchen and Doug Sassi.

“Raph” Sassi was the victim of an unprovoked act of gun violence in April 2019 in Colorado, where he was living at the time.

He was 42.

The foundation in his name provides support for secondary education level students pursuing development of their skill in the arts; preference is for students specializing in drawing and draughtsmanship with an interest in studying abroad.

Parker announced at the March 10 gallery talk that she had just been accepted into a six-week program this summer to study in Venice.

She told those who had come to her show that day that Raph Sassi “inspires me to keep going with fine art. He’s my inspiration.”

In a show last fall at the Kent Cultural Alliance, Parker thanked Gretchen and Doug Sassi for their “benevolence” in honoring their son Raphael by supporting young artists like herself.

The Sassi scholarship is “integral to my success in art school and beyond,” Parker said.

She said that having a degree from the Pratt Institute will give her “a level of legitimacy for the rest of my career.”

Parker’s exhibit at Heron Point runs through April 28, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. There is no fee.

Artwork is available for purchase.

Heron Point, an Acts retirement community affiliate, is located at 501 East Campus Ave.

For more information, call 410-778-7300.

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