When strolling along High Street in Seaford, one may discover Gallery 107, the establishment where art from members of the Nanticoke River Arts Council is displayed. On June 9, new members of the non-profit art council were introduced to the community at Gallery 107’s summer art show, showcased alongside local artists such as Ed Lewandowski, Tammy Kearney, Kal Dupchen, Tony Fox, Gay Staib, Kathy Chupp, and Darlene Valentine, just to name a few.
Judi Figgs began earnestly painting in 2016. In college she took some art classes, but following her retirement as an accountant, she returned to artistic endeavors. Even though she considers acrylic to be the medium in which she is most proficient, in 2020, she took up an oil painting class with Abraxas Hudson. “I’ve always loved art,” said Figgs. “I’ve never had my pictures anywhere and thought I’d give it a try.” She also expressed that she has always loved art, and likes the idea of engaging in these ventures with “like-minded people.”
Stained glass artist Gay Staib is shown holding “Sully the Seagull.” Behind her stands Rebecca Wilcutts, holding pieces she intends to buy during the artshow at Gallery 107. Photo by Rebecca Jones
A segment on DelmarvaLife piqued the interest of watercolorist Ellen Lawler. She checked out the council’s website (www.nanticokeriverartscouncil.org) and liked what she saw. “I saw a nice variety of artwork, nicely arranged,” said Lawler. While she drew most of her life, she began watercolor painting while she was still working full-time. “You can put watercolor aside and come back to it,” she said. “I do a lot of birds. I’ve been interested in nature and birds, and I like to combine them both.” She said what she loves about watercolor is “I like the way the colors can mingle on the paper.”
Another new member of the Nanticoke River Arts Council has a connection to Gallery 107 through her mother-in-law, Jolene Tennefoss. The way new member Sarah Tennefoss became interested in art some would consider a happy fluke. “At school, the study hall had extra people. Someone came into the study hall and asked who would like to try art instead.” Tennefoss raised her hand and stepped into a world she has loved ever since. She lives in Greenwood with her husband, two daughters, and a son on the way. Sarah works mostly in acrylics, but is branching out into watercolor, as well as pen and ink.
If you attend First Fridays in Seaford, the Denton Farmer’s Market, the Craft Baker in Denton or Amity Coffee Shop in Greenwood, you might have already seen the stunning pottery work of this husband-and-wife team – and new members of the council. Lori and Jeremy Goldman operate Briarhook Farm Ceramics together in Seaford. And they truly do each piece as a team. Jeremy makes the body of the pieces, while Lori creates the unique handles and does the glazing.
Not only is it stunning in its appearance, their stoneware is microwave-dishwasher-and oven safe. They use a technique known as “throwing” the clay onto a pottery wheel, form it into the pieces they determine to create, and then fire it. Next comes the glazing and another firing of the piece. Their love of pottery began in high school and college, and each took a long break. The couple then decided, “why wait until we retire?” Six years ago, they began to put together their studio. Lori Goldman said, “it fun to be out and talk with people.” Not only do they create pieces of art, they run a farm as well; Goldman also is employed in Caroline County.
Jack Sealman – an artist who works in watercolor, oil, as well as pen and ink – finally found a place to call home and display his work. Sealman is a 1966 graduate of Maryland Institute, College of Art, Baltimore. His work has won numerous awards, and is part of private collections throughout the United States. He creates original paintings, prints and notecards, as well as logos and renderings for businesses. He worked in the news business, starting in the photography/offsetting department following graduation, and retired in 1995. He has photographed, painted and printed hundreds of subjects. “They’re a very knowledgeable group,” he said about the Nanticoke River Arts Council. “They know art. I like it here. I sit for two to four hours a couple of days a month – running the store.”
As part of a membership of the Nanticoke River Arts Council, members are asked to volunteer a few times a month when Gallery 107 is open. Gallery 107 is open Thursday and Friday 1 to 5 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m. till 4 p.m., as well as “by chance or appointment.” The Nanticoke River Arts Council offers memberships to families and couples for $45, $35 for artists, $25 for individuals and $10 for students. To find out more about memberships, contact them at 302-628-2787.