Jason Patterson, pastel, a Still from home video of Freedom Riders in Chestertown
Mike Pugh, ceramics, Diptyc mural celebrating Harriett Tillison and James Lamb Bowers who were Tarred and Feathered for their role in helping the enslaved escape.
Gordon Wallace, photographs (new and archival), Then and Now, African American workers in Kent County.
Allen Johnson, oil on canvas, Oystering on the Chester River

During the quiet days of summer/fall of 2021 while we were all trying to figure out what would be next as Covid started to become “manageable”, the Artists selected for the Kent Cultural Alliance/Chesapeake Heartland Artist Fellowship were  hard at work using their talents to bring to life a few of the thousands of stories being collected and archived within Washington College’s Chesapeake Heartland: An African American Humanities Project.   As part of a three year partnership, the Kent Cultural Alliance (KCA) was tasked with connecting residents and visitors to the Archive through the arts.  While the pandemic slowed the process, the artists did complete their projects and an open exhibition was held in March 2022 in the parish hall at Emmanuel Church, Chestertown.  However, during the process, KCA was documenting the work of each artist with the help of Kent County’s own Andover Media / Justinian Dispenza, as well as  documentary filmmaker Tanner Presswood.  

The Kent Cultural Alliance is thrilled to announce the premiere of this Documentary, “LOOKING INWARD: Art & History in Kent County, Maryland”, on Friday, August 18, 2023 at 5:30 pm as a Pre-Opening Event for the 2023 Legacy Day Weekend with Sumner Hall.   The screening will be held at the Vincent and Leslie Prince Raimond Cultural Center and will be followed by a reception and viewing of the work associated with the Fellowship, and conversations with our five participating artists.  The artists: Bogey, Allen Johnson, Jason Patterson, Mike Pugh, and Gordon Wallace will share again their work sparked by this partnership.  The media for these works are portraiture in pastels, photographs, digital art, oils & acrylic, and ceramics.

The exhibit will remain on view through Labor Day, and will play a part in the weeklong Explore Orientation events for incoming Freshman at Washington College, giving them a glimpse into the art world in Kent County, and into partnerships between community organizations and the various departments of Washington College.

During the three weeks of the exhibit, there will be several additional screening times for the Documentary Film.  

Exhibit Hours are:

Opening Reception – Friday, August 18 from 5 – 7 pm – Legacy Day Event

Tuesdays – Fridays 10 am to 4 pm (August 22 – September 1)

Saturday 10 am – 3 pm (August 19 – Sept 2)


Documentary Screenings:

Friday, August 18 at 5:30 pm – Premiere
Saturday, August 19 at 12 noon
Saturday, August 25 at 12 noon
Saturday, September 2 at 12 noon

Legacy Day is celebrating its tenth anniversary and is proud to have the Kent Cultural Alliance as a partner for all 10 years.  Each year the celebration presents an in-depth research and celebration of African American History and Culture in Kent County.  This year’s celebration will include a compilation of the previous nine years’ themes.  It will also highlight Airlee Ringgold Johnson as a chair or co-chair for the entire 10 years and the Legacy Day Committee members.

The Kent Cultural Alliance serves the residents of Kent County, Maryland supporting and creating inclusive artistic and cultural experiences designed to connect communities through shared conversations.

The Chesapeake Heartland Project’s mission is to preserve, digitize, interpret, and make accessible materials related to African American history and culture in Kent County, Maryland, and beyond.  The project is a collaboration with The Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture and with Washington College’s Starr Center.