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Farm to Gallery Exhibit Celebrates the Farming Heritage and Rural Landscape of Montgomery County’s A



A group exhibition by the Countryside Artisans of Maryland features a series of free community events at BlackRock September 16 through October 28 at BlackRock Center for the Arts

Celebrating the agricultural heritage and rural landscape of the region, the “Farm to Gallery” exhibit highlights the work of the Countryside Artisans of Maryland, a collective of visual artists, fine craft artisans, and makers whose studios, workshops, and farms are located in or near Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve.

The exhibit features works of fiber art, ceramics, hand blown glass, metalwork, sculpture, drawings, paintings, and photography by more than 25 members of the Countryside Artisans. Exhibiting artists include Lori Baker, Tina Thieme Brown, Dalis Davidson, Bruce Ferguson, Susana Garten, Vernon Griffin, Jennifer Hamilton, Todd Hansen, Foster Holcombe, Michael Cohen Holdahl, Claire Howard, Cynthia Jennings, Patricia Kessler, Brenda Kidera, Eun Ju Lee, Bonny Lundy, Penny McCrea, Orlando Morales, Kristen Morrison, Laurie Niswander, Susan Due Pearcy, Linda Phillips, Josh Ries, David Therriault, Bev Thoms, and Robin Ziek.

BlackRock Center for the Arts will present “Farm to Gallery: The Countryside Artisans” in the Kay Gallery from Saturday, Sept. 16 through Saturday, Oct. 28. The public is invited to a series of free community events which include a “Meet the Artists Reception” on Sunday, Sept. 17 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm.

Many of the artists are located in the UpCounty Germantown/Clarksburg area:

Maryland native Brenda Kidera, of Woodbine, is a classical realist painter, working in oil, watercolor, and acrylic to create works in landscape, wildlife, still life, and portrait. Kidera’s award-winning paintings have been exhibited extensively in juried group and solo shows and galleries across the U.S. Her paintings hang in private, corporate, and public collections. Kidera received her BFA degree from Towson University. After working for many years as a graphic designer and illustrator, she is now a full time painter and fine art instructor. Kidera lives in Woodbine with her husband, metal sculptor Ed Kidera, where her studio is surrounded by the rural countryside, gardens and wildlife which are inspiration for many of her paintings. www.kiderafineart.com


Artist Kristen Morrison, works from the Gallery East in Adamstown, where she paints in oil, acrylic and water media and has also explored installation, altered books, box assemblage and mixed media. Exhibitions of her work have been presented nationally, to include exhibitions at Yellow Barn Gallery, Glen Echo; New Century Artists Gallery, New York; Crestwood Art Gallery, Frederick; Southern Museum of Fine Arts, Las Vegas; Griffin Art Center, Frederick; Tubac Center of the Arts, Tubac, AZ; Artists Gallery, Frederick; Andre Zarre Gallery, New York; and Hodson Gallery, Frederick. Morrison earned her BA in Art at Hood College. In addition to her work as a fine artist, Morrison is a curator and gallerist at Gallery East. www.gallery-east.org

Lori Baker produces functional stoneware pottery in her MudPi Studios at Heron’s Meadow Farm in Woodbine. Lori Baker often creates stoneware mugs and teapots. This seems appropriate as she also grows tea at her Heron’s Meadow Farm, the first tea farm in the state of Maryland. Though she currently splits her time between the studio and the farm, both passions came to her later in life. www.mudpistudios.com

Inspiration surrounds artist Tina Theime Brown of Morningstar Studio in Barnesville, as she explores the rustic roads, patchwork fields, nearby woodlands, plants and animals inhabiting the magical landscape in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. The connection starts in her own backyard in Barnesville where Morningstar Studio sits in the shadow of Sugarloaf Mountain. Brown earned her MFA and BFA at Washington University in St. Louis, MO. Her drawings, paintings and mixed media works have been widely exhibited and her botanical drawings have been published in numerous books. www.tinathiemebrown.com

Dalis Davidson is a shepherd, artist, dyer, painter, and felter whose Dancing Leaf Farm studio sits on a ridge overlooking Sugarloaf Mountain in Barnesville. Most often creating works in fiber, the artist hand dyes all of her materials using rich, saturated colors which she uses to create highly textured pieces using needle tools to hand felt a multitude of fibers on a silk chiffon base. Davidson also operates a small cottage industry at Dancing Leaf Farm featuring her own line of artisan yarns which she hand paints to achieve unusual color combinations from dyes which she hand mixes to achieve unique hues. Her popular studio shop also sells fiber for spinners and felters, her own line of knitting patterns and kits, as well as felted and hand knit wearable items, and jewelry. www.dancingleaffarm.com