‘Raoul Middleman, 1935-2021- A Life Well Painted’ runs through August 29th at Troika Gallery. This comprehensive exhibit mirrors Raoul’s intimate relationship and his provocative and prolific work with the gallery for 25 years. His megawatt personality and encyclopedic knowledge of painting placed him among the finest of American artists. The art world was saddened to learn of his passing last October at the age of 86.
Raoul was instrumental in the early days of Troika Gallery, inspiring Laura Era, Dorothy Newland and Jennifer Heyd Wharton in creating the gallery in 1997. The four artists had a strong friendship and Raoul would visit the gallery for an energizing talk or a painting demonstration. He is remembered for his portrait of artist Kevin Fitzgerald on the sidewalk in front of the gallery and was known to portray other prominent Talbot County residents with his oils. The Avalon Foundation presented a talk by Raoul during Plein Air Easton in 2019.
Known for figure studies, landscapes and still lifes, Middleman’s work depicts the gritty underside of life. “People think landscapes are bees and flowers. I like marginality. I like things on the edge-the forgotten artifacts, the partially legible vitality. I set up and paint right on the spot. My paintings are all about being there,” Raoul would comment. His paintings hang in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The National Gallery of Art and The Baltimore Museum of Art as well as privately held collections.
American University Museum described Middleman as a “Baltimore maestro whose nudes are not pretty- they are sagging, dimpled, and real. His cityscapes reveal the underbelly of post-industrial rot, his narrative paintings give contemporary life to his personal obsessions. They are intelligent, messy, and utterly masterful.”
Raoul Middleman had a degree in philosophy from Johns Hopkins University. He attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, the Skowhegan School of Painting and The Brooklyn Museum Art School. He was an established artist in New York City and Paris. Middleman returned to Baltimore, his native city, where he and his artist wife Ruth raised a family. Since 1961 Raoul served as a faculty member of the Maryland Institute College of Art. He has been a mentor and teacher to many artists including oil painter, Kevin Fitzgerald, of Troika Gallery.
Whether an art collector, art lover, or an art browser, Troika Gallery encourages you to stop in and see Raoul’s oil paintings. Professional Artist and Owner, Laura Era, along with Gallery Manager Peg Fitzgerald, welcome your visit and will happily address your questions on art and tell wondeful stories of Raoul!
Located at 9 South Harrison Street, in Historic Downtown Easton, Troika is open Monday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 11:00 am until 6:00 pm and by appointment, 410-770-9190, www.troikagallery.com.
Registration is now open for the fall 2022 session of “The Woods in Your Backyard” online course. Our self-directed, non-credit course runs 10 weeks from September 6 to November 15, 2022. The online format lets you access the content when it’s convenient for you, without worrying about attending evening classes or weekend workshops.
The course will help landowners convert lawn to natural areas and enhance stewardship of existing natural areas. The course provides strategies to landowners of small parcels of land (1-10 acres) that improve the stewardship of their property for personal enjoyment and environmental quality. It uses a hands-on learning approach to help participants develop and implement a plan for their property. Activities include how to map habitat areas, understand basic ecological principles about woodland and wildlife, choose and implement a few habitat management projects, and how to set a timetable and record your progress. Online discussion groups will allow participants to interact with others taking the course. A certificate of completion is awarded when all assignments are completed.
The course costs $95.00 per person, which includes the 108-page “Woods in Your Backyard” guide, workbook, and a tree identification guide. The course is limited to 25 participants, so sign up now! Registration closes September 6, 2022 or when filled. Registration is through Eventbrite; go to https://WIYB_Fall_2022.eventbrite.com.
Waterfront views: inspiring sunrises and unforgettable sunsets. That’s what everyone wants. This place has them, looking out over the West Fork of Langford Creek. It’s not your usual vacation spot and no one would mistake it for being plush or even comfortable. Still, it has been rented out consistently in the high season with many people on the waiting list, hoping for a cancellation that they could seize.
The structure has stood for more than 30 years and it shows. The effects of the wind and rain are etched into the wooden exterior, once the color of the bark of a healthy fir tree and now the same gray as the water in February when the skies cloud up and threaten to snow.
John loved it there. On those occasions when he was fortunate enough to reserve it, this place that the locals call the Taj Mahal was his favorite place to be.
Built in the shape of a V and only accessible by boat, there was no other blind like it on the Eastern Shore, at least not that he knew about. He had traveled almost all of the tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay and heard about the rest.
The week after Thanksgiving, John visited the Taj Mahal to get it ready for his stay in January when he would have full use of it for the entire month. He launched his bateau, seated next to the motor and peering over the cedar branches that he loaded that morning. He steered the boat around Cacaway Island, flooded with memories. As he approached his destination, he had that same feeling of adventure that he always got when he was out on the Bay. It’s a sense of freedom that comes from being exposed to the elements – the sun, sky, wind, and water – and yet protected at the same time.
As he got closer, John could see that all the pilings were still standing. A better inspection revealed marks where slabs of ice moving down the creek had pushed against the pilings, grinding against them, but so far, not causing any real damage.
John saw an osprey nest in the center of the slightly slanted roof, with large sticks protruding from every angle. Most likely the same pair that had been using that spot for the past few years had raised a family there last spring, he thought as he pulled the flat-bottomed boat in behind the Taj Mahal. When he shut off the motor, he heard the sharp cry of an osprey that was circling overhead as if declaring that the space was already occupied.
From the outside, the building looked the same as he remembered it. Two sections, each sixteen feet long and joined in the center by a kitchen area. He noticed that some of the vertical planks had rotted and would have to be replaced.
This offshore blind, or booby blind as it was also called, was located in a sheltered lee, protected from the northwest wind. This was the perfect place for ducks because they fly into the wind to land which allows them to control their descent.
John climbed up into the blind and took it all in. The two-burner propane stove was still there. He could almost smell the hash browns, scrambled eggs, and bacon cooking. Coffee stains marked the square table, reminding him of all the times he had sat there with his buddies while there was a lull in the action or waiting his turn to shoot, eating, telling stories, and playing Pinochle.
He walked to the shooting area on the west side. The two sides were identical, but the wind and weather determined which one to use. It’s best to have the wind at your back or even a crosswind. In this blind, you could choose which side was most favorable for the conditions. That’s one of the things that made it so special.
In the front of the blind, the planks rose 4 feet high with a shelf inside, perfectly positioned for shotgun shells and duck calls. Hunting diver ducks (redheads, canvasbacks, and bluebills) doesn’t require calls, but it’s better to be prepared in case a pair of mallards or a flock of geese show up. John always brought a whistle, too, hoping to see some pintails, the acrobats of the sky, or teal which are true speedsters when they buzz by, or even widgeon who love to steal what the divers bring up.
In the old days, that shelf might have held a pint of brandy to be passed around, but not anymore. The only drinking John’s group did consisted of mugs of steaming black coffee or a cold beer once they got home.
A wooden bench ran the length of the blind. John took a seat in his familiar spot. The bench was slightly worn but without splinters. Even the dog’s platform was intact. His black Lab Sam had spent many hours there, patiently observing, watching intently through his window, waiting for the birds to fall. Many times John was alerted to approaching divers when he noticed Sam’s ever vigilant eyes trained toward the sky. The dog was poised to leap into the creek when John opened the door and gave the command. Sam was an expert retriever, quickly locating his prize, swimming back in freezing water that was 10 feet deep, and making his way up the icy ramp. He’d proudly deliver the bird and receive his reward: a rousing “Good boy!” with a hearty pat on the head and the occasional treat which could be a Milk Bone, stale donut, or piece of jerky.
John stood up and looked over the water toward the opposite shore, remembering some of his best days in the blind. The reason for being there was the hunt but actually, it was the bond with his friends that brought him back. His group had hunted together for more than 10 years and been through the situations that make life hard. They had stories to tell – mostly true, with some more embellished than others – but they all knew the universal law: What’s said in the blind, stays in the blind. It’s a sacred place when they can speak in confidence. Each person knows that if the stories get shared out in the real world, most likely they won’t be invited back.
And then there was the Day of Days. Everyone who was part of that shoot years ago remembers every detail: how they arrived at O dark 30 as the sleet stung their faces while they put out 200 decoys before first light, with Sam in his camo vest riding high on the bow of the boat. They could recall how the wind howled from the north, making 25 degrees feel more like ten as the sleet turned to snow and the landscape became silent. Scores of ducks put on a spectacular air show when the sun came up, flying upwind and then turning toward the decoys, tipping their wings and putting out their landing gear as they maneuvered to the open water. ‘
It has been said that canvasbacks are to duck hunting what marlin are to salt water fishing. For those fortunate enough to go after them, they are truly the king of ducks, so beautiful and thrilling to hunt.
Many hunters are eager to take cans on their first approach. Guys get excited when they hear the roar of those wings as the ducks swoop down but a seasoned hunter knows better. Cans will circle back in a figure 8 pattern. The trick is to be patient enough to wait until the birds complete the third pass and come in feet down to land. That’s how it was on the Day of Days. The cans performed perfectly, as if on cue. Everyone got their limit that day with a bonus: they got to tell the story which would be repeated for years.
John remembered all this as he spent a couple of hours brushing the blind. This would be the last season for him to handle the task. The next one would find him firmly planted down south in a condo using a golf cart to zip around the neighborhood. It was time. But he would always treasure the memories of those bitter cold days he spent sitting in a plain wooden duck blind on Langford Creek.
Mike Boyle is a lifelong waterfowler. He has done extensive traveling and hunting throughout North America and prefers diver hunting on the Chester River. Photos by Mike Boyle.
Charlotte Zang is a freelance writer who promotes businesses on social media and through magazine articles. She is also a creative writer whose work has been published in a variety of literary journals.
A human monkeypox virus infection has been reported in a Dorchester County resident. This is the first case reported in the county and the 87th case in Maryland thus far.
“Although human monkeypox is rare in the U.S. and the risk of transmission to the general public is low, we urge residents to learn about the signs and symptoms, exercise caution, and continue to practice good hygiene, including frequent washing of hands with soap and water,” Roger L. Harrell, Dorchester County’s health officer, said.
Anyone who has the characteristic rash or other symptoms or who thinks they may have been exposed to monkeypox should call their health care provider immediately.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:
Monkeypox virus is part of the same family of viruses as smallpox. Monkeypox is not related to chickenpox. Monkeypox symptoms are similar to smallpox symptoms, but milder; and monkeypox is rarely fatal.
The monkeypox virus can spread from person-to-person through:
• direct contact with the infectious rash, scabs, or body fluids
• respiratory secretions during prolonged, face-to-face contact, or during intimate physical contact, such as kissing, cuddling, or sex
• touching items (such as clothing or linens) that previously touched the infectious rash or body fluids
Symptoms of monkeypox can include:
• fever, headache, muscle aches and backache,
• swollen lymph nodes, chills, exhaustion, and,
• a rash that can look like pimples or blisters that appears on the face, inside the mouth, and on other parts of the body, like the hands, feet, chest, genitals, or anus.
The rash goes through different stages before healing completely. The illness typically lasts 2-4 weeks. Sometimes, people get a rash first, followed by other symptoms. Others only experience a rash.
Qlarant Capital officially announced today that it has teamed with SilverStay to support the continued growth of an innovative program that links hospital discharge patients with specialized assisted living communities. Founded in 2015, SilverStay provides resources previously unavailable to those with complex medical needs and are in between hospital and home care.
Patrick Mish, SilverStay Co-Founder, CEO, and serial-entrepreneur, developed a passion for providing unique healthcare solutions for an industry gap he personally discovered due to a family illness. “I started SilverStay after having cared for my dad who had very high medical and caregiving needs. During one hospitalization, the social worker gave me a sheet of paper with 30 assisted living communities on it. We called each over the course of days only to learn that they were too expensive, didn’t have availability, or couldn’t manage his care needs. I knew we could collectively do much better than this, and SilverStay was born.”
The Assisted Living industry is growing at an increasing pace — about 2% of seniors in the U.S. live in assisted living facilities and require more skills in managing complex residents. While the average cost of assisted living in the U.S. is $4,300 per month, SilverStay has developed a network of assisted living operators that manage care for complex residents at much lower price points. For context, the estimated median monthly cost for a 44-hour-a-week home health aide is $4,576. An additional 4% of seniors live in nursing homes. The median cost of nursing homes nears $9,000 per month for a private room, making assisted living an affordable and popular choice for seniors who need more than just care during the day. In addition, the assisted living industry will need to accommodate many more residents in the next 10 to 20 years:
“SilverStay has identified a specific and growing need within the health care industry,” says Qlarant Inc. CEO Dr. Ron Forsythe, Jr. “Qlarant’s extensive experience in healthcare solutions makes this a natural match for our companies. When patients are unable to return home from the hospital, SilverStay provides access to affordable long term care. Coordinating specialty extended care services with discharge administrators at hospitals is a service long overdue.”
SilverStay currently provides recommendations to over 2,200 specialty living services throughout Maryland, Virginia, and Ohio and is quickly expanding throughout the East Coast. “It’s a beautiful thing to see families find solutions when also dealing with complex medical issues,” says Mish. “This is a business I am proud of.”
The Easton Economic Development Corporation’s (EEDC) Board of Directors has officially appointed Holly DeKarske as the Executive Director of EEDC, ushering in a new chapter in the nonprofit’s leadership. She will also continue her previous duties as Director of Downtown Development for EEDC.
DeKarske has an extensive understanding in implementing and managing Main Street programs, tourism strategies, local events, and festivals. She has dedicated her work to fostering productive relationships between local businesses and town officials and ensuring communities can reach their full potential.
“The Town of Easton is very fortunate, and our board is pleased to appoint Holly as the Executive Director of EEDC,” says EEDC Board Member Anthony Kern. “Holly is highly experienced and very talented in matters of town economic development. She brings an engaging combination of academic, business, and life experiences to every interaction she has with everyone, and we are thrilled to see what she does next for the town.”
Before joining EEDC in June of 2021, DeKarske was Executive Director of Venture Lititz, PA, downtown Lititz’s nationally accredited Main Street Program. Working closely with business owners and community leaders, she fortified retention and recruitment and coordinated local events, festivals, and tourism marketing.
DeKarske served on the Lititz Regional Community Development Corp board and as co-chair of the Lancaster Economic Development Corp’s Borough Collaborative. She was an Economic and Community Development Specialist with the City of York, PA. Prior to that, she was Development and Operations Manager for a real estate company specializing in the use of New Market Tax Credits, Historic Tax Credits, and other capital sources for the redevelopment of real estate in and around York, PA.
DeKarske has been honored with numerous awards for her work in both Lititz and Lancaster County, PA.
The Trippe Gallery will be opening a particularly unique exhibition on July 15. “15 Variations: 1 Photograph, 15 Paintings” will feature the work of 15 gallery artists. The idea for the exhibition developed from gallery owner and fine art photographer Nanny Trippe’s post on social media of a photograph of the high tide, sky full of clouds and Tred Avon River after a significant storm. Gallery artist Cynthia Rosen commented it would make a great painting. It spawned a call to the gallery plein air painters, current competitors and alumnae Plein Air Easton artists, to paint their variation of the photograph. No guidance, no rules, paint at will. The resulting 15 paintings show an incredible diversity of interpretation, style and vision. Some are quite realistic, some impressionistic, one a nocturne, one abstract, several have other features added.
The fifteen artists participating in the exercise are Jill Basham, Beth Bathe, Kyle Buckland, David Csont, Stephen Griffin, Stephen Haynes, Charlie Hunter, Len Mizerek, Elise Phillips, Crista Pisano, Cynthia Rosen, John Brandon Sills, Nancy Tankersley, Mary Veiga and Paula Waterman. Each of these 15 artists has an individual style quite unlike the others.
During the reception, visitors will have an opportunity to vote for their favorite painting as well as test their knowledge of Plein Air Easton artists by matching the artist to the correct painting! The winner will receive a gift certificate to the gallery.
This is an exhibition not to be missed for its intriguing theme and variety of artistic styles! There will be an opening reception and meet and greet with the artists form 5-8 on July 15 and the winners announced at 8PM.
The Trippe Gallery is located at 23 N Harrison St in the heart of historic Easton. For more information, please call 410-310-8727.
Women artists across the US have enjoyed increasing chances to collaborate even though they may be separated geographically. The internet has allowed them to communicate with other artists around the world, and the explosion of workshops for the Boomer Generation has been another factor in forging friendships.
Easton artist Nancy Tankersley met Caroline Orrick, a San Francisco Bay artist, while teaching a workshop in France and through Orrick was invited to participate in this exhibit. Barnett knew Anne Garden, the organizer, from having had a studio in the same building when she did a Sabbatical in the Bay Area. Through Garden, she was invited to participate.
Tankersley and Barnett both have live/work spaces in Talbot County, and both are primarily portrait painters, observers of human gestures and interactions. They each majored in sociology in college and share a keen interest in community and activism.
Tankersley, a contemporary impressionist, branched off into landscapes through her participation in the plein air movement while maintaining her interest in figures. Barnett, a classical realist, branched off from painting portraits primarily of people to painting all members of the family, including their four-legged companions.
Both artists were allowed to express the subject, a portrait of an influential American woman, in any way they wanted, as long as it had a square format. They crafted the portraits in their own signature styles, using the background for personal expression.
Tankersley, imagining that Justice O’Connor might be looking askance at what recent years have done to our judicial system, has painted the scales of justice and the flag upside down.
Barnett, imagining our current Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen as a coin face icon, replaced the words “in God We Trust” with “in Janet We Trust”. Her goal was to stress that powerful leaders can rise to the top using collaborative, consensus-building style, warmth and humility. And build bi-partisan support in the process.
Exhibit organizer Anne Garden says: “Barrie’s portrait of Janet Yellen done in one of her signature pastel stylings with a touch of humor in the composition, shows the powerful yet quiet personality of a woman whose guidance of our US treasury has inspired awe in us all. Nancy’s portrait of Sandra Day O’Connor, our first female Supreme Court Justice , shows a woman of intelligence and understanding painted in a loose self-assured style using a bold palette.”
”I am thrilled that I was able to get two very accomplished female artists from the eastern seaboard area of the U.S. to volunteer their talents to this worthwhile show and cause. We thank you for creating these pieces for a show that is meant to educate all of us, and honor the legacies of all these women who have contributed to our progress in America.”
WYPR – 88.1 FM Baltimore reports that Maryland’s lone Republican congressman U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, who represents the first district, said he would support a national abortion ban if a fetus has a heartbeat.
If the legislation was passed by Congress, abortions after six weeks into a pregnancy would be illegal nationwide. The six week mark is often before many women know they might be pregnant.
Read for the full story here.