January 17, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

Live Boxing Returns to So. Maryland -

Friday, January 14, 2022

Forrest Center to Host Tech Expo Jan. 20 -

Monday, January 10, 2022

Artists Sought to Paint Benches at Art Park -

Sunday, January 9, 2022

Find Out What Your Treasures Are Worth -

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Celebrating Art in Leonardtown

Members of the Craft Guild of St. Mary’s outside the guild’s location at 22760 Washington St. right off Leonardtown Square. Members offer handcrafted fabric art, jewelry, woodworking, floral artistry, photography, glass work, culinary specialties, and more. (Photo courtesy of the Town of Leonardtown)

As the only Arts & Entertainment District in Southern Maryland, Leonardtown offers a rich experience in culture. Visitors can explore art galleries, see shows, take group or one-on-one art classes, and enjoy outdoor concerts and special events.

Three art-related businesses in town celebrated major milestones this year: New View FiberWorks opened its doors in Leonardtown 10 years ago; North End Gallery has reached its 35th year; and the Craft Guild of St. Mary’s has been in existence for 45 years.

The Craft Guild of St. Mary’s was formed by a group of artisans and initially started inside Cecil’s Country Store off Indian Bridge Road in Great Mills as a Christmas store and then briefly through a Hollywood location before coming to Leonardtown where it’s operated ever since.

The shop has had some challenges over the years – most notably having to relocate from its longtime home off Route 5 due to record breaking floods that nearly devastated the shop. Through the perseverance of its members and especially its head crafter and director for 45 years, Judy Dillon, they opened shop in their newest location at 22760 Washington St. right off Leonardtown Square where its 14 members continue to offer handcrafted fabric art, jewelry, woodworking, floral artistry, photography, glass work, culinary specialties, and more.

New View FiberWorks, once part of the Craft Guild, was created by a group of seven women (made up of members from the Chesapeake Spinners and Weavers Guild) in 2008 who had a plan to offer their high-quality fiber and soap products to the Southern Maryland area. First, operating through the Guild, and then opening their own dedicated shop right in historic Leonardtown Square at 22696 Washington St. in 2011.

The items carried by their shop are all handmade or up-cycled in some way by their now 21 members who are all from the tri-county area. The shop, that also offers classes in spinning, weaving, tatting and knitting (temporarily halted due to the pandemic, but soon to be resumed), has expanded to include pottery, woodworking, bath and body items, and jewelry.

North End Gallery was started in September of 1986 by two women – Sally Carter and Pat Lewis – who had the vision of bringing together local artists to showcase their art in a true gallery setting. Through their efforts, they managed to recruit 20 local artist friends and create an art cooperative that gives every member equal say and equal responsibility in running their art gallery business. The gallery was first run in a small building Sally owned on Route 5, but as the gallery grew to include 35 artists, it became clear they needed more exhibit space.

In their 10th year of operating as a full gallery, they took the step to relocate to the heart of historic Leonardtown to their current location, a former dress shop, at 41652 Fenwick St. After a few years, one of the gallery members, Judith Corville Conrad, purchased the building and her family donated it to the St. Mary’s County Arts Council in 2019 to ensure that North End Gallery always had a home in Leonardtown.

The now well-established gallery features the diverse work created by member artists including oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, photography, pottery and clay tiles, jewelry, fused glass objects, woodwork, mixed media sculptures, and more.

The St. Mary’s County Historical Society is the repository of a unique collection of Maryland memorabilia and museum pieces displayed on the first floor of Tudor Hall and in the Old Jail Museum at 41625 Courthouse Drive in Leonardtown. The 18th-century Tudor Hall also serves as headquarters of the society and houses the Historical Society’s Research Center.

To learn more about the St. Mary’s Historical Society, visit its Leader member page.

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